This command line tool can be used to encrypt and decrypt files and directories using the AWS Encryption SDK.
The latest full documentation can be found at Read the Docs.
Find us on GitHub.
See Support Policy for details on the current support status of all major versions of this library.
- Python 3.5+
- aws-encryption-sdk >= 3.0.0
Input and Output¶
For the most part, the behavior of
aws-encryption-cli in handling files is based on that
of GNU CLIs such as
cp. A qualifier to this is that when encrypting a file, if a
directory is provided as the destination, rather than creating the source filename
in the destination directory, a suffix is appended to the destination filename. By
default the suffix is
.encrypted when encrypting and
.decrypted when decrypting,
but a custom suffix can be provided by the caller if desired.
If a destination file already exists, the contents will be overwritten.
|Allowed input/output pairings||output|
If the source includes a directory and the
--recursive flag is set, the entire
tree of the source directory is replicated in the target directory.
Some arguments accept additional parameter values. These values must be provided in the
key=value as demonstrated below.
--encryption-context key1=value1 key2=value2 "key 3=value with spaces" --master-keys provider=aws-kms key=$KEY_ID_1 key=$KEY_ID_2 --caching capacity=3 max_age=80.0
The encryption context is an optional, but recommended, set of key-value pairs that contain arbitrary nonsecret data. The encryption context can contain any data you choose, but it typically consists of data that is useful in logging and tracking, such as data about the file type, purpose, or ownership.
Parameters may be provided using Parameter Values.
--encryption-context key1=value1 key2=value2 "key 3=value with spaces"
If an encryption context is provided on decrypt, it is instead used to require that the message being decrypted was encrypted using an encryption context that matches the specified requirements.
key=value elements are provided, the decryption will only continue if the encryption
context found in the encrypted message contains matching pairs.
--encryption-context required_key=required_value classification=secret
key elements are provided, the decryption will continue if those keys are found,
regardless of the values.
key=value elements can be mixed.
--encryption-context required_key classification=secret
If encryption context requirements are not satisfied by the ciphertext message, the message will not be decrypted. One side effect of this is that if you chose to write the plaintext output to a file and that file already exists, it will be deleted when we stop the decryption.
In addition to the actual output of the operation, there is metadata about the operation that can be useful. This metadata includes some information about the operation as well as the complete header data from the ciphertext message.
The metadata for each operation is written to the specified file as a single line containing formatted JSON, so if a single command performs multiple file operations, a separate line will be written for each operation. There are three operating modes:
--metadata-output FILE: Writes the metadata output to
-for stdout as long as main output is not stdout). Default behavior is to append the metadata entry to the end of
--overwrite-metadata: Force overwriting the contents of
FILEwith the new metadata.
-S/--suppress-metadata: Output metadata is suppressed.
The metadata JSON contains the following fields:
"input": Full path to input file (or
"output": Full path to output file (or
"header": JSON representation of message header data
"header_auth": JSON representation of message header authentication data (only on decrypt)
If encryption context checks fail when attempting to decrypt a file, the metadata contains additional fields:
"Missing encryption context key or value"
missing_encryption_context_keys: List of required encryption context keys that were missing from the message.
missing_encryption_context_pairs: List of required encryption context key-value pairs missing from the message.
Master Key Provider¶
Information for configuring a master key provider must be provided.
Parameters may be provided using Parameter Values.
These parameters are common to all master key providers:
provider (default: aws-encryption-sdk-cli::aws-kms) : Indicator of the master key provider to use.
- See Advanced Configuration for more information on using other master key providers.
key (on encrypt: at least one required, many allowed; on decrypt: one of key or discovery is required) : Identifier for a wrapping key to be used in the operation. Must be an identifier understood by the specified master key provider.
The discoveryattribute is only available if you are using an
- If using
aws-kmsto decrypt, you must specify either a key or discovery with a value of true.
- If using
aws-kmsto decrypt and specifying a key, you must use a key ARN; key ids, alias names, and alias ARNs are not supported.
- If using
Any additional parameters supplied are collected into lists by parameter name and passed to the master key provider class when it is instantiated. Custom master key providers must accept all arguments as prepared. See Advanced Configuration for more information.
Multiple master keys can be defined using multiple instances of the
Multiple master key providers can be defined using multiple
If multiple master key providers are defined, the first one is treated as the primary.
If multiple master keys are defined in the primary master key provider, the first one is treated as the primary. The primary master key is used to generate the data key.
The following logic is used to construct all master key providers. We use
StrictAwsKmsMasterKeyProvider as an example.
