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AWS SSO CLI is a secure replacement for using the aws configure sso wizard with a focus on security and ease of use for organizations with many AWS Accounts and/or users with many IAM Roles to assume. It shares a lot in common with aws-vault, but is more focused on the AWS SSO use case instead of static API credentials. Check out this page for more information on how these two tools compare.

AWS SSO CLI requires your AWS account(s) to be setup with AWS SSO! If your organization is using the older SAML integration (typically you will have multiple tiles in OneLogin/Okta) then this won't work for you.

What does AWS SSO CLI do?

AWS SSO CLI makes it easy to manage your shell environment variables allowing you to access the AWS API using CLI tools. Unlike the official AWS tooling, the aws-sso command does not require defining named profiles in your ~/.aws/config (or anywhere else for that matter) for each and every role you wish to assume and use.

Instead, it focuses on making it easy to select a role via CLI arguments or via an interactive auto-complete experience with automatic and user-defined metadata (tags) and exports the necessary AWS STS Token credentials to your shell environment.


Here's a quick demo showing how to select a role to assume in interactive mode and then run commands in that context (by default it starts a new shell).


Want to see more? Check out the other demos.


Unlike the official AWS cli tooling, all authentication tokens and credentials used for accessing AWS and your SSO provider are encrypted on disk using your choice of secure storage solution. All encryption is handled by the 99designs/keyring library which is also used by aws-vault.

Credentials encrypted by aws-sso and not via the standard AWS CLI tool:

  • AWS SSO ClientID/ClientSecret -- ~/.aws/sso/cache/botocore-client-id-<region>.json
  • AWS SSO AccessToken -- ~/.aws/sso/cache/<random>.json
  • AWS Profile Access Credentials -- ~/.aws/cli/cache/<random>.json

As you can see, not only does the standard AWS CLI tool expose the temporary AWS access credentials to your IAM roles, but more importantly the SSO AccessToken which can be used to fetch IAM credentials for any role you have been granted access!

What is not encrypted?

  • Contents of user defined ~/.aws-sso/config.yaml
  • Meta data associated with the AWS Roles fetched via AWS SSO in ~/.aws-sso/cache.json
    • Email address tied to the account (root user)
    • AWS Account Alias
    • AWS Role ARN


  • cache -- Force refresh of AWS SSO role information
  • console -- Open AWS Console in a browser with the selected role
  • config -- Update your ~/.aws/config file with the AWS profiles in AWS SSO
  • eval -- Print shell environment variables for use in your shell
  • exec -- Exec a command with the selected role
  • flush -- Force delete of cached AWS SSO credentials
  • list -- List all accounts & roles
  • process -- Generate JSON for AWS profile credential_process option
  • tags -- List manually created tags for each role
  • time -- Print how much time remains for currently selected role
  • install-completions -- Install auto-complete functionality into your shell
  • version -- Print the version of aws-sso

Common Flags

  • --help, -h -- Builtin and context sensitive help
  • --browser <path>, -b -- Override default browser to open AWS SSO URL ($AWS_SSO_BROWSER)
  • --config <file> -- Specify alternative config file ($AWS_SSO_CONFIG)
  • --level <level>, -L -- Change default log level: [error|warn|info|debug|trace]
  • --lines -- Print file number with logs
  • --url-action, -u -- Print, open or copy URLs to clipboard
  • --sso <name>, -S -- Specify non-default AWS SSO instance to use ($AWS_SSO)
  • --sts-refresh -- Force refresh of STS Token Credentials


Console generates a URL which will grant you access to the AWS Console in your web browser. The URL can be sent directly to the browser (default), printed in the terminal or copied into the Copy & Paste buffer of your computer.


  • --region <region>, -r -- Specify the $AWS_DEFAULT_REGION to use
  • --arn <arn>, -a -- ARN of role to assume ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN)
  • --account <account>, -A -- AWS AccountID of role to assume ($AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID)
  • --duration <minutes>, -d -- AWS Session duration in minutes (default 60)
  • --prompt, -p -- Force interactive prompt to select role
  • --role <role>, -R -- Name of AWS Role to assume (requires --account) ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME)

The generated URL is good for 15 minutes after it is created.

