Create and package a Lambda function - AWS IoT Greengrass

AWS IoT Greengrass Version 1 no longer receives feature updates, and will receive only security patches and bug fixes until June 30, 2023. For more information, see the AWS IoT Greengrass V1 maintenance policy. We strongly recommend that you migrate to AWS IoT Greengrass Version 2, which adds significant new features and support for additional platforms.

Create and package a Lambda function

The example Python Lambda function in this module uses the AWS IoT Greengrass Core SDK for Python to publish MQTT messages.

In this step, you:

  • Download the AWS IoT Greengrass Core SDK for Python to your computer (not the AWS IoT Greengrass core device).

  • Create a Lambda function deployment package that contains the function code and dependencies.

  • Use the Lambda console to create a Lambda function and upload the deployment package.

  • Publish a version of the Lambda function and create an alias that points to the version.

To complete this module, Python 3.7 must be installed on your core device.


  1. From the AWS IoT Greengrass Core SDK downloads page, download the AWS IoT Greengrass Core SDK for Python to your computer.

  2. Unzip the downloaded package to get the Lambda function code and the SDK.

    The Lambda function in this module uses:

    • The file in examples\HelloWorld. This is your Lambda function code. Every five seconds, the function publishes one of two possible messages to the hello/world topic.

    • The greengrasssdk folder. This is the SDK.

  3. Copy the greengrasssdk folder into the HelloWorld folder that contains

  4. To create the Lambda function deployment package, save and the greengrasssdk folder to a compressed zip file named The py file and greengrasssdk folder must be in the root of the directory.

                            Screenshot showing zipped contents of

    On UNIX-like systems (including the Mac terminal), you can use the following command to package the file and folder:

    zip -r greengrasssdk

    Depending on your distribution, you might need to install zip first (for example, by running sudo apt-get install zip). The installation command for your distribution might be different.

    Now you're ready to create your Lambda function and upload the deployment package.

  5. Open the Lambda console and choose Create function.

  6. Choose Author from scratch.

  7. Name your function Greengrass_HelloWorld, and set the remaining fields as follows:

    • For Runtime, choose Python 3.7.

    • For Permissions, keep the default setting. This creates an execution role that grants basic Lambda permissions. This role isn't used by AWS IoT Greengrass.

    Choose Create function.

  8. Upload your Lambda function deployment package:

    1. On the Code tab, under Code source, choose Upload from. From the dropdown, choose .zip file.

                The Upload from dropdown with .zip file highlighted.
    2. Choose Upload, and then choose your deployment package. Then, choose Save.

    3. On the Code tab for the function, under Runtime settings, choose Edit, and then enter the following values.

      • For Runtime, choose Python 3.7.

      • For Handler, enter greengrassHelloWorld.function_handler

                                    The "Runtime settings" section with the "Runtime" field
                                        set to "Python 3.7" and the "Handler" field set to
    4. Choose Save.


      The Test button on the AWS Lambda console doesn't work with this function. The AWS IoT Greengrass Core SDK doesn't contain modules that are required to run your Greengrass Lambda functions independently in the AWS Lambda console. These modules (for example, greengrass_common) are supplied to the functions after they are deployed to your Greengrass core.

  9. Publish the Lambda function:

    1. From the Actions menu at the top of the page, choose Publish new version.

                                    Screenshot of the Actions menu with Publish new version
    2. For Version description, enter First version, and then choose Publish.

                                    Screenshot with the Version description field set to
                                        First version and the Publish button highlighted.
  10. Create an alias for the Lambda function version:


    Greengrass groups can reference a Lambda function by alias (recommended) or by version. Using an alias makes it easier to manage code updates because you don't have to change your subscription table or group definition when the function code is updated. Instead, you just point the alias to the new function version.

    1. From the Actions menu at the top of the page, choose Create alias.

                                    Screenshot of the Actions menu set to Create
    2. Name the alias GG_HelloWorld, set the version to 1 (which corresponds to the version that you just published), and then choose Save.


      AWS IoT Greengrass doesn't support Lambda aliases for $LATEST versions.


                                    Screenshot of Create a new alias with the Name field set
                                        to GG_HelloWorld, and the Version field set to 1.