[ aws . opsworks ]



Requests a description of a set of instances.


This call accepts only one resource-identifying parameter.

Required Permissions : To use this action, an IAM user must have a Show, Deploy, or Manage permissions level for the stack, or an attached policy that explicitly grants permissions. For more information about user permissions, see Managing User Permissions .

See also: AWS API Documentation


[--stack-id <value>]
[--layer-id <value>]
[--instance-ids <value>]
[--cli-input-json | --cli-input-yaml]
[--generate-cli-skeleton <value>]
[--endpoint-url <value>]
[--output <value>]
[--query <value>]
[--profile <value>]
[--region <value>]
[--version <value>]
[--color <value>]
[--ca-bundle <value>]
[--cli-read-timeout <value>]
[--cli-connect-timeout <value>]
[--cli-binary-format <value>]


--stack-id (string)

A stack ID. If you use this parameter, DescribeInstances returns descriptions of the instances associated with the specified stack.

--layer-id (string)

A layer ID. If you use this parameter, DescribeInstances returns descriptions of the instances associated with the specified layer.

--instance-ids (list)

An array of instance IDs to be described. If you use this parameter, DescribeInstances returns a description of the specified instances. Otherwise, it returns a description of every instance.



"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. The generated JSON skeleton is not stable between versions of the AWS CLI and there are no backwards compatibility guarantees in the JSON skeleton generated.

Global Options

--debug (boolean)

Turn on debug logging.

--endpoint-url (string)

Override command’s default URL with the given URL.

--no-verify-ssl (boolean)

By default, the AWS CLI uses SSL when communicating with AWS services. For each SSL connection, the AWS CLI will verify SSL certificates. This option overrides the default behavior of verifying SSL certificates.

--no-paginate (boolean)

Disable automatic pagination.

--output (string)

The formatting style for command output.

  • json
  • text
  • table
  • yaml
  • yaml-stream

--query (string)

A JMESPath query to use in filtering the response data.

--profile (string)

Use a specific profile from your credential file.

--region (string)

The region to use. Overrides config/env settings.

--version (string)

Display the version of this tool.

--color (string)

Turn on/off color output.

  • on
  • off
  • auto

--no-sign-request (boolean)

Do not sign requests. Credentials will not be loaded if this argument is provided.

--ca-bundle (string)

The CA certificate bundle to use when verifying SSL certificates. Overrides config/env settings.

--cli-read-timeout (int)

The maximum socket read time in seconds. If the value is set to 0, the socket read will be blocking and not timeout. The default value is 60 seconds.

--cli-connect-timeout (int)

The maximum socket connect time in seconds. If the value is set to 0, the socket connect will be blocking and not timeout. The default value is 60 seconds.

--cli-binary-format (string)

The formatting style to be used for binary blobs. The default format is base64. The base64 format expects binary blobs to be provided as a base64 encoded string. The raw-in-base64-out format preserves compatibility with AWS CLI V1 behavior and binary values must be passed literally. When providing contents from a file that map to a binary blob fileb:// will always be treated as binary and use the file contents directly regardless of the cli-binary-format setting. When using file:// the file contents will need to properly formatted for the configured cli-binary-format.

  • base64
  • raw-in-base64-out

--no-cli-pager (boolean)

Disable cli pager for output.

--cli-auto-prompt (boolean)

Automatically prompt for CLI input parameters.

--no-cli-auto-prompt (boolean)

Disable automatically prompt for CLI input parameters.



To use the following examples, you must have the AWS CLI installed and configured. See the Getting started guide in the AWS CLI User Guide for more information.

Unless otherwise stated, all examples have unix-like quotation rules. These examples will need to be adapted to your terminal’s quoting rules. See Using quotation marks with strings in the AWS CLI User Guide .

To describe instances

The following describe-instances command describes the instances in a specified stack:

aws opsworks --region us-east-1 describe-instances --stack-id 8c428b08-a1a1-46ce-a5f8-feddc43771b8

Output: The following output example is for a stack with two instances. The first is a registered EC2 instance, and the second was created by AWS OpsWorks.

