SSM document syntax - AWS Systems Manager

SSM document syntax

The syntax of your document is defined by the schema version used to create it. We recommended that you use schema version 2.2 or later for command documents. Automation documents use schema version 0.3. Additionally, Automation documents support the use of Markdown, a markup language, which allows you to add wiki-style descriptions to documents and individual steps within the document. For more information about using Markdown, see Using Markdown in AWS.

The top-level elements provide the structure of the SSM document. The information in this topic pertains to Command and Automation SSM documents.

Top-level elements


The schema version to use.

Type: Version

Required: Yes


Information you provide to describe the purpose of the document.

Type: String

Required: No


A structure that defines the parameters the document accepts. For parameters that you reference often, we recommend that you store those parameters in Systems Manager Parameter Store and then reference them. You can reference String and StringList Parameter Store parameters in this section of a document. You can't reference SecureString Parameter Store parameters in this section of a document. You can reference a Parameter Store parameter using the following format:


For more information about Parameter Store, see AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store.

Type: Structure

The parameters structure accepts the following fields and values:

  • type: (Required) Allowed values include the following: String, StringList, Boolean, MapList, and StringMap. To view examples of each type, see SSM document parameter type examples in the next section.


    To use a number as a parameter value, use String as the parameter type.

  • description: (Optional) A description of the parameter.

  • default: (Optional) The default value of the parameter or a reference to a parameter in Parameter Store.

  • allowedValues: (Optional) An array of values allowed for the parameter. Defining allowed values for the parameter validates the user input. If a user inputs a value that is not allowed, the execution fails to start.

    DirectoryType: type: String description: "(Required) The directory type to launch." default: AwsMad allowedValues: - AdConnector - AwsMad - SimpleAd
    "DirectoryType": { "type": "String", "description": "(Required) The directory type to launch.", "default": "AwsMad", "allowedValues": [ "AdConnector", "AwsMad", "SimpleAd" ] }
  • allowedPattern: (Optional) A regular expression that validates whether the user input matches the defined pattern for the parameter. If the user input does not match the allowed pattern, the execution fails to start.


    In SSM documents, the allowedPattern field supports the Google re2 regex syntax, which does not include support for lookaround.

    InstanceId: type: String description: "(Required) The instance ID to target." allowedPattern: "^i-[a-z0-9]{8,17}$" default: ''
    "InstanceId": { "type": "String", "description": "(Required) The instance ID to target.", "allowedPattern": "^i-[a-z0-9]{8,17}$", "default": "" }
  • displayType: (Optional) Used to display either a textfield or a textarea in the AWS Management Console. textfield is a single-line text box. textarea is a multi-line text area.

  • minItems: (Optional) The minimum number of items allowed.

  • maxItems: (Optional) The maximum number of items allowed.

  • minChars: (Optional) The minimum number of parameter characters allowed.

  • maxChars: (Optional) The maximum number of parameter characters allowed.

Required: No


(Schema version 1.2 only) The configuration for the instance as applied by one or more Systems Manager plugins. Plugins are not guaranteed to run in sequence.

Type: Dictionary<string,PluginConfiguration>

Required: No


(Schema version 0.3, 2.0, and 2.2 only) An object that can include multiple steps (plugins). Plugins are defined within steps. Steps run in sequential order as listed in the document.

Type: Dictionary<string,PluginConfiguration>

Required: Yes


(Schema version 0.3 only) Data generated by the execution of this document that can be used in other processes. For example, if your document creates a new AMI, you might specify "CreateImage.ImageId" as the output value, and then use this output to create new instances in a subsequent automation execution. For more information about outputs, see Working with inputs and outputs.

Type: Dictionary<string,OutputConfiguration>

Required: No


(Schema version 0.3 only) The script files (and their checksums) attached to the document and run during an automation execution. Applies only to documents that include the aws:executeScript action and for which attachments have been specified in one or more steps.

For script runtime support, Automation documents currently support scripts for Python 3.6, Python 3.7, and PowerShell Core 6.0. For more information about including scripts in Automation documents, see Creating runbooks that run scripts and Walkthrough: Using Document Builder to create a custom runbook.

