AWS CLI Cheat Sheet

Table of Contents


Describing volumes

aws ec2 describe-volumes

Describing filtered volumes:

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=creating | available | in-use | deleting | deleted | error

e.g, describing all deleted volumes:

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=deleted

Filters can be applied to the attachment status:

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=attachment.status,Values=attaching | attached | detaching | detached

e.g: describing all volumes with the status "attaching":

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=attachment.status,Values=attaching

This is the generic form. Use --profile <your_profile_name> , if you have multiple AWS profiles or accounts.

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters Name:'tag:Name',Values: ['some_values'] --profile <your_profile_name>

Describing volumes using a different aws user profile

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=in-use  --profile <your_profile_name>

Listing Available Volumes IDs

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=available |grep VolumeId|awk '{print $2}' | tr '\n|,|"' ' '

With "profile":

aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=available  --profile <your_profile_name>|grep VolumeId|awk '{print $2}' | tr '\n|,|"' ' '

Deleting a Volume

aws ec2 delete-volume --region <region> --volume-id <volume_id>

Deleting Unused Volumes.. Think Before You Type :-)

for x in $(aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=available  --profile <your_profile_name>|grep VolumeId|awk '{print $2}' | tr ',|"' ' '); do aws ec2 delete-volume --region <region> --volume-id $x; done

With "profile":

for x in $(aws ec2 describe-volumes --filters  Name=status,Values=available  --profile <your_profile_name>|grep VolumeId|awk '{print $2}' | tr ',|"' ' '); do aws ec2 delete-volume --region <region> --volume-id $x --profile <your_profile_name>; done

Creating a Snapshot

aws ec2 create-snapshot --volume-id <vol-id>
aws ec2 create-snapshot --volume-id <vol-id> --description "snapshot-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S')"

Creating an Image (AMI)

aws ec2 create-image --instance-id <instance_id> --name "image-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S')" --description "image-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S')"

Creating AMI Without Rebooting the Machine

aws ec2 create-image --instance-id <instance_id> --name "image-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S')" --description "image-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S')" --no-reboot

You are free to change the AMI name image-$(date +'%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S') to a name of your choice.


Listing AMI(s)

aws ec2 describe-images

Describing AMI(s)

aws ec2 describe-images --image-ids <image_id> --profile <profile> --region <region>


aws ec2 describe-images --image-ids ami-e24dfa9f --profile terraform --region eu-west-3

Listing Amazon AMIs

aws ec2 describe-images --owners amazon 

Using Filters

e.g: Describing Windows AMIs that are backed by Amazon EBS.

aws ec2 describe-images --filters "Name=platform,Values=windows" "Name=root-device-type,Values=ebs"

e.g: Describing Ubuntu AMIs

aws ec2 describe-images --filters "Name=name,Values=ubuntu*"


List Functions

aws lambda list-functions

Describe a Function

aws lambda get-function --function-name  my-function

Invoke a Function

aws lambda invoke --function-name my-function --payload '{ "name": "Bob" }' response.json

Update a Function Code

aws lambda update-function-code --function-name  my-function --zip-file fileb://

Publish a Version

aws lambda publish-version --function-name my-function

List Layers

Let's take this example in which we want to list information of layers that are compatible with Python 3.7 runtime.

aws lambda list-layers --compatible-runtime python3.7

Possible layers runtime:


List Aliases of a Function

aws lambda list-aliases --function-name my-function

Describe an Alias

aws lambda get-alias --function-name my-function --name LIVE

Create an Alias

aws lambda create-alias --function-name my-function --description "alias description goes here" --function-version 1 --name LIVE

Delete an Alias

aws lambda delete-alias --function-name my-function --name LIVE

List Function Tags

aws lambda list-tags --resource arn:aws:lambda:eu-west-1:xxxxxxxxxxx:function:my-function

Delete a Function

aws lambda delete-function --function-name my-function

Using AWS Lambda with Scheduled Events

sid=Sid$(date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S); aws lambda add-permission --statement-id $sid --action 'lambda:InvokeFunction' --principal --source-arn arn:aws:events:<region>:<arn>:rule/AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole --function-name function:<awsents> --region <region>


List Users

aws iam list-users

List Policies

aws iam list-policies

List Groups

aws iam list-groups

Get Users in a Group

aws iam get-group --group-name <group_name>

Describing a Policy

aws iam get-policy --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/<policy_name>

List Access Keys

aws iam list-access-keys

List Keys

aws iam list-access-keys

List the Access Key IDs for an IAM User

aws iam list-access-keys --user-name <user_name>

List the SSH Public Keys for a User

aws iam list-ssh-public-keys --user-name <user_name>


Listing Buckets

aws s3api list-buckets


aws s3 ls


aws s3 ls --profile eon01

Listing Only Bucket Names

aws s3api list-buckets --query 'Buckets[].Name'

