Configuring file system access for Lambda functions - AWS Lambda

Configuring file system access for Lambda functions

You can configure a function to mount an Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file system to a local directory. With Amazon EFS, your function code can access and modify shared resources safely and at high concurrency.

Execution role and user permissions

If the file system doesn't have a user-configured IAM policy, EFS uses a default policy that grants full access to any client that can connect to the file system using a file system mount target. If the file system has a user-configured IAM policy, your function's execution role must have the correct elasticfilesystem permissions.

Execution role permissions
  • elasticfilesystem:ClientMount

  • elasticfilesystem:ClientWrite (not required for read-only connections)

These permissions are included in the AmazonElasticFileSystemClientReadWriteAccess managed policy. Additionally, your execution role must have the permissions required to connect to the file system's VPC.

When you configure a file system, Lambda uses your permissions to verify mount targets. To configure a function to connect to a file system, your IAM user needs the following permissions:

User permissions
  • elasticfilesystem:DescribeMountTargets

Configuring a file system and access point

Create a file system in Amazon EFS with a mount target in every Availability Zone that your function connects to. For performance and resilience, use at least two Availability Zones. For example, in a simple configuration you could have a VPC with two private subnets in separate Availability Zones. The function connects to both subnets and a mount target is available in each. Ensure that NFS traffic (port 2049) is allowed by the security groups used by the function and mount targets.


When you create a file system, you choose a performance mode that can't be changed later. General purpose mode has lower latency, and Max I/O mode supports a higher maximum throughput and IOPS. For help choosing, see Amazon EFS performance in the Amazon Elastic File System User Guide.

An access point connects each instance of the function to the right mount target for the Availability Zone it connects to. For best performance, create an access point with a non-root path, and limit the number of files that you create in each directory. The following example creates a directory named my-function on the file system and sets the owner ID to 1001 with standard directory permissions (755).

Example access point configuration
  • Namefiles

  • User ID1001

  • Group ID1001

  • Path/my-function

  • Permissions755

  • Owner user ID1001

  • Group user ID1001

When a function uses the access point, it is given user ID 1001 and has full access to the directory.

For more information, see the following topics in the Amazon Elastic File System User Guide:

Connecting to a file system (console)

A function connects to a file system over the local network in a VPC. The subnets that your function connects to can be the same subnets that contain mount points for your file system, or subnets in the same Availability Zone that can route NFS traffic (port 2049) to the file system.


If your function is not already connected to a VPC, see Configuring a Lambda function to access resources in a VPC.

To configure file system access
  1. Open the Functions page of the Lambda console.

  2. Choose a function.

  3. Choose Configuration and then choose File systems.

  4. Under File system, choose Add file system.

  5. Configure the following properties:

    • EFS file system – The access point for a file system in the same VPC.

    • Local mount path – The location where the file system is mounted on the Lambda function, starting with /mnt/.


Amazon EFS charges for storage and throughput, with rates that vary by storage class. For details, see Amazon EFS pricing.

Lambda charges for data transfer between VPCs. This only applies if your function's VPC is peered to another VPC with a file system. The rates are the same as for Amazon EC2 data transfer between VPCs in the same Region. For details, see Lambda pricing.

For more information about Lambda's integration with Amazon EFS, see Using Amazon EFS with Lambda.

Configuring file system access with the Lambda API

Use the following API operations to connect your Lambda function to a file system:

To connect a function to a file system, use the update-function-configuration command. The following example connects a function named my-function to a file system with ARN of an access point.

ARN=arn:aws:elasticfilesystem:us-east-2:123456789012:access-point/fsap-015cxmplb72b405fd aws lambda update-function-configuration --function-name my-function \ --file-system-configs Arn=$ARN,LocalMountPath=/mnt/efs0

You can get the ARN of a file system's access point with the describe-access-points command.

aws efs describe-access-points

You should see the following output:

{ "AccessPoints": [ { "ClientToken": "console-aa50c1fd-xmpl-48b5-91ce-57b27a3b1017", "Name": "lambda-ap", "Tags": [ { "Key": "Name", "Value": "lambda-ap" } ], "AccessPointId": "fsap-015cxmplb72b405fd", "AccessPointArn": "arn:aws:elasticfilesystem:us-east-2:123456789012:access-point/fsap-015cxmplb72b405fd", "FileSystemId": "fs-aea3xmpl", "RootDirectory": { "Path": "/" }, "OwnerId": "123456789012", "LifeCycleState": "available" } ] }

AWS CloudFormation and AWS SAM

You can use AWS CloudFormation and the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) to automate the creation of Lambda applications. To enable a file system connection on an AWS SAM AWS::Serverless::Function resource, use the FileSystemConfigs property.

Example template.yml – File system configuration
Transform: AWS::Serverless-2016-10-31 Resources: VPC: Type: AWS::EC2::VPC Properties: CidrBlock: Subnet1: Type: AWS::EC2::Subnet Properties: VpcId: Ref: VPC CidrBlock: AvailabilityZone: "us-west-2a" EfsSecurityGroup: Type: AWS::EC2::SecurityGroup Properties: VpcId: Ref: VPC GroupDescription: "mnt target sg" SecurityGroupIngress: - IpProtocol: -1 CidrIp: "" FileSystem: Type: AWS::EFS::FileSystem Properties: PerformanceMode: generalPurpose AccessPoint: Type: AWS::EFS::AccessPoint Properties: FileSystemId: Ref: FileSystem PosixUser: Uid: "1001" Gid: "1001" RootDirectory: CreationInfo: OwnerGid: "1001" OwnerUid: "1001" Permissions: "755" MountTarget1: Type: AWS::EFS::MountTarget Properties: FileSystemId: Ref: FileSystem SubnetId: Ref: Subnet1 SecurityGroups: - Ref: EfsSecurityGroup MyFunctionWithEfs: Type: AWS::Serverless::Function Properties: Handler: index.handler Runtime: python3.9 VpcConfig: SecurityGroupIds: - Ref: EfsSecurityGroup SubnetIds: - Ref: Subnet1 FileSystemConfigs: - Arn: !GetAtt AccessPoint.Arn LocalMountPath: "/mnt/efs" Description: Use a file system. DependsOn: "MountTarget1"

You must add the DependsOn to ensure that the mount targets are fully created before the Lambda runs for the first time.

For the AWS CloudFormation AWS::Lambda::Function type, the property name and fields are the same. For more information, see Using AWS Lambda with AWS CloudFormation.

Sample applications

The GitHub repository for this guide includes a sample application that demonstrates the use of Amazon EFS with a Lambda function.

  • efs-nodejs – A function that uses an Amazon EFS file system in a Amazon VPC. This sample includes a VPC, file system, mount targets, and access point configured for use with Lambda.