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What is AWS Cloudshell? Everything You Need to Know

Today, Cloud Infrastructure is in high demand. Developers and administrators may encounter difficulties dealing with cloud infrastructure. It frequently involves the understanding of specialized tools, software, and secure environments. It can be a laborious and time-consuming task. To address these difficulties, AWS CloudShell provides a web-based shell environment for controlling AWS resources.

AWS CloudShell is a browser based shell that can be accessed from the AWS management console . it helps to interact and manage with AWS resources , many more features it have ,which we are going to address in this blog.

What is AWS Cloudshell?

AWS Cloudshell is a browser-based, pre-authenticated shell offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).It offers users secure, browser-based access to a fully functional command-line interface (CLI).You can execute AWS CLI commands with your choice shell, such as Bash, PowerShell, or Z shell. You can accomplish this without downloading or installing command-line tools.

  • Cloudshell allocates 500MB of storage capacity per AWS region. This storage persists just during the active session, enabling temporary storage for data, downloads, builds, and so on. The stored data will be deleted after your session is terminated.CloudShell also allocates persistent storage separately for each area. This storage will remain until expressly erased.
  • CloudShell sessions time out after a period of inactivity to free up resources. The time limit is 20 minutes without any activity. This means you can’t use CloudShell for long-running processes, but it’s ideal for short-term administrative duties, ad hoc commands, and interactive workflows.
  • Cloud shell eliminates the need to set up local tools or development environments when managing AWS resources. You can interact with AWS directly from your browser as it provides quick access to a cloud-based shell equipped with essential tools .It is better suited for short-term, interactive workflows rather than long-running procedures or applications.

AWS Cloudshell Features

1. Aws Command Line Interface

You can run AWS CloudShell directly from the AWS Management Console, and the AWS credentials you used to sign in will be automatically available in the new shell session. AWS CloudShell users are pre-authenticated, therefore there is no need to configure credentials while using AWS CLI version. The AWS CLI is preinstalled in the shell’s computing environment.

2. Shell and Development Tools

AWS CloudShell allows you to easily switch between your preferred command line shells, such as Bash, PowerShell, and Z shell. The environment includes pre-installed tools and utilities such as git, build, pip, sudo, tar, tmux, vim, wget, and zip.

Furthermore, the shell comes pre-configured to handle popular programming languages like Node.js and Python. This means you may begin executing projects in these languages right away, without the need to install runtimes. PowerShell users can also use the.NET Core runtime.AWS CloudShell allows you to generate or upload files and commit them to a local repository. You can then push these files to a remote repository hosted by AWS CodeCommit.

3. Browser Support

AWS CloudShell is one of the greatest solutions for interacting with Amazon technologies directly from the command line interface, eliminating the need to install and configure additional tools or software. There are several browsers that support direct connections to the AWS cloud, and you can connect with any of them after logging into your AWS account.

For macOS, the supported browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari. These are well-tested browsers that use cutting-edge technology; nonetheless, these browsers can also use the AWS CloudShell features.

4. Security

The AWS CloudShell environment and its users are secured by certain security measures. This contains features like IAM permission management, shell session limits, and Safe Paste for text input.

Permissions Management using IAM: As administrator, you can utilize IAM policies to give and restrict permissions to AWS CloudShell users. You can also build policies that define the specific actions that users can take in the shell environment. For additional information, see Managing AWS CloudShell access and usage with IAM policies.

Shell Session Management: Inactive and long-running sessions are automatically terminated and recycled.

5. Persistent Storage

Each AWS CloudShell environment offers 1 GB of free, private persistent storage for scripts, files, and logs across sessions.Unlike ephemeral environment resources, which are regenerated after each shell session, data in your home directory remains between sessions.

6. Customizable

You can customize your AWS CloudShell experience to your particular needs. For example, you can adjust the screen layout (many tabs), display font sizes, and switch between light and dark interface themes.

7. Affordable

There is no additional cost and users only pay for the underlying AWS resources they use.

8. Multi Region Services

AWS CloudShell offers services to end users in a number of regions, therefore it makes no difference where your services are placed. Despite the fact that the deployed resources are distributed throughout the AWS region, they are accessible from anywhere. It will soon be available in other regions as well. The AWS regions are listed below:

  • Europe(Ireland)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
  • US East(ohio)
  • US East(N.Virgina)
  • US West(Oregon)

Cost for AWS Cloudshell

AWS CloudShell is a free Amazon Web Services offering. However, you must pay for other AWS resources that you use via AWS CloudShell. Furthermore, ordinary data transmission rates apply.

