Simple Command-Line Access to Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3

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Community Contributed Software

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AWS developer Timothy Kay put together this command-line tool that provides easy command-line access to Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. The tool is designed to be simple to install and simple to use.


Submitted By: Timothy Kay
AWS Products Used: Amazon EC2, Amazon S3
Languages(s): Other
License: Other
Created On: May 2, 2007 8:28 PM GMT
Last Updated: September 15, 2010 8:50 PM GMT

This tool is now the top-rated community code for all of EC2 and S3!

Current features include:

  • Single file to download.
  • No CPAN dependencies (even for the signing).
  • Support for the latest features, including availability zones, elastic IP addresses, elastic block store, etc.
  • Includes a remote signing mode, to help keep your keys safe.
  • Also supports S3, SQS, ELB, and now SDB!

Read more about the tool and download it from Tim's web site:

To contact Tim: or "timkay" on AIM, Skype, Yahoo


Concise Solution
The author has done a fantastic job with this program. As others have stated, it is very easy to install and the commands are simple and very easy to remember. I was able to very easily write some wrapper scripts around the commands provided by this utility to automate encrypted, incremental backups to S3. I tried a few other command line tools and none of them work as well as aws. I found a tiny print bug with an esoteric combination of options and emailed the author who promptly updated the code shortly after verifying the issue. I consider myself a power user, am proficient in several programming languages and have been putting aws through the ringer over the last few weeks. If you're looking a solid, well written, concise package that gets the job done, look no further... have you clicked the download button yet? ;)
J. Grill on June 29, 2010 7:32 PM GMT
Perfect tool
I remember trying to use the Amazon Perl API a few years ago.. and the dependencies drove me mad.. This is great. Just install Curl.. and then install this aws tool and get to work. He has coded the few dependencies there are into the aws code.. so truly, you just need Curl. Simple simple simple! Sadly, my Perl reading skills are not good enough to understand the aws code.. so I cannot contribute. If you are a Perl Master, go checkout the Git:
Eli W. Jones on October 21, 2009 9:53 PM GMT
Solves many problems with minimal effort
Seems to work very well, but I'm reserving a star for the very best of all tools. So please read this as a favorable review. Output listings are cluttered with nonsense graphics from the mainframe or GUI world. On Linux they're mostly a distraction. I think there is an option to disable these, but we didn't have to get here in the first place. But I didn't take a star away for this.
Marc W. Abel on August 11, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
Powerful and very simple to use
After using other solutions, this one is the best command-line tool I've found to manage my server's backups in my S3 repository. I use the aws script from other Bash scripts to automate the backup process. But it is not only the power and simplicity of the commands what made decide aws is the best: it has no weird dependencies (for any linux server). Highly recommended.
Mario Valdez on May 4, 2009 12:46 PM GMT
Great tool - Quick and Easy
This tool has made my life so easy. I was looking through so many solutions and got frustrated and finally find this solution one fine day. It is working the way we wanted. It is really simple and quick and easy to install. I recommend this.
vigt on February 25, 2009 7:04 PM GMT
Extremely helpful tool
Very useful, i was searching through different scripts and this one seemed promising, but its simply amazing, transfers entire bucket contents into a folder, just what i needed. Tim was very helpful as well to show me how to do it right. Thank you!
nicknamikas on January 21, 2009 4:58 AM GMT
Extremely easy
This is by far the easiest non-GUI tool for managing S3. Within 5 minutes, I was able to off-site my website backups to S3, and verify that they got backed up properly. I'd tried the other tools like the PHP and Ruby versions, but their dependencies were too strict for my virtual server. The fact that this only requires cURL is a perfect implementation. Kudos!
P. McGurn on December 30, 2008 7:27 AM GMT
Quick and easy.
Great little tool, we've been using it for months to manage our EC2, S3, EBS and other services. Easily integrated into shell scripts, and Tim is responsive to feature requests. Keep up the good work!
daftiec on December 18, 2008 10:31 AM GMT
Very easy to use and works great!
