You can choose from a variety of tools such as VNC and third-party client tools to connect to ECS instances. Select a suitable tool to connect to ECS instances based on the operating systems of the instances, the operating system of your local machine, and the operations that you want to perform.

Connection methods

Instance operating system Operating system of your local machine Connection method
Linux Windows
Unix-like operating systems including Linux and macOS
Operating systems of mobile devices, including iOS and Android Use an app such as SSH Control Lite or JuiceSSH

For more information, see Connect to a Linux instance from a mobile device.

Windows Windows
Linux
macOS
Operating systems of mobile devices, including iOS and Android Use an app such as Microsoft Remote Desktop

For more information, see Connect to a Windows instance from a mobile device.

Note
  • Except for VNC, all connection tools require that the target instances have automatically-assigned public IP addresses or Elastic IP addresses.
  • After a Windows instance is created, it takes 2 to 3 minutes to initialize its operating system. Do not restart the instance during initialization. After a non-I/O optimized Windows instance is created, it takes 10 minutes to initialize its operating system. Do not connect to the instance during initialization.

Comparison of connection tools

The following table compares the advantages of VNC and other third-party client tools.

Item VNC Third-party client tool
Allocation of a public IP address or an Elastic IP address to the target instance Optional. VNC can be used to troubleshoot exceptions including network misconfigurations (for example, firewall being enabled by mistake). Required.
Enabling services including SSH on the target instance Optional. VNC can be used to troubleshoot exceptions including SSH service exceptions (for example, SSHD being disabled). Required.
Logon through the ECS console Supported. Not supported. The local client must be installed.
Independence of the target instance operating system VNC can be used to connect to both Linux and Windows instances. Third-party client tools can be used to connect to Linux or Windows instances, depending on what client tool is used.
Simultaneous logons by multiple operating system users to a single instance Not supported. Depends on the client tool.
Ease of interaction VNC does not support directly copying and pasting text. To copy and paste text, use the function of copying long commands. Depends on the client tool.
Visually viewing Linux system file resources Not supported. Depends on the client tool.
Permissions to control and modify hardware Supported. VNC can be used to manage resources including BIOS and troubleshoot exceptions including system startup failure. Not supported.
Terminal configurability Not supported. Supported, but depends on the client tool.