I have an instance named dev-server-03. Now how can I search all dev-server-* instances from command line?

I am using aws cli tool.

  • This depends on how you've named the instance. Did you set the hostname inside the OS, on the AWS console or both? – Craig Watson Dec 10 '13 at 13:16
  • Yeah inside the OS hostname is set to same Name. – Shiplu Mokaddim Dec 11 '13 at 5:29

Assuming that you are using the convention of putting the name of the instance in a tag with the key of "Name" (this is what the AWS Console does when you enter a name), then you can use the --filters option to list those instances with aws-cli:

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters 'Name=tag:Name,Values=dev-server-*'

If you just wanted the instance ids of those instances, you could use:

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters 'Name=tag:Name,Values=dev-server-*' \
  --output text --query 'Reservations[*].Instances[*].InstanceId'

Note: --query may require a recent version of aws-cli but it's worth getting.

  • 1
    Omg it took me almost half an hour to figure this out... how weird is this : Name=tag:Name – lisak Apr 9 '15 at 14:40
  • 1
    Thanks Eric - I was getting multiple instance IDs on the same line, using your query, but github.com/aws/aws-cli/issues/914#issuecomment-56210312 suggested --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].[InstanceId] which works for me – jaygooby Sep 5 '16 at 20:35
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    FWIW, the jq tool can be used to get similar results to aws --query like this: aws ec2 describe-instances | jq '.Reservations[].Instances[].PrivateIpAddress' --note the preceding . dot. – MarkHu Nov 8 '17 at 19:04
  • can you make describe-instances filters case insensitive? – red888 Nov 6 '18 at 14:59

You can further filter with name, instance id and private ip with below,

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=tag:Name,Values=*myinstance*" --output json --query 'Reservations[*].Instances[*].[PrivateIpAddress,InstanceId,Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value]' --region us-east-1

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