Cloud Pods

Get started with Cloud Pods to manage the state of your LocalStack instance state


Cloud pods are persistent state snapshots of your LocalStack instance that can easily be stored, versioned, shared, and restored. Cloud Pods can be used for various purposes, such as:

  • Save and manage snapshots of active LocalStack instances.
  • Share state snapshots with your team to debug collectively.
  • Automate your testing pipelines by pre-seeding CI environments.
  • Create reproducible development and testing environments locally.
Cloud Pods Web UI


You can save and load the persistent state of Cloud Pods, you can use the Cloud Pods command-line interface (CLI). LocalStack provides a remote storage backend that can be used to store the state of your running application and share it with your team members. You can interact with the Cloud Pods over the storage backend via the LocalStack Web Application.

Cloud Pods CLI is included in the LocalStack CLI installation, so there’s no need for additional installations to begin using it. If you’re a licensed user, we suggest setting the LOCALSTACK_AUTH_TOKEN as an environment variable. This enables you to access the complete range of LocalStack Cloud Pods features.

You can access the Cloud Pods CLI by running the pod command from your terminal.

$ localstack pod --help
Usage: localstack pod [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...
Manage the state of your instance via Cloud Pods. Options: -h, --help Show this message and exit. Commands: delete Delete a Cloud Pod inspect list List all available Cloud Pods load remote Manage cloud pod remotes save Create a new Cloud Pod versions

Getting started

This guide is designed for users new to Cloud Pods and assumes basic knowledge of the LocalStack CLI and our awslocal wrapper script.

Start your LocalStack container using your preferred method. We will demonstrate how you can save a snapshot of your active LocalStack instance into your LocalStack account, and pull it to a running instance.

Create AWS resources

You can use the awslocal CLI to create new AWS resources within your active LocalStack instance. For example, you can create an S3 bucket and add data to it using the awslocal CLI:

$ awslocal s3 mb s3://test
$ echo "hello world" > /tmp/hello-world
$ awslocal s3 cp /tmp/hello-world s3://test/hello-world
$ awslocal s3 ls s3://test/

Save your Cloud Pod state

You can now save your Pod state using the save command, specifying the desired Cloud Pod name as the first argument. This action will save the pod and register it with the LocalStack Web Application:

$ localstack pod save s3-test
Cloud Pod `s3-test` successfully created βœ… Version: 1 Remote: platform Services: s3

Optionally, you can include a message with the saved Cloud Pod using the --message flag.

You can access the list of available Cloud Pods for both you and your organization by utilizing the list command:

$ localstack pod list
┏━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┓ ┃ Name ┃ Max Version ┃ Last Change ┃ ┑━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┩ β”‚ s3-test β”‚ 1 β”‚ 2024-01-04 11:03:00 β”‚ β””β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜

With the save command you can create multiple versions of a Cloud Pod. For instance, let us create a SQS queue and second version of s3-test.

$ awslocal sqs create-queue --queue-name test-queue

$ localstack pod save s3-test
Cloud Pod `s3-test` successfully created βœ… Version: 2 Remote: platform Services: s3,sqs

We can now use the command versions to list all the created version for a Cloud Pod.

$ localstack pod versions s3-test
┏━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━┳━━━━━━━━━━━━━┓ ┃ Version ┃ Creation Date ┃ LocalStack Version ┃ Services ┃ Description ┃ ┑━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━╇━━━━━━━━━━━━━┩ β”‚ 1 β”‚ 2024-01-04 11:03:00 β”‚ 3.1.1. β”‚ s3 β”‚ β”‚ β”‚ 2 β”‚ 2024-02-28 14:01:45 β”‚ 3.1.1. β”‚ s3,sqs β”‚ β”‚ β””β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”΄β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜

Pull your Pod state

On a separate machine, start LocalStack while ensuring the auth token is properly configured. Then, retrieve the previously created Cloud Pod by employing the load command, specifying the Cloud Pod name as the first argument:

$ localstack pod load s3-test
Cloud Pod s3-test successfully loaded

You can examine the S3 buckets within the Cloud Pod:

$ awslocal s3 ls s3://test/
2022-10-04 22:33:54 12 hello-world

You can also load a specific version by appending a version number to the pod name after a colon. If not specified, the latest version will be loaded.

