Table Of Contents


User Guide

First time using the AWS CLI? See the User Guide for help getting started.

[ aws . ec2 ]



Exports a running or stopped instance to an S3 bucket.

For information about the supported operating systems, image formats, and known limitations for the types of instances you can export, see Exporting an Instance as a VM Using VM Import/Export in the VM Import/Export User Guide .

See also: AWS API Documentation

See 'aws help' for descriptions of global parameters.


[--description <value>]
[--export-to-s3-task <value>]
--instance-id <value>
[--target-environment <value>]
[--cli-input-json <value>]
[--generate-cli-skeleton <value>]


--description (string)

A description for the conversion task or the resource being exported. The maximum length is 255 bytes.

--export-to-s3-task (structure)

The format and location for an instance export task.

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

  "ContainerFormat": "ova",
  "DiskImageFormat": "VMDK"|"RAW"|"VHD",
  "S3Bucket": "string",
  "S3Prefix": "string"

--instance-id (string)

The ID of the instance.

--target-environment (string)

The target virtualization environment.

Possible values:

  • citrix
  • vmware
  • microsoft

--cli-input-json (string) Performs service operation based on the JSON string provided. The JSON string follows the format provided by --generate-cli-skeleton. If other arguments are provided on the command line, the CLI values will override the JSON-provided values. It is not possible to pass arbitrary binary values using a JSON-provided value as the string will be taken literally.

--generate-cli-skeleton (string) Prints a JSON skeleton to standard output without sending an API request. If provided with no value or the value input, prints a sample input JSON that can be used as an argument for --cli-input-json. If provided with the value output, it validates the command inputs and returns a sample output JSON for that command.

See 'aws help' for descriptions of global parameters.


To export an instance

This example command creates a task to export the instance i-1234567890abcdef0 to the Amazon S3 bucket myexportbucket.


aws ec2 create-instance-export-task --description "RHEL5 instance" --instance-id i-1234567890abcdef0 --target-environment vmware --export-to-s3-task DiskImageFormat=vmdk,ContainerFormat=ova,S3Bucket=myexportbucket,S3Prefix=RHEL5


    "ExportTask": {
        "State": "active",
        "InstanceExportDetails": {
            "InstanceId": "i-1234567890abcdef0",
            "TargetEnvironment": "vmware"
        "ExportToS3Task": {
            "S3Bucket": "myexportbucket",
            "S3Key": "RHEL5export-i-fh8sjjsq.ova",
            "DiskImageFormat": "vmdk",
            "ContainerFormat": "ova"
        "Description": "RHEL5 instance",
        "ExportTaskId": "export-i-fh8sjjsq"


ExportTask -> (structure)

Information about the instance export task.

Description -> (string)

A description of the resource being exported.

ExportTaskId -> (string)

The ID of the export task.

ExportToS3Task -> (structure)

Information about the export task.

ContainerFormat -> (string)

The container format used to combine disk images with metadata (such as OVF). If absent, only the disk image is exported.

DiskImageFormat -> (string)

The format for the exported image.

S3Bucket -> (string)

The S3 bucket for the destination image. The destination bucket must exist and grant WRITE and READ_ACP permissions to the AWS account .

S3Key -> (string)

The encryption key for your S3 bucket.

InstanceExportDetails -> (structure)

Information about the instance to export.

InstanceId -> (string)

The ID of the resource being exported.

TargetEnvironment -> (string)

The target virtualization environment.

State -> (string)

The state of the export task.

StatusMessage -> (string)

The status message related to the export task.

Tags -> (list)

The tags for the export task.


Describes a tag.

Key -> (string)

The key of the tag.

Constraints: Tag keys are case-sensitive and accept a maximum of 127 Unicode characters. May not begin with aws: .

Value -> (string)

The value of the tag.

Constraints: Tag values are case-sensitive and accept a maximum of 255 Unicode characters.