DescribeImages - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud


Describes the specified images (AMIs, AKIs, and ARIs) available to you or all of the images available to you.

The images available to you include public images, private images that you own, and private images owned by other AWS accounts for which you have explicit launch permissions.

Recently deregistered images appear in the returned results for a short interval and then return empty results. After all instances that reference a deregistered AMI are terminated, specifying the ID of the image will eventually return an error indicating that the AMI ID cannot be found.


We strongly recommend using only paginated requests. Unpaginated requests are susceptible to throttling and timeouts.


The order of the elements in the response, including those within nested structures, might vary. Applications should not assume the elements appear in a particular order.

Request Parameters

The following parameters are for this specific action. For more information about required and optional parameters that are common to all actions, see Common Query Parameters.


Checks whether you have the required permissions for the action, without actually making the request, and provides an error response. If you have the required permissions, the error response is DryRunOperation. Otherwise, it is UnauthorizedOperation.

Type: Boolean

Required: No


Scopes the images by users with explicit launch permissions. Specify an AWS account ID, self (the sender of the request), or all (public AMIs).

  • If you specify an AWS account ID that is not your own, only AMIs shared with that specific AWS account ID are returned. However, AMIs that are shared with the account’s organization or organizational unit (OU) are not returned.

  • If you specify self or your own AWS account ID, AMIs shared with your account are returned. In addition, AMIs that are shared with the organization or OU of which you are member are also returned.

  • If you specify all, all public AMIs are returned.

Type: Array of strings

Required: No


The filters.

  • architecture - The image architecture (i386 | x86_64 | arm64 | x86_64_mac | arm64_mac).

  • block-device-mapping.delete-on-termination - A Boolean value that indicates whether the Amazon EBS volume is deleted on instance termination.

  • block-device-mapping.device-name - The device name specified in the block device mapping (for example, /dev/sdh or xvdh).

  • block-device-mapping.snapshot-id - The ID of the snapshot used for the Amazon EBS volume.

  • block-device-mapping.volume-size - The volume size of the Amazon EBS volume, in GiB.

  • block-device-mapping.volume-type - The volume type of the Amazon EBS volume (io1 | io2 | gp2 | gp3 | sc1 | st1 | standard).

  • block-device-mapping.encrypted - A Boolean that indicates whether the Amazon EBS volume is encrypted.

  • creation-date - The time when the image was created, in the ISO 8601 format in the UTC time zone (YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.sssZ), for example, 2021-09-29T11:04:43.305Z. You can use a wildcard (*), for example, 2021-09-29T*, which matches an entire day.

  • description - The description of the image (provided during image creation).

  • ena-support - A Boolean that indicates whether enhanced networking with ENA is enabled.

  • hypervisor - The hypervisor type (ovm | xen).

  • image-id - The ID of the image.

  • image-type - The image type (machine | kernel | ramdisk).

  • is-public - A Boolean that indicates whether the image is public.

  • kernel-id - The kernel ID.

  • manifest-location - The location of the image manifest.

  • name - The name of the AMI (provided during image creation).

  • owner-alias - The owner alias (amazon | aws-marketplace). The valid aliases are defined in an Amazon-maintained list. This is not the AWS account alias that can be set using the IAM console. We recommend that you use the Owner request parameter instead of this filter.

  • owner-id - The AWS account ID of the owner. We recommend that you use the Owner request parameter instead of this filter.

  • platform - The platform. The only supported value is windows.

  • product-code - The product code.

  • product-code.type - The type of the product code (marketplace).

  • ramdisk-id - The RAM disk ID.

  • root-device-name - The device name of the root device volume (for example, /dev/sda1).

  • root-device-type - The type of the root device volume (ebs | instance-store).

  • source-instance-id - The ID of the instance that the AMI was created from if the AMI was created using CreateImage. This filter is applicable only if the AMI was created using CreateImage.

  • state - The state of the image (available | pending | failed).

  • state-reason-code - The reason code for the state change.

  • state-reason-message - The message for the state change.

  • sriov-net-support - A value of simple indicates that enhanced networking with the Intel 82599 VF interface is enabled.

  • tag:<key> - The key/value combination of a tag assigned to the resource. Use the tag key in the filter name and the tag value as the filter value. For example, to find all resources that have a tag with the key Owner and the value TeamA, specify tag:Owner for the filter name and TeamA for the filter value.

  • tag-key - The key of a tag assigned to the resource. Use this filter to find all resources assigned a tag with a specific key, regardless of the tag value.

  • virtualization-type - The virtualization type (paravirtual | hvm).

Type: Array of Filter objects

Required: No


The image IDs.

Default: Describes all images available to you.

Type: Array of strings

Required: No


Specifies whether to include deprecated AMIs.

Default: No deprecated AMIs are included in the response.


If you are the AMI owner, all deprecated AMIs appear in the response regardless of what you specify for this parameter.

Type: Boolean

Required: No


Specifies whether to include disabled AMIs.

Default: No disabled AMIs are included in the response.

Type: Boolean

Required: No


The maximum number of items to return for this request. To get the next page of items, make another request with the token returned in the output. For more information, see Pagination.

