Running AWS CLI commands from crontab

This is a short post to explain how to run AWS CLI commands from a crontab.

First you’ll need to install and set up the AWS CLI. More information here:

Once you’ve set up AWS CLI, you’ll notice that there is a “.aws” folder created in the HOME folder for the user you’re logged in as. If it’s root, it would be “/root/.aws”.

The problem with running AWS CLI commands from crontab is that crontab sets HOME to “/”, so the “aws” command will not find “~/.aws”.

In order to get around this, you simply need to set HOME=”/root/” (or whatever the HOME is for the user AWS CLI was set up under). This can be done in the shell script that is being called by crontab, or if the aws command is directly in crontab, the crontab command could be something like the following:

HOME=”/root” && aws cli

And that’s it!

Setting up AWS CLI and dumping a S3 bucket

AWS CLI (command line interface) is very useful when you want to automate certain tasks. This post is about dumping a whole S3 bucket from the command line. This could be for any purpose, such as creating a backup.

First of all, if you don’t already have it installed, you’ll need to download and install the AWS CLI. More information here:

To configure AWS CLI, type the command:

aws configure

It will ask for credentials: the Access Key ID, and the Access Secret Key. More information on how to set up a key is here:

And that’s it! You now have the power of manipulating your AWS environment from your command line.

In order to dump a bucket, you’ll need to first make sure that the account belonging to the AWS Key you generated has read access to the bucket. More on setting up permissions in S3 here:

To dump the whole contents of an S3 bucket, you can use the following command:

aws s3 cp –quiet –recursive s3:///

This will copy the entire contents of the bucket to your local directory. As easy as that!