$ localstack pod load s3-test:1
Cloud Pod s3-test:1 successfully loaded

After loading the Cloud Pod’s content, you can use the state inspect command to observe the state of the running LocalStack instance.

$ localstack state inspect --format json
{ "000000000000": { "S3": { "global": { "listBuckets": { "Buckets": [ { "Name": "test", "CreationDate": "2023-10-03T07:19:31.000Z" } ], } } } } }

For comprehensive instructions, navigate to our Command-Line Interface (CLI) Guide. To access your Cloud Pods through the LocalStack Web Application, navigate to the Cloud Pods browser.

Web Application

The LocalStack Web Application enables you to :

  • Browse your Cloud Pods and access your version history.
  • Export & import Cloud Pods to and from LocalStack instances.

Browse Cloud Pods

Cloud Pods Browser allows you to view, manage, and explore your Cloud Pods through the LocalStack Web Application. With Cloud Pods, you can have individual or shared ownership of a snapshot of your LocalStack instance.

LocalStack Web Application's Cloud Pods Browser outlining various saved Clod Pods

The Cloud Pods Browser provides the following functionalities:

  • View Cloud Pods: View all Cloud Pods saved by you or your organization.
  • View Versions: View the version history of a Cloud Pod and access previous versions of specific Cloud Pods by clicking on the Cloud Pod’s name.
  • View Cloud Pod Details: View the details of a specific Cloud Pod version by clicking on the version.
  • View Cloud Pod storage: View the organization storage usage and user storage usage on top of the Cloud Pods Browser.
  • Delete Cloud Pod: Delete a Cloud Pod by selecting the Cloud Pod and navigating to the Actions button, followed by Delete.

Export & Import Cloud Pods

You can export and import your LocalStack infrastructure state as a Cloud Pod using the LocalStack Web Application. This feature is particularly useful when you need to use a user-friendly interface to manage your Cloud Pods, without the need to interact with the CLI.

LocalStack Export/Import State Cloud Pod Mode

Export the State

To export the state, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Cloud Pod tab within the Export/Import State page.
  2. Create AWS resources locally as needed.
  3. Enter the Pod name and toggle between the New Pod and Existing Pod options.
  4. Click on Create New Pod.

A new Cloud Pod will be created and will be available for import into another LocalStack instance. You can check out the list of available Cloud Pods in the Cloud Pod page.

Import the State

To import the state, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Cloud Pod tab within the Export/Import State page.
  2. Choose the Cloud Pod from the drop-down list.
  3. Click on Load State From Pod.

To confirm the successful injection of the container state, visit the respective Resource Browser for the services and verify the resources.

Auto Loading Cloud Pods

In addition to loading Cloud Pods through the Command-Line Interface (CLI) or the Web Application, you can configure the automatic loading of one or more Cloud Pods upon the startup of the LocalStack container.

Environmental variables

To automatically load a Cloud Pod at startup, utilize the AUTO_LOAD_POD configuration variable.

AUTO_LOAD_POD can accept multiple Cloud Pod names separated by commas. To autoload multiple Cloud Pods, such as foo-pod and bar-pod, use: AUTO_LOAD_POD=foo-pod,bar-pod. The order of Cloud Pods in AUTO_LOAD_POD dictates their loading sequence. When autoloading multiple Cloud Pods, later pods might overwrite the state of earlier ones if they share the same service, account, and region.