  "Instances": [
      "StackId": "71c7ca72-55ae-4b6a-8ee1-a8dcded3fa0f",
      "PrivateDns": "ip-10-31-39-66.us-west-2.compute.internal",
      "LayerIds": [
      "EbsOptimized": false,
      "ReportedOs": {
        "Version": "14.04",
        "Name": "ubuntu",
        "Family": "debian"
      "Status": "online",
      "InstanceId": "4d6d1710-ded9-42a1-b08e-b043ad7af1e2",
      "SshKeyName": "US-West-2",
      "InfrastructureClass": "ec2",
      "RootDeviceVolumeId": "vol-d08ec6c1",
      "SubnetId": "subnet-b8de0ddd",
      "InstanceType": "t1.micro",
      "CreatedAt": "2015-02-24T20:52:49+00:00",
      "AmiId": "ami-35501205",
      "Hostname": "ip-192-0-2-0",
      "Ec2InstanceId": "i-5cd23551",
      "PublicDns": "ec2-192-0-2-0.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com",
      "SecurityGroupIds": [
      "Architecture": "x86_64",
      "RootDeviceType": "ebs",
      "InstallUpdatesOnBoot": true,
      "Os": "Custom",
      "VirtualizationType": "paravirtual",
      "AvailabilityZone": "us-west-2a",
      "PrivateIp": "",
      "PublicIp": "",
      "RegisteredBy": "arn:aws:iam::123456789102:user/AWS/OpsWorks/OpsWorks-EC2Register-i-5cd23551"
      "StackId": "71c7ca72-55ae-4b6a-8ee1-a8dcded3fa0f",
      "PrivateDns": "ip-10-31-39-158.us-west-2.compute.internal",
      "SshHostRsaKeyFingerprint": "69:6b:7b:8b:72:f3:ed:23:01:00:05:bc:9f:a4:60:c1",
      "LayerIds": [
      "EbsOptimized": false,
      "ReportedOs": {},
      "Status": "booting",
      "InstanceId": "9b137a0d-2f5d-4cc0-9704-13da4b31fdcb",
      "SshKeyName": "US-West-2",
      "InfrastructureClass": "ec2",
      "RootDeviceVolumeId": "vol-e09dd5f1",
      "SubnetId": "subnet-b8de0ddd",
      "InstanceProfileArn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789102:instance-profile/aws-opsworks-ec2-role",
      "InstanceType": "c3.large",
      "CreatedAt": "2015-02-24T21:29:33+00:00",
      "AmiId": "ami-9fc29baf",
      "SshHostDsaKeyFingerprint": "fc:87:95:c3:f5:e1:3b:9f:d2:06:6e:62:9a:35:27:e8",
      "Ec2InstanceId": "i-8d2dca80",
      "PublicDns": "ec2-192-0-2-1.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com",
      "SecurityGroupIds": [
      "Architecture": "x86_64",
      "RootDeviceType": "ebs",
      "InstallUpdatesOnBoot": true,
      "Os": "Amazon Linux 2014.09",
      "VirtualizationType": "paravirtual",
      "AvailabilityZone": "us-west-2a",
      "Hostname": "custom11",
      "PrivateIp": "",
      "PublicIp": ""

More Information

For more information, see Instances in the AWS OpsWorks User Guide.


Instances -> (list)

An array of Instance objects that describe the instances.


Describes an instance.

AgentVersion -> (string)

The agent version. This parameter is set to INHERIT if the instance inherits the default stack setting or to a a version number for a fixed agent version.

AmiId -> (string)

A custom AMI ID to be used to create the instance. For more information, see Instances

Architecture -> (string)

The instance architecture: “i386” or “x86_64”.

Arn -> (string)

The instance’s Amazon Resource Number (ARN).

AutoScalingType -> (string)

For load-based or time-based instances, the type.

AvailabilityZone -> (string)

The instance Availability Zone. For more information, see Regions and Endpoints .

BlockDeviceMappings -> (list)

An array of BlockDeviceMapping objects that specify the instance’s block device mappings.


Describes a block device mapping. This data type maps directly to the Amazon EC2 BlockDeviceMapping data type.

DeviceName -> (string)

The device name that is exposed to the instance, such as /dev/sdh . For the root device, you can use the explicit device name or you can set this parameter to ROOT_DEVICE and OpsWorks Stacks will provide the correct device name.

NoDevice -> (string)

Suppresses the specified device included in the AMI’s block device mapping.

VirtualName -> (string)

The virtual device name. For more information, see BlockDeviceMapping .

