Why can't I run AWS CLI commands on my EC2 instance?

Last updated: 2020-06-29

Why am I receiving errors while trying to run AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands on my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance?

Short description

When running AWS CLI commands on your instance, you might see one of the following error messages:

  • "Unable to locate credentials. You can configure credentials by running 'aws configure'"
  • "An error occurred (UnauthorizedOperation) when calling the DescribeInstances operation: You are not authorized to perform this operation"
  • "An error occurred (AuthFailure) when calling the DescribeInstances operation: AWS was not able to validate the provided access credentials"
  • "An error occurred (ExpiredToken) when calling the GetCallerIdentity operation: The security token included in the request is expired"

Note: The operation listed in the error varies depending on what operation you called when the error occurred. In the preceding examples, the errors occurred when calling the DescribeInstances and GetCallerIdentity operations.


Unable to locate credentials

Verify that the AWS CLI is installed and configured correctly.

An error occurred (UnauthorizedOperation) and (AuthFailure)

An error occurred (ExpiredToken)

Temporary credentials expire at the time interval specified during creation. If the credentials for your IAM role have expired, obtain a new STS token by assuming a new IAM role.

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