AUTO_LOAD_POD=foo-pod localstack start
version: "3.8"

    container_name: "localstack-main"
    image: localstack/localstack-pro
      - ""
      - ""
      - DEBUG=1
      - AUTO_LOAD_POD=foo-pod,bar-pod
      - "./volume:/var/lib/localstack"
      - "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock"
docker run \
  -e AUTO_LOAD_POD=foo-pod \
  -v ./volume:/var/lib/localstack \
  -p 4566:4566 \

Configuration file

LocalStack allows for the use of configuration files to automatically load Cloud Pods during startup.

Within the container, LocalStack searches through the /etc/localstack/init-pod.d directory for two file types: zip files created using the localstack state export command, and txt files, where each line represents the name of a Cloud Pod.

Take the following example of a project layout:

β”œβ”€β”€ docker-compose.yml
└── init-pods.d
    β”œβ”€β”€ pod-list.txt

The pod-list.txt contains the following:


LocalStack, upon mounting init-pods.d to the appropriate location, will sequentially load foo-pod and bar-pod as listed in pod-list.txt, and then proceed to load

The docker compose file for correctly mounting init-pods.d will look like:

version: "3.8"

    container_name: "localstack-main"
    image: localstack/localstack-pro
      - ""
      - ""
      - DEBUG=1
      - "./volume:/var/lib/localstack"
      - "./init-pods.d:/etc/localstack/init-pods.d"


A remote is the location where Cloud Pods are stored. By default, Cloud Pod artifacts are stored in the LocalStack platform. However, if your organization’s data regulations or sovereignty requirements prohibit storing Cloud Pod assets in a remote storage infrastructure, you have the option to persist Cloud Pods in an on-premises storage location under your complete control.

LocalStack provides two types of alternative remotes:

  • S3 bucket remote storage.
  • ORAS (OCI Registry as Storage) remote storage.

Cloud Pods command-line interface (CLI) allows you to create, delete, and list remotes.

$ localstack pod remote --help
Usage: localstack pod remote [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]... Manage cloud pod remotes Options: -h, --help Show this message and exit. Commands: add Add a remote delete Delete a remote list List the available remotes

S3 bucket remote storage

The S3 remote enables you to store Cloud Pod assets in an existing S3 bucket within an actual AWS account. The initial step is to export the necessary AWS credentials within the terminal session.

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=...

A possible option is to obtain credentials via AWS SSO CLI.

Next, we establish a new remote specifically designed for an S3 bucket. By running the following command, we create a remote named s3-storage-aws responsible for storing Cloud Pod artifacts in an S3 bucket called ls-pods-bucket-test.

The access_key_id and secret_access_key placeholders ensure the correct transmission of AWS credentials to the container.

$ localstack pod remote add s3-storage-aws 's3://ls-pods-bucket-test/?access_key_id={access_key_id}&secret_access_key={secret_access_key}'

Lastly, you can utilize the standard pod CLI command to generate a new Cloud Pod that points to the previously established remote.

$ localstack pod save my-pod s3-storage-aws

Once the command has been executed, you can confirm the presence of Cloud Pod artifacts in the S3 bucket by simply running:

aws s3 ls s3://ls-pods-bucket-test
2023-09-27 13:50:10      83650
2023-09-27 13:50:11      85103

You can use the pod load command to load the same pod that was previously saved in this remote:

$ localstack pod load my-pod s3-storage-aws

Similarly, you can list the Cloud Pods on this specific remote with the pod list command:

$ localstack pod list s3-storage-aws

ORAS remote storage

The ORAS remote enables users to store Cloud Pods in OCI-compatible registries like Docker Hub, Nexus, or ECS registries. ORAS stands for “OCI Registry as Service,” and you can find additional information about this standard on the official website.

For example, let’s illustrate how you can utilize Docker Hub to store and retrieve Cloud Pods.

To begin, you must configure the new remote using the LocalStack CLI. You’ll need to export two essential environment variables, ORAS_USERNAME and ORAS_PASSWORD, which are necessary for authenticating with Docker Hub.

export ORAS_USERNAME=docker_hub_id
export ORAS_PASSWORD=ILoveLocalStack1!

You can now use the CLI to create a new remote called oras-remote.