Ebs -> (structure)

An EBSBlockDevice that defines how to configure an Amazon EBS volume when the instance is launched.

SnapshotId -> (string)

The snapshot ID.

Iops -> (integer)

The number of I/O operations per second (IOPS) that the volume supports. For more information, see EbsBlockDevice .

VolumeSize -> (integer)

The volume size, in GiB. For more information, see EbsBlockDevice .

VolumeType -> (string)

The volume type. gp2 for General Purpose (SSD) volumes, io1 for Provisioned IOPS (SSD) volumes, st1 for Throughput Optimized hard disk drives (HDD), sc1 for Cold HDD,and standard for Magnetic volumes.

If you specify the io1 volume type, you must also specify a value for the Iops attribute. The maximum ratio of provisioned IOPS to requested volume size (in GiB) is 50:1. Amazon Web Services uses the default volume size (in GiB) specified in the AMI attributes to set IOPS to 50 x (volume size).

DeleteOnTermination -> (boolean)

Whether the volume is deleted on instance termination.

CreatedAt -> (string)

The time that the instance was created.

EbsOptimized -> (boolean)

Whether this is an Amazon EBS-optimized instance.

Ec2InstanceId -> (string)

The ID of the associated Amazon EC2 instance.

EcsClusterArn -> (string)

For container instances, the Amazon ECS cluster’s ARN.

EcsContainerInstanceArn -> (string)

For container instances, the instance’s ARN.

ElasticIp -> (string)

The instance Elastic IP address .

Hostname -> (string)

The instance host name. The following are character limits for instance host names.

  • Linux-based instances: 63 characters
  • Windows-based instances: 15 characters

InfrastructureClass -> (string)

For registered instances, the infrastructure class: ec2 or on-premises .

InstallUpdatesOnBoot -> (boolean)

Whether to install operating system and package updates when the instance boots. The default value is true . If this value is set to false , you must update instances manually by using CreateDeployment to run the update_dependencies stack command or by manually running yum (Amazon Linux) or apt-get (Ubuntu) on the instances.


We strongly recommend using the default value of true to ensure that your instances have the latest security updates.

InstanceId -> (string)

The instance ID.

InstanceProfileArn -> (string)

The ARN of the instance’s IAM profile. For more information about IAM ARNs, see Using Identifiers .

InstanceType -> (string)

The instance type, such as t2.micro .

LastServiceErrorId -> (string)

The ID of the last service error. For more information, call DescribeServiceErrors .

LayerIds -> (list)

An array containing the instance layer IDs.


Os -> (string)

The instance’s operating system.

Platform -> (string)

The instance’s platform.

PrivateDns -> (string)

The instance’s private DNS name.

PrivateIp -> (string)

The instance’s private IP address.

PublicDns -> (string)

The instance public DNS name.

PublicIp -> (string)

The instance public IP address.

RegisteredBy -> (string)

For registered instances, who performed the registration.

ReportedAgentVersion -> (string)

The instance’s reported OpsWorks Stacks agent version.

ReportedOs -> (structure)

For registered instances, the reported operating system.

Family -> (string)

The operating system family.

Name -> (string)

The operating system name.

Version -> (string)

The operating system version.

RootDeviceType -> (string)

The instance’s root device type. For more information, see Storage for the Root Device .

RootDeviceVolumeId -> (string)

The root device volume ID.

SecurityGroupIds -> (list)

An array containing the instance security group IDs.


SshHostDsaKeyFingerprint -> (string)

The SSH key’s Deep Security Agent (DSA) fingerprint.

SshHostRsaKeyFingerprint -> (string)

The SSH key’s RSA fingerprint.

SshKeyName -> (string)

The instance’s Amazon EC2 key-pair name.

StackId -> (string)

The stack ID.

Status -> (string)

The instance status:

  • booting
  • connection_lost
  • online
  • pending
  • rebooting
  • requested
  • running_setup
  • setup_failed
  • shutting_down
  • start_failed
  • stop_failed
  • stopped
  • stopping
  • terminated
  • terminating

SubnetId -> (string)

The instance’s subnet ID; applicable only if the stack is running in a VPC.

Tenancy -> (string)

The instance’s tenancy option, such as dedicated or host .

VirtualizationType -> (string)

The instance’s virtualization type: paravirtual or hvm .