The common flag --url-action is used both for AWS SSO authentication as well as what to do with the resulting URL from the console command.

Priority is given to:

  • --prompt
  • --arn ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN)
  • --account ($AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID) and --role ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME)
  • AWS_PROFILE environment variable (works with both SSO and static profiles)
  • Prompt user interactively


Modifies the ~/.aws/config file to contain a profile for every role accessible via AWS SSO CLI.


  • --diff -- Print a diff of changes to the config file instead of modifying it
  • --open -- Override how to open URls: [open|clip] (required)
  • --print -- Print profile entries instead of modifying config file

This generates a series of named profile entries in the ~/.aws/config file which allows you to easily use any AWS SSO role just by setting the $AWS_PROFILE environment variable. By default, each profile is named according to the ProfileFormat config option or overridden by the user defined Profile option on a role by role basis.

For each profile generated, it will specify a list of settings as defined by the ConfigVariables setting in the ~/.aws-sso/config.yaml.

Note: Due to a limitation in the AWS tooling, print is not a supported --url-action when using the $AWS_PROFILE variable with AWS SSO CLI. Hence, you must use open to auto-open URLs in your browser (recommended) or clip to automatically copy URLs to your clipboard.

Note: You should run this command any time your list of AWS roles changes.

Note: It is important that you do NOT remove the # BEGIN_AWS_SSO_CLI and # END_AWS_SSO_CLI lines from your config file! These markers are used to track which profiles are managed by AWS SSO CLI.

Note: This command does not honor the --sso option as it operates on all of the configured AWS SSO instances in the ~/.aws-sso/config.yaml file.


Generate a series of export VARIABLE=VALUE lines suitable for sourcing into your shell. Allows obtaining new AWS credentials without starting a new shell. Can be used to refresh existing AWS credentials or by specifying the appropriate arguments.

Suggested use (bash): eval $(aws-sso eval <args>)


  • --arn <arn>, -a -- ARN of role to assume
  • --account <account>, -A -- AWS AccountID of role to assume (requires --role)
  • --role <role>, -R -- Name of AWS Role to assume (requires --account)
  • --no-region -- Do not set the AWS_DEFAULT_REGION from config.yaml
  • --refresh -- Refresh current IAM credentials

Priority is given to:

  • --refresh (Uses $AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN)
  • --arn
  • --account and --role

Note: The eval command only honors the $AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN in the context of the --refresh flag. The $AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME and $AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID are always ignored.

Note: Using --url-action=print is supported, but you must be able to see the output of STDERR to see the URL to open.

Note: The eval command is not supported under Windows CommandPrompt or PowerShell.

See Environment Variables for more information about what varibles are set.


Exec allows you to execute a command with the necessary AWS environment variables. By default, if no command is specified, it will start a new interactive shell so you can run multiple commands.


  • --arn <arn>, -a -- ARN of role to assume ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN)
  • --account <account>, -A -- AWS AccountID of role to assume ($AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID)
  • --env, -e -- Use existing ENV vars generated by AWS SSO to generate a URL
  • --role <role>, -R -- Name of AWS Role to assume ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME)
  • --no-region -- Do not set the AWS_DEFAULT_REGION from config.yaml

Arguments: [<command>] [<args> ...]

Priority is given to:

  • --arn ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN)
  • --account ($AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID) and --role ($AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME)
  • Prompt user interactively

You can not run exec inside of another exec shell.

See Environment Variables for more information about what varibles are set.


Process allows you to use AWS SSO as an external credentials provider with profiles defined in ~/.aws/config.


  • --arn <arn>, -a -- ARN of role to assume
  • --account <account>, -A -- AWS AccountID of role to assume
  • --role <role>, -R -- Name of AWS Role to assume (requires --account)

Priority is given to:

  • --arn
  • --account and --role

Note: The process command does not honor the $AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN, $AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID, or $AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME environment variables.

