This module provides a command-line getawscreds that allows a user to assume a role in an AWS account based on their NIH Login account. On Windows, users can use their PIV card or password, but on other platforms, users must use their username and password. Service accounts also use a username and password.

How it works

The software requests your password or PIV PIN code, and then logs into NIH login using these parameters. NIH login returns HTML that encodes what accounts and roles you may become, along with a web form that would automatically submit to AWS. This software extracts the information, called a SAML Assertion, and presents it directly to the AWS API sts:AssumeRoleWithSAML.

That API returns temporary credentials, typically good for about an hour. The software writes these into the AWS CLI credential file ~/.aws/credentials, or outputs the credentials for a bash shell or for Windows command-prompt (cmd.exe).

Named Profiles

A user may be granted the ability to authenticate to multiple roles on multiple accounts in AWS. The information about which accounts and roles are available is encoded into the SAML Assertion. Luckily, the AWS CLI and libraries support a concept called Named Profiles so that a user can manage the credentials for many profiles.

In order to know which federated role corresponds to which profile in which AWS account, the getawscreds command-line read a configuration file.

Typical Usage

Once a configuration file is created, typical usage is to type:

getawscreds -p profile --piv


getawscreds -p profile

You will then be prompted as needed.

Working with IDEs

Since the temporary credentials are written into the standard AWS credentials file, ~/.aws/credentials, working with an IDE is usually as simple as specifying which AWS profile should be used.