Getting AWS Credentials into to a Docker Container without Hardcoding It

When I’m building with ECS, I’m more often than not building a worker that interacts with other AWS services. I need my AWS Access Key ID and my AWS Secret Access Key for it to work locally.
Nobody wants hard-coded values being pushed to version control nor do you want to have to dig it up every time you need to develop locally.

Set up your AWS credentials per the official docs.
The highlights taken from this page are as follows:

  • Set credentials in the AWS credentials profile file on your local system, located at:
    • ~/.aws/credentials on Linux, OS X, or Unix
    • C:\Users\USERNAME\.aws\credentials on Windows
    • This file should contain lines in the following format:

      [default]
      aws_access_key_id = your_access_key_id
      aws_secret_access_key = your_secret_access_key

      Substitute your own AWS credentials values for the values your_access_key_id and your_secret_access_key.

  • Set the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables.
  • To set these variables on Linux, OS X, or Unix, use export:

    export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_access_key_id
    export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_secret_access_key
    # To set these variables on Windows, use set:

    set AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_access_key_id
    set AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_secret_access_key

Running $ aws help we see there is a –profile parameter.
Leveraging this, we can write a shell script to get our credentials into our Docker container.

Now we can run locally, push to version control and not worry about our credentials being insecure.
Plus, you can build and run your Docker container with one command now, woohoo.

2 Replies to “Getting AWS Credentials into to a Docker Container without Hardcoding It”

    1. Keep in my mind this is only for local development. You would never do this outside a local machine.
      Though I suppose you’re right, you could store these in a local docker volume instead… but you definitely wouldn’t be doing that in the cloud either way.
      You don’t need your AWS Key/Secret when running on AWS, you just need to set up the proper IAM credentials

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