Amazon: New CloudShell gives you command-line access to AWS from a browser

AWS unveils its answer to Google's and Microsoft's browser command-line interfaces for accessing cloud resources.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Amazon Web Services has launched CloudShell, its browser-based shell for command-line access to run scripts and access various AWS resources.   

The developer web-based shell is for developers who prefer to work from a browser and want a command-line for accessing AWS tools.  

According to AWS, CloudShell runs on Amazon Linux 2 and is pre-installed with common AWS command-line interfaces, as well as runtimes and AWS SDKs for programming languages Python and Node.js. 

SEE: Hiring Kit: Python developer (TechRepublic Premium)

There are also popular command line utilities for shells, such as Bash, PowerShell, and Zsh, editors, Git source control, and package management – npm/Java, pip/Python. 

CloudShell is free to users by but developers are charged for other AWS resources used with CloudShell to create and run applications. Users can also download files up to 1GB in size from a CloudShell environment to a local machine. They can use up to 10 concurrent shells in each region at no charge.

The new shell is meant to be used from the AWS Management Console, where clicking the shell icon in the top navigation bar opens a CloudShell environment in a new browser tab. The new browser tab uses your console credentials.

AWS CloudShell is similar to Microsoft Azure Cloud Shell and Google Cloud Platform Cloud Shell. 

Per TechCrunch, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said new CloudShell sessions are automatically preconfigured to have the same API permissions as the user in the AWS Console. 

This avoids the need to manage multiple profiles or AWS credentials in different test and production environments, and makes it easier to start a new CloudShell session.  

SEE: AWS is opening yet another cloud computing region

CloudShell is available in the US East (N Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Regions. The remaining regions are on the near-term roadmap.

According to the CloudShell FAQ, CloudShell does not currently Windows instances or AWS's new macOS instances.

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