How to Start an AWS Cloudshell Session?

1. Sign in to AWS Cloudshell

  • Log into the AWS Management Console.
  • Choose CloudShell from the navigation bar or search for it in the services menu.
  • Click on the CloudShell icon to launch the environment.
Sign in to AWS Cloudshell

2. Choose a Region, Start AWS Cloudshell, and Select a Shell

This step involves launching AWS CloudShell from the terminal interface, selecting an available AWS Region, and switching to your choice shell, such as Bash, PowerShell, or Z shell.

  1. To select  an AWS Region to work in, navigate to the Select a Region menu and select a supported AWS Region. (Available regions are highlighted).
  2. From the AWS Management Console, you can launch CloudShell by selecting one of the options:
    • Select the CloudShell symbol from the navigation bar.
    •  Type “CloudShell” into the search box, and then select CloudShell.
    •  Choose CloudShell from the Recently Visited widget.
    •  Select CloudShell from the Console Toolbar, located in the lower left corner of the console.
      • To change the height of your CloudShell session, drag the edge.
      • To make your CloudShell session full screen, click the “Open in new browser tab” icon.
      • The shell is prepared for use when the command prompt appears.
  3. To select a pre-installed shell to work with, enter its program name at the command line prompt.
Choose a region, start AWS CloudShell, and select a shell

3. Download a File From Cloudshell

  • This step explains how to download a file to your computer.
  • Go to Actions and select Download file from the menu in order to download a file.
  • The dialog box titled “Download File” appears.
  • Enter the path of the file to be downloaded in the Download file dialog box. 
  • Choose Download – the dialog box appears ,if the file path is correct. You can use this dialog box to open the file with the default application . you can also save the file in local machine .

4. Upload a File to AWS Cloudshell

Following steps explains how to move a file from your home directory to a new directory after uploading it:

  • to check your current working directory ,enter the following command – pwd
  • The shell returns your current working directory (e.g., /home/cloudshell-user) when you hit Enter.
  • Go to Actions and select Upload file from the menu to upload a file to this directory.
  • Use the following command to create a directory for the file: mkdir mysub_dir
  • Use the mv command to transfer the uploaded file from your home directory’s root to the new directory: mv mysub_dir
  • Enter cd mysub_dir to switch to the new directory as your working directory.
  • Your working directory has changed, as indicated by an update to the command prompt.
  • Use the `ls` command to see what’s in the current directory, `mysub_dir`:
  • The working directory’s contents are enumerated, which includes the file you recently uploaded.

5. Remove a File From AWS Cloudshell

This step describes how to remove a file from AWS CloudShell.

  1. To remove a file from AWS CloudShell, use standard shell commands such as rm (remove). rm my-file-for-removal
  2. To remove multiple files that meet specified criteria, run the find command. The following example removes all the files that include the suffix “.pdf” in their names.    find -type f -name ‘*.pdf’ -delete

6. Create a Home Directory Backup

  • Create a temporary folder outside the home directory.
  • Transfer the backup file outside CloudShell

7. Restart a Shell Session

  1. Go to Actions, Restart AWS CloudShell to end a shell session.You are informed that all active sessions in the current AWS Region are terminated when you restart AWS CloudShell.
  2. To be sure, select Restart – A notification about the CloudShell computing environment ceasing is shown on an interface. You can open a new command line session and begin working with the environment once it has stopped and restarted.

8. Delete a Home Session Shell Directory

  1. Select Actions, Delete AWS CloudShell home directory to end a shell session.You are     informed that all data presently stored in your AWS CloudShell environment will be erased if you delete your home directory.
  2. To confirm deletion, enter delete in the text input field, and then choose Delete.
  3. Shell sessions can be manually ended – The exit command in the command line can be used to log out of a shell session. After that, you can reconnect and utilize AWS CloudShell by pressing any key.

9. Edit Your File’s Code and Run It Using the Command Line

This phase shows you how to work with a file using the pre-installed Vim editor. Then, you use the command line to launch that file as an application.

  1. Enter the following command to edit the file that you submitted in the preceding step “vim”
  2. The Vim editor appears once the shell interface refreshes.In Vim, hit the I key to edit the file. To have the software add three numbers instead of two, modify the contents now. 
  3.  After you edited the program, press Esc to enter the Vim command mode. Then, enter the :wq command to save the file and exit the editor
  4. Run the following software on the main command line interface, then enter three integers. The following is the syntax : pythoin3 add_prog.pyu

10. To add the file as an object in an Amazon S3 bucket, use the AWS CLI

  1. To create a bucket in a specified AWS Region, enter the following command:
aws s3api create-bucket --bucket insert-unique-bucket-name-here --region us-east-1

The command line shows an output resembling this one from the service if the call is successful.

