AWS Console Toolbar - a new feature that brings both AWS Management Console and AWS CloudShell in a single view

· 2 min read
AWS Console Toolbar

Last week, AWS launched a new feature called Console Toolbar that brings both AWS Management Console and AWS CloudShell in a single view. There is no additional charge for using CloudShell and Console Toolbar :-)

What is AWS CloudShell?

AWS CloudShell  is a pre-authenticated ready to use browser-based shell that can be launched directly from AWS Management Console. Shell environment (on fully managed Amazon Linux 2) comes pre-installed and pre-configured with AWS command line interfaces (e.g. AWS CLI, SAM CLI, EB CLI, ECS CLI etc.), runtimes (e.g. Node.js, Python etc.) and different utility tools (e.g. git, zip/unzip, jq, vim etc.). 1 GB persistent storage (home directory) is given for each AWS Region at no cost.

So, we can just launch the shell and run adhoc scripts/commands to explore, manage and interact with AWS resources. This not only simplifies the workflow, it boosts the productivity too.

Like all free things,  CloudShell also comes with limitations such as

  • Data from persistent storage gets deleted automatically if CloudShell is not launched for next 120 days since last session ended in that paricular region.
  • Session gets closed after 20-30 minutes of user's inactivity (keyboard or mouse).
  • Session running longer than 12 hours gets closed.

What is AWS Console Toolbar?

AWS Console Toolbar feature will allow us to access AWS CloudShell while navigating through the AWS Management Console in the same window. CloudShell can be launched from two different places (one icon in the top menubar beside "Notifications" icon and new one in the lower left corner of the AWS Console inside Console Toolbar).

Single view of Management Console and CloudShell, makes the experience more interactive and convenient.

Console Toolbar maintains it's open or close/collapsed UI state while browsing through different services in AWS console.

CloudShell maintains the same region as Console region. As CloudShell is not available in all regions, it will be launched in the nearest region if not available. For example, AWS CloudShell service is not offered in Asia Pacific (Osaka) ap-northeast-3 region, but if I switch to AWS console to ap-northeast-3, AWS CloudShell will be launched in nearest region Asia Pacific (Sydney) ap-southeast-2. CloudShell will show that information to let you know the same.

"CloudShell is not available in the selected AWS Console region. CloudShell will run in Asia Pacific (Sydney) ap-southeast-2 and use the home directory in ap-southeast-2. To run commands on AWS resources in a different region, see Working in AWS Regions"

Note: CloudShell icon in Console Toolbar will disappear from the responsive UI, if you resize the browser window under certain width.