What is AWS CLI? Features, Benefits & Installation Process

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Apr 24, 2022

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If you are looking for a unified tool that would help you access all the AWS services and you will be able to use them at your convenience, then you have landed on the right page. AWS CLI is making rounds in the market and is one of the hot topics nowadays. There are so many things related to this tool and today in this article, we are going to unearth those. So, if you wish to learn all about this amazing tool, then be with us till the end of this page as here we are going to share what is this tool, how you can use it, what are its advantages and how you can install it in your machine. If you wish to dig deeper into this technology, then going for AWS Devops Course can be very helpful for you and can help you kick-start your career. With that note, let us understand what is AWS CLI?

What is AWS CLI?

AWS CLI which is short for AWS Command Line Interface is one of the best Amazon Web Services tools that is being used by developers all over the world. This tool helps the developers to control the Amazon cloud services. In this, they are able to write the command in the specified line and run the application. There are many versions but the CLI version of AWS helps the developers to create and manage the various kinds of AWS tools in an efficient way. There are indeed various other methods like AWS Management Console and AWS application programming but this is one of the most widely used tools. There are various reasons that developers are choosing the AWS CLI tool for their work and we are going to see why when we are going to cover the advantages of this tool.

This is called the unified tool as using this, you can not only download and work with multiple AWS services but also control them. This one tool can be used for all purposes. By just using the command line, you will be able to automate your work through scripts. Using the AWS CLI, you will be able to have direct access to the various APIs of the AWS services. Not only this, but you will also be able to explore the various services that come with this CLI tool. You will be able to develop the shell scripts. Also, along with low-level commands, you can work with different customizations in the tool. These customizations can have high-level commands that can be used for complex API and this will make the services simpler.

What are the Benefits of AWS CLI?

Now that we have a fair understanding of what is AWS CLI, let us find all the advantages that are making this tool so popular. In the below section, we are going to discuss some of the great benefits of AWS CLI.

Easy Installation

There are many toolkits that were available before the AWS CLI was introduced. There are so many complex steps involved when one has to install these toolkits like AWS API. There was a need to put up with the multiple environment variables, but now with this new tool, this process has become very much easier. When the developer needs to install the AWS CLI, they can do it very quickly as it is very simple and standardized to use. The installation process has become very much smoother with this new tool.


Even though the AWS management services are very user-friendly, there are many times, it becomes hard to use this tool. We can understand with an example. If you need to search for a big file in the AWS Management services, then you have to log in to your account and look for the right bucket and the right file. But when you are using the AWS CLI, you just have to write that in a line that is the right command, and the task that was taking so much time will be completed within a matter of seconds. This tool is very fast and easy to use as compared to other AWS services.

Process Automation

If we look at the biggest benefit that the team is going to have with the AWS CLI is the ability to automate the whole process while using the AWS services using scripts. Using this, the developers can control and manage the AWS services and this can free the developers from logging in to the AWS Management Console. So, if you are looking to automate the given cloud infrastructure then going for shell scripting can be the best way. And with AWS CLI, you will have an option to do so. This task of automation can be very beneficial for the team when they are going through a critical time in the project.

Supports all Amazon Web Services

Before this tool was not there, there was a need for a dedicated CLI tool when you just want to use the EC2 service from Amazon. It was good to use but one of the major drawbacks was that it can be used for other amazon web services and this is why it was becoming obsolete. This gave birth to the AWS CLI where you are able to control all the AWS services with just one tool and this saves time and energy for all the people working on the project.

There are indeed so many benefits to this tool as this is becoming one of the major choices for developers all over the world. If you wish to learn more about the automated processes and developments, then you can go for the best AWS DevOps Certification Training and get the certification for your better career growth.

What are the Best Practices of AWS CLI?

After going through the benefits of using this tool, let us now look at the best practices that one should be following while using this tool. Indeed, this tool is very great to use, but with the right knowledge, greater things can be achieved.

