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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
AWS Command Line Interface
3.
Installing AWS CLI
3.1.
Windows
3.2.
macOS
3.3.
Linux
4.
Command structure
5.
Using the AWS CLI
5.1.
Specifying parameter values for the AWS CLI
5.2.
Controlling command output from the AWS CLI
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
What is AWS?
6.2.
What is AWS Command Line Interface?
6.3.
What types of output formats are available in the AWS Command Line Interface?
6.4.
What is the primary function of the AWS Command Line interface?
6.5.
What is the AWS Command structure?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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AWS Command Line Interface

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Introduction

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a set of digital infrastructure services developers may use to build apps. Computing, storage, database, and application synchronization are provided services. AWS operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. You only pay for the services you or your apps use. In this blog, we will start with a brief introduction to AWS Command Line Interface and then about installing it and its basic command structure.

So let’s start with the introduction to AWS Command Line Interface.

AWS Command Line Interface

The AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) is a free and open-source tool that allows you to connect with AWS services using command-line shell instructions. 

source: aws.amazon.com/cli

 

The AWS CLI allows you to start executing commands that provide functionality equal to that given by the browser-based AWS Management Console from the command prompt in your terminal application with minimum configuration:

  1. Linux shells – It executes commands in Linux or macOS using standard shell programs such as bash, zsh, and tcsh.
  2. Windows command line – Run commands from the Windows command prompt or PowerShell.
  3. Remotely Terminal Tools – Execute commands on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances using a remote terminal tool like PuTTY or SSH, or AWS Systems Manager.
  4. The AWS CLI enables direct access to AWS services' public APIs. The AWS CLI allows you to discover service capabilities and create shell scripts to manage your resources. Aside from the low-level, API-equivalent commands, some AWS services provide AWS CLI customizations. Higher-level commands that ease utilizing a service with a complicated API can be included in customizations.

 

We are done with the intro to AWS Command Line Interface. So let’s start with installing AWS Command Line Interface in different OS.

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Installing AWS CLI

Now, we will learn how to install AWS CLI in various OS:

Windows

Download and execute the AWS CLI MSI installer for Windows (64-bit) from the official link. Also, we can execute the msiexec command to run the MSI installer.

msiexec.exe /i https://awscli.amazonaws.com/AWSCLIV2.msi

macOS

Download the file using the curl command. The -o option specifies the file's name to which the downloaded package is written. The file is written to AWSCLIV2.pkg in the current folder in this example.  

curl "https://awscli.amazonaws.com/AWSCLIV2.pkg" -o "AWSCLIV2.pkg"

 

Start the usual macOS installation software and choose the downloaded.pkg file as the source. Use the -pkg argument to indicate the name of the package to install and the -target/parameter to define the drive to which the package should be The files are installed to /usr/local/aws-cli, and a symlink is immediately generated in /usr/local/bin. To provide write permissions to specific directories, you must add sudo in the command.

sudo installer -pkg ./AWSCLIV2.pkg -target /

Linux

The -o option specifies the file's name to which the downloaded package is written. The options on the following example command save the downloaded file as awscliv2.zip in the current directory. 

curl "https://awscli.amazonaws.com/awscli-exe-linux-x86_64.zip" -o "awscliv2.zip"

 

We are done with the installation of the AWS Command Line Interface. So let's start with learning about the basic command structure in AWS CLI.

Command structure

On the command line, the AWS CLI has a multipart structure that must be given in this sequence.:

  1. The base call to the AWS program.
  2. The top-level command typically corresponds to an AWS CLI supported by an AWS service.
  3. The subcommand specifies which operation to perform.
  4. The operation necessitates the use of available AWS CLI options or parameters. These can be specified in any sequence as long as they come after the first three components. Only the most recent value is used if an exclusive parameter is provided more than once.

 

aws <command> <subcommand> [options and parameters]

Using the AWS CLI

This section introduces you to many standard features and options available in the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).

Specifying parameter values for the AWS CLI

Many AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) arguments are basic string or numeric values, such as the key-pair name my-key-pair in the following example.

$ aws ec2 create-key-pair --key-name my-key-pair

 

You can use quote marks or not surround strings that do not include any space characters. However, quote marks must be used around strings that contain one or more space characters. See quotation marks with strings in the AWS CLI for additional information on using quotation marks around complicated parameters.

Controlling command output from the AWS CLI

This section covers the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). AWS CLI supports different output types, including JSON, YAML, YAML-stream, text, and table. You may change the output format in three ways:

1. By using the output option in a named profile in the config file – The following example makes the default output format to text.

[default]
output=text

 

2. Using the AWS_DEFAULT_OUTPUT environment variable – The following output changes the format of the commands in this command line session to table until the variable is modified or the session is terminated. This environment variable overturns any value set in the config file.

export AWS_DEFAULT_OUTPUT="table"

 

3. By using the --output option on the command line – The following example makes the output of only this one command to JSON. Using this option on the command overturns any currently set environment variable or the value in the config file.

aws swf list-domains --registration-status REGISTERED -- output json

 

We are done with the blog. Let's move to faqs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AWS?

AWS provides servers, storage, networking, remote computing, email, mobile development, and security.

What is AWS Command Line Interface?

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) provides a centralized management tool for your AWS services. With only one tool to download and configure, you can handle numerous AWS services from the command line and automate them with scripts.

What types of output formats are available in the AWS Command Line Interface?

The AWS CLI supports various output formats like JSON, YAML, YAML-stream, text, and table. 

What is the primary function of the AWS Command Line interface?

One of the main benefits is the ability to save substantial time. The savings come from easier installs, support of all services from one tool, moving beyond GUIs, and automating processes and commands with shell scripting. 

What is the AWS Command structure?

The AWS Command structure is as follows:

aws <command> <subcommand> [options and parameters]

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed the AWS Command Line interface. We start with a brief introduction to the AWS Command Line interface, then discuss how to install it and its basic command structure.

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