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Command line tool for Amazon Route 53
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cli53 - Command line script to administer the Amazon Route 53 DNS service


cli53 provides import and export from BIND format and simple command line management of Route 53 domains.


  • create hosted zones

  • delete hosted zones

  • list hosted zones

  • import to BIND format

  • export to BIND format

  • create resource records

  • delete resource records

  • works with BIND format zone files we all know and love - no need to edit <ChangeResourceRecordSetsRequest> XML!

  • create AWS weighted records

  • create AWS Alias records to ELB

  • create AWS latency-based routing records

Getting Started

Create a hosted zone::

$ cli53 create --comment 'my first zone'

Check what we've done::

$ cli53 list

Import a BIND zone file::

$ cli53 import --file zonefile.txt

Replace with an imported zone, waiting for completion::

$ cli53 import --file zonefile.txt --replace --wait

Manually create some records::

$ cli53 rrcreate www A --ttl 3600
$ cli53 rrcreate www A --ttl 3600 --replace
$ cli53 rrcreate '' MX '10' '20'

Export as a BIND zone file (useful for checking)::

$ cli53 export

Create some weighted records::

$ cli53 rrcreate www A --weight 10 --identifier server1
$ cli53 rrcreate www A --weight 20 --identifier server2

Create an alias to ELB::

$ cli53 rrcreate www ALIAS 'ABCDEFABCDE'

Further documentation is available, e.g.::

$ cli53 --help
$ cli53 rrcreate --help


$ sudo pip install cli53

You can then run cli53 from your path:

$ cli53

You need to set your Amazon credentials in the environment as AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY or configure them in ~/.boto. For more information see:

Broken CNAME exports (GoDaddy)

Some DNS providers export broken bind files, without the trailing '.' on CNAME records. This is a requirement for absolute records (i.e. ones outside of the qualifying domain).

If you see CNAME records being imported to route53 with an extra on the end (e.g., then you need to fix your zone file before importing:

    $ perl -pe 's/(CNAME\s+[a-zA-Z0-9.-_]+)(?!.)$/$1./i' broken.txt > fixed.txt


As Amazon limits operations to a maximum of 100 changes, if you perform a large operation that changes over 100 resource records it will be split. An operation that involves deletes, followed by updates such as an import with --replace will very briefly leave the domain inconsistent. You have been warned!



  • Support for zone comments


  • Fix for zero weighted records


  • Check boto version


  • Added functionality to rrlist, rrcreate, import and export so that they're able to work with Alias records that have an identifier and a latency based or weighted routing policy. (xbe)

  • Improve error message when boto fails to import



  • Added support for AWS extensions: weighted records and aliased records.
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