Amazon Linux AMI Setup

For what I hope is the final production version, I set up an Amazon EC2 instance running Amazon Linux AMI. I particularly like that it has pip and python pre-installed.

Setup Amazon Linux

Amazon Linux AMI is a fork of RHEL6 made to run on the EC2 of AWS. It is a good choice for having an operating system that is fully up to date and supported by the “host.” I particularly like that it is already setup with most of what is needed. If preferred, use Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, et al., but your mileage will vary using this guide.


Check out the CentOS Setup Guide or the Ubuntu Setup Guide if using those distros.

Get an AWS account set up/prep for using EC2, then set up the EC2 instance itself. It is a bit of an orchestration, but worth it.


  • Opted for a t2.micro instance since the free tier lasts 12 months, though that may change to a t1.micro. Also used Security Groups to limit access to My IP and used a key pair.
  • It is a good idea to enable billing alerts.

Configure an EBS to store the database. Went with 22 GB since it is free, but I may change that to around 10 GB later. Also went with magnetic storage because it costs less than SSD storage and the I/O speed is not needed right now.


  • The root volume is deleted on termination of the instance, so I turned on termination protection. Alternatively, the root volume can be changed to persist.
  • When connecting from Windows operating systems, I prefer PuTTY/KiTTY, but there is a doc detailing setup.

Next, secure the EC2 instance. It is an old guide, so the only thing that needs to be done is adding a new user (with limited access, by default) to run the bot. At this point, a root volume snapshot can be made to save progress, if persistence was not enabled previously.


Setup pip and python

Install some dependencies as the default user, not the new one.

sudo yum install gcc python36-devel.x86_64 openssl-devel libffi-devel
sudo pip install --upgrade pip

As the new user, set up the needed environment and select it from within the package directory:

python3 -m venv clashcallerbot-reddit/env
source clashcallerbot-reddit/env/bin/activate  # selects venv

From within the virtual environment, run:

pip install -U wheel
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install praw
pip install mysql-connector

Setup MySQL

Set up a MySQL database within an EBS volume as the default user. The guide is for Ubuntu, but setup for Amazon Linux is very similar (replace apt-get with yum and use sudo service mysqld [start|stop] to start or stop MySQL). Once the EBS volume is created and attached, the default user needs to run the following from within the Amazon Linux EC2 instance to create an XFS filesystem at /vol:

# Create XFS filesystem
sudo yum install xfsprogs mysql-server mysql-devel
grep -q xfs /proc/filesystems || sudo modprobe xfs
sudo mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb # change to wherever volume is mounted

# Mount XFS filesystem
echo "/dev/sdb /vol xfs noatime 0 0" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab
sudo mkdir -m 000 /vol
sudo mount /vol

Now that MySQL is installed, it must be configured.

sudo service mysqld start
sudo service mysqld status    # Confirm it is running
sudo mysql_secure_installation    # Say 'y' to everything!
sudo mysql -uroot -p"password"

From within the MySQL prompt, mysql>, the database can be set up.

USE db_name;
CREATE TABLE message_table (id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, permalink VARCHAR(100), message VARCHAR(100),
new_date DATETIME, userID VARCHAR(20), PRIMARY KEY(id));
INSERT INTO comment_table VALUES (1, "'0'");

Make sure that MySQL is stopped with sudo service mysqld stop && sudo service mysqld status, then move MySQL into the EBS volume.

sudo mkdir /vol/etc /vol/lib /vol/log
sudo mv /etc/my.cnf /vol/etc/
sudo mv /var/lib/mysql /vol/lib/
sudo mv /var/log/mysqld.log /vol/log

sudo ln -s /vol/etc/my.cnf /etc/my.cnf
sudo ln -s /vol/log/mysqld.log /var/log/mysqld.log

sudo mkdir /var/lib/mysql
echo "/vol/lib/mysql /var/lib/mysql none bind" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab
sudo mount /var/lib/mysql

sudo service mysqld start && sudo service mysqld status
sudo chkconfig --level 3 mysqld on  # set to start at boot

Setup ClashCallerBot

Now that python, pip, and MySQL have been set up, the new user can download and setup the bot:

source clashcallerbot-reddit/env/bin/activate    # set virtual environment, if needed
chmod +x ./

Next, add the bot’s reddit metadata to praw-example.ini and rename to praw.ini, then add the database’s root and desired bot user credentials to database-example.ini and rename to database.ini.

Then, all requirements can be installed via pip:

pip install -r requirements.txt

Once all relevant files have been downloaded and configured, the bot can be started:

chmod +x ./


  • The bot has to login to reddit at least once to refresh the oauth token. Amazon Linux does not have a web browser installed by default, so run sudo yum install lynx as the default user before running the script.