Amazon-web-services – How to use multiple AWS accounts from the command line

amazon ec2amazon-web-servicesaws-cli

I've got two different apps that I am hosting (well the second one is about to go up) on Amazon EC2.

How can I work with both accounts at the command line (Mac OS X) but keep the EC2 keys & certificates separate? Do I need to change my environment variables before each ec2-* command?

Would using an alias and having it to the setting of the environment in-line work? Something like:

alias ec2-describe-instances1 = export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=/path; ec2-describe-instances

Best Answer

You can work with two accounts by creating two profiles on the aws command line. It will prompt you for your AWS Access Key ID, AWS Secret Access Key and desired region, so have them ready.


$ aws configure --profile account1
$ aws configure --profile account2

You can then switch between the accounts by passing the profile on the command.

$ aws dynamodb list-tables --profile account1
$ aws s3 ls --profile account2


If you name the profile to be default it will become default profile i.e. when no --profile param in the command.

More on default profile

If you spend more time using account1, you can make it the default by setting the AWS_DEFAULT_PROFILE environment variable. When the default environment variable is set, you do not need to specify the profile on each command.

Linux, OS X Example:

$ export AWS_DEFAULT_PROFILE=account1
$ aws dynamodb list-tables

Windows Example:

$ set AWS_DEFAULT_PROFILE=account1
$ aws s3 ls
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