Get Advice Icon

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

AWS Shell
AWS Shell

28
35
+ 1
0
Terraform
Terraform

2.3K
1.5K
+ 1
253
Add tool

AWS Shell vs Terraform: What are the differences?

Developers describe AWS Shell as "An integrated shell for working with the AWS CLI (by AWS)". The AWS Command Line Interface is a unified tool to manage your AWS services. On the other hand, Terraform is detailed as "Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers". With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

AWS Shell belongs to "AWS Tools" category of the tech stack, while Terraform can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".

Some of the features offered by AWS Shell are:

  • Auto Completion of Commands and Options
  • Shorthand Auto Completion
  • Server Side Auto Completion

On the other hand, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

AWS Shell and Terraform are both open source tools. It seems that Terraform with 17.7K GitHub stars and 4.83K forks on GitHub has more adoption than AWS Shell with 4.9K GitHub stars and 410 GitHub forks.

What is AWS Shell?

The AWS Command Line Interface is a unified tool to manage your AWS services.

What is Terraform?

With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
Get Advice Icon

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose AWS Shell?
Why do developers choose Terraform?
    Be the first to leave a pro

    Sign up to add, upvote and see more prosMake informed product decisions

      Be the first to leave a con
        Be the first to leave a con
        What companies use AWS Shell?
        What companies use Terraform?

        Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

        What tools integrate with AWS Shell?
        What tools integrate with Terraform?

        Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

        What are some alternatives to AWS Shell and Terraform?
        AWS Amplify
        A JavaScript library for frontend and mobile developers building cloud-enabled applications. The library is a declarative interface across different categories of operations in order to make common tasks easier to add into your application. The default implementation works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources but is designed to be open and pluggable for usage with other cloud services that wish to provide an implementation or custom backends.
        LocalStack
        LocalStack provides an easy-to-use test/mocking framework for developing Cloud applications.
        troposphere
        The troposphere library allows for easier creation of the AWS CloudFormation JSON by writing Python code to describe the AWS resources. troposphere also includes some basic support for OpenStack resources via Heat.
        awless
        awless is a fast, powerful and easy-to-use command line interface (CLI) to manage Amazon Web Services.
        Blox
        Blox is a collection of open source projects for container management and orchestration. Blox gives you more control over how your containerized applications run on Amazon ECS. It enables you to build schedulers and integrate third-party schedulers on top of ECS, while leveraging Amazon ECS to fully manage and scale your clusters.
        See all alternatives
        Decisions about AWS Shell and Terraform
        John Kodumal
        John Kodumal
        CTO at LaunchDarkly | 3 upvotes 36.3K views
        atLaunchDarklyLaunchDarkly
        Armory
        Armory
        Packer
        Packer
        Terraform
        Terraform
        Spinnaker
        Spinnaker
        Ansible
        Ansible

        LaunchDarkly is almost a five year old company, and our methodology for deploying was state of the art... for 2014. We recently undertook a project to modernize the way we #deploy our software, moving from Ansible-based deploy scripts that executed on our local machines, to using Spinnaker (along with Terraform and Packer) as the basis of our deployment system. We've been using Armory's enterprise Spinnaker offering to make this project a reality.

        See more
        Joseph Kunzler
        Joseph Kunzler
        DevOps Engineer at Tillable | 9 upvotes 30.7K views
        atTillableTillable
        AWS CloudFormation
        AWS CloudFormation
        AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
        AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
        Amazon EC2
        Amazon EC2
        Amazon S3
        Amazon S3
        Terraform
        Terraform

        We use Terraform because we needed a way to automate the process of building and deploying feature branches. We wanted to hide the complexity such that when a dev creates a PR, it triggers a build and deployment without the dev having to worry about any of the 'plumbing' going on behind the scenes. Terraform allows us to automate the process of provisioning DNS records, Amazon S3 buckets, Amazon EC2 instances and AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)'s. It also makes it easy to tear it all down when finished. We also like that it supports multiple clouds, which is why we chose to use it over AWS CloudFormation.

