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A tool to make EC2 snapshot manipulation easier.

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ec2-simple-snapshot is a command line tool designed to make dealing with EBS snapshots simple. This tool requires Python 2.7 and the boto module.


Install via pip:

$ sudo pip install ec2-simple-snapshot

Install from source:

$ git clone
$ cd ec2-simple-snapshot
$ sudo python install


Authentication credentials are stored in a configuration file. Create a configuration file like the following. Be sure to replace the example credentials here with your own aws credentials:

aws_access_key_id = AKTESTACCESSID
aws_secret_access_key = wJalrXUtnBERF\GF84d91!PxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY
region = us-west-2

The region directive is optional here. However, if it is not set, you must set the region using the -r REGION or --region REGION command line option.

Default location: ~/.aws/config

If you would like to have your configuration file elsewhere, use the -c <path to config> or --config <path to config> command line option to tell ec2-simple-snapshot where to look.

Default Profile: default

Very similar to the aws-cli tool from Amazon, you can store multiple profiles in a single configuration file. This allows you to set multiple sets of credentials using profiles to separate them. The default profile is named default but can be changed using the -p PROFILE or --profile PROFILE command line option.


aws_access_key_id = AKTESTACCESSID
aws_secret_access_key = wJalrXUtnBERF\GF84d91!PxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY
region = us-east-1

IAM Policy Actions

This is a list of the required set of IAM actions needed for each command.

  • List

    • ec2:DescribeSnapshots

  • Create

    • ec2:DescribeVolumes

    • ec2:CreateSnapshot

    • ec2:CreateTags

  • Delete

    • ec2:DescribeSnapshots

    • ec2:DeleteSnapshot

Usage Examples

Show help screen:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot -h

Show help screen for a subcommand:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot <command> -h

List the two newest snapshots owned by your AWS Account:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot list --count 2

List snapshots taken within the last 4 days:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot list --count 4 --type days

Delete snapshots older than 3 days that have the tag “Type=Backup” and “Name=Test”:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot delete --count 3 --type days --filter 'Type=Backup' 'Name=Test'

Delete all but the last 30 snapshots, however limit deletes to 2:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot delete --count 30 --limit 2

Create a snapshot for volume ‘vol-123456’ setting a description and adding a tag:

$ ec2-simple-snapshot create \
> --description "This is a test"
> --tags "Environment=Production" vol-123456

Test Suite

The easiest way to get started with the testing suite is to use the tox automation project.

Install tox:

$ pip install tox

Run the test suite:

$ git clone
$ cd ec2-simple-snapshot
$ tox

If you do not want to use tox, you can install the development dependencies using pip and use the python unittest module to execute the tests.

Install dependencies and run suite:

$ git clone
$ cd ec2-simple-snapshot
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ python -m unittest discover

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