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AWS: How do I create an EBS AMI from a scratch image or file tree?

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linux-howto

http://serverfault.com – I have a file tree in a directory. This is used to build bootable systems on hard drives and flash drives. I've also used it to build images for virtual machines. I would like to make an AWS AMI from it (plus whatever tweaks are needed to make it cloud worthy, like the cloud-init stuff). For now I am exploring how to make an EBS backed AMI. All the documentation and answered questions I have found focus on other ways to build AMIs, and involve using existing AMIs, or starting instances and saving what's in a running state. But I want to make something from scratch based on my system setu (HowTos)