Using EC2 to (re)Distribute “Repurposed Virtualities”

They give everyone the power to create their own version of Windows and share it with others. Granted, that’s not the kind of thing too many non-techies, or even techies, wake up in the morning with an overwhelming desire to do. But why not? I’m still getting used to the idea of creating my own versions of Windows, haven’t even released anything yet. But since everything I’m building is open source, there’s no reason someone couldn’t take my package, make some changes, and then redistribute it with their customizations. Trust obviously becomes a pretty important issue here.

via Scripting News: Caprica and repurposed virtualities.

This sounds a lot like what already goes on in the EC2 community around public AMIs. If you take a look at the list of public AMIs (over 4,000 at this point) you’ll see that many are bundles of the OS with one or more application packages. For examlple Drupal and Asterisk AMIs are easy to find. Most the public AMIs are Linux-based, but nearly 300 use Windows as the core OS.
I’ve done this sort of thing building a Linux AMI that started with a base image from RightScale to which I added Apache, MySQL, PHP, Drupal, and more configured to work together. Once I saved the AMI, I had a proto-type server that I could use to quickly scale up our web cluster. I’ve also shared the AMI with colleagues interested in getting started with Drupal.
So, having an AMI that contains Dave’s work is certainly doable and an excellent idea. I, for one, would certainly try it out.