How to export Amazon EC2 instances to a CSV file

Amazon website is limited to 50 instances per page. Viewing lots of instances is a pain and it doesn’t support exporting to CSV/TSV/Excel/other out of the box. The only fix is to use the CLI.


  • An AWS account with access rights to see your servers
  • A pair of AWS keys (Users -> [username] -> Security Credentials -> Create Access Key)
# Install AWS packages
sudo apt-get install -y python python-pip
sudo pip install aws-shell

Listing Instances

# aws-shell will show a wizard to configure your account and region the first time you use it
ec2 describe-instances --output text --query 'Reservations[*].Instances[*].[InstanceId, InstanceType, ImageId, State.Name, LaunchTime, Placement.AvailabilityZone, Placement.Tenancy, PrivateIpAddress, PrivateDnsName, PublicDnsName, [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value] [0][0], [Tags[?Key==`purpose`].Value] [0][0], [Tags[?Key==`environment`].Value] [0][0], [Tags[?Key==`team`].Value] [0][0] ]' > instances.tsv
# open instances.tsv with Excel
# enjoy

You can modify the command to pick the information you want. Refer to the official AWS command line reference.


One thought on “How to export Amazon EC2 instances to a CSV file

  1. thanks that works. If you want to get instances with name in tabular format use the below command

    aws ec2 describe-instances –output text –query ‘Reservations[*].Instances[*].[InstanceId, State.Name, [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value] [0][0] ]’ –output table


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