Thanks for your interest in Alces Flight Compute!
Providing immediate access to an existing curated set of applications and tools is a feature that has been raised by our beta testing group and we are currently working on a solution to address these requirements. We're currently expecting to add this capability to the product in a release later this summer.
In the meantime, as you mention, it is possible to provide a ready-installed application set by configuring an AWS EBS snapshot that can be mounted as a volume within the master (login) node at startup. You should have an understanding of the implications if you are sharing a snapshot from your account amongst other users via IAM, but a basic approach for doing this with support for Alces Gridware can be found in these notes:
Let us know how you get on and if you have any thoughts regarding how best to fulfil your requirements!