AWS CloudFormation
User Guide (API Version 2010-05-15)

Retrieving a Template

AWS CloudFormation stores the template you use to create your stack as part of the stack. You can retrieve the template from AWS CloudFormation using the aws cloudformation get-template command.


The aws cloudformation get-template command returns the deleted stacks templates for up to 90 days after the stack has been deleted.

The following example shows the template for the myteststack stack:

PROMPT> aws cloudformation get-template --stack-name myteststack
    "TemplateBody": {
        "AWSTemplateFormatVersion": "2010-09-09",
        "Outputs": {
            "BucketName": {
                "Description": "Name of S3 bucket to hold website content",
                "Value": {
                    "Ref": "S3Bucket"
        "Description": "AWS CloudFormation Sample Template S3_Bucket: Sample template showing how to create a publicly accessible S3 bucket. **WARNING** This template creates an S3 bucket.
You will be billed for the AWS resources used if you create a stack from this template.",
        "Resources": {
            "S3Bucket": {
                "Type": "AWS::S3::Bucket",
                "Properties": {
                    "AccessControl": "PublicRead"

The output contains the entire template body, enclosed in quotation marks.