Launching Your First Container on ECS - ECS Tutorial


Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) provides a scalable and managed environment for running containerized applications. In this tutorial, you will learn how to launch your first container on ECS. We will guide you through creating an ECS task definition, configuring a service, and deploying your container to ECS.

Step 1: Create an ECS Task Definition

An ECS task definition is a blueprint that describes how to run your containerized application. Follow these steps to create a task definition:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the ECS service.
  2. Create a new task definition and specify the container image, CPU and memory requirements, networking settings, and other parameters.
  3. Define any environment variables or volumes required by your application.

Step 2: Configure an ECS Service

An ECS service enables you to run and maintain a specified number of instances of a task definition. Follow these steps to configure a service:

  1. Create a new service and select the task definition you created in the previous step.
  2. Specify the desired number of tasks to run and configure the load balancer settings if applicable.
  3. Choose the launch type, such as EC2 or Fargate, and define any placement constraints or task placement strategies.

Step 3: Deploy Your Container

Once you have created a task definition and configured a service, you can deploy your container to ECS. Here's an example using the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI):

aws ecs run-task --cluster my-ecs-cluster --task-definition my-task-definition

This command launches a task based on the specified task definition in the given ECS cluster.

Common Mistakes

  • Not properly configuring task definitions, resulting in incorrect container settings or missing environment variables.
  • Incorrectly configuring load balancer settings, leading to issues with traffic distribution or connectivity.
  • Not considering the resource requirements of the container, causing performance or scaling issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use my own Docker image with ECS?

A1: Yes, ECS supports both public and private Docker images, allowing you to use your own custom images.

Q2: How do I scale my ECS service?

A2: You can scale an ECS service by adjusting the desired count of tasks to run. ECS will automatically launch or terminate tasks to maintain the desired count.

Q3: Can I deploy multiple containers as part of a single task definition?

A3: Yes, you can define multiple containers within a single task definition and they will run together as a cohesive unit.

Q4: How do I update a running container on ECS?

A4: To update a running container, you can create a new task definition with the updated container image and deploy it to your ECS service.

Q5: How does ECS handle container health checks?

A5: ECS automatically monitors the health of your containers by periodically sending requests to the configured health check endpoint. If a container fails the health check, ECS will terminate and replace it.


Congratulations! You have successfully launched your first container on Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS). By following the steps in this tutorial, you created an ECS task definition, configured a service, and deployed your container. Avoid common mistakes such as misconfiguring task definitions or load balancer settings, and consider the resource requirements of your container. With ECS, you can easily manage and scale your containerized applications in a reliable and scalable environment.