Using the AWS CLI for the first time on a Mac (without Homebrew)

So I was helping a colleague get started with the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and took him seriously astray by overcomplicating the process. Thought I’d capture the quick and dirty approach to getting started on a Mac. Note that he wasn’t ready for Homebrew yet so here’s the full process (which is even more justification for Homebrew). ;-)

Step 1. Install PIP

Because the AWS CLI is really a wrapper written in Python, we need install PIP to get it.

Step 2. Install AWS CLI

Now, let’s install the AWS CLI itself using PIP:

Step 3. Add aws to your PATH

It’s really nice that we were able to “install” aws but it won't run unless it's in the path. Most likely, the app is installed at /Users/(you)/Library/Python/(version number)/bin.

I used the following sequence to find and then link the aws client:

Step 3. Configure AWS

In order to work with the AWS service, we need to specify our AWS key, secret and region. You should have received those when your account was created.

Step 4. Make sure it works!

Final step…make sure it works. In our case, we were working with AWS lambdas and had permission to see them. In your case, perhaps you’ll have access to EC2 instances(?). Just choose a service that works for you and make sure it responds.

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