Note: Due to a limitation of the AWS tooling, setting --url-action print will cause an error because of a limitation of the AWS tooling which prevents it from working.


AWS SSO CLI caches information about your AWS Accounts, Roles and Tags for better perfomance. By default it will refresh this information after 24 hours, but you can force this data to be refreshed immediately.

Cache data is also automatically updated anytime the config.yaml file is modified.


List will list all of the AWS Roles you can assume with the metadata/tags available to be used for interactive selection with exec. You can control which fields are printed by specifying the field names as arguments.


  • --list-fields, -f -- List the available fields to print

Arguments: [<field> ...]

The arguments are a list of fields to display in the report. Overrides the defaults and/or the specified ListFields in the config.yaml.

Default fields:

  • AccountId
  • AccountAlias
  • RoleName
  • ExpiresStr


Flush any cached AWS SSO/STS credentials. By default, it only flushes the temporary STS IAM role credentials for the selected SSO instance.


  • --type, -t -- Type of credentials to flush:
    • sts -- Flush temporary STS credentials for IAM roles
    • sso -- Flush temporary AWS SSO credentials
    • all -- Flush temporary STS and SSO credentials


Tags dumps a list of AWS SSO roles with the available metadata tags.


  • --account <account> -- Filter results by AccountId
  • --role <role> -- Filter results by Role Name

By default the following key/values are available as tags to your roles:

  • AccountID -- AWS Account ID
  • Role -- AWS Role Name
  • Email -- Email address of root account associated with the AWS Account
  • AccountName -- Account Name for any role defined in config (see below)
  • AccountAlias --- AWS Account Alias defined by account administrator
  • History -- Tag tracking if this role was recently used. See HistoryLimit in config.


Print a string containing the number of hours and minutes that the current AWS Role's STS credentials are valid for in the format of HHhMMm

Note: This command is only useful when you have STS credentials configured in your shell via eval or exec.


Configures your appropriate shell configuration file to add auto-complete functionality for commands, flags and options. Must restart your shell for this to take effect.

Modifies the following file based on your shell:

  • ~/.bash_profile -- bash
  • ~/.zshrc -- zsh

Environment Variables

Honored Variables

The following environment variables are honored by aws-sso:

  • AWS_SSO_FILE_PASSPHRASE -- Passphrase to use with the file SecureStore
  • AWS_SSO_CONFIG -- Specify an alternate path to the aws-sso config file
  • AWS_SSO_BROWSER -- Override default browser for AWS SSO login
  • AWS_SSO -- Override default AWS SSO instance to use
  • AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME -- Used for --role/-R with some commands
  • AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID -- Used for --account/-A with some commands
  • AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN -- Used for --arn/-a with some commands and with eval --refresh

The file SecureStore will use the AWS_SSO_FILE_PASSPHRASE environment variable for the passphrase if it is set. (Not recommended.)

Additionally, $AWS_PROFILE is honored via the standard AWS tooling when using the config command to manage your ~/.aws/config file.

Managed Variables

The following AWS environment variables are automatically set by aws-sso:

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID -- Authentication identifier required by AWS
  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY -- Authentication secret required by AWS
  • AWS_SESSION_TOKEN -- Authentication secret required by AWS
  • AWS_DEFAULT_REGION -- Region to use AWS with (will never override an existing value)

The following environment variables are specific to aws-sso:

  • AWS_SSO_ACCOUNT_ID -- The AccountID for your IAM role
  • AWS_SSO_ROLE_NAME -- The name of the IAM role
  • AWS_SSO_ROLE_ARN -- The full ARN of the IAM role
  • AWS_SSO_SESSION_EXPIRATION -- The date and time when the IAM role credentials will expire
  • AWS_SSO_PROFILE -- User customizable varible using the ProfileFormat template
  • AWS_SSO -- AWS SSO instance name


AWS SSO CLI is licnsed under the GPLv3.