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Launch a Windows Instance

We offer a Windows image in the public share. Please see Available Operating Systems. You will need to use the --os parameter for manage-instance launch to indicate that this is a Windows instance.

Usage example (Image from the Public Share):

manage-instance launch --os w2k3std --name new_windows_instance --cpu-units 2 --server-id NYM1:17
--memory 8gb --disk 20gb --share-name public --path images/windows/w2k3std-current.img --username <USERNAME>

Instance starting: id: LAX1:477, IP: 192.168.9.5, administrator's password: 1h85GhcC

Usage example (Custom Image):

manage-instance launch --os w2k3std --name new_windows_instance --cpu-units 2 --server-id NYM1:17 --memory 8gb
--disk 20gb --share-name cust124 --path images/win2003-customized.img --username <USERNAME>

Instance starting: id: LAX1:478, IP: 192.168.9.6

With a custom image not bundled from an AppNexus image, the API assumes that the image already includes an administrator's password – the password from the original system that the image was created from. In this case the "--admin-password" parameter would return an error message. When you bundle an AppNexus instance you will clear the password before bundling and the admin-password parameter will work.

Note: It takes up to 20 minutes for Windows instance to launch after issuing a "manage-instance launch" command. This has two main causes. First, the Windows OS runs "chkdsk" on first boot. Second, the OS takes a significant amount of time to install networking components as a result of running sysprep on the image.

Administrator's Password

The main difference between launching a Windows and a Linux instance is the setting of the administrator's password for the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

The parameter "--admin-password" allows you to set an administrator's password on launching a Windows instance. There are three possible ways of using this parameter in the "manage-instance launch" command:
a) Specify a value for the parameter in the command line (. . . --admin-password <secret_password> . . .).
b) Omit the value of the parameter (. . . --admin-password . . .). You will be prompted to enter an administrator's password.
c) Omit the parameter. The administrator's password will be auto-generated by the API.

  • If the password is auto-generated, you can view it in the immediate output of "manage-instance launch" command or in the output of the "manage-instance list --verbose" command. Please note two things: If the password has been modified in the live instance this column will not match the actual password; API does not store or display custom passwords for security purposes.
  • If you wish to modify the password in a live instance, you must do so within the instance.
  • The API checks strength of administrator's password provided on launching a Windows instance. Conditions:
    • Length is between 8 and 255 symbols.
    • Include at least three of these four character classes: lowercase/uppercase letters, digits, and punctuation characters.
    • Must not be a dictionary word.

Server Upgrade Error Message

  • Some servers require a Xen software upgrade to run Windows. We are upgrading all currently available servers, but if you attempt to launch a Windows instance and get an error message requesting a software upgrade, please contact the AppNexus Support Team for an upgrade or try another server.

A Note on Resizing the Disk on a Windows Instance

Each time you (re)start your instance after resizing disk, the "chkdsk" utility may cause a slightly longer restart time than usual.

Further Reading

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