        See more
        AWS CloudFormation
        AWS CloudFormation
        Google Cloud Deployment Manager
        Google Cloud Deployment Manager
        Terraform
        Terraform

        I use Terraform because it hits the level of abstraction pocket of being high-level and flexible, and is agnostic to cloud platforms. Creating complex infrastructure components for a solution with a UI console is tedious to repeat. Using low-level APIs are usually specific to cloud platforms, and you still have to build your own tooling for deploying, state management, and destroying infrastructure.

        However, Terraform is usually slower to implement new services compared to cloud-specific APIs. It's worth the trade-off though, especially if you're multi-cloud. I heard someone say, "We want to preference a cloud, not lock in to one." Terraform builds on that claim.

        Terraform Google Cloud Deployment Manager AWS CloudFormation

        See more
        Pedro Arnal Puente
        Pedro Arnal Puente
        CTO at La Cupula Music SL | 7 upvotes 49.3K views
        atLa Cupula Music SLLa Cupula Music SL
        Ansible
        Ansible
        Packer
        Packer
        Terraform
        Terraform
        Amazon ElastiCache
        Amazon ElastiCache
        Redis
        Redis
        Amazon RDS for Aurora
        Amazon RDS for Aurora
        Amazon S3
        Amazon S3
        Amazon EC2
        Amazon EC2
        Debian
        Debian

        Our base infrastructure is composed of Debian based servers running in Amazon EC2 , asset storage with Amazon S3 , and Amazon RDS for Aurora and Redis under Amazon ElastiCache for data storage.

        We are starting to work in automated provisioning and management with Terraform , Packer , and Ansible .

        See more
        GitHub
        GitHub
        Google Compute Engine
        Google Compute Engine
        Google Cloud Storage
        Google Cloud Storage
        Google BigQuery
        Google BigQuery
        Google Cloud Bigtable
        Google Cloud Bigtable
        Google Cloud Run
        Google Cloud Run
        Google Cloud Build
        Google Cloud Build
        Google Cloud Deployment Manager
        Google Cloud Deployment Manager
        Python
        Python
        Terraform
        Terraform
        Google Cloud IoT Core
        Google Cloud IoT Core

        Context: I wanted to create an end to end IoT data pipeline simulation in Google Cloud IoT Core and other GCP services. I never touched Terraform meaningfully until working on this project, and it's one of the best explorations in my development career. The documentation and syntax is incredibly human-readable and friendly. I'm used to building infrastructure through the google apis via Python , but I'm so glad past Sung did not make that decision. I was tempted to use Google Cloud Deployment Manager, but the templates were a bit convoluted by first impression. I'm glad past Sung did not make this decision either.

        Solution: Leveraging Google Cloud Build Google Cloud Run Google Cloud Bigtable Google BigQuery Google Cloud Storage Google Compute Engine along with some other fun tools, I can deploy over 40 GCP resources using Terraform!

        Check Out My Architecture: CLICK ME

        Check out the GitHub repo attached

        See more
        Interest over time
        Reviews of AWS Shell and Terraform
        No reviews found
        How developers use AWS Shell and Terraform
        Avatar of Royal Icing
        Royal Icing uses TerraformTerraform

        Terraform makes it so easy to deploy AWS and Google Cloud services, with the declarative approach avoiding so many headaches of manual work and possible mistakes.

        Avatar of B霉i Thanh
        B霉i Thanh uses TerraformTerraform
        • Infrastructure as Code.
        • Central tool to deploy all infratructure: AWS, CloudFlare, StatusCake
        Avatar of Prime Technologies
        Prime Technologies uses TerraformTerraform

        The entire AWS environments is described and setup using Terraform.

        Avatar of Binded
        Binded uses TerraformTerraform

        All of our infrastructure is stored as code thanks to Terraform.

        Avatar of Razorpay
        Razorpay uses TerraformTerraform

        We orchestrate our AWS infrastructure using Terraform.

        How much does AWS Shell cost?
        How much does Terraform cost?
        Pricing unavailable
        Pricing unavailable
        News about AWS Shell
        More news