AWS CloudShell FAQs - AWS CloudShell

AWS CloudShell FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about this AWS service.

For additional FAQs focused on security, see AWS CloudShell security FAQs.

How do I start with AWS CloudShell?

You can launch AWS CloudShell with a single click from the AWS Management Console. All that's required to get started is to sign in to the console using your AWS or IAM credentials at You can choose the AWS CloudShell link on the home page or enter "CloudShell" in the Find Services box.

For more information, see Tutorial: Getting started with AWS CloudShell.

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What permissions do I need to access AWS CloudShell?

Because you access AWS CloudShell from the AWS Management Console, you must be an IAM user who can provide a valid account alias or ID, user name, and password.

To launch AWS CloudShell from the console, you need to have the IAM permissions provided by an attached policy. For more information, see Managing AWS CloudShell access and usage with IAM policies.

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Which AWS Regions is AWS CloudShell available in?

For a list of supported AWS Regions and associated service endpoints, see the AWS CloudShell page in the Amazon Web Services General Reference.

What types of shell can I use in AWS CloudShell?

You can choose to run commands using the Bash shell, PowerShell, or the Z shell. To switch to a specific shell, at the command prompt just type the name of the shell program:

  • bash: Use the Bash shell

  • pwsh: Use PowerShell

  • zsh: Use the Z shell

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What web browsers can I use with AWS CloudShell?

AWS CloudShell supports the three latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari.

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What software is pre-installed on my shell environment?

With the shell that's created for AWS CloudShell sessions, you can switch seamlessly between their preferred command-line shells (Bash, PowerShell, and Z shell). They also have access to pre-installed tools and utilities such Make, pip, sudo, tar, tmux, Vim, Wget and Zip.

The shell environment is pre-configured with support for leading software languages. You can use it to run Node.js and Python projects, for example, without first having to perform runtime installations. PowerShell users can use the .NET Core runtime.

Files created using the shell or uploaded with the shell interface can be added to a version-controlled repository managed using a pre-installed version of Git.

For more information, see Pre-installed software.

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Can I install software that's not available in the shell environment?

Yes. AWS CloudShell users have sudo privileges so they have administrative rights to install software from the command line. For more information, see Installing third-party software on your shell environment.

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Can I restrict the actions that users can perform in AWS CloudShell?

Yes. For example, you can allow users to access AWS CloudShell but prevent them from uploading or downloading files within the shell environment. You can also even completely prevent them from accessing AWS CloudShell. For more information, see Managing AWS CloudShell access and usage with IAM policies.

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How can I move data from my home directory if I want to change the AWS Region where I'm using AWS CloudShell?

To move your AWS CloudShell data from one AWS Region to another, you can download the contents of your home directory in Region A to your local machine and then upload from your local machine to the home directory in Region B. For more information on the options available, see Tutorial: Copying multiple files between your local machine and AWS CloudShell.

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Can I increase the limit that determines when AWS CloudShell times out because of user inactivity?

Your shell session automatically ends after approximately 20–30 minutes if you don't interact with AWS CloudShell using your keyboard or pointer. (Running processes don't count as interactions.) Because CloudShell is designed for focused, task-based activities, there are no plans at present to increase this timeout limit.

If you wish to perform terminal-based tasks using an AWS service with more flexible timeout limits, we recommend using our cloud-based IDE, AWS Cloud9, or launching and connecting to an Amazon EC2 instance.

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