Prerequisites to use the AWS CLI version 2 - AWS Command Line Interface

Prerequisites to use the AWS CLI version 2

To access AWS services with the AWS CLI, you need an AWS account, IAM credentials, and an IAM access key pair. When running AWS CLI commands, the AWS CLI needs to have access to those AWS credentials.

To increase the security of your AWS account, we recommend that you do not use your root account credentials. You should create an IAM user to provide access credentials to the tasks you'll be running in AWS.

Step 1: Sign up to AWS

If you do not have an AWS account, complete the following steps to create one.

To sign up for an AWS account

  1. Open https://portal.aws.amazon.com/billing/signup.

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a verification code on the phone keypad.

Step 2: Create an IAM user account

To create an administrator user for yourself and add the user to an administrators group (console)

  1. Sign in to the IAM console as the account owner by choosing Root user and entering your AWS account email address. On the next page, enter your password.

    Note

    We strongly recommend that you adhere to the best practice of using the Administrator IAM user that follows and securely lock away the root user credentials. Sign in as the root user only to perform a few account and service management tasks.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Users and then choose Add user.

  3. For User name, enter Administrator.

  4. Select the check box next to AWS Management Console access. Then select Custom password, and then enter your new password in the text box.

  5. (Optional) By default, AWS requires the new user to create a new password when first signing in. You can clear the check box next to User must create a new password at next sign-in to allow the new user to reset their password after they sign in.

  6. Choose Next: Permissions.

  7. Under Set permissions, choose Add user to group.

  8. Choose Create group.

  9. In the Create group dialog box, for Group name enter Administrators.

  10. Choose Filter policies, and then select AWS managed - job function to filter the table contents.

  11. In the policy list, select the check box for AdministratorAccess. Then choose Create group.

    Note

    You must activate IAM user and role access to Billing before you can use the AdministratorAccess permissions to access the AWS Billing and Cost Management console. To do this, follow the instructions in step 1 of the tutorial about delegating access to the billing console.

  12. Back in the list of groups, select the check box for your new group. Choose Refresh if necessary to see the group in the list.

  13. Choose Next: Tags.

  14. (Optional) Add metadata to the user by attaching tags as key-value pairs. For more information about using tags in IAM, see Tagging IAM entities in the IAM User Guide.

  15. Choose Next: Review to see the list of group memberships to be added to the new user. When you are ready to proceed, choose Create user.

You can use this same process to create more groups and users and to give your users access to your AWS account resources. To learn about using policies that restrict user permissions to specific AWS resources, see Access management and Example policies.

Step 3: Create an access key ID and secret access key

For CLI access, you need an access key ID and secret access key. Use IAM user access keys instead of AWS account root user access keys. IAM lets you securely control access to AWS services and resources in your AWS account. For more information about creating access keys, see Understanding and getting your security credentials in the AWS General Reference.

Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key, which are used to sign programmatic requests that you make to AWS. If you don't have access keys, you can create them from the AWS Management Console. As a best practice, do not use the AWS account root user access keys for any task where it's not required. Instead, create a new administrator IAM user with access keys for yourself.

The only time that you can view or download the secret access key is when you create the keys. You cannot recover them later. However, you can create new access keys at any time. You must also have permissions to perform the required IAM actions. For more information, see Permissions required to access IAM resources in the IAM User Guide.

To create access keys for an IAM user

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Users.

  3. Choose the name of the user whose access keys you want to create, and then choose the Security credentials tab.

  4. In the Access keys section, choose Create access key.

  5. To view the new access key pair, choose Show. You will not have access to the secret access key again after this dialog box closes. Your credentials will look something like this:

    • Access key ID: AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE

    • Secret access key: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY

  6. To download the key pair, choose Download .csv file. Store the keys in a secure location. You will not have access to the secret access key again after this dialog box closes.

    Keep the keys confidential in order to protect your AWS account and never email them. Do not share them outside your organization, even if an inquiry appears to come from AWS or Amazon.com. No one who legitimately represents Amazon will ever ask you for your secret key.

  7. After you download the .csv file, choose Close. When you create an access key, the key pair is active by default, and you can use the pair right away.

Related topics

Next steps

After creating an AWS account, IAM credentials, and an IAM access key pair, to use the AWS CLI you can do one of the following: