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5.4 Command Line Interface—Getting Started

aws-cli GitHub Repository

The AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) is an open source tool that enables you to interact with AWS services using commands in your command-line shell.

The AWS CLI is available in two versions:

Version 1.x

The generally available version of the AWS CLI that is suitable for use in production environments.

Version 2.x

A preview version of the AWS CLI that is intended for testing and evaluation.

With minimal configuration, the AWS CLI enables you to start running commands that implement functionality equivalent to that provided by the browser-based AWS Management Console from the command prompt in your favorite terminal program:

Linux shells

Use common shell programs such as bash, zsh, and tcsh to run commands in Linux or macOS.


Run commands on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances through a remote terminal program such as PuTTY or SSH, or with AWS Systems Manager.

All IaaS (infrastructure as a service) AWS administration, management, and access functions in the AWS Management Console are available in the AWS API and CLI.

The AWS CLI provides direct access to the public APIs of AWS services. You can explore a service’s capabilities with the AWS CLI, and develop shell scripts to manage your resources. Or, you can take what you learn to develop programs in other languages by using the AWS SDKs.

In addition to the low-level, API-equivalent commands, several AWS services provide customizations for the AWS CLI. Customizations can include higher-level commands that simplify using a service with a complex API. For example, the aws s3 commands provide a familiar syntax for managing files in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Performing the same task with the low-level commands (available under aws s3api) would take a lot more effort.

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