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What is AWS CLI? Know its Applications and Benefits

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In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing, managing AWS services efficiently is paramount for organizations seeking to optimize their operations and leverage the full potential of the cloud. Enter the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), a versatile tool that empowers users to interact with AWS services directly from the command line. The AWS CLI streamlines cloud operations, enhances automation, and facilitates integration with DevOps workflows by offering a unified platform for managing and monitoring AWS resources.

Ready to take your AWS management skills to the next level? Explore the power of the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and revolutionize your cloud operations today. Whether you’re a developer looking to automate tasks, an administrator seeking greater control over AWS resources, or a DevOps professional aiming to streamline workflows, the AWS CLI is your ultimate solution. Visit


What is AWS CLI?

AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) is a unified tool to manage and monitor all your AWS services from a terminal session on your client.

Although most AWS services can be managed through the AWS Management Console or via the APIs, there is a third way that can be very useful: the Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). AWS has enabled Linux, MacOS, and Windows users to manage the primary AWS services from a local terminal session’s command line. So, with a single-step installation and minimal configuration, you can start using all of the functionalities provided by the AWS Management Console using the terminal program. That would be:


  • Linux shells: You can use command shell programs like bash and zsh to run commands in operating systems like Linux, macOS, or Unix


  • Windows Command Line: On Windows, you can run commands in PowerShell or the Windows command prompt


  • Remotely: You can run commands on Amazon EC2 instances through a remote terminal such as PuTTY or SSH. You can even use AWS Systems Manager to automate operational tasks across your AWS resources


Apart from this, it also provides direct access to AWS services and public APIs. In addition to the low-level API equivalent commands, the AWS CLI offers customization for several services.


Importance of AWS CLI

AWS CLI streamlines cloud operations, offering a unified toolset for managing AWS services. Its automation capabilities enhance efficiency, enabling intricate resource control and facilitating integration with DevOps workflows. Essential for both developers and administrators, AWS CLI ensures optimized, secure, and cost-effective cloud management.


Here are the key points that highlight the importance of AWS CLI, as follows:



  • Unified toolset: AWS CLI offers a consolidated interface for interacting with almost all AWS services. Users don’t need to switch between different service-specific tools or interfaces.


  • Automation and efficiency: It enables scripting of repetitive tasks, turning multi-step processes into single commands. It also automates backups, data migrations, or resource provisioning, saving time and reducing human errors.


  • Platform agnostic: AWS CLI is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Additionally, its cross-platform nature ensures consistent experiences across various environments.


  • Enhanced productivity: It streamlines AWS operations, allowing users to execute tasks directly from the Command Line without the overhead of a Graphical User Interface. Additionally, it facilitates bulk operations, like batch file uploads to S3 or mass EC2 instance management.


  • Integrating with DevOps: It seamlessly integrates with popular DevOps tools and practices. It also provides the foundation for infrastructure-as-code practices with AWS services.


  • Granular control: It offers more detailed control over AWS resources than the AWS Management Console, empowering users to customize their AWS environment intricately.


  • Cost management: It supports commands that help monitor and manage costs, like querying billing information. It also allows scripting to shut down unused resources or scale resources based on demand, leading to potential cost savings.


  • Security: It facilitates the management of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles and permissions from the Command Line, ensuring resource access is appropriately restricted. AWS CLI supports command logging, which can be essential for auditing and compliance.


  • Continuous learning and improvement: AWS CLI users tend to gain deeper insights into AWS operations and best practices, enhancing their overall AWS expertise.


  • Global operations: Users can easily switch between different AWS regions, simplifying managing and deploying resources on a global scale.


  • Flexibility in output formats: AWS CLI offers different output formats like JSON, text, and table, catering to various user preferences and needs for downstream processing or integration.


Uses of AWS CLI

Below are some compelling reasons to start with the AWS Command Line Interface.


  1. Easy Installation

Before AWS CLI was introduced, installing toolkits like old AWS API involved too many complex steps. Users had to set up multiple environment variables. However, the AWS Command Line Interface installation is quick, simple, and standardized.