Type: Integer

Required: No


The token returned from a previous paginated request. Pagination continues from the end of the items returned by the previous request.

Type: String

Required: No


Scopes the results to images with the specified owners. You can specify a combination of AWS account IDs, self, amazon, and aws-marketplace. If you omit this parameter, the results include all images for which you have launch permissions, regardless of ownership.

Type: Array of strings

Required: No

Response Elements

The following elements are returned by the service.


Information about the images.

Type: Array of Image objects


The token to include in another request to get the next page of items. This value is null when there are no more items to return.

Type: String


The ID of the request.

Type: String


For information about the errors that are common to all actions, see Common client error codes.


Example 1

This example describes the specified AMI.

Sample Request &ImageId.1=ami-1234567890EXAMPLE &AUTHPARAMS

Sample Response

<DescribeImagesResponse xmlns=""> <requestId>59dbff89-35bd-4eac-99ed-be587EXAMPLE</requestId> <imagesSet> <item> <virtualizationType>hvm</virtualizationType> <description>Provided by Red Hat, Inc.</description> <platformDetails>Red Hat Enterprise Linux</platformDetails> <enaSupport>true</enaSupport> <hypervisor>xen</hypervisor> <state>available</state> <sriovNetSupport>simple</sriovNetSupport> <imageId>ami-1234567890EXAMPLE</imageId> <usageOperation>RunInstances:0010</usageOperation> <blockDeviceMapping> <item> <deviceName>/dev/sda1</deviceName> <ebs> <snapshotId>snap-1234567890abcdef0</snapshotId> <volumeSize>15</volumeSize> <deleteOnTermination>false</deleteOnTermination> <volumeType>standard</volumeType> </ebs> </item> </blockDeviceMapping> <architecture>x86_64</architecture> <imageLocation>123456789012/RHEL-8.0.0_HVM-20190618-x86_64-1-Hourly2-GP2</imageLocation> <rootDeviceType>ebs</rootDeviceType> <ownerId>123456789012</ownerId> <rootDeviceName>/dev/sda1</rootDeviceName> <creationDate>2019-05-10T13:17:12.000Z</creationDate> <public>true</public> <imageType>machine</imageType> <name>RHEL-8.0.0_HVM-20190618-x86_64-1-Hourly2-GP2</name> <tagSet/> </item> </imagesSet> </DescribeImagesResponse>

Example 2

This example filters the response to include only public Windows images with an x86_64 architecture.

Sample Request &Filter.1.Name=is-public &Filter.1.Value.1=true &Filter.2.Name=architecture &Filter.2.Value.1=x86_64 &Filter.3.Name=platform &Filter.3.Value.1=windows &AUTHPARAMS

Sample Response

<DescribeImagesResponse xmlns=""> <requestId>59dbff89-35bd-4eac-99ed-be587EXAMPLE</requestId> <imagesSet> <item> <imageId>ami-1a2b3c4d</imageId> <imageLocation>ec2-public-windows-images/Server2003r2-x86_64-Win-v1.07.manifest.xml</imageLocation> <imageState>available</imageState> <imageOwnerId>123456789012</imageOwnerId> <isPublic>true</isPublic> <architecture>x86_64</architecture> <imageType>machine</imageType> <platform>windows</platform> <imageOwnerAlias>amazon</imageOwnerAlias> <rootDeviceType>instance-store</rootDeviceType> <blockDeviceMapping/> <virtualizationType>hvm</virtualizationType> <tagSet/> <hypervisor>xen</hypervisor> </item> ... </imagesSet> </DescribeImagesResponse>

Example 3

This example returns the results to display images where the owner is aws-marketplace.

Sample Request &Owner.1=aws-marketplace &AUTHPARAMS

Sample Response

<DescribeImagesResponse xmlns=""> <requestId>4a4a27a2-2e7c-475d-b35b-ca822EXAMPLE</requestId> <imagesSet> <item> <imageId>ami-1a2b3c4d</imageId> <imageLocation>aws-marketplace/example-marketplace-amzn-ami.1</imageLocation> <imageState>available</imageState> <imageOwnerId>123456789012</imageOwnerId> <isPublic>true</isPublic> <productCodes> <item> <productCode>a1b2c3d4e5f6g7h8i9j10k11</productCode> <type>marketplace</type> </item> </productCodes> <architecture>i386</architecture> <imageType>machine</imageType> <kernelId>aki-1a2b3c4d</kernelId> <imageOwnerAlias>aws-marketplace</imageOwnerAlias> <name>example-marketplace-amzn-ami.1</name> <description>Amazon Linux AMI i386 EBS</description> <rootDeviceType>ebs</rootDeviceType> <rootDeviceName>/dev/sda1</rootDeviceName> <blockDeviceMapping> <item> <deviceName>/dev/sda1</deviceName> <ebs> <snapshotId>snap-1234567890abcdef0</snapshotId> <volumeSize>8</volumeSize> <deleteOnTermination>true</deleteOnTermination> </ebs> </item> </blockDeviceMapping> <virtualizationType>paravirtual</virtualizationType> <hypervisor>xen</hypervisor> </item> ... </imagesSet> </DescribeImagesResponse>

See Also

For more information about using this API in one of the language-specific AWS SDKs, see the following: