Recovering data from AWS Lightsail using EC2

I ran into problems with my AWS Lightsail instance: it exceeded the CPU burst quota for too long and was suspended, and I couldn't figure out how to un-suspend it.

I had a snapshot of the hard drive and I wanted to recover the data from it. This ended up taking far longer than I expected - I imagine there's a better way of doing this but here's how I solved it.

Short version: I migrated the snapshot to EC2, then launched an EC2 instance and mounted that snapshot as an EBS volume.

Long version (because I had to figure out a lot of steps along the way):

  1. I activated the Lightsail "Export to Amazon EC2" option on the snapshot
  2. I waited a while for the export to complete
  3. This launched a new EC2 instance for me... but for some reason I couldn't SSH into that instance. So I terminated it.
  4. I used the EC2 web console to figure out the AWS identifier for the EC2 copy of the Lightsail snapshot - something like snap-02a530e12a34
  5. I created a brand new EC2 instance and on the "Add storage" panel I added an EBS volume for /dev/sdb with the snapshot identifier I found in the previous step. I started this instance with a keypair so I could SSH into it.
  6. I mounted the EBS volume - see section below
  7. ... I used scp (with the keypair) to copy off the data

Mounting the EBS volume

I hadn't worked with EBS before so this took some figuring out. My instance was configured with /dev/sdb as an EBS volume. I confirmed that the data was accessible like so:

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-26-179 dev]$ sudo file -s /dev/xvdb
/dev/xvdb: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ID=0x83, active, starthead 32, startsector 2048, 167770079 sectors, code offset 0x63

Then I created a /data directory and mounted the volume:

[ec2-user@ip-172-31-26-179 dev]$ sudo mkdir /data
[ec2-user@ip-172-31-26-179 dev]$ sudo mount /dev/xvdb1 /data

I actually tried sudo mount /dev/xvdb /data first and got a mount: /data: wrong fs type error - this StackOverflow answer helped me solve that.

Created 2021-01-16T13:07:24-08:00 · Edit