  1. Saves Time

Despite being user-friendly, the AWS Management Console is quite a hassle sometimes. Suppose you are trying to find a large Amazon S3 folder. You have to log in to your account, search for the right S3 bucket, find the correct folder, and look for the suitable file. But with AWS CLI, the tasks will take just a few seconds if you know the correct command.


  1. Automates Processes

AWS CLI allows you to automate the entire process of controlling and managing AWS services through scripts. These scripts make it easy for users to automate cloud infrastructure fully.


  1. Supports all Amazon Web Services

Before AWS CLI, users needed a dedicated CLI tool for just the EC2 service. It worked adequately, but it didn’t let users control other Amazon Web Services, like, for instance, the AWS RDS (Relational Database Service). However, AWS CLI lets you control all the services from a straightforward tool.


Application of AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a powerful tool allowing users to interact directly with various AWS services from the command line. Here are some typical applications of the AWS CLI:


  1. Automation and Scripting: The AWS CLI enables users to automate tasks and create scripts for managing AWS resources. This is particularly useful for provisioning infrastructure, managing EC2 instances, configuring S3 buckets, and automating deployments.


  1. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Users can integrate AWS resource provisioning into their Infrastructure as Code workflows with the AWS CLI. By combining the AWS CLI with tools like Terraform or AWS CloudFormation, users can define and manage their infrastructure in a declarative and repeatable manner.


  1. Managing EC2 Instances: Users can use the AWS CLI to manage Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, including launching, terminating, starting, stopping, and describing instances. This provides flexibility and control over virtual server instances running in the AWS cloud.


  1. S3 Bucket Operations: The AWS CLI allows users to interact with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets, such as creating buckets, uploading and downloading files, setting permissions, and listing bucket contents. This makes it easy to manage object storage in AWS.


  1. Managing IAM Users and Policies: Administrators can use the AWS CLI to manage Identity and Access Management (IAM) users, roles, policies, and permissions. This includes creating and deleting users, assigning policies, and managing access keys.


  1. Working with AWS Lambda: Developers can use the AWS CLI to create, update, and manage AWS Lambda functions. This includes deploying code, configuring triggers, setting environment variables, and managing function versions.


  1. Monitoring and Logging: The AWS CLI provides commands for working with AWS CloudWatch, allowing users to retrieve metrics, create alarms, and view logs for various AWS services. This enables monitoring and troubleshooting of AWS resources and applications.


  1. Database Management: Users can use the AWS CLI to interact with Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) instances, including creating, modifying, and deleting database instances, as well as performing backups and restores.


  1. Container Orchestration with ECS and EKS: The AWS CLI supports Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), allowing users to manage containers and Kubernetes clusters, including tasks, services, and deployments.


  1. Cost Management: Users can use the AWS CLI to retrieve cost and usage data from AWS Cost Explorer, allowing for cost analysis and optimization efforts.



In conclusion, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) emerges as a game-changing tool in cloud computing, empowering users to manage and monitor AWS services with unparalleled efficiency and flexibility. Its unified interface, automation capabilities, and seamless integration with DevOps workflows make it indispensable for organizations seeking to optimize their cloud operations and drive innovation.

By leveraging the AWS CLI, users can streamline infrastructure management, automate repetitive tasks, and gain granular control over AWS resources, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity, cost savings, and security. As cloud computing continues to reshape the technological landscape, embracing tools like the AWS CLI becomes imperative for staying competitive and unlocking the full potential of the cloud.




  1. What operating systems does the AWS CLI support?

The AWS CLI is compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems, ensuring a consistent experience across different environments.


  1. Can we automate tasks using the AWS CLI?

The AWS CLI enables users to automate tasks and create scripts for managing AWS resources, streamlining operations, and increasing efficiency.


  1. How does the AWS CLI contribute to cost management?

The AWS CLI supports commands for monitoring and managing costs, allowing users to retrieve cost and usage data, analyze spending patterns, and optimize resource utilization for cost savings.

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