Run your AWS Empire using $9 CHIP computer and AWS Shell

I participated in the kickstarter for the CHIP microcontroller because I liked the add-on PocketChip screen and keyboard interface. I knew it didn’t really have a desktop or browser, but it had the powerhouse linux terminal. I wanted to see if I could turn a $9 computer into a powerful AWS controller, with a smart, suggestive terminal.  The CHIP is $9, the PocketCHIP is $49 with the keyboard, screen and battery.



I found a project that extended the capabilities of the AWS-CLI (command line interface) called AWS-Shell. Running aws-shell (instead of aws-cli) adds real-time autocomplete to all functions and available options. Start typing and the list of available options appears filtered to whatever you have written.  This gives you the ability to fully control your AWS Console services, all from a simple, suggestive command line.

The AWS-Shell can access most of you AWS Console services and data, if you can understand the correct names of the services and features.  Having them pre-suggested while you type makes it simple to find the right commands.

The functionality of AWS CLI does not come preloaded on the CHIP, but it turned out pretty easy to get everything installed just using the terminal window.  Here is what I did to get it running:

1. you need to install pip first to install the shell, use the following commands on the terminal window:

> curl -O
> sudo python

2. install aws-cli (command line interface) using pip
> sudo pip install awscli

3. install aws-shell ( for real-time autocomplete
> sudo pip install aws-shell

4. create an AWS IAM user (on aws console site) that has this permission: CloudWatchFullAccess. You want to give the CHIP specific permissions, not admin. I just setup the permissions for the user to cloudwatch, because it is simple to show active data, but you can give the aws-shell permissions to whatever aws services you want.  You will need the Access Key ID and Secret Access Key to configure the CHIP.

5. start the shell:

6. configure the shell by adding your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key:
aws>> configure
(Yes you have to manually type the long Access and Secret Keys by hand. Not at all fun, but I took my time and honestly got it on the first try)

7. test the shell
aws>> cloudwatch list-metrics

The above command will show you the available metrics on your AWS account.


The example above is just a good way to show data from your AWS console account, but there is so much more available.  You can do an amazing amount of things via the AWS-CLI.  Start servers, move data, send messages, Amazon AWS has a TON of functionality.  I like the ability to run all of this using a $9 computer.

1 Response to Run your AWS Empire using $9 CHIP computer and AWS Shell

  1. Pingback: Run your AWS Empire using $9 CHIP computer and AWS Shell |

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