First steps - FreeRTOS
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

First steps


This page refers to the Amazon-FreeRTOS repository which is deprecated. We recommend that you start here when you create a new project. If you already have an existing FreeRTOS project based on the now deprecated Amazon-FreeRTOS repository, see the Amazon-FreeRTOS Github Repository Migration Guide.

To get started using FreeRTOS with Amazon IoT, you must have an Amazon account, a user with permissions to access Amazon IoT and FreeRTOS cloud services. You also must download FreeRTOS and configure your board's FreeRTOS demo project to work with Amazon IoT. The following sections walk you through these requirements.


Setting up your Amazon account and permissions

Sign up for an Amazon Web Services account

If you do not have an Amazon Web Services account, use the following procedure to create one.

To sign up for Amazon Web Services
  1. Open and choose Sign Up.

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Amazon sends you a confirmation email after the sign-up process is complete. At any time, you can view your current account activity and manage your account by going to and choosing My Account.

Secure IAM users

After you sign up for an Amazon Web Services account, safeguard your administrative user by turning on multi-factor authentication (MFA). For instructions, see Enable a virtual MFA device for an IAM user (console) in the IAM User Guide.

To give other users access to your Amazon Web Services account resources, create IAM users. To secure your IAM users, turn on MFA and only give the IAM users the permissions needed to perform their tasks.

For more information about creating and securing IAM users, see the following topics in the IAM User Guide:

To provide access, add permissions to your users, groups, or roles:

Registering your MCU board with Amazon IoT

Your board must be registered with Amazon IoT to communicate with the Amazon Cloud. To register your board with Amazon IoT, you must have:

An Amazon IoT policy

The Amazon IoT policy grants your device permissions to access Amazon IoT resources. It is stored on the Amazon Cloud.

An Amazon IoT thing

An Amazon IoT thing allows you to manage your devices in Amazon IoT. It is stored on the Amazon Cloud.

A private key and X.509 certificate

The private key and certificate allow your device to authenticate with Amazon IoT.

To register your board, follow the procedures below.

To create an Amazon IoT policy
  1. To create an IAM policy, you must know your Amazon Region and Amazon account number.

    To find your Amazon account number, open the Amazon Management Console, locate and expand the menu beneath your account name in the upper-right corner, and choose My Account. Your account ID is displayed under Account Settings.

    To find the Amazon region for your Amazon account, use the Amazon Command Line Interface. To install the Amazon CLI, follow the instructions in the Amazon Command Line Interface User Guide. After you install the Amazon CLI, open a command prompt window and enter the following command:

    aws iot describe-endpoint --endpoint-type=iot:Data-ATS

    The output should look like this:

    { "endpointAddress": "" }

    In this example, the region is us-west-2.


    We recommend using ATS endpoints as seen in the example.

  2. Browse to the Amazon IoT console.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Secure, choose Policies, and then choose Create.

  4. Enter a name to identify your policy.

  5. In the Add statements section, choose Advanced mode. Copy and paste the following JSON into the policy editor window. Replace aws-region and aws-account with your Amazon Region and account ID.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "iot:Connect", "Resource":"arn:aws-cn:iot:aws-region:aws-account-id:*" }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "iot:Publish", "Resource": "arn:aws-cn:iot:aws-region:aws-account-id:*" }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "iot:Subscribe", "Resource": "arn:aws-cn:iot:aws-region:aws-account-id:*" }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "iot:Receive", "Resource": "arn:aws-cn:iot:aws-region:aws-account-id:*" } ] }

    This policy grants the following permissions:


    Grants your device the permission to connect to the Amazon IoT message broker with any client ID.


    Grants your device the permission to publish an MQTT message on any MQTT topic.


    Grants your device the permission to subscribe to any MQTT topic filter.


    Grants your device the permission to receive messages from the Amazon IoT message broker on any MQTT topic.

  6. Choose Create.

To create an IoT thing, private key, and certificate for your device
  1. Browse to the Amazon IoT console.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Manage, and then choose Things.

