AWS Systems Manager
User Guide

Configuring Inventory Collection

This section describes how to configure inventory collection on one or more managed instances by using the Systems Manager console. This section also describes how to aggregate inventory data from multiple AWS accounts and Regions in a single Amazon S3 bucket by using Systems Manager Resource Data Sync. For an example of how to configure inventory collection by using the AWS CLI, see Systems Manager Inventory Walkthroughs.

Before You Begin

Before you configure inventory collection, complete the following tasks.

  • Update SSM Agent on the instances you want to inventory. By running the latest version of SSM Agent, you ensure that you can collect metadata for all supported inventory types. For information about how to update SSM Agent by using State Manager, see Automatically Update SSM Agent (CLI).

  • Verify that your instances meet Systems Manager prerequisites. For more information, see Systems Manager Prerequisites.

  • (Optional) Create a JSON file to collect custom inventory. For more information, see Working with Custom Inventory.

Configuring Collection

This section includes information about how to configure Systems Manager Inventory to collect metadata from your managed instances by using the Systems Manager console. You can quickly collect metadata from all instances in a specific AWS account (and any future instances that might be created in that account) or you can selectively collect Inventory data by using tags or instance IDs.


When you configure inventory collection, you start by creating a Systems Manager State Manager association. Systems Manager collects the inventory data when the association is run. If you don't create the association first, and attempt to invoke the aws:softwareInventory plugin by using, for example, Run Command, the system returns the following error:

The aws:softwareInventory plugin can only be invoked via ssm-associate.

Also note that an instance can have only have one Inventory association configured at a time. If you configure an instance with two or more associations, the association doesn't run and no inventory data is collected.

To configure inventory collection

  1. Open the AWS Systems Manager console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Inventory.


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

  3. Choose Setup Inventory.

  4. In the Targets section, identify the instances where you want to run this operation by choosing one of the following.

    • Selecting all managed instances in this account - This option selects all managed instances for which there is no existing inventory association. If you choose this option, instances that already had inventory associations are skipped during inventory collection, and shown with a status of Skipped in inventory results. For more information, see Inventory All Managed Instances in Your AWS Account.

    • Specifying a tag - This option lets you specify a single tag to identify instances in your account from which you want to collect inventory. If you use a tag, any instances created in the future with the same tag will also report inventory. If there is an existing inventory association with all instances, using a tag to select specific instances as a target for a different inventory overrides instance membership in the All managed instances target group. Instances with the specified tag are skipped on future inventory collection from All managed instances.

    • Manually selecting instances - This option lets you choose specific managed instances in your account. Explicitly choosing specific instances by using this option overrides inventory associations on the All managed instances target. The instance is skipped on future inventory collection from All managed instances.

  5. In the Schedule section, choose how often you want the system to collect inventory metadata from your instances.

  6. In the Parameters section, use the lists to enable or disable different types of inventory collection. See the following samples if you want to create an inventory search for Files or the Windows Registry.


    • On Linux, collect metadata of .sh files in the /home/ec2-user directory, excluding all subdirectories.

      [{"Path":"/home/ec2-user","Pattern":["*.sh", "*.sh"],"Recursive":false}]
    • On Windows, collect metadata of all ".exe" files in the Program Files folder, including subdirectories recursively.

      [{"Path":"C:\Program Files","Pattern":["*.exe"],"Recursive":true}]
    • On Windows, collect metadata of specific log patterns.

    • Limit the directory count when performing recursive collection.

      [{"Path":"C:\Users","Pattern":["*.ps1"],"Recursive":true, "DirScanLimit": 1000}]

    Windows Registry

    • Collect all keys and values recursively for a specific path.

      [{"Path":"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Amazon","Recursive": true}]
    • Collect all keys and values for a specific path (recursive search disabled).

      [{"Path":"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Intel\PSIS\PSIS_DECODER", "Recursive": false}]
    • Collect a specific key by using the ValueNames option.


    For more information about collecting File and Windows Registry inventory, see Working with File and Windows Registry Inventory.

  7. In the Advanced section, choose Sync inventory execution logs to an S3 bucket if you want to store the association execution status in an Amazon S3 bucket.

  8. Choose Setup Inventory. Systems Manager creates a State Manager association and immediately runs Inventory on the instances.

  9. In the navigation pane, choose State Manager. Verify that a new association was created that uses the AWS-GatherSoftwareInventory document. Also, verify that the Status field shows Success. If you chose the option to Sync inventory execution logs to an S3 bucket, then you can view the log data in Amazon S3 after a few minutes. If you want to view inventory data for a specific instance, then choose Managed Instances in the navigation pane.

  10. Choose an instance, and then choose View details.

  11. On the instance details page, choose Inventory. Use the Inventory type lists to filter the inventory.

After you configure Inventory collection, we recommend that you configure Systems Manager Resource Data Sync. Resource Data Sync centralizes all Inventory data in a target Amazon S3 bucket and automatically updates the central storage when new Inventory data is collected. With all Inventory data stored in a target Amazon S3 bucket, you can then use services like Amazon Athena and Amazon QuickSight to query and analyze the aggregated data. For more information, see Configuring Resource Data Sync for Inventory.

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