I installed the aws cli according to the offical Amazon directions.

sudo pip install awscli

However, aws is nowhere to be found in my path. The installation seems to have been successful. There are a number of files located at /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.3/lib/python3.3/site-packages/awscli, however there are no executables named aws. My python version is 3.3.4, my pip version is 1.5.4, and running this command on OS X 10.9. What could be wrong?


Improving the OP’s Answer

The OP answered their own question, but the exact location of the executable is more likely to be different than it is to be the same. So, let’s break down WHY his solution worked so you can apply it to yourself.

From the problem

There are a number of files located at /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.3/lib/python3.3/site-packages/awscli, however there are no executables named aws.

From the solution

The solution was to add /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.3/bin to the my PATH.

Let’s learn something

Compare those paths to find their commonality:


Notice that they diverge at lib vs. bin. And consider that the OP stated, “there are no executables named aws.” That brings us to our first learning lessons:

  • Executables tend to not be in lib folders.
  • Look for bin folders that share a common lineage.

In this case I would have suggested looking for bin folders via:

find /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework -type d -name bin

But, if you are going to do that, you might as well just search for your executable via:

find /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework -type f -perm -100 -name aws
# the `-` in `perm -100` means not an exact match of 100
# but any octal that includes 100

But wait

How did OP know to look in their /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.3/lib/python3.3/site-packages/?

The easiest answer is also our next learning lesson:

  • Ask your python where things are installed.

Here is how I do that:

$ python -c 'import awscli; print(awscli)'
<module 'awscli' from '/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages/awscli/__init__.pyc'>

$ python3 -c 'import awscli; print(awscli)'
<module 'awscli' from '/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.6/lib/python3.6/site-packages/awscli/__init__.py'>

I have 2 Pythons and neither of them use the same paths or even path patterns as the OP.

Apply what we’ve learned

$ find /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework -type d -name bin

$ find /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework -type f -perm -100 -name aws

As you can see, I have 2 bin folders and 2 aws executables. I probably want to use the Python3.6 version. However, if I’m doing local trial and error work for a remote system that uses the Python2.7 version, I’m going to want to use that. And this is exactly why I have 2 version installed.

This worked for me on mac:

sudo -H pip install awscli --upgrade --ignore-installed six

From http://docs.aws.amazon.com/cli/latest/userguide/cli-install-macos.html#awscli-install-osx-path

For Modern macos/OSX, you need to find your ~/Library/Python/$version/bin directory and add it to your $PATH. This will help you locate the one where aws got installed.

$ ls -d ~/Library/Python/*/bin/aws

So based on that I added this line to my .bashrc

export PATH=$HOME/Library/Python/3.6/bin:$PATH

On ubuntu and installed with pip3 without sudo, the correct location to add to my path was ~/.local/bin:

export PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH

The solution was to add


to the my PATH.

Can use pip show awscli to find the installation location.

$ pip show awscli
Name: awscli
Version: 1.16.94
Summary: Universal Command Line Environment for AWS.
Home-page: http://aws.amazon.com/cli/
Author: Amazon Web Services
Author-email: UNKNOWN
License: Apache License 2.0
Location: /root/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages
Requires: s3transfer, colorama, rsa, docutils, botocore, PyYAML

I upgraded from OSX 10.7 to OSX 10.9 and afterwards, my installation of aws no longer worked.

I observed errors like this:

$ pip
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/pip", line 5, in <module>
    from pkg_resources import load_entry_point
  File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/pkg_resources.py", line 2603, in <module>
  File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/pkg_resources.py", line 666, in require
needed = self.resolve(parse_requirements(requirements))
  File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/pkg_resources.py", line 565, in resolve
    raise DistributionNotFound(req)  # XXX put more info here
pkg_resources.DistributionNotFound: pip==1.5.5

The solution that the operating system upgrade had changed permissions.

Giveaway clue:

sudo pip <— worked

pip <— failed

So I did this:

sudo chmod -R a+r /Library/Python/

and then afterwards, I’m able to use the aws commands again.

Not sure if this is something that will be helpful for others, but figured I’d throw it into the mix.

When installing in a virtualenv: ‘pip install awscli’ (without sudo) worked fine on OS X; but not on CentOS release 6.6, e.g. ‘which aws’ found nothing. The solution:

chmod u+x /PATH-TO-YOUR-VIRTUALENV/bin/aws

Edit the paths file directly if you have admin rights.

Definitely go with the top answer if you don’t have admin rights, but if you do then I would highly recommend directly editing the paths files, located at /etc/paths.

Use your favorite editor and simply paste the desired path on a new line:

Sample paths file:

/Users/username/Library/Python/3.6/bin #new path added here at bottom of file

Paste at the top or bottom or in whatever order you would like the locations searched for binaries (in the event there are binaries with duplicate names).

Using the paths file saves you the hassle of remembering the concatenation syntax or the potential trouble if you write an faulty export statement.

What I typically do is copy the executable to /usr/local/bin

cp $(find / -name aws) /usr/local/bin

export PATH=/Users/{Computer Name}/Library/Python/2.7/bin:$PATH

Windows is likely the minority here, but adding below to my PATH worked for me. For reference, I installed the CLI via pip:


I had a similar problem on windows 10. I had to add below to PATH variables

For Python:


For PIP:


For awscli to work:


check your python version but I guessed you are using python 3.3

export PATH=$HOME/Library/Python/3.3/bin:$PATH

An alternative way is to install the aws-cli package via methods found at https://cloudacademy.com/blog/how-to-use-aws-cli/. This has worked for me 🙂

Simply download & MSI installer (64 Or 32 -bit)
Install or update the AWS CLI version 2 on Windows using the MSI installer

After installation, You may get an error “‘aws'” is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.”

Simply check Environment variable, Variable name must be ‘PATH’ and put value “C:\Program Files\Amazon\AWSCLIV2”
Close command prompt window and reopen it. The problem will be resolved.