AWS Guide

AWS Setup

Although this chapter is not directly SaltStack related, many of the examples in this book are geared towards using EC2 as the base for our SaltStack machines.

To get started on amazon, head over to and click on the “Sign Up” button. If you don't already have an aws account, sign up here.

Amazon aws page

Once you are done signing up and confirming your account with amazon, head back to and sign in to the AWS Management Console at the top:

AWS Managment Console

This will bring you to the “Amazon Web Services” screen. Click on your name and find the “Security Credentials” option at the top.

Security Credentials

This is where we'll find the AWS_ACCESS_KEY and AWS_SECRET_KEY. Take note of these.

Set these as environment variables on your local machine. This can be easily done using the export command. Place the following into a file in a convenience directory. We can put the following into ~/.ec2/



Once you have that set to go, then anytime you want to start working with your personal_aws keys, all you'll have to do is source that file, like so:

source ~/.ec2/
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