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How to configure AWS CLI

This post provides a set of commands on how to configure Amazon Web Services Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) on macOS or any other operating system. The AWS CLI is an open source tool that enables the user of the AWS platform to communicate and issue commands to AWS Services.

Requirements

The following list defines the technologies, tools and credentials required to configure the AWS CLI tool:

What is AWS CLI?

AWS CLI is an open source tool that enables AWS Platform users to communicate and issue commands to their services. The command line tool enables users to invoke the AWS Platform services via the different public APIs. The authentication and other security mechanisms are abstracted away from the user by configuring the AWS CLI with he user’s access key and secret. Furthermore, it provides higher level operations by combining the finer grained public APIs of the AWS Services into simple operations. These higher level operations will be more natural to use for a user. Users can now manage their AWS Services by creating shell scripts and automate simple and complex tasks alike.

Quick Commands

This section provides the command on how to configure AWS CLI.

$ aws configure
AWS Access Key ID [****************OMLQ]: ********
AWS Secret Access Key [****************BQWW]: ***********
Default region name [us-east-1]: eu-west-1
Default output format [json]: json

Default Region: For a list of available regions, see AWS Regions and Endpoints.

Default Output: The default output format can be either json, text, or table.

AWS Configuration Files

~/.aws/credentials The AWS Credential file contains the credentials of multiple named profiles including the default profile. The credentials of each profile consist of the key/values for the aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key properties. The AWS credentials file are located at ~/.aws/credentials on macOS.

$ cat ~/.aws/credentials
[default]
aws_access_key_id=1234567890
aws_secret_access_key=ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

[user2]
aws_access_key_id=0987654321
aws_secret_access_key=ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA

~/.aws/config The CLI Configuration file contains the configuration of multiple named profiles including the default profile. The configuration of each profile consist of the key/values for the region and output properties. The AWS CLI configuration file are located at ~/.aws/config on macOS.

$ cat ~/.aws/config
[default]
region=us-west-2
output=json

[profile user2]
region=us-east-1
output=text

AWS Configure Commands

The following are additional commands that can be used during the configuration of the AWS CLI tool.

1. AWS Configure a Named Profile

You can configure a named pro-file using the –profile argument as part of the AWS Configure command.

$ aws configure --profile administrator
AWS Access Key ID [None]: 12334567890
AWS Secret Access Key [None]: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Default region name [None]: eu-west-1
Default output format [None]: json

Note: The named profile argument –profile can be appended to any of the AWS Configure commands to execute the command in context of that named profile.

2. Update a Specific Property

You can run the AWS Configure command multiple times to update specific properties. To existing value is displayed in [brackets]. To update the existing value, type a new value and press enter. To keep an existing value, press enter without typing any value in.

$ aws configure
AWS Access Key ID [****************1234]: 
AWS Secret Access Key [****************1234]: 
Default region name [eu-west-1]: 
Default output format [json]: table
3. List Config Data

The following command can be used to list the AWS CLI Configuration data of the default profile. For each configuration item, it will show you the value, where the configuration value was retrieved, and the configuration variable name.

$ aws configure list
      Name                    Value             Type    Location
      ----                    -----             ----    --------
   profile                <not set>             None    None
access_key     ****************1234 shared-credentials-file    
secret_key     ****************1234 shared-credentials-file    
    region                eu-west-1      config-file    ~/.aws/config

Summary

Congratulations! You have successfully configured AWS CLI and will now be able to issue commands to the AWS Platform. Follow me on any of the different social media platforms and feel free to leave comments.

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