AWS CloudShell gives command-line access to the cloud from the web browser

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Amazon has rolled a browser-based shell environment that users can access from inside the Amazon Web Services (AWS) management console. 

Powered by Amazon’s in-house Linux distro for servers, Amazon Linux 2, CloudShell is a full-featured shell environment that you can access from within the web browser to tweak your AWS cloud services using the command line (CLI).

With the launch of CloudShell, Amazon joins Microsoft and Google who already have similar browser-based shell environments for their cloud offerings.

Cloud command-line

Once launched, users can utilise the CloudShell instance to interact with the AWS services using the entire gamut of aws v2 commands.

Enumerating some of the uses for CloudShell, Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for AWS, notes in his announcement that users can use the new CLI environment to “check or adjust a configuration file, make a quick fix to a production environment, or even experiment with some new AWS services or features.”

The environment is pitched at developers who prefer to work on the CLI. Barr shares that CloudShell already includes the Python and Node runtimes, with more to come in the future.

You can use the browser-based shell to store up to 1 GB of files per region in your home directory. By default it runs as a non-privileged user and will timeout after 20 minutes of inactivity. 

Developers can interact with the CLI environment with Bash, and PowerShell, and will also be able to access popular command-line tools such as GitHub’s gh cli environment, as well as the npm, and pip package managers for NodeJS and Python, respectively.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.