AWS Systems Manager
User Guide

Start a Session

You can use the AWS Systems Manager console or the AWS CLI to start a session.

Starting a Session (Console)

You can use the AWS Systems Manager console to start a session with an instance in your account.

To start a session (console)

  1. Open the AWS Systems Manager console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Session Manager.


    If the AWS Systems Manager home page opens first, choose the menu icon ( ) to open the navigation pane, and then choose Session Manager in the navigation pane.

  3. Choose Start session.

  4. For Target instances, choose the option button to the left of the instance you want to connect to.

    If an instance you want to connect to is not in the list, or is listed but an error message reports, "The instance you selected is not configured to use Session Manager," see Instance Not Available or Not Configured for Session Manager for troubleshooting steps.

  5. Choose Start session.

After the connection is made, you can run bash commands (Linux) or PowerShell commands (Windows) as you would through any other connection type.

Starting a Session (AWS CLI)

To start a session using the AWS CLI, run the following command:


To use the AWS CLI to run session commands, the Session Manager plugin must also be installed on your local machine. For information, see (Optional) Install the Session Manager Plugin for the AWS CLI.

aws ssm start-session --target instance-id

instance-id represents of the ID of an instance configured for use with AWS Systems Manager and its Session Manager capability.

For information about other options you can use with the start-session command, see start-session in the AWS Systems Manager section of the AWS CLI Command Reference.