AWS Command Line Interface

Use AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) to create local AWS resources with LocalStack


The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a unified tool for creating and managing AWS services via a command line interface. All CLI commands applicable to services implemented within LocalStack can be executed when operating against LocalStack.

You can use the AWS CLI with LocalStack using either of the following approaches:


You can install aws by using the following command if it’s not already installed.

$ pip install awscli

You can configure the AWS CLI to redirect AWS API requests to LocalStack using two approaches:

Configuring an endpoint URL

You can use AWS CLI with an endpoint URL by configuring test environment variables and include the --endpoint-url=<localstack-url> flag in your aws CLI commands. For example:

$ export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="test"
$ export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="test"
$ export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION="us-east-1"

$ aws --endpoint-url=http://localhost:4566 kinesis list-streams

Configuring a custom profile

You can configure a custom profile to use with LocalStack. Add the following profile to your AWS configuration file (by default, this file is at ~/.aws/config):

[profile localstack]
endpoint_url = http://localhost:4566

Add the following profile to your AWS credentials file (by default, this file is at ~/.aws/credentials):


You can now use the localstack profile with the aws CLI:

$ aws s3 mb s3://test --profile localstack
$ aws s3 ls --profile localstack

LocalStack AWS CLI (awslocal)

awslocal serves as a thin wrapper and a substitute for the standard aws command, enabling you to run AWS CLI commands within the LocalStack environment without specifying the --endpoint-url parameter or a profile.


Install the awslocal command using the following command:

$ pip install awscli-local[ver1]


The awslocal command shares identical usage with the standard aws command. For comprehensive usage instructions, refer to the manual pages by running awslocal help.

awslocal kinesis list-streams


Variable NameDescription
AWS_ENDPOINT_URLThe endpoint URL to connect to (takes precedence over USE_SSL/LOCALSTACK_HOST)
LOCALSTACK_HOST(deprecated) A variable defining where to find LocalStack (default: localhost:4566)
USE_SSL(deprecated) Whether to use SSL when connecting to LocalStack (default: False)


Please note that there is a known limitation for using the cloudformation package ... command with the AWS CLI v2. The problem is that the AWS CLI v2 is not available as a package on, but is instead shipped as a binary package that cannot be easily patched from awslocal. To work around this issue, you have 2 options:

  • Downgrade to the v1 AWS CLI (this is the recommended approach)
  • There is an unofficial way to install AWS CLI v2 from sources. We do not recommend this, but it is technically possible. Also, you should install these libraries in a Python virtualenv, to avoid version clashes with other libraries on your system:
$ virtualenv .venv
$ . .venv/bin/activate
$ pip install

Please also note there is a known limitation for issuing requests using --no-sign-request with the AWS CLI. LocalStack’s routing mechanism depends on the signature of each request to identify the correct service for the request. Thus, adding the flag --no-sign-requests provokes your request to reach the wrong service. One possible way to address this is to use the awslocal CLI instead of AWS CLI.


Automatic installation of AWS CLI version 2 is currently not supported (at the time of writing there is no official pypi package for v2 available), but the awslocal technically also works with AWS CLI v2 (see this section for more details).

AWS CLI v2 with Docker and LocalStack

By default, the container running amazon/aws-cli is isolated from on the host machine, that means that aws-cli cannot reach localstack through your shell.

To ensure that the two docker containers can communicate create a network on the docker engine:

$ docker network create localstack

Then modify the docker-compose.yml specifying the network to use:

      name: "localstack"

Run AWS Cli v2 docker container using this network (example):

$ docker run --network localstack --rm -it amazon/aws-cli --endpoint-url=http://localstack:4566 lambda list-functions
    "Functions": []

If you use AWS CLI v2 from a docker container often, create an alias:

$ alias laws='docker run --network localstack --rm -it amazon/aws-cli --endpoint-url=http://localstack:4566'

So you can type:

$ laws lambda list-functions
    "Functions": []

Last modified October 16, 2023: rework the aws cli docs (#863) (728ca75c5)