When you create an Automation document, or playbook, you specify attachment files using the --attachments option (for AWS CLI) or Attachments (for API and SDK). You can specify the file location for both local files and files stored in Amazon S3 buckets.

--- files: checksums: sha256: 18871b1311b295c43d0f...[truncated]...772da97b67e99d84d342ef4aEXAMPLE
"files": { "": { "checksums": { "sha256": "18871b1311b295c43d0f...[truncated]...772da97b67e99d84d342ef4aEXAMPLE" } } }

Type: Dictionary<string,FilesConfiguration>

Required: No

SSM document parameter type examples

Parameter types in SSM documents are static. This means the parameter type can't be changed after it is defined. When using parameters with SSM document plugins, the type of a parameter can't be dynamically changed within a plugin's input. For example, you can't reference an Integer parameter within the runCommand input of the aws:runShellScript plugin because this input accepts a string or list of strings. To use a parameter for a plugin input, the parameter type must match the accepted type. For example, you must specify a Boolean type parameter for the allowDowngrade input of the aws:updateSsmAgent plugin. If your parameter type doesn't match the input type for a plugin, the SSM document fails to validate and the system doesn't create the document.

When using parameters with SSM Automation actions, parameter types aren't validated when you create the SSM document in most cases. Only when you use the aws:runCommand action are parameter types validated when you create the SSM document. In all other cases, the parameter validation occurs during the automation execution when an action's input is verified before running the action. For example, if your input parameter is a String and you reference it as the value for the MaxInstanceCount input of the aws:runInstances action, the SSM document is created. However, when running the document, the automation fails while validating the aws:runInstances action because the MaxInstanceCount input requires an Integer.

The following are examples of each parameter type.


A sequence of zero or more Unicode characters wrapped in quotation marks. For example, "i-1234567890abcdef0". Use backslashes to escape.

--- InstanceId: type: String description: "(Required) The target EC2 instance ID."
"InstanceId":{ "type":"String", "description":"(Required) The target EC2 instance ID." }

A list of String items separated by commas. For example, ["cd ~", "pwd"].

--- commands: type: StringList description: "(Required) Specify a shell script or a command to run." minItems: 1 displayType: textarea
"commands":{ "type":"StringList", "description":"(Required) Specify a shell script or a command to run.", "minItems":1, "displayType":"textarea" }

Accepts only true or false. Does not accept "true" or 0.

--- canRun: type: Boolean description: '' default: true
"canRun": { "type": "Boolean", "description": "", "default": true }

Integral numbers. Doesn't accept decimal numbers, for example 3.14159, or numbers wrapped in quotation marks, for example "3".

--- timeout: type: Integer description: The type of action to perform. default: 100
"timeout": { "type": "Integer", "description": "The type of action to perform.", "default": 100 }

A mapping of keys to values. A key can only be a string. For example, {"Env": "Prod"}.

--- notificationConfig: type: StringMap description: The configuration for events to be notified about default: NotificationType: Command NotificationEvents: - Failed NotificationArn: "$dependency.topicArn" maxChars: 150
"notificationConfig" : { "type" : "StringMap", "description" : "The configuration for events to be notified about", "default" : { "NotificationType" : "Command", "NotificationEvents" : ["Failed"], "NotificationArn" : "$dependency.topicArn" }, "maxChars" : 150 }

A list of StringMap items.

blockDeviceMappings: type: MapList description: The mappings for the create image inputs default: - DeviceName: "/dev/sda1" Ebs: VolumeSize: '50' - DeviceName: "/dev/sdm" Ebs: VolumeSize: '100' maxItems: 2
"blockDeviceMappings":{ "type":"MapList", "description":"The mappings for the create image inputs", "default":[ { "DeviceName":"/dev/sda1", "Ebs":{ "VolumeSize":"50" } }, { "DeviceName":"/dev/sdm", "Ebs":{ "VolumeSize":"100" } } ], "maxItems":2 }