Launch Ubuntu Desktop running NICE DCV server on AWS using CloudFormation

NICE DCV is a high-performance and secure remote display protocol that is free to use on AWS. CloudFormation is a infrastructure as code (IaC) service that allows users to create resources in an automated manner. We will use a CloudFormation template to create Ubuntu desktop EC2 instance running NICE DCV server on AWS.

Note: this post assumes you are familiar with and have experience launching AWS EC2 instances.

Step 1: Download Ubuntu template

Browse to Ubuntu-NICE-DCV.yaml
Click on download icon to download the file

Step 2: CloudFormation console

Login to AWS console and navigate to CloudFormation console.
Click Create stack, With new resources (standard)

Select Upload a template file, Choose file, and select the Ubuntu-NICE-DCV.yaml you have downloaded previously.

Click Next.

Step 3: Specify CloudFormation stack details

Enter a Stack Name, e.g. Ubuntu

In parameters section, specify your EC2 settings.

An explanation of each parameter option is available at amazon-ec2-nice-dcv-samples GitHub page

Continue Next, Next until you reach Review section.

Step 4: Review and Submit

Review your settings, scroll down, check “I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create IAM resources.” and click Submit.

CloudFormation will proceed to create resources in your account.

All the resources are created when Logical ID for your Stack name reach the CREATE COMPLETE Status

Step 5: Login to your Ubuntu instance

Click on Outputs.
Note the description besides SSMsessionManager. Open URL link besides it in a new browser tab

Click inside the tab and enter sudo passwd ubuntu to change ubuntu user password

Close the tab and return to Outputs section
Open the DCVwebConsole link in a new tab. Dismiss any security warning to proceed.
You will get NICE DCV login screen

Sign in as ubuntu and the password your configured previously.
You are connected to your Ubuntu EC2 instance.

Besides web browser, you can download and use native clients from

Step 6: Delete your Ubuntu instance (optional)

To delete your EC2 instance, go to CloudFormation console, select your stack, and click Delete


You have learned how to easily launch and access securely a Ubuntu EC2 instance with graphical desktop running NICE DCV server using CloudFormation template.

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