{    "Location": "/insert-unique-bucket-name-here"


2. Use the PutObject function to upload a file and add it as an object to the bucket you just constructed.

“aws s3api put-object –bucket insert-unique-bucket-name-here –key add_prog –body”

Following uploading of the object to the Amazon S3 bucket, the command line output looks somewhat like this when the service responds: {“ETag”: “\”ab123c1:w:wad4a567d8bfd9a1234ebeea56\””}

Advantage of AWS CloudShell

AWS CloudShell is a useful tool for developers, administrators, and cloud experts because of its many advantages. These are the main advantages: 

  •  AWS CloudShell saves time by providing preconfigured settings and tools that completely automate the operation.
  •  The AWS Management Console allows you innovative and efficient access to AWS resources.
  • You can run AWS services and scripts for free, and each AWS region provides up to 1 GB of persistent storage.
  • Modify your home directory with scripts, the CloudShell icon, bash shell configurations, and files.
  •  AWS CloudShell is user-friendly, allowing for quick code configuration and script termination using the AWS CLI.
  • A variety of integration tools are available for searching and integrating in a matter of minutes. 
  • It provides multi region support .Provides consistent performance and availability independent of geographical location.

Limitation of AWS Cloudshell

While CloudShell offers a simple browser-based shell for AWS access, there are several limits and constraints to be aware of:

  1. Limited Storage –  CloudShell’s storage is quota-based. /mnt/efs is limited to 500MB per region, whereas /mnt/persistent is restricted to 10GB per region.
  2. Pre – installed tools  – CloudShell’s pre-configured tools provide a common foundation, but they may be lacking in more advanced or customized utilities. Installing more packages can help offset this.
  3. Session timeout –  Sessions will automatically clock out after 20 minutes of inactivity. This means that CloudShell is unsuitable for long-running procedures that may take many hours to complete.
  4. Concurrent sessions – CloudShell has a limit on how many concurrent sessions may operate per area, which is normally about 10. Attempting to start too many can lead to issues in generating new sessions.
  5. Resource constraints: The CloudShell instance has fewer compute power than supplied EC2 instances. Memory, CPU, and network bandwidth are all fixed and cannot be raised.
  6. Compliance and security – Although AWS CloudShell runs in the AWS Management Console and follows AWS security standards, enterprises with stringent compliance and security requirements may be concerned about employing a browser-based shell environment.
  7. Inadequate Assistance for legacy  Applications  and Tools – AWS CloudShell comes pre-installed with contemporary tools like the AWS CLI and SDKs, however it may not support all legacy tools and apps used by some users. Users that rely on older or less popular tools may need to look into alternate alternatives to ensure compatibility with their workflow.

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  1. Optimize CloudShell Usage: With our expert training and guidance, you’ll be able to get the most out of AWS CloudShell.
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  3. Secure your environment: Improve your cloud security posture with our advanced security services, which will ensure that your CloudShell operations are secure and compliant.
  4. Increase productivity: Our custom tools and scripts for AWS CloudShell can help your team work more efficiently.


AWS CloudShell is a useful tool for quickly accessing a Linux shell environment set up to handle AWS resources. Launching CloudShell sessions from the AWS Management Console opens a browser-based terminal with the AWS CLI, git, Python, and other necessary tools already installed and ready to use.

CloudShell enables you to run commands, edit files, script workflows, and conduct other common development or administration operations. You can manage AWS resources without installing or configuring a local environment using the CloudShell terminal, which can be accessed from anywhere.

It is not a substitute for supplied infrastructure when more advanced capabilities are required. However, CloudShell shines in short-term, interactive use cases such as administration, setup, and lightweight development.

CloudShell gives you quick and easy access to a cloud-based shell that includes all of the tools you need to operate Amazon Web Services. Engineers and administrators can use CloudShell to execute AWS commands and automate activities without needing to create a local environment. It is a critical utility for connecting to AWS via a command-line interface on demand.


Q1. Can I install extra applications with AWS CloudShell?

Yes, you can install extra software and tools in your AWS CloudShell environment using conventional package managers such as pip or npm.

Q2. How much storage does AWS CloudShell offer?

AWS CloudShell offers 1 GB of persistent storage for each environment, which can be used to save scripts, files, and logs between sessions.

Q3. Is there a cost for using AWS CloudShell?

AWS CloudShell is free; you just pay for the AWS resources used during operations.