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back to article AWS’ gift to sysadmins: a cloudy command line

With Christmas all-but upon us, Amazon Web Services has issued a gift to a certain type of Sysadmin: a command line interface for its cloud computing services. The gift is perhaps a little too well-wrapped: you’ll need to visit GitHub to download the package and then have Python versions 2.6.x - 3.3.x. handy to run it. And of …

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So, basically, reading between the lines ...

... amazon has reinvented sh, telnet, ftp & vi?

No thanks, I already have that.

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Having a recent Python available isn't difficult - many Linux systems already have that (bar Red Hat, which ships 2.4), and on systems that don't (Windows), it's an easy download. Plus, hey! You get Python. :)

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WTF?

This isn't new...

Those Linux CLI tools have existed for years now. Maybe it wasn't official back then but the Amazon site did mention their existence and where to get them (not GIT, that I'm quite sure off).

So I don't quite understand how this is all of a sudden news ?

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Re: This isn't new...

Quite - I've been using the command-line tools for years, since when they were first released. I'm a little puzzled about what's different with this "new" release.

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Childcatcher

Automation and Anything Else?

The only thing I can think of that this is good for, beyond providing an alternative to whatever interface(s) already exist for it, is that AWS management can be automated in the same manner that other software and services may be. Not that this is something to be downplayed, but does anything else spring to mind? I found a few third party options available, so there is obviously a market. I am interested in what actual users of AWS have to say about this as I am not one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Automation and Anything Else?

But you have a set of well published API's for that .................. pretty much all the orchestration engines use this method as its generally best practice.

Given the choice between using an API and a CLI to automate, the API is always the preferable route. Less "geeky" but more stable and less dependent on a person to write and maintain the scripts on your side.

If you want to drive a single actions for specific tasks then why not use the GUI?

I suspect this is nothing more than a box ticking exercise for system administrators who think that anything other than a command line is the work of the devil!

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Re: Automation and Anything Else?

Given the choice between using an API and a CLI to automate, the API is always the preferable route.

Always? You've considered every possible use case? Or perhaps you have an elegant formal proof of this hypothesis.

I don't currently use AWS for anything that I need to automate, but for another vendor's cloud I've used the command-line tools both for my own convenience (why would I want to use a GUI when I have the convenience of the CLI?) and as part of build and test processes, both of which are based on CLI scripting.

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Linux

Re: Automation and Anything Else?

"Given the choice between using an API and a CLI to automate, the API is always the preferable route. Less "geeky" but more stable and less dependent on a person to write and maintain the scripts on your side."

As a long-time script writer and script-READER, I find it much easier to read, maintain, and update a shell script, as opposed to a compiled program which requires knowledge of an API with calls and hooks and layers to semi-documented libraries. Yes, I'm a geeky sysadmin who prefers CLI, but I have a verifiable reason for preferring it.

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Command line essay

"If that's not enough command line fun for you over the festive season, you can still download Neal Stephenson's seminal essay In the Beginning was the Command Line here."

Just to say, that's a very interesting read - cheers for the link.

Steven R

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