creating ami on amazon
this was stupid simple starting from an EBS boot volume.
- launch an instance with an EBS boot volume. ubuntu has lots of images.
- make whatever changes you want to the volume. install, add, whatever services you need — configure them to start on boot (i just used rc.local).
- stop the instance.
- in the console, select "create image" from the instance actions pull-down menu.
that's it. stupid simple.