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Get Started

Let's use hotbox to run your code in the cloud on a Firecracker MicroVM.


  • Python 3.10: You can install Python 3.10 using pyenv.
  • An AWS Account. Sign up for free here.
  • jq

Check that python is installed by running:

python --version

Log in to your AWS account by running:

aws configure

To make sure that you're logged in, run:

aws sts get-caller-identity

Check that jq is installed by running:

jq --version

Install hotbox

pip install hotbox

Write some code!

We have example code here.

Create an EC2 Instance using hotbox

We cover all the steps you need to set something up, if you already have an EC2 key-pair and security group, you can skip to the Create the EC2 Instance section.

Create a key-pair and adjust the permissions

export REGION=us-east-1
aws ec2 create-key-pair --key-name hotbox-example-$REGION --region $REGION | jq -r '.KeyMaterial' > ~/hotbox-example-$REGION.pem
chmod 600 ~/hotbox-example-$REGION.pem

Create a security group

SECURITY_GROUP_ID=$(aws ec2 create-security-group --group-name hotbox-example-all-traffic --description "All traffic allowed" --vpc-id $(aws ec2 describe-vpcs --region $REGION | jq -r '.Vpcs[] | select(.IsDefault) | .VpcId') --region $REGION | jq -r '.GroupId')
aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id $SECURITY_GROUP_ID --region $REGION --protocol all --port all --cidr
aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-id $SECURITY_GROUP_ID --region $REGION --ip-permissions IpProtocol=-1,Ipv6Ranges='[{CidrIpv6=::/0}]'
aws ec2 authorize-security-group-egress --group-id $SECURITY_GROUP_ID --region $REGION --ip-permissions IpProtocol=-1,Ipv6Ranges='[{CidrIpv6=::/0}]'

Create the EC2 Instance

hotbox create ec2 --region $REGION --key-name hotbox-example-$REGION --security-group-ids $SECURITY_GROUP_ID

Confirm that hotbox is running on the EC2 Instance

This should print ok. It might take a few minutes for the EC2 Instance to start up.

curl -s $(hotbox get ec2 --region $REGION | jq -r '.Reservations[] | select(.Instances[] | .State.Name == "running") | .Instances[].PublicIpAddress'):8088/api/v0/healthcheck | jq -r .message

Deploy your code!

Set your hotbox API URL as an environment variable:

export HOTBOX_API_URL="http://$(hotbox get ec2 --region $REGION | jq -r '.Reservations[] | select(.Instances[] | .State.Name == "running") | .Instances[].PublicIpAddress'):8088/api/v0"

Let's use our example go code. You can find the code here.

hotbox create app -n my-app -c examples/go

Check that your code was deployed and is running

This example runs internally on the EC2 Instance, so we can check the status of the app on the EC2 Instance.

ssh -i ~/hotbox-example-$REGION.pem ubuntu@$(hotbox get ec2 --region $REGION | jq -r '.Reservations[] | select(.Instances[] | .State.Name == "running") | .Instances[].PublicIpAddress')

Now that you're on the instance, run:

curl -s

This should print Hi there, hotbox!. is the IP address of the Firecracker MicroVM. Hotbox automatically set that up for you.


Delete the EC2 Instance

hotbox delete ec2 $(hotbox get ec2 --region $REGION | jq -r '.Reservations[0].Instances[0] | .InstanceId') --region $REGION

Delete the security group

aws ec2 delete-security-group --group-id $SECURITY_GROUP_ID --region $REGION

Delete the key-pair

aws ec2 delete-key-pair --key-name hotbox-example-$REGION --region $REGION