|The Anonymous monk below points me back to the source documentation, where I find nothing on this particular question,
Searching for the error "Skipping user-data as it does not begin with #!" I found ec2-run-user-data, the program you appeared to be the trying to run. It does't mention base64.
Net::Amazon::EC2 is just an interface to some amazon API, the important docs would be found on amazon.
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