Getting started with the AWS CDK - AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) v2

This is the AWS CDK v2 Developer Guide. The older CDK v1 entered maintenance on June 1, 2022 and ended support on June 1, 2023.

Getting started with the AWS CDK

Get started with the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) by installing the AWS CDK CLI and creating your first CDK app.


Before getting started with the AWS CDK, we recommend a basic understanding of the following:

  • An introduction to the AWS CDK. To learn more, see What is the AWS CDK?

  • Core concepts behind the AWS CDK. To learn more, see AWS CDK concepts.

  • The AWS services that you want to manage with the AWS CDK.

  • AWS Identity and Access Management. For more information, see What is IAM? and What is IAM Identity Center?

  • AWS CloudFormation since the AWS CDK utilizes the AWS CloudFormation service to provision resources created in the CDK. To learn more, see What is AWS CloudFormation?

  • The supported programming language that you plan to use with the AWS CDK.

All AWS CDK developers, regardless of your preferred language, need Node.js 14.15.0 or later. All supported programming languages use the same backend, which runs on Node.js. We recommend a version in active long-term support. Your organization may have a different recommendation.


Node.js versions 13.0.0 through 13.6.0 are not compatible with the AWS CDK due to compatibility issues with its dependencies.

Other prerequisites depend on the language in which you develop AWS CDK applications and are as follows.

  • TypeScript 3.8 or later (npm -g install typescript)


No additional requirements

  • Python 3.7 or later including pip and virtualenv

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 8 (a.k.a. 1.8) or later

  • Apache Maven 3.5 or later

Java IDE recommended (we use Eclipse in some examples in this guide). IDE must be able to import Maven projects. Check to make sure that your project is set to use Java 1.8. Set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to the path where you have installed the JDK.


.NET Core 3.1 or later, or .NET 6.0 or later.

Visual Studio 2019 (any edition) or Visual Studio Code recommended.


Go 1.1.8 or later.

Third-party language deprecation

Each language version is only supported until it is EOL (End Of Life) and is subject to change with prior notice.

Authentication with AWS

You must establish how the AWS CDK authenticates with AWS when developing with AWS services. There are different ways in which you can configure programmatic access to AWS resources, depending on the environment and the AWS access available to you.

To choose your method of authentication and configure it for the AWS CDK, see Authentication and access in the AWS SDKs and Tools Reference Guide.

The recommended approach for new users developing locally, who aren't given a method of authentication by their employer, is to set up AWS IAM Identity Center. This method includes installing the AWS CLI for ease of configuration and for regularly signing in to the AWS access portal. If you choose this method, your environment should contain the following elements after you complete the procedure for IAM Identity Center authentication in the AWS SDKs and Tools Reference Guide:

  • The AWS CLI, which you use to start an AWS access portal session before you run your application.

  • A shared AWSconfig file having a [default] profile with a set of configuration values that can be referenced from the AWS CDK. To find the location of this file, see Location of the shared files in the AWS SDKs and Tools Reference Guide.

  • The shared config file sets the region setting. This sets the default AWS Region the AWS CDK uses for AWS requests.

  • The AWS CDK uses the profile's SSO token provider configuration to acquire credentials before sending requests to AWS. The sso_role_name value, which is an IAM role connected to an IAM Identity Center permission set, should allow access to the AWS services used in your application.

    The following sample config file shows a default profile set up with SSO token provider configuration. The profile's sso_session setting refers to the named sso-session section. The sso-session section contains settings to initiate an AWS access portal session.

    [default] sso_session = my-sso sso_account_id = 111122223333 sso_role_name = SampleRole region = us-east-1 output = json [sso-session my-sso] sso_region = us-east-1 sso_start_url = sso_registration_scopes = sso:account:access

Start an AWS access portal session

Before accessing AWS services, you need an active AWS access portal session for the AWS CDK to use IAM Identity Center authentication to resolve credentials. Depending on your configured session lengths, your access will eventually expire and the AWS CDK will encounter an authentication error. Run the following command in the AWS CLI to sign in to the AWS access portal.

aws sso login

If your SSO token provider configuration is using a named profile instead of the default profile, the command is aws sso login --profile NAME. Also specify this profile when issuing cdk commands using the --profile option or the AWS_PROFILE environment variable.

To test if you already have an active session, run the following AWS CLI command.

aws sts get-caller-identity

The response to this command should report the IAM Identity Center account and permission set configured in the shared config file.


If you already have an active AWS access portal session and run aws sso login, you won't be required to provide credentials.

The sign in process may prompt you to allow the AWS CLI access to your data. Since the AWS CLI is built on top of the SDK for Python, permission messages may contain variations of the botocore name.

Install the AWS CDK

The AWS CDK Toolkit, also known as the Command Line Interface (CLI), is the main tool you use to create, manage, and deploy your AWS CDK projects. It also has deployment, diff, deletion, and troubleshooting capabilities. For more information, see cdk --help or AWS CDK Toolkit (cdk command).

Install the AWS CDK Toolkit globally using the following Node Package Manager command.

npm install -g aws-cdk

Run the following command to verify correct installation and print the version number of the AWS CDK.

cdk --version

CDK Toolkit v2 works with existing CDK v1 projects. However, it can't initialize new CDK v1 projects. See New prerequisites if you need to be able to do that.

Bootstrap your environment

Each AWS environment that you plan to deploy resources to must be bootstrapped.

To bootstrap, run the following:

cdk bootstrap aws://ACCOUNT-NUMBER/REGION

If you don't have your AWS account number handy, you can get it from the AWS Management Console. Or, if you have the AWS CLI installed, the following command displays your default account information, including the account number.

aws sts get-caller-identity

If you created named profiles in your local AWS configuration, you can use the --profile option to display the account information for a specific profile. The following example shows how to display account information for the prod profile.

aws sts get-caller-identity --profile prod

To display the default Region, use aws configure get.

aws configure get region aws configure get region --profile prod

Optional AWS CDK tools

The AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code is an open source plug-in for Visual Studio Code that helps you create, debug, and deploy applications on AWS. The toolkit provides an integrated experience for developing AWS CDK applications. It includes the AWS CDK Explorer feature to list your AWS CDK projects and browse the various components of the CDK application. Install the plug-in and learn more about using the AWS CDK Explorer.

Next steps

Now that you've installed the AWS CDK CLI, use it to build your first AWS CDK app.

The AWS CDK is an open-source project. To contribute, see Contributing to the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK).

Learn more

To learn more about the AWS CDK, see the following: