Cloud Computing library for erlang (Amazon EC2, S3, SQS, SimpleDB, Mechanical Turk, ELB)
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erlcloud: AWS APIs library for Erlang

Build Status

This library is not developed or maintained by AWS thus lots of functionality is still missing comparing to aws-cli or boto. Required functionality is being added upon request.

Service APIs implemented:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS)
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
  • Amazon SimpleDB
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Amazon CloudWatch (MON)
  • Amazon CloudSearch
  • Amazon Inspector
  • Amazon Key Management Service (KMS)
  • Amazon DirectConnect
  • Amazon DynamoDB & DDB streams (ddb2)
  • Amazon Autoscaling (AS)
  • Amazon CloudTrail (CT)
  • Cloud Formation (CFN)
  • ElasticLoadBalancing (ELB)
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Kinesis
  • CloudWatch
  • MechanicalTurk
  • Simple DB (SDB)
  • Relational Data Service (RDS)
  • Simple Email Service (SES)
  • Short Token Service (STS)
  • Simple Notification Service (SNS)
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • and more to come

Majority of API functions have been implemented. Not all functions have been thoroughly tested, so exercise care when integrating this library into production code. Please send issues and patches.

The libraries can be used two ways:

  • either you can specify configuration parameters in the process dictionary. Useful for simple tasks
  • you can create a configuration object and pass that to each request as the final parameter. Useful for Cross AWS Account access


Below is the library roadmap update along with regular features and fixes.

  • 0.13.10
  • pre Alert Logic Fork merge
  • 2.0.0 Existing code merge of Alert Logic fork into upstream. This is a major version bump which contains lots of new features and functionality. Unfortunately, it also contains quite a number of low level APIs incompatibilities since the fork diverged for a long while. Making it backward compatible does not seem feasible and valuable at the moment.
  • No APIs have been removed and it's on branched of 0.13.10 at the moment. Any minor version delta added during notice time will be compensated before the merge.
  • intentionally jumping to 2.0.0 as AL fork has v1.X.X
  • 2.1.X
  • fix dialyzer findings and make it mandatory for the library
  • make full support of Mix/HEX done
  • 2.2.X
  • Further deprecation of legacy functionality
  • remove R14/R15 support. done
  • Only SigV4 signing and generalised in one module. Keep SigV2 in SBD section only
  • No more erlang:error() use and use of regular tuples as error API. Breaking change.

Major API compatibility changes between 0.13.X and 2.0.x

  • ELB APIs
  • ... list to be filled shortly

Getting started

You need to clone the repository and download rebar/rebar3 (if it's not already available in your path).

git clone
cd erlcloud
chmod a+x rebar3

To compile and run erlcloud

make run

If you're using erlcloud in your application, add it as a dependency in your application's configuration file. To use erlcloud in the shell, you can start it by calling:


Using Temporary Security Credentials

The access to AWS resource might be managed through third-party identity provider. The access is managed using temporary security credentials.

You can provide your amazon credentials in OS environmental variables

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<Your AWS Access Key>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<Your AWS Secret Access Key>
export AWS_SECURITY_TOKEN=<Your AWS Security Token>
export AWS_REGION=<Your region>

If you did not provide your amazon credentials in the OS environmental variables, then you need to provide configuration read from your profile:

{ok, Conf} = erlcloud_aws:profile().

Or you can provide them via erlcloud application environment variables.

application:set_env(erlcloud, aws_access_key_id, "your key"),
application:set_env(erlcloud, aws_secret_access_key, "your secret key"),
application:set_env(erlcloud, aws_security_token, "your token"),
application:set_env(erlcloud, aws_region, "your region"),

Using Access Key

You can provide your amazon credentials in environmental variables.

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<Your AWS Access Key>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<Your AWS Secret Access Key>

If you did not provide your amazon credentials in the environmental variables, then you need to provide the per-process configuration:

erlcloud_ec2:configure(AccessKeyId, SecretAccessKey [, Hostname]).

Hostname defaults to non-existing "" intentionally to avoid mix with US-East-1 Refer to aws_config for full description of all services configuration.

Configuration object usage:

EC2 = erlcloud_ec2:new(AccessKeyId, SecretAccessKey [, Hostname])

Basic use

Then you can start making api calls, like:

% list buckets of Account stored in config in process dict
% of of the account you are running in.
% List buckets on 3d Account from Conf

Creating an EC2 instance may look like this:

start_instance(Ami, KeyPair, UserData, Type, Zone) ->
    Config = #aws_config{
            access_key_id = application:get_env(aws_key),
            secret_access_key = application:get_env(aws_secret)

    InstanceSpec = #ec2_instance_spec{image_id = Ami,
                                      key_name = KeyPair,
                                      instance_type = Type,
                                      availability_zone = Zone,
                                      user_data = UserData},
    erlcloud_ec2:run_instances(InstanceSpec, Config).

For usage information, consult the source code and For detailed API description refer to the AWS references at:


Indentation in contributions should follow indentation style of surrounding text. In general it follows default indentation rules of official erlang-mode as provided by OTP team.

Best Practices

  • All interfaces should provide a method for working with non-default config.
  • Public interfaces with paging logic should prefer {ok, Results, Marker} style to the {{paged, Marker}, Results} found in some modules. In case of records output, tokens should be part of the record.
  • Passing next page NextToken, NextMarker is preferred with Opts rather than a fun parameter like found in many modules.
  • Public interfaces should normally expose proplists over records. All new modules are preferred to have both.
  • Exposed records are to be used only for complex outputs. Examples to follow: ddb2, ecs.
  • Library should not expose any long running or stateful processes - no gen_servers, no caches and etc.