Secure your credentials

When you are going to use this tool, you should protect your password. You are going to have an advantage of managing the AWS applications in an easier way with this tool, but this command-line interface is also going to give away to the hackers as well as the white hat users to take advantage of your credentials. So, to avoid this, you should not use the root accounts for day-to-day interactions. Also, you should not generate the access key for your root accounts.

Take backup regularly

There could be various emergencies where you could lose your data but one should be prepared for things like this. Using the Amazon EBS snapshots, you should always back up your instance very often. Not only this, there are various guides available that can be used which can help you to automate the backup process so that no important information is missed at any time.

Secure your applications

Securing your application is very much necessary and there are various ways that you can use to secure those applications. When you are only allowing the app layer access to your database layer, you can achieve this. You should only be allowing the outside world connection when there is an absolute need for the same. Moreover, you should deny all the other traffic on the internet.

Understand your responsibility

There are many things like the data, operating system, and security that are managed by the user itself. There are other things like infrastructure and services that are being managed by Amazon. So there is a shared responsibility of that platform so whether you are going to use the standard GUI or the command-line interface, you should always go for the best practices to have a responsibility for the same.

Always use a trusted Advisor

If you wish to make the best of your Amazon platform and the services that you are going to use, then going for a trusted advisor can work at great lengths for you. They are helpful when you need to analyze your environment and want to adhere to the best practices that are needed. Things like security issues, gaps in reliability, and saving money can be well adjusted when you have a trusted advisor for your machine.

There are so many things that you can use the AWS CLI like web page hosting, being an architect, security, email, EC2, and much more. So, the above-mentioned practices come in very handy and will help you get the best of the AWS CLI so that you can have the best experience that you are looking for.

How to install AWS CLI?

Now coming to the most important part, how to install AWS CLI?. If you wish to use AWS CLI on your machine, you can follow the simple steps that we are going to mention in the article below:

There are three ways using which you can install this tool:

·  Using pip

·  Using a virtual environment

·  Using a bundled installer

There are some prerequisites for this:

1.  You should have Python 2 version 2.6.5+ or Python 3 version 3.3+

2.  The operating system that is needed for this can be Windows, Linux, macOS, or Unix Operating System

One of the most common ways to install AWS CLI on your machine is by using pip. So, in this article, we are going to show you how you can go with the same. Pip is the package management system that is used to install as well as manage the software packages that have Python as their language.

Step 1: First you need to install pip (on Ubuntu OS). The following command can be used for the same.

$ sudo apt install python3-pip

Step 2: The next step includes the installation of CLI by using the below command.

$ pip install awscli --upgrade –user

Step 3: After this, you need to check the installation and go with this.

$ aws --version

Now when you realize that the AWS CLI has been successfully installed on your machine, you need to configure it. It is needed if you wish to use the AWS services while using AWS CLI.

Configuration of AWS CLI

Step 4: For the configuration, you can use the below-mentioned command.

$ aws configure

AWS Access Key ID [None]: AKI************

AWS Secret Access Key [None]: wJalr********

Default region name [None]: us-west-2

Default output format [None]: json

Now when you realize that the AWS CLI has been successfully installed on your machine, you need to. There will be four-piece of information that will prompt in front of you when you are going to run the above-mentioned command. The first two are mandatory. In this, you are going to have the AWS Access Key ID as well as the AWS secret Access Key. These are going to serve as the account credentials. The other two pieces of information that you need to put are the region and the output format which can be configured later as well. Also, you can generate new credentials with this AWS Identity if you do not have them already.

With this, your AWS CLI is all set and you can experience the powerful tool as it goes.

Final Word

There are many tools that can be used in AWS, but with AWS CLI, you are going to have an amazing experience. With the shared access to various other services and other options. It is one of the most powerful tools and once you start using this tool, you are going to get the best features. The latest version is AWS CLI Version 2. It supports all the latest features. While developing the application, there are various services needed and Amazon Web Services is one of the biggest platforms for the same. The AWS CLI makes the life of developers easier with its quick and standard commands.

If you wish to learn more about AWS and the tools related to it, you can enroll in our hands-on AWS DevOps Certification program.

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