AWS CloudFormation Command Line Tools

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The command line tools serve as the client interface to the AWS CloudFormation web service. Use these tools to create and delete stacks and to view resources and events associated with a stack.


Submitted By: ChrisW@AWS
AWS Products Used: AWS CloudFormation
Created On: February 25, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
Last Updated: January 2, 2014 9:02 PM GMT

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), a unified tool for controlling and managing multiple AWS services is the recommended CLI tool for AWS CloudFormation. For more information about using the AWS CLI commands, see Using the AWS CLI. For reference information about the AWS CloudFormation commands, see cloudformation in the AWS Command Line Interface Reference.

The prior AWS CloudFormation CLI tools are available below, but are not recommended.

Simply unzip into a directory and use the individual commands such as cfn-create-stack and cfn-describe-stacks. The archive comes with a more extensive README file that explains how to use the command line client in more detail. Having problems or questions? Please post to the AWS CloudFormation Forum where we will be happy to help.

What's New?

  • 02/22/2012 : Support cfn-cancel-update-stack command
  • 08/21/2012 : Support tags on cfn-create-stack
  • 09/29/2011 : Add cfn-update-stack and support --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM on cfn-create-stack and cfn-update-stack
  • 07/11/2011 : Add cfn-describe-stack-resource and cfn-list-stack-resources
  • 05/31/2011 : Add cfn-list-stacks
  • 02/24/2011 : Initial version

Getting Started with AWS CloudFormation

To learn more about AWS CloudFormation, visit the AWS CloudFormation detail page or the Getting Started Guide.

The AWS CloudFormation samples package contains a collection of templates that illustrate various usage cases. You can use the template as-is or you can use them as a starting point for creating your own templates.

All of the sample templates are also available directly from S3. You can use the S3 URL of a template directly from the command line tool using the --template-url option. To view the templates that are stored in S3, click on the following links:

Note: You must reference a template in an S3 bucket in the same region in which you are creating the stack. Each of the sample templates is available in every region.
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