Loading Credentials in Node.js from the Shared Credentials File - Amazon SDK for JavaScript
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The Amazon SDK for JavaScript version 3 (v3) is a rewrite of v2 with some great new features, including modular architecture. For more information, see the Amazon SDK for JavaScript v3 Developer Guide.

Loading Credentials in Node.js from the Shared Credentials File

You can keep your Amazon credentials data in a shared file used by SDKs and the command line interface. When the SDK for JavaScript loads, it automatically searches the shared credentials file, which is named "credentials". Where you keep the shared credentials file depends on your operating system:

  • The shared credentials file on Linux, Unix, and macOS: ~/.aws/credentials

  • The shared credentials file on Windows: C:\Users\USER_NAME\.aws\credentials

If you do not already have a shared credentials file, see Getting Your Credentials. Once you follow those instructions, you should see text similar to the following in the credentials file, where <YOUR_ACCESS_KEY_ID> is your access key ID and <YOUR_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY> is your secret access key:

[default] aws_access_key_id = <YOUR_ACCESS_KEY_ID> aws_secret_access_key = <YOUR_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY>

For an example showing this file being used, see Getting Started in Node.js.

The [default] section heading specifies a default profile and associated values for credentials. You can create additional profiles in the same shared configuration file, each with its own credential information. The following example shows a configuration file with the default profile and two additional profiles:

[default] ; default profile aws_access_key_id = <DEFAULT_ACCESS_KEY_ID> aws_secret_access_key = <DEFAULT_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY> [personal-account] ; personal account profile aws_access_key_id = <PERSONAL_ACCESS_KEY_ID> aws_secret_access_key = <PERSONAL_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY> [work-account] ; work account profile aws_access_key_id = <WORK_ACCESS_KEY_ID> aws_secret_access_key = <WORK_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY>

By default, the SDK checks the AWS_PROFILE environment variable to determine which profile to use. If the AWS_PROFILE variable is not set in your environment, the SDK uses the credentials for the [default] profile. To use one of the alternate profiles, set or change the value of the AWS_PROFILE environment variable. For example, given the configuration file shown above, to use the credentials from the work account, set the AWS_PROFILE environment variable to work-account (as appropriate for your operating system).


When setting environment variables, be sure to take appropriate actions afterwards (according to the needs of your operating system) to make the variables available in the shell or command environment.

After setting the environment variable (if needed), you can run a JavaScript file that uses the SDK, such as for example, a file named script.js.

$ node script.js

You can also explicitly select the profile used by the SDK, either by setting process.env.AWS_PROFILE before loading the SDK, or by selecting the credential provider as shown in the following example:

var credentials = new AWS.SharedIniFileCredentials({profile: 'work-account'}); AWS.config.credentials = credentials;