Using Steampipe in AWS Cloud Shell

AWS CloudShell is a free service that spins up a terminal right in your AWS account. Because the terminal includes the AWS CLI and your credentials, it takes just a few seconds to install Steampipe itself, along with the AWS plugin. You can then immediately write SQL queries to pull data from the hundreds of Postgres tables supported by the plugin.

About AWS Cloud Shell

To start the shell, visit an URL like and click the highlighted icon. If you don't see the icon, switch to a supported region.

Cloud Shell includes 1 GB of free persistent storage per region. When you exit the shell, AWS preserves only the files inside your home directory. So we'll install Steampipe in your home directory (vs /usr/local/bin), and we'll run Steampipe as ./steampipe (vs steampipe).

Installing Steampipe in AWS Cloud Shell

To install Steampipe, copy and run this command.

curl -s -L | tar -xzvf -

To install the AWS plugin, copy and run this command.

./steampipe plugin install aws

Your output should look like:

aws [====================================================================] Done
Installed plugin: aws@latest v0.77.0

Run your first query

To launch Steampipe in query mode, do this:

./steampipe query

Steampipe prints a welcome message and a prompt.

Welcome to Steampipe v0.16.3
For more information, type .help

To find all your S3 buckets, enter this query:

select * from aws_s3_bucket

Your output should look like:

| name | arn | creation_date | bucket_policy_is_public |
| aws-cloudtrail-logs-605491513981-45df8af0 | arn:aws:s3:::aws-cloudtrail-logs-605491513981-45df8af0 | 2022-05-04T16:37:09Z | false |
| jon-turbot-test-bucket-01 | arn:aws:s3:::jon-turbot-test-bucket-01 | 2021-10-04T16:55:29Z | false |
| cf-templates-1s5tzrjxv4j52-us-west-1 | arn:aws:s3:::cf-templates-1s5tzrjxv4j52-us-west-1 | 2021-12-28T00:37:38Z | false |

That's it! You didn't have to read AWS API docs, or install an API client library like boto3, or learn how to use that client to make API calls and unpack JSON responses. Steampipe did all that for you. It works the same way for every AWS table. And because you can use SQL to join across AWS tables, it's easy to reason over your entire AWS infrastructure.

To see the full set of columns for any table, along with examples of their use, visit the Steampipe Hub. For S3 buckets, visit aws_s3_bucket. For quick reference you can autocomplete table names directly in the shell.

If you haven't used SQL lately, see our handy guide for writing Steampipe queries.