Solve - You must Specify a Region Error in AWS CLI

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Tue Sep 14 20212 min read

Solving AWS CLI You must specify a Region Error #

The "You must specify a region" error occurs when we haven't configured the region for the AWS profile we're using, nor have we passed the --region parameter when executing the command:

you must specify a region error

In order to solve the "You must specify a region" error we have to set a region the command applies to.

We can specify a region for a single command, by passing the --region parameter:

shell
aws ec2 describe-instances --region us-east-1

with region parameter

To set a region that applies to all commands executed by the AWS profile, we have to use the aws configure set region command:

shell
aws configure set region us-east-1 --profile amplify-user-1

In this case we've set the region of the amplify-user-1 profile to us-east-1.

The aws configure set region command writes the region to the AWS config file.

On linux and macOS the config file has the path of ~/.aws/config:

aws cli config file

On windows the config file has the path of C:\Users\USERNAME\.aws\config.

To check the region that's currently configured for a profile, you can run the aws configure list command:

shell
aws configure list --profile amplify-user-1

aws cli show region

The region must be configured for each profile. The AWS CLI will not fall back to your default profile's region, even if it is configured.

The optimal way to configure the region for your AWS CLI profile is with the aws configure set region command, because it applies to all of the AWS CLI commands you execute with that profile.

You can then easily override the region for a specific command by passing the --region parameter.

The --region parameter has higher precedence than the setting in your config file, and is useful for one off commands.

Further Reading #

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