Running API Gateway locally - AWS Serverless Application Model

Running API Gateway locally

Use the sam local start-api command to start a local instance of API Gateway that you will use to test HTTP request/response functionality. This functionality features hot reloading to enable you to quickly develop and iterate over your functions.


"Hot reloading" is when only the files that changed are refreshed without losing the state of the application. In contrast, "live reloading" is when the entire application is refreshed, such that the state of the application is lost.

You must execute sam local start-api in the project directory containing the function you want to invoke.

By default, AWS SAM uses Lambda proxy integrations, and supports both HttpApi and Api resource types. For more information about proxy integrations for HttpApi resource types, see Working with Lambda proxy integrations for HTTP APIs. For more information about proxy integrations with Api resource types, see Understand API Gateway Lambda proxy integration.


sam local start-api

AWS SAM automatically finds any functions within your AWS SAM template that have HttpApi or Api event sources defined. Then, it mounts them at the defined HTTP paths.

This animation shows running API Gateway locally using Microsoft Visual Studio Code:

In the following Api example, the Ratings function mounts at /ratings for GET requests:

Ratings: Type: AWS::Serverless::Function Properties: Handler: ratings.handler Runtime: python3.6 Events: Api: Type: Api Properties: Path: /ratings Method: get

Here is an example Api response:

// Example of a Proxy Integration response exports.handler = (event, context, callback) => { callback(null, { statusCode: 200, headers: { "x-custom-header" : "my custom header value" }, body: "hello world" }); }

Environment Variable File

You can use the --env-vars argument with the invoke or start-api commands to provide a JSON file that contains values to override the environment variables already defined in your function template. You can structure the file as follows:

{ "MyFunction1": { "TABLE_NAME": "localtable", "BUCKET_NAME": "testBucket" }, "MyFunction2": { "TABLE_NAME": "localtable", "STAGE": "dev" }, }

Alternatively, your environment file can contain a single Parameters entry with the environment variables for all functions. Note that you can't mix this format with the example above.

{ "Parameters": { "TABLE_NAME": "localtable", "BUCKET_NAME": "testBucket", "STAGE": "dev" } }

Save your environment variables in a file named env.json. The following command uses this file to override the included environment variables:

sam local start-api --env-vars env.json


If your application includes layers, see Working with layers for more information about how to debug layers issues on your local host.