One of the many benefits of AWS is that it can be managed across different operating systems with a single unified tool. The tool in question is the AWS Command line interface. In this blog post we will show you how to install the CLI and outline some essential commands to get you started.

Installing the CLI


For Windows operating systems you have a couple of options. You can either run the following command:

msiexec.exe /i

Or you can download it from here:


For Linux operating systems you can open a terminal and run the following commands in order:

$ curl "" -o ""
$ unzip
$ sudo ./aws/install/


For mac operating systems you can run the following commands in order:

$ curl "" -o "AWSCLIV2.pkg
$ sudo installer -pkg AWSCLIV2.pkg -target /

9 Essential commands

  1. Create a new bucket

    The first thing you are going to want to do when you have everything installed and configured is create a new bucket to store data. To do this run the following command

     $ aws s3 mb s3://ExampleBucket
  2. Copy a file from your machine to a bucket

    Once you have a bucket set up you are going to want to get some data in there. In the below example we are copying a file called example.txt to our brand new ExampleBucket we created above.

    $ aws s3 cp example.txt s3://ExampleBucket
  3. Delete a bucket and everything within it

    If you no longer need a bucket and the contents of it you can simply delete the whole thing and all the data within. To do this run the following command:

    $ aws s3 rb s3://ExampleBucket –force
  4. List all the files in your bucket

    Now you have some data in your bucket you might want to see what’s in there. To produce a list of the files within a bucket you can run the command below. This also shows you the size of the bucket.

    $ aws s3 ls s3://ExampleBucket –recursive --human-readable –summarize
  5. Download a file from the bucket

    To download a file from your bucket you run a cp command which essential copies the file from the bucket back on to your computer. To do this use the following command:

    $ aws s3 cp s3://ExampleBucket/test.txt
  6. Move a file to a bucket

    This command is slightly different from the 2nd command where we copied a file to a bucket. This command will actually move the file so it is no longer in its original place and now only exists in the bucket. Essentially this is a cut and paste as opposed to a copy and paste. To do this run the following:

    $ aws s3 cp s3://ExampleBucket/test.txt
  7. Move a file from one bucket to another

    Similar to the last command this one will move a file from one bucket to a different one. This is useful if you put a file in the wrong bucket and want to remove it from one but make sure it gets to the right one. This example shows test.txt being taken from ExampleBucket and being placed into ExampleBucket2. The command is below:

    $ aws s3 mv s3://ExampleBucket/test.txt s3://ExampleBucket2
  8. Sync files from local folder to bucket

    This command will create a link between a folder on your machine and your bucket. When you add a file to the folder it will also then appear in the bucket. This is very handy if you haven’t go the time to be uploading files one by one. All you will need to do is drop files into the synced folder. In this example the folder on your machine would be called ‘example’ and that is synced with ExampleBucket. The command is as follows:

    $ aws s3 sync example s3://ExampleBucket
  9. Sync files from bucket to local folder

    This command is essentially the opposite of the previous whereby you have a local folder that updates whenever a file gets added to the bucket. The command is as follows:

    $ aws s3 sync s3://ExampleBucket/tmp /example