Getting a Bucket Region

aws s3api get-bucket-location --bucket <bucket_name>


aws s3api get-bucket-location --bucket

Listing the Content of a Bucket

aws s3 ls s3://<bucket_name> --region <region>


aws s3 ls s3://

aws s3 ls s3:// --region eu-west-1

aws s3 ls s3:// --region eu-west-1 --profile eon01

Syncing a Local Folder with a Bucket

aws s3 sync <local_path> s3://<bucket_name> 


aws s3 sync . s3:// --region eu-west-1

Copying Files

aws s3 cp <file_name> s3://<bucket_name>


aws s3 cp <file_name> s3://<bucket_name>/<folder_name>/

To copy all files from a filder, look at "Copying Folders". Or use the following example, where I copy the content of the folder "images (contains images) in the remote folder "images".

cd images
aws s3 cp . s3:// --recursive --region us-east-2

Copying Folders

aws s3 cp <folder_name>/ s3://<bucket_name>/ --recursive

To exclude files:

aws s3 cp <folder_name>/ s3://<bucket_name>/ --recursive --exclude "<file_name_or_a_wildcard>" 

e.g: To only include a certain type of files (PNG) and exclude others (JPG)

aws s3 cp s3://practicalaws-backup/  --recursive --exclude "*.jpg"  --include "*.png"

e.g: To exclude a folder

aws s3 cp s3://practicalaws-backup/ --recursive --exclude ".git/*" 

Removing a File from a Bucket

aws s3 rm s3://<bucket_name>/<object_name>


aws s3 rm s3://

Deleting a Bucket

aws s3 rb s3://<bucket_name> --force

If the bucket is not empty, use --force.


aws s3 rb s3:// --force  

Emptying a Bucket

aws s3 rm s3://<bucket_name>/<key_name> --recursive


In order to remove tempfiles/file1.txt and tempfiles/file2.txt from bucket, use:

aws s3 rm s3:// --recursive

Remove all objects using:

aws s3 rm s3://

Making a Public File Private

aws s3api put-object-acl --acl private --bucket <bucket-name> --key <file_name or file_path>


aws s3api put-object-acl --acl private --bucket --key image/logo.png

Making a Public bucket Private

aws s3 ls --recursive s3://<bucket-name> | cut -d' ' -f5- | awk '{print $NF}' | while read line; do
    echo "$line"
    aws s3api put-object-acl --acl private --bucket <bucket-name> --key "$line"


Creating A VPC

aws ec2 create-vpc --cidr-block <cidr_block> --regiosn <region>


aws ec2 create-vpc --cidr-block --region eu-west-1

Allowing DNS hostnames

aws ec2 modify-vpc-attribute --vpc-id <vpc_id> --enable-dns-hostnames "{\"Value\":true}" --region <region>


Creating A Subnet

aws ec2 create-subnet --vpc-id <vpc_id> --cidr-block <cidr_block> --availability-zone <availability_zone> --region <region>

Auto Assigning Public IPs To Instances In A Public Subnet

aws ec2 modify-subnet-attribute --subnet-id <subnet_id> --map-public-ip-on-launch --region <region>

Internet Gateway

Creating An IGW

aws ec2 create-internet-gateway --region <region>

Attaching An IGW to A VPC

aws ec2 attach-internet-gateway --internet-gateway-id <igw_id> --vpc-id <vpc_id> --region <region>


Setting Up A NAT Gateway

Allocate Elastic IP

aws ec2 allocate-address --domain vpc --region <region> 

then use the AllocationId to create the NAT Gateway for the public zone in

aws ec2 create-nat-gateway --subnet-id <subnet_id> --allocation-id <allocation_id> --region <region> 

Route Tables

Creating A Public Route Table

Create the Route Table:

aws ec2 create-route-table --vpc-id <vpc_id> --region <region> 

then create a route for an Internet Gateway.

Now, use the outputted Route Table ID:

aws ec2 create-route --route-table-id <route_table_id> --destination-cidr-block --gateway-id <igw_id> --region <region> 

Finally, associate the public subnet with the Route Table

aws ec2 associate-route-table --route-table-id <route_table_id> --subnet-id <subnet_id> --region <region>

Creating A Private Route Tables

Create the Route Table

aws ec2 create-route-table --vpc-id <vpc_id> --region <region> 

then create a route that points to a NAT Gateway

aws ec2 create-route --route-table-id <route_table_id> --destination-cidr-block --nat-gateway-id <net_gateway_id> --region <region> 

Finally, associate the subnet

aws ec2 associate-route-table --route-table-id <route_table_id> --subnet-id <subnet_id> --region <region> 


