If you’ve ever used Amazon’s AWS console you’ll know that it could do with some improvement. It’s easy to get lost in the myriad menus and there are many annoying bugs. It’s also slowwwwww.
I’ve heard that this is no accident – Amazon wants the community to provide the tooling for them. This ties in well with the fact that the API AWS is actually pretty good.
I decided to save myself some time and produce one of these community solutions. I decided to focus on ECS (EC2 container service) as this is the service I interact with the most. ECS is AWS’s way of managing Docker containers running on EC2 instances. Some of the terminology can be a little confusing, but overall it’s a good product.
I built ecs_explorer to cover some of the annoying tasks I do on the console; looking for small pieces of information in a given container/service. For example, I might need the IP address of the container that’s running a certain task. In the console, this can take >20 clicks, in ecs_explorer I can find this in 10 secs.
You can find ecs_explorer on GitHub. The main aim is to get you to the information you need as quickly as possible. It supports navigation of all ECS objects, viewing important details as well as viewing the full JSON if you need more information. One of the key bugbears with the web console, filtering resources, is much improved. Another advantage over the console is that there’s no need to login.
Installation is easy. Once your credentials are available via env variables or a dot file ( see here for more information), it’s just a case of running
pip install ecs_explorer. The CLI is now available to run from anywhere with
ecs_explorer -h showing the available options.
Give it a try and tell me what you think!