AWS CodeStar
User Guide

Getting Started with AWS CodeStar

In this walkthrough, you'll use AWS CodeStar to create a web application. This project includes sample code in a source repository, a continuous deployment toolchain, and a project dashboard where you can view and monitor your project.

By following the steps, you will:

  • Create a project in AWS CodeStar.

  • Explore the project.

  • Commit a code change.

  • See your code change deployed automatically.

  • Add other people to work on your project.

  • Clean up project resources when they're no longer needed.


If you haven't already, complete the steps in Setting Up AWS CodeStar before you start this walkthrough, including Step 2: Create the AWS CodeStar Service Role while logged in with an account that is an administrative user in IAM. To create a project, you must sign in to the AWS Management Console using an IAM user that has the AWSCodeStarFullAccess policy.

Step 1: Create an AWS CodeStar Project

In this step, you'll create a JavaScript (Node.js) software development project for a web application. You'll use an AWS CodeStar project template to create the project.


This walkthrough uses an AWS CodeStar project template with the following options:

  • Application category: Web application

  • Programming language: Node.js

  • AWS Service: Amazon EC2

If you choose other options, your experience might not match what's documented in this walkthrough.

To create a project in AWS CodeStar

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console, and then open the AWS CodeStar console at

    Make sure that you are signed in to the AWS region where you want to create the project and its resources. For example, to create a project in US East (Ohio), make sure you have that region selected. For information about AWS regions where AWS CodeStar is available, see Regions and Endpoints in the AWS General Reference .

                Choosing the region where you will create the project in AWS CodeStar
  2. On the AWS CodeStar page, choose Create a new project. (If you are the first user to create a project, choose Start a project.)

  3. On the Choose a project template page, choose the project type from the list of AWS CodeStar project templates. You can use the filter bar to narrow your choices. For example, for a web application project written in Node.js that will be deployed to Amazon EC2 instances, select the Web application, Node.js, and Amazon EC2 check boxes. Then choose from the templates available for that set of options.

                Using the filter bar to help choose the project template

    For more information, see AWS CodeStar Project Templates.

  4. In Project name, type a name for the project, such as My First Project. The ID for the project is derived from this project name, but is limited to 15 characters and allowed characters.

    For example, the default ID for a project named My First Project is my-first-projec. This project ID is the basis for the names of all resources associated with the project. For example, AWS CodeStar uses this project ID as part of the URL for your code repository as well as the names of related security access roles and policies in IAM. After the project is created, the project ID cannot be changed, so make sure you are okay with this project ID. To edit the project ID before you create the project, choose Edit.

    For information about the limits on project names and project IDs, see Limits in AWS CodeStar.


    Project IDs must be unique for your AWS account within an AWS region.

                Providing a name and ID for your project in AWS CodeStar
  5. Choose the repository provider to store this project's source code with: AWS CodeCommit or GitHub.

  6. If you chose AWS CodeCommit, for Repository name, accept the default AWS CodeCommit repository name that AWS CodeStar suggests, or type a different AWS CodeCommit repository name of your choice. Then skip ahead to step 8 in this procedure.

  7. If you chose GitHub, then choose Connect with GitHub. Follow the on-screen instructions to:

    1. On the Sign in to GitHub page, type your GitHub username or email address and password, and then choose Sign in.


      To complete this page, you must have a GitHub account. For more information, see Join GitHub on the GitHub website.

    2. If the Two-factor authentication page is displayed, for Authentication code, type the code that GitHub sends you. Then choose Verify.

    3. On the Authorize AWS CodeStar page, choose Authorize to allow AWS CodeStar to connect to GitHub.

    4. For Repository name, accept the default GitHub repository name that AWS CodeStar suggests, or type a different GitHub repository name of your choice.

    5. Choose Public repository or Private repository to make the GitHub repository public or private.


      Depending on your GitHub account type, GitHub may not allow you to create a private repository. For more information, see GitHub Pricing on the GitHub website.

