Emits user data events to CloudWatch Events
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Bosky - User Data Event Emitter

Bosky is a way to send events from user data to AWS CloudWatch Events which, in turn, can be consumed by any other AWS resources.


During an EC2 machine's startup sequence, cloud-init runs a special piece of code called user-data. Within user data, many companies often insert Bash scripts to configure machines with runtime settings or deploy applications. If user data fails, it can often mean that the system did not start correctly and, if it's behind an autoscaling group, that server disappears without an administrator being warned that user data failed.

Using bosky while processing user data means that anyone interested in the events within user data can be notified in near real time.

Important -- Costs

Using this application will incur costs. CloudWatch Events is incredibly cheap, but there is a cost associated with sending custom events through this service, as well as the resources that consume the event. Please be aware of this when using this tool.

Agent/System Installation

The binary is a self-contained, statically linked binary. Once you copy the binary to your system, that is all that it required.

Install the Binary into the System

  1. Go to the Releases page
  2. Choose the latest stable version
  3. Choose the binary for your architecture
  4. Copy the binary to your system into /usr/local/bin.
  5. Make sure root can find this binary in its PATH.

Add an IAM Policy to Your EC2 Machine

Your EC2 machine's instance profile will require the events:PutEvents IAM permission.

Test It Out

And that's it. Try testing it out. You should receive an exit code of 0 if the notification succeeds.

Since there is nothing on the other end of the event bus to consume the event, it will be dropped. This is the next installation step.

Consumer Installation

A consumer is required to consume the user data events and do something with them. Consumers are parties that are interested in the user data notifications from your servers.

The following installation will consume all user data events. You can filter as much or as little as you want with further rules.

  1. Create a CloudWatch Event Rule.
  2. Specify a rule pattern
  "detailType": [
    "User Data"
  1. Create a target (for testing, use an SNS topic linked to your email address)

Now send a test event and you should receive an email with the details of the user data event.


We are going to announce to AWS that our system has started correctly and finished processing user data successfully. At the end of the user data sequence, add the following command:

bosky --success "User data processed successfully"

When the system starts and hits this line, an event is sent to CloudWatch Events and onto any matching CloudWatch Event rules.


While this tool is intended for use on an EC2 machine, you can run it from your home machine. Make sure that you have your environment configured with a working AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY as well your IAM user has as the events:PutEvents permission.


tl;dr MIT License

See LICENSE for more information.