$ localstack pod remote add oras-remote 'oras://{oras_username}:{oras_password}<docker_hub_id>'

Lastly, you can store a pod using the newly configured remote, where my-pod represents the Cloud Pod’s name, and oras-remote is the remote’s name.

$ localstack pod save my-pod oras-remote

Likewise, you can execute the reverse operation to load a Cloud Pod from oras-remote using the following command:

$ localstack pod load my-pod oras-remote


Unless explicitly specified, all Cloud Pods commands default to targeting the LocalStack Platform as the storage remote. It’s important to note that the CLI must be authenticated correctly with our Platform.

Custom remote configurations are stored within the LocalStack volume directory and are managed by the LocalStack container. Consequently, when sharing Cloud Pods among your team using a custom remote, each team member must define the identical remote configuration. Once added, a remote persists even after LocalStack restarts.

Cloud Pods & Persistence

Persistence ensures that the service state persists across container restarts. You can enable persistence via a LocalStack config flag PERSISTENCE=1 to restore your local resources, in case you’re stopping and re-starting the LocalStack instance on the same machine.

In contrast, Cloud Pods provide more detailed control over your state. Rather than just restoring a state during LocalStack restarts, Cloud Pods enable you to capture snapshots of your local instance using the save command and inject these snapshots into a running instance using the load command, all without needing to perform a full restart.

Current Limitations

Cloud Pods (and state management in general), come with a few limitation. In particular, Cloud Pods states might not be correctly restored if the LocalStack version used to create the pod and the target one differ. We detect version miss-matches when using the pod load and prompt a confirmation message to the user.

$ localstack pod load old-pod
This Cloud Pod was created with LocalStack 2.1.0. but you are running LocalStack 3.2.1. Cloud Pods might be incompatible across different LocalStack versions. Loading a Cloud Pod with mismatching version might lead to a corrupted state of the emulator. Do you want to continue? [y/N]:

We are working to extend Cloud Pods support to all AWS services emulated in LocalStack. However, state management might not yet work reliably for every service.


Unable to obtain auth token

When you try to save a Cloud Pod and see the error in LocalStack logs like this:

localstack.cli.exceptions.CLIError: Failed to create Cloud Pod sample-pod ❌ - Unable to obtain auth token (code 401) - please log in again.

It would be good to check if you have outdated authentication credentials (bearer token from a previous LocalStack login) in the remotes.yaml file for cloud pods. You have two options to fix this:

  1. Run another localstack auth login command.
  2. Find the remotes.yaml file in the <localstack_volume> directory on your machine and delete the file, or at least remove the "default" entry from it.

Additionally, if there is a ~/.localstack/auth.json file in your home directory, delete it as well if it still exists.

License not found

When you try to save a Cloud Pod and see the license.not_found error in LocalStack logs like this:

lsmulti-localstack  | 2024-03-15T13:06:16.358  WARN --- [functhread31] l.p.remotes.remotes        : Failed to register pod sample-pod: {"error": true, "message": "licensing.license.not_found"}

To fix this, clear the LocalStack cache directory and restart the LocalStack instance before trying to save the Cloud Pod again. You can find the cache directories at:

  • /Users/localstack/Library/Caches/localstack
  • /Users/localstack/Library/Caches/localstack-cli

Adjust the path based on your operating system.

SSL Certificate verification failed

If you get an SSL certificate verification error while trying to save a Cloud Pod, as shown below:

An error occurred while checking remote management for pod "cloud-pod-product-app": "MyHTTPSConnectionPool(host='', port=443): Max retries exceeded with url: /v1/cloudpods/cloud-pod-product-app (Caused by SSLError(SSLCertVerificationError(1, "[SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed: Hostname mismatch, certificate is not valid for ''. (_ssl.c:1006)")))"

Check if your machine’s clock is set incorrectly or if the certificate store is outdated. This error can also occur if you use localstack as LOCALSTACK_HOST. In this case, the DNS incorrectly resolves to localhost, causing a certificate mismatch.