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Use AWS CLI and JQ to get a list of instances sorted by launch time

Terminal - Use AWS CLI and JQ to get a list of instances sorted by launch time
aws ec2 describe-instances | jq '.["Reservations"]|.[]|.Instances|.[]|.LaunchTime + " " + .InstanceId' | sort -n
2014-02-03 07:59:47
Functions: sort
Use AWS CLI and JQ to get a list of instances sorted by launch time

Use the AWS CLI tools to generate a list instances, then pipe them to JQ to show only their launch time and instance id. Finally use sort to bring them out in runtime order. Find all those instances you launched months ago and have forgotten about.


There are 7 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
aws ec2 describe-instances --query 'Reservations[*].Instances[*].[InstanceId,LaunchTime]' --output text | sort -n -k 2
2014-06-16 21:51:51
User: hakamadare
Functions: sort
Tags: aws jq

You can do the filtering natively in the aws cli, without using jq (although jq is awesome!)

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

How would you go about listing instances in certain VPC with the Tag Name, private IP address of instance and instance id? The closest I have get is using the following commands.

This manage to lists all name of instances.

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value[]'

This manage to list all private ip address, instance id and ALL tags which I don't need. I just need the name.

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b | jq '.Reservations[].Instances[] | {PrivateIpAddress, InstanceId, Tags}'

I'm not sure why I can't execute command like yours in this way:

aws ec2 describe-instances | jq '.["Reservations"]|.[]|.Instances|.[]|.PrivateIpAddress + " " + .InstanceId + " " + .Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value[]'

This works but its showing all the Tags Key names

aws ec2 describe-instances | jq '.["Reservations"]|.[]|.Instances|.[]|.PrivateIpAddress + " " + .InstanceId + " " + .Tags'
Comment by imagineer 90 weeks and 6 days ago

Here you go(even has your vpc-id so you should be able to just run this):

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b" "Name=instance-state-name,Values=running" --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].[ [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value][0][0],PrivateIpAddress,InstanceId ]' --output table


1. I have an extra filter in there that only queries for running instances. You can change that to whatever you'd like.

2. You can add on to the query portion if you'd like other information (e.g., remove the filter of instance-state-name, and instead add on after the instance-id section this: State.Name). You could also add things like the AZ , e.g.,

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b" "Name=instance-state-name,Values=running" --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].[ [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value][0][0],PrivateIpAddress,InstanceId,State.Name,Placement.AvailabilityZone ]' --output table
Comment by fydgit 12 weeks and 6 days ago

Err, fixing that last one to be what I said:

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b" --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].[ [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value][0][0],PrivateIpAddress,InstanceId,State.Name,Placement.AvailabilityZone ]' --output table

Also, you can change the "--output" to be any of the following:

- table

- text

- json

Each are useful in their own right.

Comment by fydgit 12 weeks and 6 days ago

derp, one last try:

aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=vpc-id,Values=vpc-e2f17e8b" --query 'Reservations[].Instances[].[ [Tags[?Key==`Name`].Value][0][0],PrivateIpAddress,InstanceId,State.Name,Placement.AvailabilityZone ]' --output table
Comment by fydgit 12 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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