How to Install Helix Core on AWS

If you are new to Helix Core — but have been using AWS and Linux for a while — you’ll find installing the server to be quick and easy. Use the following instructions to get started.

Best Practice Guide     AWS STUDIO PACK

Create or Log In to an AWS Account

  1. Create or launch an AWS account (have a credit card ready). Or you can log in to your existing AWS account.
  2. Launch your AWS instance (virtual machine) to use as the host machine for your Helix Core server. In the AWS Management Console, navigate to the AWS EC2 Dashboard. Click Launch Instance.
    • Note: This configuration is adequate for evaluation. 

Launch an AWS Instance

Use the Launch Wizard to Configure Your AWS Instance

  1. Select an AMI (Amazon Machine Image). This defines the virtual OS and storage configuration.
    • For our example, we are using an Ubuntu AMI. This is one of several popular Linux distributions upon which Helix Core is supported. Look for Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS (HVM), SSD Volume Type. You could also use Centos or RHEL. Click Select.
  2. Select an Instance Type. This is the virtual hardware definition. We recommend using:
    • t2.small instance type with = 1 Virtual CPU (vCPU) and 2 GB of RAM.
    • Moderate networking performance.
  3. Select Next on Configure Instance Details. Leave these as default settings.
  4. Use default storage options. You can add more later.
  5. Skip Adding Tags.
  6. On the Configure Security Group step, you need to create a new security group.
    • Set your Port 22 with Protocol TCP to open so you can log in to your new instance via SSH. This will be necessary to complete the installation of the Helix Core.
    • Click Add Rule. Set the TCP port to 1666 to use a Helix Core client — such as P4 (command-line) or P4V (Helix Visual Client) — to access the server.
    • This menu allows you to specify a CIDR range to open up for access. We recommend starting with, which on AWS indicates “open to the entire internet.” Make sure you come back and lock it down later.
  7. Click Review and Launch. 
  8. Now AWS will have you establish a key pair. This is critical. The keypair is used to access the new server. If you already have one, you can use it.
  9. To create a keypair, go to the drop down and click Create a New Keypair.
  10. Download the private key and store this in a safe place. If you lose the keypair, you will lose access to this instance. You’ll use the keypair to SSH into the server and then download and install Helix Core.

Getting Ready For Production?

This configuration is not recommended for production workloads.

Once you begin to deploy Helix Core at scale, you will need a larger instance with more CPUs, more memory, and better networking. Don’t worry, AWS makes upgrading easy!

To backup all your digital assets, you may want to install at least one additional server on another instance. Although you will pay AWS for the additional server instance, you can deploy as many Helix Core servers as you want for free.

Install Helix Core on Your AWS Instance

  1. In the EC2 Dashboard, choose Instances. You should see the instance you created running.
  2. Go to the Actions drop down, select Connect. The dialog box that displays will include everything you need to connect.
  3. Open a terminal window on the Mac, or a CMD Window on your personal computer. You should be able to just copy the SSH command shown at the bottom of the dialog box. Your dialog box will use the name of your keypair file and the URL for your server. For example:
    Image VCS Getting Started Install on AWS Connect Instance
    It will have a different pem file name, which must be publicly visible. You'll either need to be in that path/directory or provide the entire file specification. Use the same username, ubuntu (assuming you have chosen to install on Ubuntu), and your AWS-generated DNS name for your instance.
  4. When you hit enter, you will see the command prompt on your new machine.
  5. Now you need to download and verify the public key so you can install the Helix Core package.

Download and Verify Your Public Key

Ensure you have the correct public key by verifying the fingerprint of the Perforce public key against the fingerprint shown below.

  1. Download the public key at
  2. To obtain the fingerprint of the public key, run:
    gpg --with-fingerprint perforce.pubkey
  3. Verify that it matches this fingerprint:
    E581 31C0 AEA7 B082 C6DC 4C93 7123 CB76 0FF1 8869

Download Your Helix Core Package

  1. Add the Perforce packaging key to your APT keyring
    wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
  2. Add the Perforce repository to your APT configuration.
    • Create a file called /etc/apt/sources.list.d/perforce.list with the following line:
      deb xenial release
  3. Run the following:
    apt-get update
  4. Install the package by running:
    sudo apt-get install helix-p4d
  5. Once this completes, the Helix Core package will be installed and ready to setup. Configure the sever by entering the following command:
    Sudo /opt/perforce/sbin/
  6. Refer to the Helix Core Server Administrator Guide to configure the server. Or you can accept the defaults by hitting enter.
  7. Once this script is complete, you will see the following output. This provides important information on next steps.
    Image How to Install Helix Core on AWS Image 1
  8. Your server is now ready. Connect to Helix Core via P4V using the IP address in the shell script (P4PORT= export line).

Want Help Setting Up Perforce?

Contact our professional services team to talk to experts. They can optimize your Helix Core servers for top performance.

Do More With P4V

Setting up Perforce is easy with our P4V cheat sheet.

Read the Docs

Get step-by-step instructions on how to install, administer, optimize, and use Helix Core.