Well this is my first attempt ever doing this. So thought may be helpful for somebody in same situation. Remote Desktop won’t work so you have to use Putty and Puttygen. Note that when you first try to connect from Amazon EC2 console to your Linux instance, the Amazon connect dialog will tell you to use Putty but it does not mention about Puttygen and anything about the conversion of your private key required to be used with Putty.
First convert your Amazon private key file using Puttygen to something Putty understands. You can optionally encrypt the converted file using a password (I recommend). Then follow the steps below:
1) Run Putty
2) Enter your Linux IP, Use SSH and Port 22
3) From left side menu choose Auth/SSH and locate your converted private key file
4) Give a session name and save the session. Load the session and click on Open.
The terminal window will be displayed and it will ask you to enter login user. Enter “ec2-user” instead of “root”. It will use the converted private key file. If the file was converted/encrypted using a password it will ask you to provide the password here. You should be logged in.
At the $ prompt you may want to change the root password. so type in the following command:
$ sudo passwd root
To prevent remote root exploits the Amazon Linux AMI does not allow remote root login via SSH. Also, password authentication is disabled to prevent brute force password attacks. To enable SSH logins to a running Amazon Linux AMI you must provide your key pair to the instance at launch. You must also set the security group used to launch your instance to allow SSH access. By default the only account that can be logged into remotely via SSH is ‘ec2-user’. The ec2-user has sudo privileges.