Running Steampipe Plugin Exporters

Each Steampipe Export CLI is distributed as a separate binary, but the command line options are the same:

steampipe_export_aws TABLE_NAME [flags]
--config string Config file data
-h, --help help for steampipe_export_aws
--limit int Limit data
--output string Output format: csv, json or jsonl (default "csv")
--select strings Column data to display
--where string where clause data


Many plugins have a default configuration that will use environment variables or other "native" configuration files to set your credentials if don't provide a --config. The behavior varies by plugin but should be documented in the Steampipe hub. The AWS plugin, for example, will resolve the region and credentials using the same mechanism as the AWS CLI (AWS environment variables, default profile, etc). If you have AWS CLI default credentials set up, Steampipe will use them if you don't specify --config:

steampipe_export_aws aws_account

Alternatively, you can specify the configuration with the --config argument. The --config argument takes a string containing the HCL configuration options for the plugin. The options vary per plugin, and match the connection options for the corresponding plugin. You can view the available options and syntax for the plugin in the Steampipe hub.

steampipe_export_aws --config 'profile = "my_profile"' aws_account

Note that HCL is newline-sensitive and you must include the line break. You can use \n with the bash $’string’ syntax to accomplish this:

steampipe_export_aws --config $'access_key="AKIA4YFAKEKEYT99999" \n secret_key="A32As+zuuBFThisIsAFakeSecretNb77HSLmcB"' aws_account

Or you can write your config to a file:

access_key = "AKIA4YFAKEKEYT99999"
secret_key = "A32As+zuuBFThisIsAFakeSecretNb77HSLmcB"

And then cat the file into the -config arg:

steampipe_export_aws --config "$(cat my_aws_config.hcl)" aws_account

Filtering Results

You can use --limit to specify the number of rows to return, which will reduce both the query time and the number of outbound API requests:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --limit 3

The --select argument allows you to specify which columns to return. Generally, you should select only the columns that you want in order to reduce the number of API calls, improve query performance, and minimize memory usage. Specify the columns you want, separated by a comma:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,instance_type,account_id,region

The --where argument allows you to filter the rows based on key columns:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --where "instance_type = 't2.micro'"

You can only specify key columns in --where because the Export CLI does the filtering server-side, via the API or service that it is calling. Refer to the table documentation in the Steampipe hub for a list of key columns (e.g.

Note that you do not have to select the column to filter by it:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,account_id,region,_ctx --where "instance_type = 't2.micro'"

The syntax for the --where argument generally follows the same structure as a SQL where clause comparison. Be aware that not all key columns support all operators (most only support = ) and you can only use the supported operators:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,instance_state,account_id,region --where "instance_type like 't2.%'"
key column for 'instance_type' does not support operator '~~'

You can specify multiple --where arguments, and they will be and'ed together:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,account_id,region,_ctx --where "instance_type = 't2.micro'" --where "instance_state = 'stopped'"

Formatting output

By default, the output is returned as CSV, but you can instead return as JSON:

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,account_id,region --output json

Or JSON lines (JSONL):

steampipe_export_aws aws_ec2_instance --select instance_id,account_id,region --output jsonl


You can set the logging level with the STEAMPIPE_LOG_LEVEL environment variable. By default, the log level is set to warn.


Logs are written to STDERR so by default they will be printed to the console. You can redirect them to a file instead with the standard file redirection mechanism:

steampipe_export_aws aws_iam_policy 2> errors.log