How to Install AWS CLI Version 2 and Setup AWS credentials

Are you new to AWS Cloud or tired of managing your AWS Cloud infrastructure using manual steps back and forth? If yes, you should consider installing AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI ) and managing infrastructure using it?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install AWS CLI Version 2 and set up AWS credentials in the AWS CLI tool.

Let’s dive into it.

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Table of Content

  1. What is AWS CLI?
  2. Installing AWS CLI Version 2 on windows machine
  3. Creating an IAM user in AWS account with programmatic access
  4. Configure AWS credentials using aws configure
  5. Verify aws configure from AWS CLI by running a simple commands
  6. Configuring AWS credentials using Named profile.
  7. Verify Named profile from AWS CLI by running a simple commands.
  8. Configuring AWS credentials using environment variable
  9. Conclusion

What is AWS CLI?

AWS CLI enables you to interact and provides direct access to the public APIs of AWS services of various AWS accounts using the command-line shells from your local environment or remotely.

You can control multiple AWS services from the AWS CLI and automate them through scripts. You can run AWS CLI commands from a Linux shell such as bash, zsh, tcsh, and from a Windows machine, you can use command prompt or PowerShell to execute AWS CLI commands.

The AWS CLI is available in two versions, and the installation is exactly the same for both versions but in this tutorial, let’s learn how to install AWS CLI version 2.

Installing AWS CLI Version 2 on windows machine

Now that you have a basic idea about AWS CLI and connecting to AWS services using various command prompt and shells. Further in this section, let’s learn how to install AWS CLI Version 2 on a windows machine.

  • First open your favorite browser and download the AWS CLI on windows machine from here
Downloading AWS CLI Interface v2
Downloading AWS CLI Interface v2
  • Next, select the I accept the terms and Licence Agreement and then click on the next button.
Downloading AWS CLI Interface v2
Accepting the terms in the Licence Agreement of AWS CLI
  • Further, on Custom setup page provide the location of installation path and then click on Next button.
Setting the download location of AWS CLI
Setting the download location of AWS CLI
  • Now, click on the Install button to install AWS CLI version 2.
Installing the AWS CLI on Windows machine
Installing the AWS CLI on a Windows machine
  • Finally click on Finish button as shown below.
Finishing the Installation of the AWS CLI on Windows machine
Finishing the Installation of the AWS CLI on Windows machine
  • Verify the AWS version by going to command prompt and run the below command.
aws --version

As you can see below, the AWS CLI version 2 is successfully installed on a windows machine.

Checking the AWS CLI version
Checking the AWS CLI version

Creating an IAM user in AWS account with programmatic access

There are two ways to connect to an AWS account, the first is providing a username and password on the AWS login page and another is configuring the Access key ID and secret keys of IAM users in AWS CLI to connect programmatically.

Earlier, you installed AWS CLI successfully on a Windows machine, but you will need an IAM user with programmatic access to run commands from it.

Let’s learn how to create an IAM user in an AWS account with programmatic access, Access key ID, and secret keys.

  1. Open your favorite web browser and navigate to the AWS Management Console and log in.
  2. While in the Console, click on the search bar at the top, search for ‘IAM’, and click on the IAM menu item.
Checking the IAM AWS service
Checking the IAM AWS service
  1. To Create a user click on Users→ Add user and provide the name of the user myuser and make sure to tick the Programmatic access checkbox in Access type which enables an access key ID and secret access key and then hit the Permissions button.
Adding the IAM user in AWS CLoud
Adding the IAM user in AWS CLoud
  1. Now select the “Attach existing policies directly” option in the set permissions and look for the “Administrator” policy using filter policies in the search box. This policy will allow myuser to have full access to AWS services.
Attaching the admin rights to IAM user in AWS CLoud
Attaching the admin rights to IAM users in AWS CLoud
  1. Finally click on Create user.
  2. Now, the user is created successfully and you will see an option to download a .csv file. Download this file which contains IAM users i.e. myuser Access key ID and Secret access key which you will use later in the tutorial to connect to AWS service from your local machine.
Downloading the AWS credentials of IAM user
Downloading the AWS credentials of IAM user

Configure AWS credentials using aws configure in AWS CLI

You are an IAM user with Access key ID and secret keys, but AWS CLI cannot perform anything unless you configure AWS credentials. Once you configure the credentials, AWS CLI allows you to connect to the AWS account and execute commands.