    6. For Repository description, provide an optional description for the GitHub repository.

                Choosing GitHub repository settings for your project in AWS CodeStar
  8. Choose Next.

  9. Review the resources and configuration details. Choose Edit Amazon EC2 Configuration (where available) if your project will deploy to Amazon EC2 instances and you want to make changes. For example, you can choose from available instance types for your project.


    Different Amazon EC2 instance types provide different levels of computing power and might have different associated costs. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types and Amazon EC2 Pricing.

    If you have more than one virtual private cloud (VPC) or multiple subnets created in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, you can also choose the VPC and subnet to use. However, if you choose an Amazon EC2 instance type that is not supported on dedicated instances, you cannot choose a VPC whose instance tenancy is set to Dedicated.

    For more information, see What Is Amazon VPC? and Dedicated Instance Basics.

  10. Leave the AWS CodeStar would like permission to administer AWS resources on your behalf check box selected. If this box is not selected, you will not be able to create a project. For more information about the service role, the policy, and its permissions, see AWS CodeStar Service Role Policy and Permissions.

    Choose Next or Create project. (The displayed choice depends on your project template.)

  11. In Choose an Amazon EC2 Key Pair, choose the Amazon EC2 key pair you created in Step 4: Create an Amazon EC2 Key Pair for AWS CodeStar Projects in Setting Up. Select I acknowledge that I have access to the private key file for this key pair, and then choose Create project.

  12. It might take a few minutes to create the project (including the repository). After your project has a repository, you can use the Choose how you want to edit your project code page to configure access to it, or you can choose Skip and configure access later. After your project has been created, you will see a Welcome tile that contains useful links. You can use these links to optionally configure other items, such as your user profile in AWS CodeStar.

                The Welcome tile displayed after you create a project

Step 2: Add Display Information for Your AWS CodeStar User Profile

When you create a project, you're added to the project team as an owner. If this is the first time you've used AWS CodeStar, you'll be asked to provide additional information, such as:

  • The display name to show to other users.

  • The email address to show to other users.

This information is used in your AWS CodeStar user profile. User profiles are not project-specific, but are limited to an AWS region. If you belong to projects in more than one region, you'll have to create a user profile in each region. Each regional profile can contain different information, if you prefer.

Provide a user name and email address when prompted, and then choose Next.

                Adding user profile information as you create a project


This user name and email address is used in your AWS CodeStar user profile. If your project uses resources outside of AWS, for example a GitHub repository or issues in Atlassian JIRA, those resource providers may use separate user profiles, which may have different user names and email addresses. For more information, see the resource provider's documentation.

Step 3: View Your Project

Your AWS CodeStar project dashboard is where you and your team view the status of your project resources, including the latest commits to your project, the state of your continuous delivery pipeline, and the performance of your instances. This information is displayed on tiles that are dedicated to a particular resource. To see more information about any of these resources, choose the details link on the tile. The console for that AWS service will open on the details page for that resource.

You can change where each tile appears on your dashboard by dragging and dropping it to a new location. You can also use the ellipsis menu on each tile to remove that tile from the display. To add a tile, choose Add tile in the dashboard, and choose any tile that is not already present.

In your new project, you'll see the following tiles:

  • The Welcome tile contains links to actions you might want to perform. Unlike other tiles, you cannot move this tile to another location, or add it back after closing it.

                        The Welcome tile displayed after you create a project
  • The Continuous deployment tile displays a summary view of the continuous delivery pipeline for your project. The pipeline deploys the web application code when there is a change in your repository. Because your project is new, the pipeline immediately starts deploying the sample code. You can see the processing and completion of each stage as your web application is deployed. For a deployment stage, choose Endpoint to view a link to that endpoint (if you chose the project template suggested at the start of this walkthrough, it's an Amazon EC2 instance where your sample web application is deployed and running).