# With parameters: --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$KEY_1 key=$KEY_2 # KMSMasterKeyProvider is called as: key_provider = StrictAwsKmsMasterKeyProvider(key_ids=[$KEY_1, $KEY_2])
# Single KMS CMK --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$KEY_ARN_1 # Two KMS CMKs --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$KEY_ARN_1 key=$KEY_ARN_2 # KMS Alias by name in default region --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$ALIAS_NAME # KMS Alias by name in two specific regions --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$ALIAS_NAME region=us-west-2 --wrapping-keys provider=aws-kms key=$ALIAS_NAME region=eu-central-1
If you want to use the
aws-kms master key provider, you can either specify that
as the provider or simply not specify a provider and allow the default value to be used.
There are some configuration options which are unique to the
aws-kms master key provider:
- profile : Providing this configuration value will use the specified named profile credentials.
- discovery (default: false; one of key or discovery with a value of true is required) : Indicates whether this provider should be in “discovery” mode. If true (enabled), the AWS Encryption CLI will attempt to decrypt ciphertexts encrypted with any AWS KMS CMK. If false (disabled), the AWS Encryption CLI will only attempt to decrypt ciphertexts encrypted with the key ARNs specified in the key attribute. Any key specified in the key attribute that is a KMS CMK Identier other than a key ARN will not be used for decryption.
- discovery-account (optional; available only when discovery=true and discovery-partition is also provided) : If discovery is enabled, limits decryption to AWS KMS CMKs in the specified accounts.
- discovery-partition (optional; available only when discovery=true and discovery-account is also provided) : If discovery is enabled, limits decryption to AWS KMS CMKs in the specified partition, e.g. “aws” or “aws-gov”.
- region : This allows you to specify the target region.
The logic for determining which region to use is shown in the pseudocode below:
if key ID is an ARN: use region identified in ARN else: if region is specified: use region else if profile is specified and profile has a defined region: use region defined in profile else: use system default region
If you want to use a different master key provider, that provider must register a
setuptools entry point. You can find an example of registering this entry point in the
setup.py for this package.
When a provider name is specifed in a call to
aws-encryption-cli, the appropriate entry
point for that name is used.
Handling Multiple Entry Points¶
If multiple entry points are registered for a given name, you will need to specify the package that registered the entry point you want to use.
In order to specify the package name, use the format:
If you supply only an entry point name and there is only one entry point registered for that name, that entry point will be used.
If you supply only an entry point name and there is more than one entry point registered for that name, an error will be raised showing you all of the packages that have an entry point registered for that name.
If you supply both a package and an entry point name, that exact entry point will be used. If it is not accessible, an error will be raised showing you all of the packages that have an entry point registered for that name.
External Master Key Providers¶
The entry point name use must not contain the string
::. This is used as a namespace
separator as descibed in Handling Multiple Entry Points.
When called, these entry points must return an instance of a master key provider. They must accept the parameters prepared by the CLI as described in Master Key Provider.
These entry points must be registered in the
If the entry point raises a
CLI will present the raised error message to the user to indicate bad user input.
Data Key Caching¶
Data key caching is optional, but if used then the parameters noted as required must be provided. For detailed information about using data key caching with the AWS Encryption SDK, see the data key caching documentation.
Parameters may be provided using Parameter Values.
- capacity (required) : Number of entries that the cache will hold.
- max_age (required) : Determines how long each entry can remain in the cache, beginning when it was added.
- max_messages_encrypted : Determines how long each entry can remain in the cache, beginning when it was added.
- max_bytes_encrypted : Specifies the maximum number of bytes that a cached data key can encrypt.
Logging and Verbosity¶
-v argument allows you to tune the verbosity of the built-in logging to your desired level.
In short, the more
-v arguments you supply, the more verbose the output gets.
- unset :
aws-encryption-clilogs all warnings, all dependencies only log critical messages
aws-encryption-cliperforms moderate logging, all dependencies only log critical messages
aws-encryption-cliperforms detailed logging, all dependencies only log critical messages
aws-encryption-cliperforms detailed logging, all dependencies perform moderate logging
aws-encryption-cliperforms detailed logging, all dependencies perform detailed logging
|python logging levels|
As with any CLI where the configuration can get rather complex, you might want to use a configuration file to define some or all of your desired behavior.
Configuration files are supported using Python’s native argparse file support, which allows
you to write configuration files exactly as you would enter arguments in the shell. Configuration
file references passed to
aws-encryption-cli are identified by the
@ prefix and the
contents are expanded as if you had included them in line. Configuration files can have any
name you desire.
In PowerShell, you will need to escape the
@ symbol so that it is sent to
rather than interpreted by PowerShell.
For example, if I wanted to use a common master key configuration for all of my calls, I could
create a file
master-key.conf with contents detailing my master key configuration.
--master-key key=A_KEY key=ANOTHER_KEY
Then, when calling
aws-encryption-cli, I can specify the rest of my arguments and reference
my new configuration file, and
aws-encryption-cli will use the composite configuration.
aws-encryption-cli -e -i $INPUT_FILE -o $OUTPUT_FILE @master-key.conf
To extend the example, if I wanted a common caching configuration for all of my calls, I could
similarly place my caching configuration in a configuration file
caching.conf in this example
and include both files in my call.
