[ aws . cloudformation ]



Returns the description for the specified stack; if no stack name was specified, then it returns the description for all the stacks created.


If the stack does not exist, an AmazonCloudFormationException is returned.

See also: AWS API Documentation

See ‘aws help’ for descriptions of global parameters.

describe-stacks is a paginated operation. Multiple API calls may be issued in order to retrieve the entire data set of results. You can disable pagination by providing the --no-paginate argument. When using --output text and the --query argument on a paginated response, the --query argument must extract data from the results of the following query expressions: Stacks


[--stack-name <value>]
[--cli-input-json | --cli-input-yaml]
[--starting-token <value>]
[--max-items <value>]
[--generate-cli-skeleton <value>]
[--cli-auto-prompt <value>]


--stack-name (string)

The name or the unique stack ID that is associated with the stack, which are not always interchangeable:

  • Running stacks: You can specify either the stack’s name or its unique stack ID.

  • Deleted stacks: You must specify the unique stack ID.

Default: There is no default value.

--cli-input-json | --cli-input-yaml (string) Reads arguments from the JSON string provided. The JSON string follows the format provided by --generate-cli-skeleton. If other arguments are provided on the command line, those values will override the JSON-provided values. It is not possible to pass arbitrary binary values using a JSON-provided value as the string will be taken literally. This may not be specified along with --cli-input-yaml.

--starting-token (string)

A token to specify where to start paginating. This is the NextToken from a previously truncated response.

For usage examples, see Pagination in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide .

--max-items (integer)

The total number of items to return in the command’s output. If the total number of items available is more than the value specified, a NextToken is provided in the command’s output. To resume pagination, provide the NextToken value in the starting-token argument of a subsequent command. Do not use the NextToken response element directly outside of the AWS CLI.

For usage examples, see Pagination in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide .

--generate-cli-skeleton (string) Prints a JSON skeleton to standard output without sending an API request. If provided with no value or the value input, prints a sample input JSON that can be used as an argument for --cli-input-json. Similarly, if provided yaml-input it will print a sample input YAML that can be used with --cli-input-yaml. If provided with the value output, it validates the command inputs and returns a sample output JSON for that command.

--cli-auto-prompt (boolean) Automatically prompt for CLI input parameters.

See ‘aws help’ for descriptions of global parameters.


To describe AWS CloudFormation stacks

The following describe-stacks command shows summary information for the myteststack stack:

aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name myteststack


    "Stacks":  [
            "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:123456789012:stack/myteststack/466df9e0-0dff-08e3-8e2f-5088487c4896",
            "Description": "AWS CloudFormation Sample Template S3_Bucket: Sample template showing how to create a publicly accessible S3 bucket. **WARNING** This template creates an S3 bucket. You will be billed for the AWS resources used if you create a stack from this template.",
            "Tags": [],
            "Outputs": [
                    "Description": "Name of S3 bucket to hold website content",
                    "OutputKey": "BucketName",
                    "OutputValue": "myteststack-s3bucket-jssofi1zie2w"
            "StackStatusReason": null,
            "CreationTime": "2013-08-23T01:02:15.422Z",
            "Capabilities": [],
            "StackName": "myteststack",
            "StackStatus": "CREATE_COMPLETE",
            "DisableRollback": false

For more information, see Stacks in the AWS CloudFormation User Guide.


Stacks -> (list)

A list of stack structures.


The Stack data type.

StackId -> (string)

Unique identifier of the stack.

StackName -> (string)

The name associated with the stack.

ChangeSetId -> (string)

The unique ID of the change set.

Description -> (string)

A user-defined description associated with the stack.

Parameters -> (list)

A list of Parameter structures.


The Parameter data type.

ParameterKey -> (string)

The key associated with the parameter. If you don’t specify a key and value for a particular parameter, AWS CloudFormation uses the default value that is specified in your template.

ParameterValue -> (string)

The input value associated with the parameter.

UsePreviousValue -> (boolean)

During a stack update, use the existing parameter value that the stack is using for a given parameter key. If you specify true , do not specify a parameter value.

ResolvedValue -> (string)

Read-only. The value that corresponds to a Systems Manager parameter key. This field is returned only for ` SSM parameter types <https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSCloudFormation/latest/UserGuide/parameters-section-structure.html#aws-ssm-parameter-types>`__ in the template.

CreationTime -> (timestamp)

The time at which the stack was created.

DeletionTime -> (timestamp)

The time the stack was deleted.

LastUpdatedTime -> (timestamp)

The time the stack was last updated. This field will only be returned if the stack has been updated at least once.

RollbackConfiguration -> (structure)

The rollback triggers for AWS CloudFormation to monitor during stack creation and updating operations, and for the specified monitoring period afterwards.

RollbackTriggers -> (list)

The triggers to monitor during stack creation or update actions.