    You can also see if a stage has a problem or requires approval. To see details about the state of the pipeline, its stages, and its actions, or to make changes such as adding or editing a stage, choose AWS CodePipeline details.

                        Continuous deployment tile
  • The Application endpoints tile displays links to the endpoints where you can view your software. This is the same link you saw in the Continuous deployment tile. Choose the link to view your application or service.

                    Application endpoints tile
  • The Commit history tile displays the recent commit history of the repository. When you first create a project, the most recent commit is the one made by AWS CodeStar. This commit started running the sample code through the pipeline. When you make another commit, that will appear in the history, too. That code change will start running through the pipeline automatically. To view the commits of a different branch, use the branch selector button. To view all commits or other details about the commits or the repository, choose AWS CodeCommit details (if the code is stored in AWS CodeCommit) or Open in GitHub (if the source code is stored in GitHub).

                        Commit history tile
  • The Application activity tile displays Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your project. For example, it displays the CPU utilization of any Amazon EC2 instances deployed to by AWS Elastic Beanstalk or AWS CodeDeploy resources in your pipeline. In projects that use AWS Lambda, it displays invocation and error metrics for the Lambda function. This information is displayed by the hour. If you used the suggested AWS CodeStar project template for this walkthrough, you should see a noticeable spike in activity as your application is first deployed to those instances. You can refresh monitoring to see changes in your instance health, which can help you identify problems or the need for more resources.

                        Application activity tile


    If your AWS CodeStar project includes more than one metric, you can filter the display by choosing a particular metric in the tile.

  • The JIRA tile is for integrating your AWS CodeStar project with an existing Atlassian JIRA project. Configuring this tile will enable you and your project team to track JIRA issues from the project dashboard. To configure this tile, choose Connect and follow the instructions.

                        Configured JIRA tile
  • There is also a Team wiki tile. You can customize the contents of this tile to store team notes, link to useful resources for your team project, provide samples, and so on. You'll customize this tile in the next step.

Step 4: Customize the Team Wiki Tile and the Project Dashboard

Each AWS CodeStar project includes a customizable team wiki tile that can be used for any purpose (for example, adding links to team resources or showing code snippets for a preferred development style). This tile supports both plain text and formatted content. In this step, you'll customize this tile to include a link to the AWS DevOps blog.

To customize the team wiki tile

  1. In the project dashboard, on the team wiki tile, choose the ellipsis menu, and then choose Edit.

  2. In Widget title, type Team links. In Markdown content, add an item to the list and paste the following:

    [AWS DevOps Blog](

    Choose Save.

  3. Choose the link on the tile to test it.

To customize your dashboard appearance

  1. Choose one of the tiles on the dashboard. Drag and drop it to a new position. You can rearrange dashboard tiles to help ensure the information most important to you is in the most visible positions.

  2. To remove a tile, choose the ellipsis menu () on that tile, and then choose Remove from Dashboard.

  3. To add a tile, choose Add tile at the top of the dashboard, and then choose the tile to add. You can only have one of each kind of tile on your dashboard.

Step 5: Commit a Change

First, take a look at the sample code that was included in your project, and see what the application looks like. On the Application endpoints tile, choose the link to your endpoint. Your sample web application is displayed in a new window or browser tab. This is the project sample code that was deployed.

If the project's code is stored in an AWS CodeCommit repository, and you'd like to look at the code itself, in the navigation bar, choose Code. Your project's repository opens in a new tab or window. Read the contents of the repository's readme file (, and browse the content of those files.

In this step, you will make a change to the code and then push that change to your repository. You can do this in one of several ways:

  • If the project's code is stored in an AWS CodeCommit repository, and you have Visual Studio or Eclipse installed, you can use the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio or AWS Toolkit for Eclipse to more easily connect to the code. For more information, see Use an IDE with AWS CodeStar. If you don't have Visual Studio or Eclipse installed, then install a Git client, and follow the instructions later in this step.