  3. If you do not have any IoT things registered in your account, the You don't have any things yet page is displayed. If you see this page, choose Register a thing. Otherwise, choose Create.

  4. On the Creating Amazon IoT things page, choose Create a single thing.

  5. On the Add your device to the thing registry page, enter a name for your thing, and then choose Next.

  6. On the Add a certificate for your thing page, under One-click certificate creation, choose Create certificate.

  7. Download your private key and certificate by choosing the Download links for each.

  8. Choose Activate to activate your certificate. Certificates must be activated prior to use.

  9. Choose Attach a policy to attach a policy to your certificate that grants your device access to Amazon IoT operations.

  10. Choose the policy you just created and choose Register thing.

After your board is registered with Amazon IoT, you can continue to Downloading FreeRTOS.

Downloading FreeRTOS

You can download FreeRTOS from the FreeRTOS GitHub repository.

After you download FreeRTOS, you can continue to Configuring the FreeRTOS demos.

Configuring the FreeRTOS demos

You must edit some configuration files in your FreeRTOS directory before you can compile and run any demos on your board.

To configure your Amazon IoT endpoint

You must provide FreeRTOS with your Amazon IoT endpoint so the application running on your board can send requests to the correct endpoint.

  1. Browse to the Amazon IoT console.

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Settings.

    Your Amazon IoT endpoint is displayed in Device data endpoint. It should look like Make a note of this endpoint.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Manage, and then choose Things.

    Your device should have an Amazon IoT thing name. Make a note of this name.

  4. Open demos/include/aws_clientcredential.h.

  5. Specify values for the following constants:

    • #define clientcredentialMQTT_BROKER_ENDPOINT "Your Amazon IoT endpoint";

    • #define clientcredentialIOT_THING_NAME "The Amazon IoT thing name of your board"

To configure your Wi-Fi

If your board is connecting to the internet across a Wi-Fi connection, you must provide FreeRTOS with Wi-Fi credentials to connect to the network. If your board does not support Wi-Fi, you can skip these steps.

  1. demos/include/aws_clientcredential.h.

  2. Specify values for the following #define constants:

    • #define clientcredentialWIFI_SSID "The SSID for your Wi-Fi network"

    • #define clientcredentialWIFI_PASSWORD "The password for your Wi-Fi network"

    • #define clientcredentialWIFI_SECURITY The security type of your Wi-Fi network

      Valid security types are:

      • eWiFiSecurityOpen (Open, no security)

      • eWiFiSecurityWEP (WEP security)

      • eWiFiSecurityWPA (WPA security)

      • eWiFiSecurityWPA2 (WPA2 security)

To format your Amazon IoT credentials

FreeRTOS must have the Amazon IoT certificate and private keys associated with your registered thing and its permissions policies to successfully communicate with Amazon IoT on behalf of your device.


To configure your Amazon IoT credentials, you must have the private key and certificate that you downloaded from the Amazon IoT console when you registered your device. After you have registered your device as an Amazon IoT thing, you can retrieve device certificates from the Amazon IoT console, but you cannot retrieve private keys.

FreeRTOS is a C language project, and the certificate and private key must be specially formatted to be added to the project.

  1. In a browser window, open tools/certificate_configuration/CertificateConfigurator.html.

  2. Under Certificate PEM file, choose the ID-certificate.pem.crt that you downloaded from the Amazon IoT console.

  3. Under Private Key PEM file, choose the ID-private.pem.key that you downloaded from the Amazon IoT console.

  4. Choose Generate and save aws_clientcredential_keys.h, and then save the file in demos/include. This overwrites the existing file in the directory.


    The certificate and private key are hard-coded for demonstration purposes only. Production-level applications should store these files in a secure location.

After you configure FreeRTOS, you can continue to the Getting Started guide for your board to set up your platform's hardware and its software development environment, and then compile and run the demo on your board. For board-specific instructions, see the Board-specific getting started guides. The demo application that is used in the Getting Started tutorial is the coreMQTT Mutual Authentication demo, which is located at demos/coreMQTT/mqtt_demo_mutual_auth.c.