Using AWS CLI pagination options - AWS Command Line Interface

Using AWS CLI pagination options

This topic describes the different ways to paginate output from the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).There are primarily two ways to control pagination from the AWS CLI.

Server-side pagination parameters process first and any output is sent to client-side pagination.

Server-side pagination

For commands that can return a large list of items, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) has multiple options to control the number of items included in the output when the AWS CLI calls a service's API to populate the list.

  • --no-paginate

  • --page-size

  • --max-items

  • --starting-token

By default, the AWS CLI uses a page size of 1000 and retrieves all available items. For example, if you run aws s3api list-objects on an Amazon S3 bucket that contains 3,500 objects, the AWS CLI automatically makes four calls to Amazon S3, handling the service-specific pagination logic for you in the background and returning all 3,500 objects in the final output.

How to use the --no-paginate parameter

To disable pagination and return only the first page of results, use the --no-paginate option. When using a command, by default the AWS CLI automatically makes multiple calls to return all possible results to create pagination. One call for each page. Disabling pagination has the AWS CLI only call once for the first page of command results.

For example, if you run aws s3api list-objects on an Amazon S3 bucket that contains 3,500 objects, the AWS CLI only makes the first call to Amazon S3, returning only the first 1,000 objects in the final output.

$ aws s3api list-objects \ --bucket my-bucket \ --no-paginate { "Contents": [ ...

How to use the --page-size parameter

If you see issues when running list commands on a large number of resources, the default page size of 1000 might be too high. This can cause calls to AWS services to exceed the maximum allowed time and generate a "timed out" error. You can use the --page-size option to specify that the AWS CLI request a smaller number of items from each call to the AWS service. The CLI still retrieves the full list, but performs a larger number of service API calls in the background and retrieves a smaller number of items with each call. This gives the individual calls a better chance of succeeding without a timeout. Changing the page size doesn't affect the output; it affects only the number of API calls that need to be made to generate the output.

$ aws s3api list-objects \ --bucket my-bucket \ --page-size 100 { "Contents": [ ...

How to use the --max-items parameter

To include fewer items at a time in the AWS CLI output, use the --max-items option. The AWS CLI still handles pagination with the service as described previously, but prints out only the number of items at a time that you specify.

$ aws s3api list-objects \ --bucket my-bucket \ --max-items 100 { "NextToken": "eyJNYXJrZXIiOiBudWxsLCAiYm90b190cnVuY2F0ZV9hbW91bnQiOiAxfQ==", "Contents": [ ...

How to use the --starting-token parameter

If the number of items output (--max-items) is fewer than the total number of items returned by the underlying API calls, the output includes a NextToken that you can pass to a subsequent command to retrieve the next set of items. The following example shows how to use the NextToken value returned by the previous example, and enables you to retrieve the second 100 items.

Note

The parameter --starting-token cannot be null or empty. If the previous command does not return a NextToken value, there are no more items to return and you do not need to call the command again.

$ aws s3api list-objects \ --bucket my-bucket \ --max-items 100 \ --starting-token eyJNYXJrZXIiOiBudWxsLCAiYm90b190cnVuY2F0ZV9hbW91bnQiOiAxfQ== { "Contents": [ ...

The specified AWS service might not return items in the same order each time you call. If you specify different values for --page-size and --max-items, you can get unexpected results with missing or duplicated items. To prevent this, use the same number for --page-size and --max-items to sync the AWS CLI pagination with the pagination of the underlying service. You can also retrieve the whole list and perform any necessary paging operations locally.

Client-side pager

This feature is available only with AWS CLI version 2.

The following feature is available only if you use AWS CLI version 2. It isn't available if you run AWS CLI version 1. For information on how to install version 2, see Installing, updating, and uninstalling the AWS CLI version 2.

AWS CLI version 2 provides the use of a client-side pager program for output. By default, this feature returns all output through your operating system’s default pager program.

In order of precedence, you can specify the output pager in the following ways:

  • Using the cli_pager setting in the config file in a named profile.

  • Using the AWS_PAGER environment variable.

  • Using the cli_pager setting in the config file in default profile.

  • Using the PAGER environment variable.

In order of precedence, you can disable all use of an external paging program in the following ways:

  • Use the --no-cli-pager command line option to disable the pager for a single command use.

  • Set the cli_pager setting or AWS_PAGER variable to an empty string.

How to use the cli_pager setting

You can save your frequently used configuration settings and credentials in files that are maintained by the AWS CLI. Settings in a name profile take precedence over settings in the default profile. For more information on configuration settings, see Configuration and credential file settings.

The following example sets the default output pager to the less program.

[default] cli_pager=less

The following example sets the default to disable the use of a pager.

[default] cli_pager=

How to use the AWS_PAGER environment variable

The following example sets the default output pager to the less program. For more information on environment variables, seeEnvironment variables to configure the AWS CLI.

Linux and macOS
$ export AWS_PAGER="less"
Windows
C:\> setx AWS_PAGER "less"

The following example disables the use of a pager.

Linux and macOS
$ export AWS_PAGER=""
Windows
C:\> setx AWS_PAGER ""

How to use the --no-cli-pager option

To disable the use of a pager on a single command, use the --no-cli-pager option. For more information on command line options, see Command line options.

$ aws s3api list-objects \ --bucket my-bucket \ --no-cli-pager { "Contents": [ ...

How to use pager flags

You can specify flags to use automatically with your paging program. Flags are dependent on the paging program you use. The below examples are for the typical defaults of less and more.

Linux and macOS

If you do not specify otherwise, the pager AWS CLI version 2 uses by default is less. If you don't have the LESS environment variable set, the AWS CLI version 2 uses the FRX flags. You can combine flags by specifying them when setting the AWS CLI pager.

The following example uses the S flag. This flag then combines with the default FRX flags to create a final FRXS flag.

$ export AWS_PAGER="less -S"

If you don't want any of the FRX flags, you can negate them. The following example negates the F flag to create a final RX flag.

$ export AWS_PAGER="less -+F"

For more information on less flags see less on manpages.org.

Windows

If you do not specify otherwise, the pager AWS CLI version 2 uses by default is more with no additional flags.

The following example uses the /c parameter.

C:\> setx AWS_PAGER "more /c"

For more information on more flags see more on Microsoft Docs.