Use the AWS CDK (Cloud Development Kit) with LocalStack



The AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) is an Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) tool using general-purpose programming languages such as TypeScript/JavaScript, Python, Java, and .NET to programmatically define your cloud architecture on AWS.

AWS CDK CLI for LocalStack

cdklocal is a thin wrapper script for using the AWS CDK library against local APIs provided by LocalStack.


The cdklocal command line is published as an npm library:

# Install globally
npm install -g aws-cdk-local aws-cdk

# Verify it installed correctly
cdklocal --version
# e.g. 1.65.5


cdklocal can be used as a drop-in replacement of where you would otherwise use cdk when targeting the AWS Cloud.

$ cdklocal --help


The following environment variables can be configured:

  • AWS_ENDPOINT_URL: The endpoint URL (i.e., protocol, host, and port) to connect to LocalStack (default: http://localhost:4566)
  • LAMBDA_MOUNT_CODE: Whether to use local Lambda code mounting (via setting hot-reload S3 bucket name)


Make sure that LocalStack is installed and successfully started with the required services before running the example

$ curl http://localhost:4566/_localstack/health

The CDK command line ships with a sample app generator to run a quick test for getting started.

# create sample app
mkdir /tmp/test; cd /tmp/test
cdklocal init sample-app --language=javascript

# bootstrap localstack environment
cdklocal bootstrap

# deploy the sample app
cdklocal deploy
> Do you wish to deploy these changes (y/n)? y

Once the deployment is done, you can inspect the created resources via the awslocal command line

$ awslocal sns list-topics
     "Topics": [
             "TopicArn": "arn:aws:sns:us-east-1:000000000000:TestStack-TestTopic339EC197-79F43WWCCS4Z"


Updating CDK stacks

Updating CDK stacks may result in deployment failures and inconsistent state within LocalStack. It is advisable to prioritize re-creating (deleting and re-deploying) over updating stacks. Our focus for this year will be on resolving issues related to the UPDATE support, and continuous improvements can be anticipated in this area throughout 2024.

Stacks with validated certificates

By default, stacks with validated certificates may not be deployed using the local lambda executor. This originates from the way how CDK ensures the certificate is ready - it creates a single-file lambda function with a single dependency on aws-sdk which is usually preinstalled and available globally in lambda runtime. When this lambda is executed locally from the /tmp folder, the package can not be discovered by Node due to the way how Node package resolution works.

Other resources

External resources

Community resources

Last modified May 17, 2024: Add callout shortcode (#1260) (52d305d4e)