  • If the project's code is stored in a GitHub repository, you can use your IDE's tools for connecting to GitHub. For example:

    • For Visual Studio, you can use a tools such as the GitHub Extension for Visual Studio. For more information, see the Overview page on the GitHub Extension for Visual Studio website and Getting Started with GitHub for Visual Studio on the GitHub website.

    • For Eclipse, you can use a tool such as EGit for Eclipse. For more information, see the EGit website and EGit Documentation on the EGit website.

    • For other IDEs, consult your IDE's documentation.

  • For other types of code respositories, see the repository provider's documentation.

The following instructions show how to make a basic change to the sample.

To set up your computer to commit changes


This procedure assumes that your project's code is stored in an AWS CodeCommit repository. For other types of code respositories, see the repository provider's documentation, and then skip ahead to the next procedure, "To clone the project repository and make a change."

If the code is stored in AWS CodeCommit, and you are already using AWS CodeCommit, you don't need more configuration. Skip ahead to the next procedure, "To clone the project repository and make a change."

  1. Install Git on your local computer.

  2. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at

    Sign in as the IAM user who will use Git credentials for connections to your AWS CodeStar project repository in AWS CodeCommit.

  3. In the IAM console, in the navigation pane, choose Users, and from the list of users, choose your IAM user.

  4. On the user details page, choose the Security Credentials tab, and in HTTPS Git credentials for AWS CodeCommit, choose Generate.

                        Generating Git credentials in the IAM console


    You cannot choose your own user name or password for Git credentials. For more information, see Use Git Credentials and HTTPS with AWS CodeCommit.

  5. Copy the user name and password that IAM generated for you. You can choose Show and then copy and paste this information into a secure file on your local computer, or you can choose Download credentials to download this information as a .CSV file. You will need this information to connect to AWS CodeCommit.

                        Downloading Git credentials from the IAM console

    After you have saved your credentials, choose Close.


    This is your only chance to save the user name and password. If you do not save them, you can copy the user name from the IAM console, but you cannot look up the password. You must reset the password and then save it.

To clone the project repository and make a change


This procedure shows how to clone the project's code repository to your computer, make a change to the project's index.html file, and then push your change to the remote repository. This procedure assumes that your project's code is stored in an AWS CodeCommit repository and that you're using a Git client from the command line. For other types of code respositories or tools, see the provider's documentation for how to clone the repository, change the file, and then push the code.

  1. With your project open in the AWS CodeStar console, on the navigation bar, choose the Project gear icon, and then choose the Connect tools button. In the drop-down list next to Clone repository URL, choose the protocol for the connection type you have set up for AWS CodeCommit, and then copy the link. For example, if you followed the steps in the previous procedure to set up Git credentials for AWS CodeCommit, choose HTTPS.

  2. On your local computer, open a terminal or command line window and change directories to a temporary directory. Run the git clone command to clone the repository to your computer. Paste the link you copied. For example, for AWS CodeCommit using HTTPS:

    git clone

    The first time you connect, you will be prompted for the user name and password for the repository. For AWS CodeCommit, type the Git credentials user name and password you downloaded in the previous procedure.

  3. Navigate to the clone directory on your computer and browse the contents.

  4. Open the index.html file in an editor and make a change to the file. For example, you could change the header text from <H1>Congratulations!</H1> to the following:

    <H1>I did it!</H1>

    Save the file.

  5. At the terminal or command prompt, add your changed file, and then commit and push your change:

    git add index.html git commit -m "Making my first change to the web app" git push
  6. On your project dashboard, view the changes in progress. You'll see that the commit history for the repository is updated with your commit, including the commit message. You can also see the pipeline pick up your change to the repository and start building and deploying it. You can use the links you added to the project information tile to view your change to the web application after it is deployed.

Step 6: Add More Team Members

One of the benefits of an AWS CodeStar project is the simplified process for adding users and giving them access to project resources. Every AWS CodeStar project comes preconfigured with three different AWS CodeStar roles. Each role provides its own level of access to the project and its resources:

  • Owner: Can add and remove team members, change the project dashboard (including adding or removing project extensions), and delete the project.

