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Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface)

What is AWS CLI?

AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a tool used to manage and interact with AWS Services using the command line. Users more comfortable in the command line can leverage the AWS CLI as it offers the exact scope of functionality as the AWS Console.

AWS CLI requires minimal configuration before you can use it. Installed it on your local machine running on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

What is the Difference Between AWS CLI and AWS CloudShell?

Likewise, AWS CloudShell is another tool you can use to manage AWS resources using the command line interface. But unlike AWS CLI, AWS CloudShell can run directly from the browser. Here are the notable differences between AWS CLI and AWS CloudShell.

AWS CLI

AWS CloudShell

Requires installation

No installation required

Runs on local machines/EC2 instance

Runs directly on the browser

Requires Access Keys/Roles

Pre-authenticated. Use the same credentials used in signing in on AWS Console.

How to Install AWS CLI

As mentioned previously, AWS CLI supports Linux, Windows, and macOS. For this example, we will install the AWS CLI on a local machine running on the Windows operating system.

You can download the AWS CLI installer from here or run the following command from your CMD.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface CLI)

 

The installation wizard will pop up. Follow the onscreen procedure for proper installation.

Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface CLI)

 

Once installation is done, check the version to verify using your CMD.

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Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

 

Set up the Access Keys using the following command. You will be prompted to provide AWS Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Your CLI will use these to authenticate for you to interact with AWS Services. Additionally, you can also set the default region and output format.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface CLI)

Optionally, you can use the –profile option to save a configuration for a specific profile or account. AWS CLI will use the default profile if you don’t use this option.

Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface)

On a Windows machine, you can view the saved profile from the directory below.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

How AWS CLI Interact with AWS Services

Here’s an example of how to launch an EC2 instance using AWS CLI.

Generate the keypair that the instance will use. This key pair will be downloaded on your local machine the same as when you create a new key pair from the AWS Console.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Optional: Run the command below to verify your key pair

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

Launch an EC2 instance using the command below.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

In this example, a t2.micro EC2 instance is launched. You may see an output similar below.

Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Get the instance ID of the newly created EC2.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Optional: Add tags in your instance. Use the instance ID to identify your AWS resource.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
From the AWS Console, you can see the instance you have created.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
To stop an instance, use the command below. Use the instance ID as an identifier.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
You should see an output similar to this.
Working with AWS CLI (AWS Command Line Interface CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
To stop an instance, use the command below. Use the instance ID as an identifier.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
To terminate an instance, use the command below. Use the instance ID as an identifier.
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Working with AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

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Written by: Lervin John Obando

Lervin is a Cloud Technology enthusiast and an AWS Community Builder whose expertise expands from Systems Administration, Database to Cloud Infrastructure. He is a Multi-Cloud Certified professional holding multiple certifications from AWS, Google, and Oracle. When he is not in front of his computer, you can find him spending time with his wife and dog.

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