Amazon’s Identity and Access Management service allows us to create users under a single Amazon Web Services account rather than signing each user up with their own Amazon Web Services account. Here we will see how to create such a user.

We will need AWS CLI or IAM Command Line Toolkit for these examples.

Create User

Let us create a user that will have full permissions on the account, and we shall name the account iam_user. We can give a path if we want to delineate users in our organization, but here we will just use a / for the path.

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=CreateUser
&Path=/
&UserName=iam_user
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam create-user \
--path "/" \
--user-name "iam_user"

Output

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{
    "User": {
        "UserName": "iam_user",
        "Path": "/",
        "CreateDate": "2014-07-01T08:36:34.909Z",
        "UserId": "AIDAIO5RBZPVAWEXAMPLE",
        "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/iam_user"
    }
}

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-usercreate -u iam_user -p / -v

Output

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arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/iam_user
AKIACOOB5BQVEXAMPLE

Grant Permissions

We now need to give the rules of what the user can do. For this example we will allow them to do all actions on all resources.

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=PutUserPolicy
&UserName=iam_user
&PolicyName=AllAccessPolicy
&PolicyDocument={"Statement":[{"Effect":"Allow","Action":"*","Resource":"*"}]}
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam put-user-policy \
--user-name "iam_user" \
--policy-name "AllAccessPolicy" \
--policy-document "{\"Statement\":[{\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Action\":\"*\",\"Resource\":\"*\"}]}"

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-useruploadpolicy \
-u iam_user \
-p AllAccessPolicy \
-o {"Statement":[{"Effect":"Allow","Action":"*","Resource":"*"}]}

Access Key

Now that the user is set up and has their permissions set, we now need to be able to let the individual who is receiving the account the ability to access it. Now we will generate a secret access key for the account. For access using X.509 certificates, see our HowTo: Generate an X.509 Certificate for an Amazon IAM User article.

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=CreateAccessKey
&UserName=iam_user
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam create-access-key \
--user-name "iam_user"

Output

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{
    "AccessKey": {
        "UserName": "iam_user",
        "Status": "Active",
        "CreateDate": "2014-07-01T08:45:29.194Z",
        "SecretAccessKey": "BvQW1IpqVzRdbwPUirD3pK6L8ngoX4PTEXAMPLE",
        "AccessKeyId": "AKIACOOB5BQVEXAMPLE"
    }
}

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-useraddkey -u iam_user

Output

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AKIACOOB5BQVEXAMPLE
BvQW1IpqVzRdbwPUirD3pK6L8ngoX4PTEXAMPLE

Console Login

Amazon IAM users can access the AWS Management Console at https://our_AWS_Acccount_ID.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/service, for example,

https://123456789012.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/ec2

But we need to set up a login profile for the user, so they can have a password to use.

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=CreateLoginProfile
&UserName=iam_user
&Password=somePassword
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam create-login-profile \
--user-name "iam_user" \
--password "somePassword"

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-useraddloginprofile -u iam_user -p somePassword

Console Alias

If we want an easier URL to remember for our users to login to the AWS Management Console, we can create an account alias. In this example, we will use example, which will let our users login at https://example.signin.aws.amazon.com/ec2. Account aliases need to be globally unique.

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=CreateAccountAlias
&AccountAlias=example
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam create-account-alias \
--account-alias "example"

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-accountaliascreate -a example

Get User Info

If we want to get information about the user, we can start with this:

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=GetUser
&UserName=iam_user
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam get-user \
--user-name "iam_user"

Output

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{
    "User": {
        "UserName": "iam_user",
        "Path": "/",
        "CreateDate": "2014-07-01T08:36:34Z",
        "UserId": "AIDAIO5RBZPVAWEXAMPLE",
        "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/iam_user"
    }
}

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-usergetattributes -u iam_user

Output

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arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/iam_user
AKIACOOB5BQVEXAMPLE

Get User Policies

We can see what policies the user has like so:

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=ListUserPolicies
&UserName=iam_user
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam list-user-policies \
--user-name "iam_user"

Output

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{
    "PolicyNames": [
        "AllAccessPolicy"
    ]
}

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-userlistpolicies -u iam_user

Output

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AllAccessPolicy
IsTruncated: false

Show Policy

And we can display the policy like so:

Example API Request

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https://iam.amazonaws.com/
?Action=GetUserPolicy
&UserName=iam_user
&PolicyName=AllAccessPolicy
&*AUTHPARAMS*

AWS CLI

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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aws iam get-user-policy \
--user-name "iam_user" \
--policy-name "AllAccessPolicy"

Output

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{
    "UserName": "iam_user",
    "PolicyName": "AllAccessPolicy",
    "PolicyDocument": {
        "Statement": [
            {
                "Action": "*",
                "Resource": "*",
                "Effect": "Allow"
            }
        ]
    }
}

IAM Command Line Tool

Console - user@hostname ~ $

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iam-userlistpolicies -u iam_user -p AllAccessPolicy

Output

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{"Statement":[{"Effect":"Allow","Action":"*","Resource":"*"}]}

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