[ aws . greengrass ]



Creates a device definition. You may provide the initial version of the device definition now or use ‘’CreateDeviceDefinitionVersion’’ at a later time.

See also: AWS API Documentation

See ‘aws help’ for descriptions of global parameters.


[--amzn-client-token <value>]
[--initial-version <value>]
[--name <value>]
[--tags <value>]
[--cli-input-json | --cli-input-yaml]
[--generate-cli-skeleton <value>]


--amzn-client-token (string) A client token used to correlate requests and responses.

--initial-version (structure) Information about the initial version of the device definition.Devices -> (list)

A list of devices in the definition version.


Information about a device.

CertificateArn -> (string)

The ARN of the certificate associated with the device.

Id -> (string)

A descriptive or arbitrary ID for the device. This value must be unique within the device definition version. Max length is 128 characters with pattern ‘’[a-zA-Z0-9:_-]+’’.

SyncShadow -> (boolean)

If true, the device’s local shadow will be automatically synced with the cloud.

ThingArn -> (string)

The thing ARN of the device.

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

  "Devices": [
      "CertificateArn": "string",
      "Id": "string",
      "SyncShadow": true|false,
      "ThingArn": "string"

--name (string) The name of the device definition.

--tags (map) Tag(s) to add to the new resource.key -> (string)

value -> (string)

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

{"string": "string"

--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.

--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.

See ‘aws help’ for descriptions of global parameters.


To create a device definition

The following create-device-definition example creates a device definition that contains an initial device definition version. The initial version defines two devices. Before you can create a Greengrass device, you must first create and provision the corresponding AWS IoT thing. This process includes the following iot commands that you must run to get the required information for the Greengrass command:

  • Create the AWS IoT thing that corresponds to the device:

    aws iot create-thing \
        --thing-name "InteriorTherm"


    "thingArn": "arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:thing/InteriorTherm",
    "thingName": "InteriorTherm",
    "thingId": "01d4763c-78a6-46c6-92be-7add080394bf"
  • Create public and private keys and the device certificate for the thing. This example uses the create-keys-and-certificate command and requires write permissions to the current directory. Alternatively, you can use the create-certificate-from-csr command:

    aws iot create-keys-and-certificate \
        --set-as-active \
        --certificate-pem-outfile "myDevice.cert.pem" \
        --public-key-outfile "myDevice.public.key" \
        --private-key-outfile "myDevice.private.key"


    "certificateArn": "arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:cert/66a415ec415668c2349a76170b64ac0878231c1e21ec83c10e92a18bd568eb92",
    "certificatePem": "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\nMIIDWTCAkGgAwIBATgIUCgq6EGqou6zFqWgIZRndgQEFW+gwDQYJKoZIhvc...KdGewQS\n-----END CERTIFICATE-----\n",
    "keyPair": {
        "PublicKey": "-----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----\nMIIBIjANBzrqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOCAQ8AMIIBCgKCAQEAqKpRgnn6yq26U3y...wIDAQAB\n-----END PUBLIC KEY-----\n",
        "PrivateKey": "-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----\nMIIEowIABAKCAQEAqKpRgnn6yq26U3yt5YFZquyukfRjbMXDcNOK4rMCxDR...fvY4+te\n-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----\n"
    "certificateId": "66a415ec415668c2349a76170b64ac0878231c1e21ec83c10e92a18bd568eb92"
  • Create an AWS IoT policy that allows iot and greengrass actions. For simplicity, the following policy allows actions on all resources, but your policy can be more restrictive:

    aws iot create-policy \
        --policy-name "GG_Devices" \
        --policy-document "{\"Version\":\"2012-10-17\",\"Statement\":[{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"iot:Publish\",\"iot:Subscribe\",\"iot:Connect\",\"iot:Receive\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]},{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"iot:GetThingShadow\",\"iot:UpdateThingShadow\",\"iot:DeleteThingShadow\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]},{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"greengrass:*\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]}]}"


    "policyName": "GG_Devices",
    "policyArn": "arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:policy/GG_Devices",
    "policyDocument": "{\"Version\":\"2012-10-17\",\"Statement\":[{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"iot:Publish\",\"iot:Subscribe\",\"iot:Connect\",\"iot:Receive\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]},{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"iot:GetThingShadow\",\"iot:UpdateThingShadow\",\"iot:DeleteThingShadow\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]},{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":[\"greengrass:*\"],\"Resource\":[\"*\"]}]}",
    "policyVersionId": "1"
  • Attach the policy to the certificate:

    aws iot attach-policy \
        --policy-name "GG_Devices" \
        --target "arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:cert/66a415ec415668c2349a76170b64ac0878231c1e21ec83c10e92a18bd568eb92"
  • Attach the thing to the certificate

    aws iot attach-thing-principal \
        --thing-name "InteriorTherm" \
        --principal "arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:cert/66a415ec415668c2349a76170b64ac0878231c1e21ec83c10e92a18bd568eb92"

After you create and configure the IoT thing as shown above, use the ThingArn and CertificateArn from the first two commands in the following example.

aws greengrass create-device-definition \
    --name "Sensors" \
    --initial-version "{\"Devices\":[{\"Id\":\"InteriorTherm\",\"ThingArn\":\"arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:thing/InteriorTherm\",\"CertificateArn\":\"arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:cert/66a415ec415668c2349a76170b64ac0878231c1e21ec83c10e92a18bd568eb92\",\"SyncShadow\":true},{\"Id\":\"ExteriorTherm\",\"ThingArn\":\"arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:thing/ExteriorTherm\",\"CertificateArn\":\"arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:123456789012:cert/6c52ce1b47bde88a637e9ccdd45fe4e4c2c0a75a6866f8f63d980ee22fa51e02\",\"SyncShadow\":true}]}"


    "LatestVersionArn": "arn:aws:greengrass:us-west-2:123456789012:/greengrass/definition/devices/f9ba083d-5ad4-4534-9f86-026a45df1ccd/versions/3b5cc510-58c1-44b5-9d98-4ad858ffa795",
    "Name": "Sensors",
    "LastUpdatedTimestamp": "2019-09-11T00:11:06.197Z",
    "LatestVersion": "3b5cc510-58c1-44b5-9d98-4ad858ffa795",
    "CreationTimestamp": "2019-09-11T00:11:06.197Z",
    "Id": "f9ba083d-5ad4-4534-9f86-026a45df1ccd",
    "Arn": "arn:aws:greengrass:us-west-2:123456789012:/greengrass/definition/devices/f9ba083d-5ad4-4534-9f86-026a45df1ccd"


Arn -> (string)

The ARN of the definition.

CreationTimestamp -> (string)

The time, in milliseconds since the epoch, when the definition was created.

Id -> (string)

The ID of the definition.

LastUpdatedTimestamp -> (string)

The time, in milliseconds since the epoch, when the definition was last updated.

LatestVersion -> (string)

The ID of the latest version associated with the definition.

LatestVersionArn -> (string)

The ARN of the latest version associated with the definition.

Name -> (string)

The name of the definition.