The AWS Command Line is awesome. The commands are descriptive, well organized and oftentimes easier to use than any of the dashboard consoles.

If you're looking or a simple NodeJS tool to help you to script and automate commands, try JakeJS.

JakeJS is a task management tool similar to Grunt or Gulp but that is inspired by Rake --that was derived from Make. Jake is fantastic for anyone coming from the Ruby on Rails community.

Jake Features

My favorite JakeJS features include:

Gettting Started

Install JakeJS

npm install jake --save-dev

Create a Jakefile.

touch Jakefile.js

Populate the Jakefile with tasks. Example

Organizing mutiple files

You can organize your different scripts by creating file.jake files and placing them inside of a /jakelib folder. See example.


All of my examples below will first require you to create an AWS cli profile.

List your IAM users

var util  = require('util');
//You might want to consider .env
var config = { profile: 'process.env.DOT_ENV_PROFILE' }

desc('List of Users.');
task('listUsers', { async: true }, function() {
  var cmds = [ util.format('aws iam list-users --profile %s', config.profile) ];
  jake.exec(cmds, { printStdout: true });


Zip a collection of Lambda files

This example shows you to how zip up a bunch of lambda functions.

var util = require('util');

namespace('app', function () {
	desc('Archive app for upload.');
	task('archive', { async: true }, function(config) {
		//Itemize the files you're excluding then concatenate them
		var excludes = [
			//Hidden files (i.e. .gitignore, .env)
			'-x .\*',
			//NPM package file
			'-x "package.json"', 
			//NPM Jakefile
			'-x "Jakefile.js"', 
			//ReadMe notes
			'-x \*.md',
			//HTTP Request Simulator
			'-x \*.paw',
			//AWS Policy Files
			'-x "aws_policies\*"',
			//Jakefile tasks
			'-x "jakelib\*"'
		].join(" ")
		var cmds = [
			//Remove all node modules including -devDependencies
			"rm -r node_modules",
			//Only install the production-ready modules
			"npm install --only=production",
			//Recursively Zip everything with exception to anything within excludes

util.format('zip -r %s * %s',, excludes)
		//Set "printStdout" to "true" if you want to see the stack trace
		jake.exec(cmds, { printStdout: false }, function(){


Common S3 Commands

I first create a file called /jakelib/aws.jake. This file will be used as a pre-requisite check that I have an AWS Client profile created.

var util = require('util');
var AWS  = require("aws-sdk");
var fs   = require('fs');

namespace('aws', function () {
	//TODO: Keep this AWS profile up-to-date.
		profile: "sgm"

	desc('Prerequisite to most jake tasks.  This loads credentials in NodeJS.');
	task('loadCredentials', { async: true }, { breakOnError: true }, function() {
		if(!AWS_CREDENTIALS.profile) fail("No awscli profile found within .env. Learn more:");
		AWS.config.credentials = new AWS.SharedIniFileCredentials({ profile: AWS_CREDENTIALS.profile });

My second file is titled /jakelib/s3.jake. This file will always check aws.jake.

var util = require('util');

namespace('s3', function () {	
	var config = { profile: "aws_credentials_profile" }

	desc('Create an S3 bucket.');
	task('create', ['aws:loadCredentials'], { async: true }, function(bucket_name) {
		var cmds = [ util.format('aws s3 mb %s --profile %s', bucket_name, config.profile) ];
		jake.exec(cmds, { printStdout: true });

	desc('Upload a file to an S3 bucket.');
	task('upload', ['aws:loadCredentials'], { async: true }, function(bucket_name, file) {
		var cmds = [ util.format('aws s3 cp /local/file/or/folder s3://%s --profile %s', bucket_name, config.profile) ];
		jake.exec(cmds, { printStdout: true });

	desc('List objects within a bucket.');
	task('list', ['aws:loadCredentials'], { async: true }, function(bucket_name) {
		var cmds = [ util.format('aws s3 ls s3://%s --profile %s', bucket_name, config.profile) ];
		jake.exec(cmds, { printStdout: true });

Now all you need to do is run jake namespace:task[params].

jake s3:create[name_of_s3_bucket,awscli_profile_name]

Example Code