By default, AWS CloudFormation saves the rollback triggers specified for a stack and applies them to any subsequent update operations for the stack, unless you specify otherwise. If you do specify rollback triggers for this parameter, those triggers replace any list of triggers previously specified for the stack. This means:

  • To use the rollback triggers previously specified for this stack, if any, don’t specify this parameter.

  • To specify new or updated rollback triggers, you must specify all the triggers that you want used for this stack, even triggers you’ve specifed before (for example, when creating the stack or during a previous stack update). Any triggers that you don’t include in the updated list of triggers are no longer applied to the stack.

  • To remove all currently specified triggers, specify an empty list for this parameter.

If a specified trigger is missing, the entire stack operation fails and is rolled back.


A rollback trigger AWS CloudFormation monitors during creation and updating of stacks. If any of the alarms you specify goes to ALARM state during the stack operation or within the specified monitoring period afterwards, CloudFormation rolls back the entire stack operation.

Arn -> (string)

The Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the rollback trigger.

If a specified trigger is missing, the entire stack operation fails and is rolled back.

Type -> (string)

The resource type of the rollback trigger. Currently, AWS::CloudWatch::Alarm is the only supported resource type.

MonitoringTimeInMinutes -> (integer)

The amount of time, in minutes, during which CloudFormation should monitor all the rollback triggers after the stack creation or update operation deploys all necessary resources.

The default is 0 minutes.

If you specify a monitoring period but do not specify any rollback triggers, CloudFormation still waits the specified period of time before cleaning up old resources after update operations. You can use this monitoring period to perform any manual stack validation desired, and manually cancel the stack creation or update (using CancelUpdateStack , for example) as necessary.

If you specify 0 for this parameter, CloudFormation still monitors the specified rollback triggers during stack creation and update operations. Then, for update operations, it begins disposing of old resources immediately once the operation completes.

StackStatus -> (string)

Current status of the stack.

StackStatusReason -> (string)

Success/failure message associated with the stack status.

DisableRollback -> (boolean)

Boolean to enable or disable rollback on stack creation failures:

  • true : disable rollback

  • false : enable rollback

NotificationARNs -> (list)

SNS topic ARNs to which stack related events are published.


TimeoutInMinutes -> (integer)

The amount of time within which stack creation should complete.

Capabilities -> (list)

The capabilities allowed in the stack.


Outputs -> (list)

A list of output structures.


The Output data type.

OutputKey -> (string)

The key associated with the output.

OutputValue -> (string)

The value associated with the output.

Description -> (string)

User defined description associated with the output.

ExportName -> (string)

The name of the export associated with the output.

RoleARN -> (string)

The Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role that is associated with the stack. During a stack operation, AWS CloudFormation uses this role’s credentials to make calls on your behalf.

Tags -> (list)

A list of Tag s that specify information about the stack.


The Tag type enables you to specify a key-value pair that can be used to store information about an AWS CloudFormation stack.

Key -> (string)

Required . A string used to identify this tag. You can specify a maximum of 128 characters for a tag key. Tags owned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) have the reserved prefix: aws: .

Value -> (string)

Required . A string containing the value for this tag. You can specify a maximum of 256 characters for a tag value.

EnableTerminationProtection -> (boolean)

Whether termination protection is enabled for the stack.

For nested stacks , termination protection is set on the root stack and cannot be changed directly on the nested stack. For more information, see Protecting a Stack From Being Deleted in the AWS CloudFormation User Guide .

ParentId -> (string)

For nested stacks–stacks created as resources for another stack–the stack ID of the direct parent of this stack. For the first level of nested stacks, the root stack is also the parent stack.

For more information, see Working with Nested Stacks in the AWS CloudFormation User Guide .

RootId -> (string)

For nested stacks–stacks created as resources for another stack–the stack ID of the top-level stack to which the nested stack ultimately belongs.

For more information, see Working with Nested Stacks in the AWS CloudFormation User Guide .

DriftInformation -> (structure)

Information on whether a stack’s actual configuration differs, or has drifted , from it’s expected configuration, as defined in the stack template and any values specified as template parameters. For more information, see Detecting Unregulated Configuration Changes to Stacks and Resources .

StackDriftStatus -> (string)

Status of the stack’s actual configuration compared to its expected template configuration.

  • DRIFTED : The stack differs from its expected template configuration. A stack is considered to have drifted if one or more of its resources have drifted.

  • NOT_CHECKED : AWS CloudFormation has not checked if the stack differs from its expected template configuration.

  • IN_SYNC : The stack’s actual configuration matches its expected template configuration.

  • UNKNOWN : This value is reserved for future use.

LastCheckTimestamp -> (timestamp)

Most recent time when a drift detection operation was initiated on the stack, or any of its individual resources that support drift detection.

NextToken -> (string)

If the output exceeds 1 MB in size, a string that identifies the next page of stacks. If no additional page exists, this value is null.