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awscli 0.13.2

Universal Command Line Environment for AWS.

Latest Version: 1.14.62

This package provides a unified command line interface to many Amazon Web Services.

The currently supported services include:

  • AWS CloudFormation
  • AWS Data Pipeline
  • AWS Direct Connect
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • AWS Identity and Access Management
  • AWS Import/Export
  • AWS OpsWorks
  • AWS Security Token Service
  • AWS Storage Gateway
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce
  • Amazon Elastic Transcoder
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (Beta)
  • Amazon Simple Email Service
  • Amazon Simple Notification Service
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service
  • Amazon Simple Workflow Service
  • Auto Scaling
  • Elastic Load Balancing

The aws-cli package should work on Python versions 2.6.x - 3.3.x.


We recommend that all customers regularly monitor the Amazon Web Services Security Bulletins website for any important security bulletins related to aws-cli.


The easiest way to install aws-cli is to use easy_install or pip:

$ easy_install awscli

or, if you are not installing in a virtualenv:

$ sudo easy_install awscli

Using pip, it would simply be:

$ pip install awscli


$ sudo pip install awscli

This will install the aws-cli package as well as all dependencies. You can also just clone the git repo or download the tarball. Once you have the awscli directory structure on your workstation, you can just:

$ cd <path_to_awscli>
$ python install

Command Completion

The aws-cli package includes a very useful command completion feature. This feature is not automatically installed so you need to configure it manually. To enable tab completion for bash use the built-in command complete:

$ complete -C aws_completer aws

For tcsh:

$ complete aws 'p/*/`aws_completer`/'

You should add this to your startup scripts to enable it for future sessions.

For zsh please refer to bin/ Source that file:

$ source bin/

For now the bash compatibility auto completion (bashcompinit) is used. For further details please refer to the top of bin/

Getting Started

Before using aws-cli, you need to tell it about your AWS credentials. You can do this in several ways:

  • Environment variables
  • Config file
  • IAM Role

To use environment variables, do the following:

$ export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<access_key>
$ export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<secret_key>

To use a config file, create a configuration file like this:

aws_access_key_id=<default access key>
aws_secret_access_key=<default secret key>
region=us-west-1  # optional, to define default region for this profile

[profile testing]
aws_access_key_id=<testing access key>
aws_secret_access_key=<testing secret key>

As you can see, you can have multiple profiles defined in this configuration file and specify which profile to use by using the --profile option. If no profile is specified the default profile is used. Except for the default profile, you must prefix each config section of a profile group with profile. For example, if you have a profile named “testing” the section header would be [profile testing]. Once you have created the config file, you need to tell aws-cli where to find it. Do this by setting the appropriate environment variable:

$ export AWS_CONFIG_FILE=/path/to/config_file

The final option for credentials is highly recommended if you are using aws-cli on an EC2 instance. IAM Roles are a great way to have credentials installed automatically on your instance. If you are using IAM Roles, aws-cli will find them and use them automatically.

Other Configurable Variables

In addition to credentials, a number of other variables can be configured either with environment variables, configuration file entries or both. The following table documents these.

Variable Config Entry Environment Variable Description
profile   AWS_DEFAULT_PROFILE Default profile name
region region AWS_DEFAULT_REGION Default AWS Region
config_file   AWS_CONFIG_FILE Alternate location of config
output output AWS_DEFAULT_OUTPUT Default output style
access_key aws_access_key_id AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID AWS Access Key
secret_key aws_secret_access_key AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY AWS Secret Key
token aws_security_token AWS_SECURITY_TOKEN AWS Token (temp credentials)


If you get tired of specifying a --region option on the command line all of the time, you can specify a default region to use whenever no explicit --region option is included using the region variable. To specify this using an environment variable:

$ export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=us-west-2

To include it in your config file:

aws_access_key_id=<default access key>
aws_secret_access_key=<default secret key>
region=us-west-1  # This will be used as the defaul

Similarly, the profile variable can be used to specify which profile to use if one is not explicitly specified on the command line via the --profile option. To set this via environment variable:

$ export AWS_DEFAULT_PROFILE=testing

The profile variable can not be specified in the configuration file since it would have to be associated with a profile and would defeat the purpose.

Accessing Services With Global Endpoints

Some services, such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Security Token Service (STS), and Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) have a single, global endpoint rather than different endpoints for each region.

To make access to these services simpler, aws-cli will automatically use the global endpoint unless you explicitly supply a region (using the --region option) or a profile (using the --profile option). Therefore, the following:

$ aws iam list-users

Will automatically use the global endpoint for the IAM service regardless of the value of the AWS_DEFAULT_REGION environment variable or the region variable specified in your profile.

Complex Parameter Input

Many options that need to be provided are simple string or numeric values. However, some operations require complex data structures as input parameters. These options must be provided as JSON data structures, either on the command line or in files.

For example, consider the command to authorize access to an EC2 security group. In this case, we will add ingress access to port 22 for all IP addresses:

$ aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-name MySecurityGroup \
  --ip-permissions '{"from_port":22,"to_port":22,"ip_protocol":"tcp","ip_ranges":[{"cidr_ip": ""}]}'

File-based Parameter Input

Some parameter values are so large or so complex that it would be easier to place the parameter value in a file and refer to that file rather than entering the value directly on the command line.

Let’s use the authorize-security-group-ingress command shown above. Rather than provide the value of the --ip-permissions parameter directly in the command, you could first store the values in a file. Let’s call the file ip_perms.json:


Then, we could make the same call as above like this:

$ aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-name MySecurityGroup \
    --ip-permissions file://ip_perms.json

The file:// prefix on the parameter value signals that the parameter value is actually a reference to a file that contains the actual parameter value. aws-cli will open the file, read the value and pass use that value as the parameter value.

This is also useful when the parameter is really referring to file-based data. For example, the --user-data option of the aws ec2 run-instances command or the --public-key-material parameter of the aws ec2 import-key-pair command.

URI-based Parameter Input

Similar to the file-based input described above, aws-cli also includes a way to use data from a URI as the value of a parameter. The idea is exactly the same except the prefix used is https:// or http://:

$ aws ec2 authorize-security-group-ingress --group-name MySecurityGroup \

Command Output

The default output for commands is currently JSON. This may change in the future but for now it provides the most complete output. You may find the [jq]( tool useful in processing the JSON output for other uses.

There is also an ASCII table format available. You can select this style with the --output option or you can make this style your default output style via environment variable or config file entry as described above.

File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
awscli-0.13.2.tar.gz (md5) Source 2013-07-18 37KB
  • Author: Mitch Garnaat
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  • License:
    Copyright 2012-2013, Inc. or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
    Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"). You
    may not use this file except in compliance with the License. A copy of
    the License is located at
    or in the "license" file accompanying this file. This file is
    ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific
    language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
  • Package Index Owner: garnaat, aws
  • DOAP record: awscli-0.13.2.xml