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 use LocalStack, a license is required. You can get a license by registering on the LocalStack Web Application.Choose between a 14-day trial or explore additional features with our paid offering. During the trial period, you are welcome to use all the features of LocalStack.

After initiating your trial or acquiring a license, proceed to assign it to a user by following the steps outlined below:

  • Visit the Users & Licenses page.
  • Select a user in the Workspace Members section for license assignment.
  • Define user’s role via the Member Role dropdown. Single users automatically receive the Admin role.
  • Toggle Advanced Permissions to set specific permissions. Single users automatically receive full permissions.
  • Click Save to complete the assignment. Single users assign licenses to themselves.

If you have joined a workspace, you need to be assigned a license by the workspace administrator. In case of switching workspaces or licenses, you need to make sure that you are assigned to the correct license.

To view your own assigned license, visit the My License page. You can further navigate to the Auth Token page to view your Auth Token.

Configuring your Auth Token

LocalStack requires the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable to contain your Auth Token. You can configure your Auth Token in several ways, depending on your use case. The following sections describe the various methods of setting your Auth Token.

Configuring your CI environment

For use in Continuous Integration (CI) or automated test environments, a CI key is necessary.
Refer to our CI documentation for guidance on securely handling secrets, including storing your CI key in these environments.

To configure your CI key, you need to set the LOCALSTACK_API_KEY environment variable to your CI key. You can find your CI key on the CI Keys page in the LocalStack Web Application.

LocalStack CLI

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.


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.

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 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
$ Invoke-WebRequest -Uri http://localhost:4566/_localstack/info | ConvertFrom-Json

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`.

The key activation in LocalStack may fail for several reasons, and the most common ones are listed below in this section.

Missing Credentials

You need to provide either an Auth Token or an API Key to start the LocalStack Pro image successfully. You can find your Auth Token or API Key on the Auth Token page or the Legacy API Key page in the LocalStack Web Application.

If you are using the localstack CLI, you can set the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable to your Auth Token or use the following command to set it up:

$ localstack auth set-token <YOUR_AUTH_TOKEN>

Invalid License

The issue may occur if there is no valid license linked to your account due to expiration or if the license has not been assigned. You can check your license status in the LocalStack Web Application on the My License page.

License Server Unreachable

LocalStack initiates offline activation when the license server is unreachable, requiring re-activation every 24 hours. Log output may indicate issues with your machine resolving the LocalStack API domain, which can be verified using a tool like dig:

$ dig

If the result shows a status other than status: NOERROR, your machine is unable to resolve this domain. Certain corporate DNS servers may filter requests to specific domains. Kindly reach out to your network administrator to safelist domain.

If you have any further problems concerning your license activation, or if the steps do not help, do not hesitate to contact us.