I have been using AWS in a BASH script for offsite server backups and it is one easiest utilities I have used and still has more functionality than I need. Thank you very much for this extremely useful tool!
Dan Morgan on August 27, 2008 11:10 PM GMT
Simple to use, and works great
This tool is a snap to install, portable and easy to take wherever you need it. I've used it for quite a while and also integrated it into scripts for backing up my server daily along with purging old files. Tim got back to me quickly when I couldn't get something working and I found out that I'd missed a new version that updated it to work. Great stuff. Highly recommend for basic maintenance work.
C. Savery on August 7, 2008 6:08 PM GMT
Best command line tool
Flexible and easy to use! The version 1.11 is also supports buckets in Europe :-)
feelgoodcoach on July 14, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
This is terrific ... easy to use, easy to install, and works like a charm. As a bonus, it works great on my older Mac 10.2 machine that the amazon tools didnt work on because of the need for the newer JVM. As if that werent enough, the developer responded within a few hours to my "stupid question" on a saturday afternoon.
vvaidy on July 6, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
The best command line tool
Works very nice! Do all the things I need smoothly.
flycker on May 15, 2008 3:13 AM GMT
Simple, quick and easy
Marvelous. Does just what it says on the tin. Up and running on Mac OS X Server in 30 mins including, downloading, installing, reading the docs writing my commands and testing.
P. Willis on April 30, 2008 2:55 PM GMT
No-hassle commandline interaction with S3 and EC2
If you are working from inside your EC2 instances, this little library is going to make your life so much easier. Just have that shellscript/configuration/whatever on your S3 account backed up. If you have that in place, you can simply connect to install the library on the fly and starting to work with your stored data on s3 in a very convenient manner. And I didn't even started to talk about interacting with EC2 itself. excellent tool.
Daniel M??????ller on April 24, 2008 12:55 AM GMT
the best tool to manage ec2-s3!
The command line API "aws" is a really powerful & easy to use tool. If you love bash, you can use it to do a bunch of automated tasks like monitoring instances. I am so impressed by its ability to do remote signing - yet another advantage of using "aws". Thanks Tim.
smarttux on April 15, 2008 2:05 PM GMT
Simple and Complete
Easy to install and works perfectly. Everything we need in one package.
loanproposals on March 7, 2008 4:02 PM GMT
Great, easy, amazing!
I have to say a big thanks to Tim for developing such a great way to interact with S3 and EC2. Installation takes about 5 seconds and afterwards you can easily interact with your S3 account from the command line. I use this mainly for moving our backups offsite and haven't had a single problem sending multiple gigabyte files to S3 each night. I've tried a lot of S3 scripts but none comes close the easy of use and reliability this script.
russellatberecruited on January 27, 2008 10:42 PM GMT
aws shines
I have been using aws for approximately 2 months. This program makes access to Amazon S3 as easy as it gets. From the simple installation to the command line shortcuts, I never have to rely on any other way of accessing my S3 files. It is as if I have S3 mounted as a file system on my local machine - it's that easy. I wrote the author when I first started using aws to congratulate him on a very useful piece of code, and my favorable opinion of this little program has only grown stronger.
James L. Dannemiller on December 17, 2007 6:27 PM GMT
I found this script to be more useful than any other tool or documentation that I could find. It is easy to use and now has become an inseparable part of my system. I use it to manage my images, instances and s3 buckets. I use it from shell scripts to provide the 'glue' between other apps which are not 'aws' aware. The source code is easy to read and I turn to it for reference. Timothy was also very helpful when I was trying to use to modify the mime-type for a file in an s3 bucket.
jdkoftinoff on December 17, 2007 6:09 PM GMT
This tool delivers
I tried several of the other tools listed here and I found AWS to work the best. It has a simple to understand syntax, and very easy to read code.
vetsource on December 17, 2007 5:55 PM GMT
Excellent tool
These Linux commands for EC2 and S3 work great. Plus they are very easy to install, they have easy-to-remember syntax compared with some of the other tools I have seen, and they don't require anything else to be installed to make them work. I recommend them.
MaxNAustin on December 12, 2007 5:16 AM GMT
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