--caching capacity=10 max_age=60.0 max_messages_encrypted=15
aws-encryption-cli -e -i $INPUT_FILE -o $OUTPUT_FILE @master-key.conf @caching.conf
Configuration files can be referenced anywhere in
aws-encryption-cli -e -i $INPUT_DIR -o $OUTPUT_DIR @master-key.conf @caching.conf --recursive
Configuration files can have many lines, include comments using
#. Escape characters are
\ on Linux and MacOS and
` on Windows. Configuration files may
also include references to other configuration files.
--encrypt @master-key.conf # Use existing master key config @caching.conf # Always recurse, but require interactive overwrite. --recursive --interactive
aws-encryption-cli @my-encrypt -i $INPUT -o $OUTPUT
aws-encryption-cli will always output raw binary data and expect raw binary data
as input. However, there are some cases where you might not want this to be the case.
Sometimes this might be for convenience:
- Accepting ciphertext through stdin from a human.
- Presenting ciphertext through stdout to a human.
Sometimes it might be out of necessity:
Saving ciphertext output to a shell variable.
- Most shells apply a system encoding to any data stored in a variable. As a result, this often results in corrupted data if binary data is stored without additional encoding.
Piping ciphertext in PowerShell.
- Similar to the above, all data passed through a PowerShell pipe is encoded using the system encoding.
In order to address these scenarios, we provide two optional arguments:
--decode: Base64-decode input before processing.
--encode: Base64-encode output after processing.
These can be used independently or together, on any valid input or output.
Be aware, however, that if you target multiple files either through a path expansion or by targetting a directory, the requested decoding/encoding will be applied to all files.
||AWS Encryption SDK CLI.|
||Internal implementation details.|
||Helper functions for parsing and processing input arguments.|
||Static identifier values for the AWS Encryption SDK CLI.|
||Helper functions for handling all input and output for this CLI.|
||Helper functions for building crypto materials manager and underlying master key provider(s) from arguments.|
4.0.0 – 2021-07-13¶
The AWS Encryption SDK CLI no longer supports Python 2 or Python 3.4 as of major version 4.x; only Python 3.5+ is supported. Customers using Python 2 or Python 3.4 can still use the 3.x line of the AWS Encryption SDK CLI, which will continue to receive security updates for the next 12 months, in accordance with our Support Policy.
3.1.0 – 2021-07-13¶
The AWS Encryption SDK CLI is discontinuing support for Python 2. Future major versions of this library will drop support for Python 2 and begin to adopt changes that are known to break Python 2.
Support for Python 3.4 will be removed at the same time. Moving forward, we will support Python 3.5+.
Security updates will still be available for the AWS Encryption SDK CLI 3.x line for the next 12 months, in accordance with our Support Policy.
3.0.0 – 2021-06-16¶
AWS KMS multi-Region Key support
CLI now supports Multi-Region Keys (MRKs). Usage of MRKs is identical to the usage of non-MRK KMS Keys. Though a KMS Key does not have to be a MRK key for it to be used.
See https://docs.aws.amazon.com/kms/latest/developerguide/multi-region-keys-overview.html for more details about AWS KMS multi-Region Keys.
See https://docs.aws.amazon.com/encryption-sdk/latest/developer-guide/configure.html#config-mrks for more details about how the AWS Encryption SDK interoperates with AWS KMS multi-Region keys.
2.2.0 – 2021-05-27¶
Improvements to the message decryption process
2.1.0 – 2020-10-27¶
- Fix for enabling or disabling discovery mode in the CLI
--discoveryparameter is removed. It is replaced by a
discoveryattribute of the
2.0.0 – 2020-09-24¶
Updates to the AWS Encryption SDK. 2542b58
This change includes fixes for issues that were reported by Thai Duong from Google’s Security team, and for issues that were identified by AWS Cryptography.
BREAKING CHANGE: AWS KMS KeyIDs must be specified explicitly or Discovery mode explicitly chosen.
Key committing suites are now default. CommitmentPolicy requires commitment by default.
See: Migration Guide
1.7.0 – 2020-09-24¶
1.1.6 – 2019-09-30¶
1.1.5 – 2018-08-01¶
1.1.3 – 2017-12-05¶
1.1.0 – 2017-11-18¶
- Built-in base64 encoding and decoding #29
- Strip plaintext data keys from boto3 logs #54
- Enforce that parent directories always exist #57 #100
- Catch single-dash dummy argument catchers for long-form arguments #5
- Optionally output operation metadata #65
- Optionally encryption context enforcement on decrypt #69
- Custom master key providers now handled through setuptools entry points #30
- Default master key provider is now namespace-specific #81
- PyPI-Parker configuration and tox testenv added #36
- Custom user agent value added to generated botocore client #70
- AWS KMS master key provider configuration will no longer accept
- Initial creation