What is the AWS CLI?
What is the AWS CLI?

This course introduces you to the AWS Command Line Interface. 

Learning Objectives

  • Install and configure the AWS Command Line Interface
  • Manage CLI credential profiles
  • Structure CLI commands
  • Better control the outputted response data
  • Use input functionality to make working with the CLI easier  

Intended Audience

  • Those looking to get more familiar with the AWS Command Line Interface



The AWS Console lets you create and manage resources in a very easy and simplistic format. However, eventually, you’ll find that certain operations can be performed more efficiently using the AWS Command Line Interface. For example, say you have tons of EC2 instances supporting a website and you need to run a report to list the Public IP addresses from each one of these servers. These IP addresses may change over time, so you’ve been asked to run the report daily. 

How do you do this? You could, of course, manually log into the console, and copy and paste the IP address for each server. Or, you can do this programmatically using the AWS CLI.  

Eventually, you’ll find that scripting out commands and creating bash scripts is more efficient for a lot of workloads in AWS - and provides a safer and less error-prone approach to working with AWS resources.

Whenever you create, edit, or delete a resource in the AWS Console, you’re making an API call to the services. You can make these same API calls using the AWS CLI. The difference is how you interface with the API. Instead of logging into the console, you’ll use a terminal program to access the AWS CLI. 

You can use a Linux shell, the built-in MAC terminal, an EC2 instance, or if you’re on a PC, you can use a program like PuTTy. 

In summary, the AWS CLI is a powerful tool that provides more flexibility to access and manage AWS resources. That’s it for this one - I’ll see you next time. 

About the Author
Learning Paths

Alana Layton is an experienced technical trainer, technical content developer, and cloud engineer living out of Seattle, Washington. Her career has included teaching about AWS all over the world, creating AWS content that is fun, and working in consulting. She currently holds six AWS certifications. Outside of Cloud Academy, you can find her testing her knowledge in bar trivia, reading, or training for a marathon.