Query for AWS EC2 instances, security groups, and VPCs simply

pip install ec2==0.0.0


Amazon EC2

Ever try to query for some instances with boto? It sucks.

>>> import ec2
>>> ec2.instances.filter(state='running', name__startswith='production')


$ pip install ec2


AWS credentials

Credentials are defined as a global state, either through an environment variable, or in Python.

ec2.credentials.ACCESS_KEY_ID = 'xxx'
ec2.credentials.SECRET_ACCESS_KEY = 'xxx'
ec2.credentials.REGION_NAME = 'us-west-2'  # (optional) defaults to us-east-1

Credentials can also be loaded from a CSV file generated by Amazon's IAM. Note: REGION_NAME still needs to be specified.



All instances


All Security Groups


All Virtual Private Clouds



Filter style is based on Django's ORM All filters map directly to instance/security group properties.

ec2.instances.filter(id='i-xxx')  # Exact instance id
ec2.instances.filter(state='running')  # Exact instance state

Filters will also dig into tags.

ec2.instances.filter(name='production-web')  # Exact "Name" tag

Filters support many types of comparisons, similar to Django's ORM filters.

ec2.instances.filter(name__exact='production-web-01')  # idential to `name='...'`
ec2.instances.filter(name__iexact='PRODUCTION-WEB-01')  # Case insensitive "exact"
ec2.instances.filter(name__like=r'^production-web-\d+$')  # Match against a regular expression
ec2.instances.filter(name__ilike=r'^production-web-\d+$')  # Case insensitive "like"
ec2.instances.filter(name__contains='web')  # Field contains the search string
ec2.instances.filter(name__icontains='WEB')  # Case insensitive "contains"
ec2.instances.filter(name__startswith='production')  # Fields starts with the search string
ec2.instances.filter(name__istartswith='PRODUCTION')  # Case insensitive "startswith"
ec2.instances.filter(name__endswith='01')  # Fields ends with the search string
ec2.instances.filter(name__iendswith='01')  # Case insensitive "endswith"
ec2.instances.filter(name__isnull=False)  # Match if the field exists

Filters can also be chained.

ec2.instances.filter(state='running', name__startswith='production')

Filters can also be used with security groups.


Filters can also be used with virtual private clouds.


get() works exactly the same as filter(), except it returns just one instance and raises an exception for anything else.

ec2.instances.get(name='production-web-01')  # Return a single instance
ec2.instances.get(name='i-dont-exist')  # Raises an `ec2.instances.DoesNotExist` exception
ec2.instances.get(name__like=r'^production-web-\d+$')  # Raises an `ec2.instances.MultipleObjectsReturned` exception if matched more than one instance
ec2.security_groups.get(name__startswith='production')  # Raises an `ec2.security_groups.MultipleObjectsReturned` exception

Search fields


  • id (Instance id)
  • state (running, terminated, pending, shutting-down, stopping, stopped)
  • public_dns_name
  • ip_address
  • private_dns_name
  • private_ip_address
  • root_device_type (ebs, instance-store)
  • key_name (name of the SSH key used on the instance)
  • image_id (Id of the AMI)

All fields can be found at: https://github.com/boto/boto/blob/d91ed8/boto/ec2/instance.py#L157-204

Security Groups

  • id (Security Group id)
  • name
  • vpc_id

Virtual Private Clouds

  • id (Virtual Private Cloud id)
  • cidr_block (CIDR Network Block of the VPC)
  • state (Current state of the VPC, creation is not instant)
  • is_default
  • instance_tenancy
  • dhcp_options_id (DHCP options id)


Get public ip addresses from all running instances who are named production-web-{number}

import ec2
ec2.credentials.ACCESS_KEY_ID = 'xxx'
ec2.credentials.SECRET_ACCESS_KEY = 'xxx'

for instance in ec2.instances.filter(state='running', name__like=r'^production-web-\d+$'):
    print instance.ip_address

Add a role to a security group

import ec2
ec2.credentials.ACCESS_KEY_ID = 'xxx'
ec2.credentials.SECRET_ACCESS_KEY = 'xxx'

    group = ec2.security_groups.get(name='production-web')
except ec2.security_groups.DoesNotExist:
    import sys
    sys.stderr.write('Not found.')
group.authorize('tcp', 80, 80, cidr_ip='')