Listing Distributions

In some cases, you need to setup this first:

aws configure set preview.cloudfront true


aws cloudfront list-distributions

Invalidating Files From a Distribution

To invalidate index and error HTML files from the distribution with the ID Z2W2LX9VBMAPRX:

aws cloudfront create-invalidation --distribution-id Z2W2LX9VBMAPRX  --paths /index.html /error.html

To invalidate everything in the distribution:

aws cloudfront create-invalidation --distribution-id Z2W2LX9VBMAPRX  --paths '/*'

Sync a Local Folder with a CLoudFront Distribution

CloudFront is "attached" to a bucket, you need to upload your files to the bucket.


aws s3 sync . s3://

If you should keep the files public:

aws s3 sync . s3:// --acl public-read

To copy a single file, you need to:

aws s3 cp file1 s3:// --acl <ACL>

Sync and Invalidate at the Same Time:

aws s3 sync . s3:// --acl public-read && aws cloudfront create-invalidation --distribution-id Z2W2LX9VBMAPRX  --paths '/*'

or in case you want to update a single file:

aws s3 cp file1 s3:// --acl public-read && aws cloudfront create-invalidation --distribution-id Z2W2LX9VBMAPRX  --paths '/sub-folder/file1'


List Databases

aws rds describe-db-instances


aws rds describe-db-instances --query 'DBInstances[].DBInstanceIdentifier'

List Public Databases

aws rds describe-db-instances --query 'DBInstances[?PubliclyAccessible=="true"].[DBInstanceIdentifier,Endpoint.Address]'

List Non Protected Databases (DeletionProtection)

aws rds describe-db-instances \
    --query 'DBInstances[*].[DBInstanceIdentifier]' \
    --output text \
    | xargs -I {} bash -c 'if [[ $(aws rds describe-db-instances --db-instance-identifier {} --query '"'"'DBInstances[*].DeletionProtection'"'"' --output text) == False ]]; then echo {} ; fi'

Describe the Automated Backups for a DB Instance

aws rds describe-db-instance-automated-backups --db-instance-identifier database-mysql

Create a DB Cluster

aws rds create-db-cluster \
    --db-cluster-identifier mysql-cluster \
    --engine aurora-mysql \
    --engine-version 5.7.12 \
    --master-username master \
    --master-user-password xxxxxx \
    --db-subnet-group-name default \
    --vpc-security-group-ids sg-0130572b9daf3dc16

Create a DB Instance

aws rds create-db-instance \
    --db-instance-identifier mysql-instance \
    --db-instance-class db.t3.micro \
    --engine mysql \
    --master-username admin \
    --master-user-password xxxxx \
    --allocated-storage 40

Create a DB Security Group

aws rds create-db-security-group --db-security-group-name my-security-group --db-security-group-description "My Security Group"

Create a Read Replica

aws rds create-db-instance-read-replica \
    --db-instance-identifier test-instance-repl \
    --source-db-instance-identifier test-instance

Create a Custom DB Cluster Endpoint

aws rds create-db-cluster-endpoint \
    --db-cluster-endpoint-identifier mycustomendpoint \
    --endpoint-type reader \
    --db-cluster-identifier mydbcluster \
    --static-members dbinstance1 dbinstance2

Apply Tag to a DB

aws rds add-tags-to-resource \
    --resource-name arn:aws:rds:us-east-1:123456789012:db:database-mysql \
    --tags "[{\"Key\": \"Name\",\"Value\": \"MyDatabase\"},{\"Key\": \"Environment\",\"Value\": \"test\"}]"

Create a Cluster Snapshot

aws rds create-db-cluster-snapshot --db-cluster-identifier my-db-cluster --db-cluster-snapshot-identifier my-db-cluster-snapshot

Create a CloudWatch Alarm for a DB Instance

e.g.: When average CPU for latest 15 minutes is above 90%

aws cloudwatch put-metric-alarm \
    --alarm-name "my-alarm" \
    --metric-name "CPUUtilization" \
    --namespace "AWS/RDS" \
    --statistic "Average" \
    --period 300 \
    --evaluation-periods 3 \
    --threshold 90.0 \
    --comparison-operator "GreaterThanOrEqualToThreshold" \
    --dimensions "Name=DBInstanceIdentifier,Value=my-db-instance" \
    --alarm-actions "<arn of sns resource>"

This will monitor the DB instance during a period of 300 seconds (5 minutes) during 3 evaluation periods: 5*3 = 15 minutes.

If in the three periods, the average is equal or more than 90%, then the alarm will trigger the SNS resource.

You should subscribe to the SNS resource you create by email or SMS.

Connect Deeper

This work was first published in Practical AWS course.

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Aws Cheatsheet

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