Auth Token

Configure your Auth Token to start LocalStack


The Auth Token is a personal identifier used for user authentication outside the LocalStack Web Application, particularly in conjunction with the LocalStack core cloud emulator. Its primary functions are to retrieve the user’s license and enable access to advanced features, effectively replacing the older developer API keys.

The Auth Token remains unchanged unless manually rotated by the user, regardless of any license assignment changes. You can locate your Auth Token on the Getting Started page or the Auth Token page in the LocalStack Web Application.

Managing your License

To begin using LocalStack, a license is required. If you don’t already have a license, you can opt for a free 14-day trial by signing up here, with no credit card required. This trial allows full access to all LocalStack features.

For license management, assign licenses to users via the Users & Licenses page. To view your own assigned license, visit the My License page.

Starting LocalStack via CLI

LocalStack requires the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable to contain your Auth Token. You should set the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable either before or during the startup of LocalStack using the localstack command-line interface (CLI).

localstack start
$env:LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN="<YOUR_AUTH_TOKEN>"; localstack start

You have the option to run your LocalStack container in the background by appending the -d flag to the localstack start command.

The localstack CLI automatically detects the Auth Token and appropriately conveys it to the LocalStack container.

Starting LocalStack via Docker

To start LocalStack via Docker, you need to provide the Auth Token using the -e flag, which is used for setting environment variables.

$ docker run \
  --rm -it \
  -p 4566:4566 \
  -p 4510-4559:4510-4559 \

For more information about starting LocalStack with Docker, take a look at our Docker installation guide.

Starting LocalStack via Docker-Compose

To start LocalStack using docker-compose, you have to include the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable in your docker-compose.yml file:


You can manually set the Auth Token, or use the export command to establish the Auth Token in your current shell session. This ensures the Auth Token is transmitted to your LocalStack container, enabling key activation.

To ensure that LocalStack only starts when you can activate LocalStack Pro/Team/Enterprise, set ACTIVATE_PRO=1 in your environment. This is set to true by default if using the localstack/localstack-pro container image. If set to 1, LocalStack will fail to start if the license key activation did not work. If set to 0, an attempt is made to start LocalStack without any licensed features.

To avoid logging any licensing-related error messages, set LOG_LICENSE_ISSUES=0 in your environment. Refer to our configuration guide for more information.

Checking license activation

The simplest method to verify if LocalStack is active is by querying the health endpoint for a list of running services:

$ curl http://localhost:4566/_localstack/info | jq

The following output would be retrieved:

  "version": "3.0.0:6dd3f3d",
  "edition": "pro",
  "is_license_activated": true,
  "session_id": "7132da5f-a380-44ca-8897-6f0fdfd7b1c9",
  "machine_id": "0c49752c",
  "system": "linux",
  "is_docker": true,
  "server_time_utc": "2023-11-21T05:41:33",
  "uptime": 161

You can notice the edition field is set to pro and the is_license_activated field is set to true. Another way to confirm this is by checking the logs of the LocalStack container for a message indicating successful license activation:

[...] Successfully activated license

Otherwise, check our collected most common activation issues.

Rotating the Auth Token

Your personal Auth Token provides full access to your workspace and LocalStack license. It’s important to treat auth tokens as confidential, avoiding sharing or storing them in source control management systems (SCMs) like Git.

If you believe your Auth Token has been compromised or becomes known to someone else, reset it without delay. When you reset a token, the old one is immediately deactivated, losing its ability to access your license or workspace. It is not possible to restore previous tokens.

To rotate your Auth Token, go to the Auth Token page and select the Reset Auth Token option.

Common activation issues

Starting from version 2.0.0, the localstack/localstack-pro image in LocalStack demands a successful license activation for startup. If the activation of the license is unsuccessful, LocalStack will exit and display error messages.

License activation failed! 🔑❌

Reason: The credentials defined in your environment are invalid. Please make sure to either set the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN variable to a valid auth token, or the LOCALSTACK_API_KEY variable to a valid LocalStack API key. You can find your auth token or API key in the LocalStack web app

Due to this error, Localstack has quit. LocalStack pro features can only be used with a valid license.

- Please check that your credentials are set up correctly and that you have an active license.
  You can find your credentials in our webapp at
- If you want to continue using LocalStack without pro features you can set `ACTIVATE_PRO=0`.

Key activation in LocalStack can fail for several reasons:

  • Missing Credentials: Using the localstack/localstack-pro image typically requires an Auth Token or a legacy API key.
  • Invalid License: This occurs if there’s no valid license linked to your account, possibly due to expiration.
  • License Server Unreachable: LocalStack attempts offline activation if the license server is inaccessible, but this necessitates re-activation every 24 hours.

If you’re using the localstack/localstack-pro image but are unable to activate your license, consider switching to the community version, localstack/localstack. If switching isn’t feasible, setting ACTIVATE_PRO=0 will try to start LocalStack without the Pro features.

Navigate to our FAQ page if your are having troubles with the LocalStack license activation. If you have any further problems concerning your license activation, or if the steps do not help, do not hesitate to contact us.

Last modified November 21, 2023: post v3 release docs (#923) (0a27cb348)