  • Configure AWS Credentials by running the aws configure command on command prompt.
aws configure
  • Enter the details such as AWS Access key ID, Secret Access Key, region. You can skip the output format as default or text or json .
Configure AWS CLI using aws configure command
Configure AWS CLI using aws configure command
  • Once AWS is configured successfully , verify by navigating to C:\Users\YOUR_USER\.aws  and see if two file credentials and config are present.
Checking the credentials file and config on your machine
Checking the credentials file and config on your machine
  • Now open both the files and verify and you can see below you’re AWS credentials are configured successfully using aws configure.
Checking the config file on your machine
Checking the config file on your machine
Checking the config file on your machine
Checking the config file on your machine

Verify aws configure from AWS CLI by running a simple commands

Now, you can test if AWS Access key ID, Secret Access Key, region you configured in AWS CLI is working fine by going to command prompt and running the following commands.

aws ec2 describe-instances
Describing the AWS EC2 instances using AWS CLI
Describing the AWS EC2 instances using AWS CLI
  • You can also verify the AWS CLI by listing the buckets in your acount by running the below command.
aws cli s3

Configuring AWS credentials using Named profile.

Another method to configure AWS credentials that are mostly used is configuring the Named profile. A named profile is a collection of settings and credentials that you can apply to an AWS CLI command. When you specify a profile to run a command, the settings and credentials are used to run that command. Let’s learn how to store named profiles.

  1. Open credentials files which got created earlier using aws configure and if not then create a file named credentails in C:\Users\your_profile\.aws directory of your windows machine.
  2. Add all the Access key ID and Secret access key into the credentials file in the below format and save. By defining the Named profile allows you to connect with different AWS account easily and avoiding confusion while connecting to specific AWS accounts.
Creating the Named Profile on your machine
Creating the Named Profile on your machine
  1. Similarly, create another file config  in the C:\Users\your_profile\.aws directory.
  2. Next, add the “region” into the config file and make sure to add the name of the profile which you provided in the credentials file, and save the file. This file allows you to work with a specific region.
  • For Linux and mac machine the location of credential file is ~/.aws/credentials and ~/.aws/config.
  • For windows machine the location of config file is  %USERPROFILE%\.aws\credentials and %USERPROFILE%\.aws\config rrespectively.
Creating the Named Profile config file on your machine
Creating the Named Profile config file on your machine

Verifying Named profile from AWS CLI

Previously you configured the Named profile on your machine, but let’s verify the Named profile from AWS CLI by running a simple command. Let’s open the command prompt and run the below command to verify the sandbox profile that you created earlier.

aws ec2 describe-instances --profile sandbox

As you can see below, the instance is described properly using the command with Named profile shows Named profile is configured successfully.

Verifying the Named profile in AWS CLI
Verifying the Named profile in AWS CLI

Configuring AWS credentials using the environment variable

Finally, the last Configuring AWS credentials using the environment variables works well. Let’s check out quickly.

  • Open the command prompt and set the AWS secret key and access key using the environmental variable using set . The enviornment variables doesnt changes the value until the end of the current command prompt session, or until you set the variable to a different value
Configuring AWS credentials using the environment variable
Configuring AWS credentials using the environment variable

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you learned What is AWS CLI, how to install AWS CLI version 2, and various methods that allow you to configure AWS credentials and then work with AWS CLI.

So which method are you going to use while using AWS CLI to connect and manage AWS infrastructure?

5 thoughts on “How to Install AWS CLI Version 2 and Setup AWS credentials

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