Creating an SSH connection using the SSHOperator - Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow

Creating an SSH connection using the SSHOperator

The following example describes how you can use the SSHOperator in a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to connect to a remote Amazon EC2 instance from your Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow environment. You can use a similar approach to connect to any remote instance with SSH access.

In the following example, you upload a SSH secret key (.pem) to your environment's dags directory on Amazon S3. Then, you install the necessary dependencies using requirements.txt and create a new Apache Airflow connection in the UI. Finally, you write a DAG that creates an SSH connection to the remote instance.


  • You can use the code example on this page with Apache Airflow v2 and above in Python 3.10.


To use the sample code on this page, you'll need the following:

  • An Amazon MWAA environment.

  • An SSH secret key. The code sample assumes you have an Amazon EC2 instance and a .pem in the same Region as your Amazon MWAA environment. If you don't have a key, see Create or import a key pair in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.


  • No additional permissions are required to use the code example on this page.


Add the following parameter to requirements.txt to install the apache-airflow-providers-ssh package on the web server. Once your environment updates and Amazon MWAA successfully installs the dependency, you will see a new SSH connection type in the UI.

-c apache-airflow-providers-ssh

-c defines the constraints URL in requirements.txt. This ensures that Amazon MWAA installs the correct package version for your environemnt.

Copy your secret key to Amazon S3

Use the following AWS Command Line Interface command to copy your .pem key to your environment's dags directory in Amazon S3.

$ aws s3 cp your-secret-key.pem s3://your-bucket/dags/

Amazon MWAA copies the content in dags, including the .pem key, to the local /usr/local/airflow/dags/ directory, By doing this, Apache Airflow can access the key.

Create a new Apache Airflow connection

To create a new SSH connection using the Apache Airflow UI
  1. Open the Environments page on the Amazon MWAA console.

  2. From the list of environments, choose Open Airflow UI for your environment.

  3. On the Apache Airflow UI page, choose Admin from the top navigation bar to expand the dropdown list, then choose Connections.

  4. On the List Connections page, choose +, or Add a new record button to add a new connection.

  5. On the Add Connection page, add the following information:

    1. For Connection Id, enter ssh_new.

    2. For Connection Type, choose SSH from the dropdown list.


      If the SSH connection type is not available in the list, Amazon MWAA hasn't installed the required apache-airflow-providers-ssh package. Update your requirements.txt file to include this package, then try again.

    3. For Host, enter the IP address for the Amazon EC2 instance that you want to connect to. For example, 12.345.67.89.

    4. For Username, enter ec2-user if you are connecting to an Amazon EC2 instance. Your username might be different, depending on the type of remote instance you want Apache Airflow to connect to.

    5. For Extra, enter the following key-value pair in JSON format:

      { "key_file": "/usr/local/airflow/dags/your-secret-key.pem" }

      This key-value pair instructs Apache Airflow to look for the secret key in the local /dags directory.

Code sample

The following DAG uses the SSHOperator to connect to your target Amazon EC2 instance, then runs the hostname Linux command to print the name of the instnace. You can modify the DAG to run any command or script on the remote instance.

  1. Open a terminal, and navigate to the directory where your DAG code is stored. For example:

    cd dags
  2. Copy the contents of the following code sample and save locally as

    from airflow.decorators import dag from datetime import datetime from airflow.providers.ssh.operators.ssh import SSHOperator @dag( dag_id="ssh_operator_example", schedule_interval=None, start_date=datetime(2022, 1, 1), catchup=False, ) def ssh_dag(): task_1=SSHOperator( task_id="ssh_task", ssh_conn_id='ssh_new', command='hostname', ) my_ssh_dag = ssh_dag()
  3. Run the following AWS CLI command to copy the DAG to your environment's bucket, then trigger the DAG using the Apache Airflow UI.

    $ aws s3 cp s3://your-environment-bucket/dags/
  4. If successful, you'll see output similar to the following in the task logs for ssh_task in the ssh_operator_example DAG:

    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} INFO - Using connection to: id: ssh_new. Host: 12.345.67.89, Port: None,
    Schema: , Login: ec2-user, Password: None, extra: {'key_file': '/usr/local/airflow/dags/your-secret-key.pem'}
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} WARNING - Remote Identification Change is not verified. This won't protect against Man-In-The-Middle attacks
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} WARNING - No Host Key Verification. This won't protect against Man-In-The-Middle attacks
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} INFO - Connected (version 2.0, client OpenSSH_7.4)
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} INFO - Authentication (publickey) successful!
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} INFO - Running command: hostname
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC]{{}} INFO -
    [2022-01-01, 12:00:00 UTC] {{}} INFO - Marking task as SUCCESS. dag_id=ssh_operator_example, task_id=ssh_task, execution_date=20220712T200914, start_date=20220712T200915, end_date=20220712T200916