Launch an Amazon Lightsail Instance

Last modified: July 18, 2023


This document explains how to launch a cPanel & WHM instance on Amazon Lightsail™. An Amazon Lightsail instance is a virtual machine you can quickly and easily set up.

Launch an Amazon Lightsail instance

Navigate to the Amazon Lightsail website. If you are not already signed in to your Amazon Web Services™ account, then sign in. If you do not have an account, sign up for one.

Click Create instance. The Create an instance interface will appear.

Select your instance location

Amazon will suggest an Instance location. Hosting your instances in different locations can protect your instances from all experiencing outages at the same time. If you want to host your instance in a different region than the default, click Change AWS Region and Availability Zone:

  1. The Select a Region section will appear. Select the region for your instance.

  2. You can also specify an availability zone by clicking Change your Availability Zone. Then, click the specific zone you want.

Select your instance image and blueprint

Select the Linux/Unix platform. Then, under Select a blueprint, click cPanel & WHM for AlmaLinux.


cPanel & WHM requires a valid license. If this is a new installation, you can activate a free 15-day trial license.

There are several other options available in this section:

  • You can add scripts to further customize your instance by clicking Add launch script.

  • This section also tells you the SSH key pair your instance will use. To change the SSH key pair or download the private key of the default key pair, click Change SSH key pair. The following options will appear:

    • Create New — This will create a new SSH key pair in the the same region as your instance.

      After you create the key pair, you will be given the option to download the private key. You must download it.

    • Upload New — You can upload a public key if you already have an SSH key pair.
    • Download — You can also download the private key of the Default key pair if you do not want to manually create a new one.
  • By checking the Enable Automatic Snapshots box, the system creates a backup image of your instance each day.

Choose your instance plan

Select the plan for your virtual machine. You can sort Amazon Lightsail’s plans by Price per month, Memory, Processing, Storage, or Transfer.


You must select a plan with at least 1 GB of RAM. If you select a plan with less than 1 GB of RAM, the installation of cPanel & WHM will fail.

Identify your instance

Enter a name for your instance. You cannot change the name of your instance after you create it.

You can also add tags to your instance:

  • Key-only tags — A text only tag without associated values.

  • Key-value tags — A tag that has possible values. You must enter both the Key as well as the Value.

Create the instance

Once you enter all the details of your instance, click Create instance. You will return to the Amazon Lightsail console. The console will display your instance as it is being created.

The cPanel & WHM installation process

When you create an instance, cPanel & WHM will automatically begin installation in the background.


The installation process takes about 10-15 minutes. You cannot log in to WHM until the installation process is complete.

To watch the installation progress, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Instances page, click your instance’s name.

  2. Click the Connect tab.

  3. Click Connect using SSH. The Lightsail terminal interface will appear, where you can watch the installation progress.

Setting up WHM on your instance

Once your instance is running, you need to set up a few things to ensure cPanel & WHM functions properly.

Change the password for the root user

You must change the root user’s password to log in to WHM.

  1. On the Instances page, click your instance’s name.

  2. Click the Connect tab.

  3. Click Connect using SSH. The Lightsail terminal interface will appear.

  4. Enter the following command:

sudo passwd
  1. Enter a password.

  2. Enter your password again.

Attach a static IP address to your instance

By default, Amazon Lightsail assigns dynamic IP addresses to instances. They remain assigned to the instance as long as the instance is active. If you stop and then restart the instance, the IP address will change.


Your cPanel & WHM license is tied to your IP address. We strongly recommend assigning a static IP address to your instance before purchasing a license or using a trial license.

To configure a static IP address for your instance, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Instances page, click your instance’s name.

  2. Click the Networking tab.

  3. Under IP addresses, click Create static IP.

  4. Select your instance.

  5. Enter a name for the static IP.

  6. Click Create.

Log in to WHM

To log in to WHM, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the following URL, where IPADDRESS represents your instance’s IP address:
  1. Enter the root username and it’s password.

  2. Click Log in.

  3. Agree to the software license. A new interface will appear.

  4. Enter your contact information and nameserver information. The WHM Home interface will appear.

Configure WHM

For more information on configuring cPanel & WHM, read our WebHost Manager documentation.

For more information on how to quickly build a website on a newly-installed cPanel & WHM server, read our From WHM to Website documentation.

Manage your instance

To access certain cPanel & WHM services, you must manually open specific firewall ports.

Log in to your Amazon Lightsail instance to manage firewall ports and static IP addresses.

Additional Documentation