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  • February 5, 2016

How To Install And Run Windows 8 From ISO on AWS EC2

Although AWS does not natively allow you to install your own Win7, Win8 or WinXP on AMI by attaching an ISO, it’s fairly easy to do this using Ravello’s nested virtualization. This is particularly useful for client testing on AWS.

This step by step guide focuses on how to run Windows 8 on AWS. You can also refer to our other windows guides here.


  1. Create an account and login to Ravello, then click “Create Application” to create a new application in Ravello
  2. Drag an empty VM from the library on to the Ravello canvas.
  3. Click on “Import VM” and follow the prompts to upload your Win8 ISO
  4. Click on “Publish” -->choose Performance Optimized, and select AWS region
  5. After you publish, click on the console button to complete your installation in the console
  6. Save your image to the library so that you can skip these steps when you want to re-use it later. Now you can also spin up a farm with hundreds of Windows clients using a single API call.

Performance tuning tips:

  1. Give your empty VM at least 2 vCPU
  2. Install VMware tools to eliminate any mouse sync issues in the console
  3. Use para virtualized devices such as vmxnet3 for networking and PVSCSI for disks


This is a technology blog. If you want to use Ravello to run Windows, you must comply with Microsoft's licensing policies and requirements. Please consult with your Microsoft representative.

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