  • Contributor: Can change the project dashboard and contribute code if the code is stored in AWS CodeCommit, but cannot add or remove team members or delete the project. This is the role you should choose for most team members in an AWS CodeStar project.

  • Viewer: Can view the project dashboard, project code if the code is stored in AWS CodeCommit, and the state of the project, but cannot move, add, or remove tiles from the project dashboard.


If your project uses resources outside of AWS, for example a GitHub repository or issues in Atlassian JIRA, access to those resources are controlled by the resource provider, not AWS CodeStar. For more information, see the resource provider's documentation.

Anyone who has access to an AWS CodeStar project may be able to use the AWS CodeStar console to access resources that are outside of AWS but are related to that project.

For more information about teams and project roles, see Working with AWS CodeStar Teams.

To add a team member to an AWS CodeStar project (console)

  1. Open the AWS CodeStar console at

    Choose the project.

  2. In the navigation bar for the project, choose Team.

  3. On the Team members page, choose Add team member.

  4. In Choose user, do one of the following:

    • If an IAM user already exists for the person you want to add, choose the IAM user name from the list.


      Users who have already been added to another AWS CodeStar project will appear in the AWS CodeStar users from other projects list.

      On the Add team member tab, in Project role, choose the AWS CodeStar role (Owner, Contributor, or Viewer) for this user. This is an AWS CodeStar project-level role that can only be changed by an owner of the project. When applied to an IAM user, the role provides all appropriate permissions required to access AWS CodeStar project resources. It applies policies required for creating and managing Git credentials for code stored in AWS CodeCommit in IAM or uploading Amazon EC2 SSH keys for the user in IAM.


      You cannot provide or change the display name or email information for an IAM user unless you are signed in to the console as that user. For more information, see Manage Display Information for Your AWS CodeStar User Profile .

      Choose Add.

                    Adding an existing IAM user to the team for a project
    • If an IAM user does not exist for the person you want to add to the project, choose Create new IAM user. Fill in the IAM user name, AWS CodeStar display name, email address, and project role you want to apply to this new user, and choose Create.

                    Creating a new IAM user to add to the team for a project

      You will be redirected to the IAM console to confirm user creation. Choose Create user, save the password information for that new user, and then choose Close to return to the AWS CodeStar console. The user will be automatically added to the project with the role you chose.


    For ease of management, at least one user should have the Owner role for the project.

  5. Send the new team member the following information:

    • Connection information for your AWS CodeStar project.

    • If the source code is stored in AWS CodeCommit, Instructions for setting up access with Git credentials to the AWS CodeCommit repository from their local computers.

    • Information about how the user can manage their display name, email address, and public Amazon EC2 SSH key, as described in Working with Your AWS CodeStar User Profile .

    • One-time password and connection information, if the user is new to AWS and you created an IAM user for that person. The password will expire the first time the user logs on. The user must choose a new password.

Step 7: Clean Up

Congratulations! You've finished the Getting Started walkthrough for AWS CodeStar. If you don't want to continue to use this project and its resources, you should delete it so you can avoid any possible ongoing charges to your AWS account.

To delete a project in AWS CodeStar

  1. Open the AWS CodeStar console at

  2. Find the project in the list, and from the ellipsis menu, choose Delete.

    Alternatively, open the project, and in the navigation pane, choose Project. On the project details page, choose Delete project.

  3. In the box next to Type the following project ID to confirm, type the ID of the project, and then choose Delete.

    Deleting a project can take several minutes. After it's deleted, the project no longer appears in the list of projects in the AWS CodeStar console.


    By default, when you delete a project, all resources listed under Project resources are deleted. If you clear the check box, the project resources will be retained. For more information, go here.

    If your project uses resources outside of AWS, for example a GitHub repository or issues in Atlassian JIRA, those resources are not deleted, even if the check box is selected.