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Configure your AWS S3 bucket to function as a web site



~> 1.0.0
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Configure an AWS S3 bucket to function as a website easily from a command-line interface.

The bucket may or may not exist. If the bucket does not exist, configure-s3-website will create it.

For deploying websites to S3, consider using s3_website.


gem install configure-s3-website


Create a file that contains the name of your AWS profile with access to S3 and the name of the bucket:

profile: name-of-your-aws-profile-with-access
s3_bucket: name-of-your-bucket

or create a file that contains the S3 credentials and the name of the bucket:

s3_id: your-aws-access-key
s3_secret: your-aws-secret-key
s3_bucket: name-of-your-bucket

or you may omit the profile and s3_id keys to use the system's default credentials. This requires configuring AWS credentials. Options include setting environment variables, using a shared credentials file, or running an EC2 instance with IAM roles.

Save the file (as config.yml, for example). Now you are ready to go. Run the following command:

configure-s3-website --config-file config.yml

Congratulations! You now have an S3 bucket that can act as a website server for you.

Deliver your website via CloudFront

This gem can create new CloudFront distributions and update existing ones.

Creating a new distribution

configure-s3-website can create a CloudFront distribution for you. It will ask you whether you want to deliver your website via the CDN. If you answer yes, configure-s3-website will create a CloudFront distribution that has the configured S3 bucket as its origin. In addition, it will add the entry cloudfront_distribution_id: [id-of-the-new-distribution] into your configuration file.

CloudFront can be configured in various ways. However, the distribution created by configure-s3-website uses sensible defaults for an S3-based website and thus saves you the burden of figuring out how to configure CloudFront. For example, it assumes that your default root object is index.html.

You can see all the settings this gem applies on the new distribution by running the command in verbose mode:

configure-s3-website --config-file config.yml --verbose

Note that if you already have the key cloudfront_distribution_id in your configuration file, configure-s3-website will not create a new distribution. Conversely, if you remove the cloudfront_distribution_id key from the file and run configure-s3-website again, it will create you a new distribution.

Creating a new distribution with custom settings

If the default settings do not suit you, you can create a new distribution with your settings by adding cloudfront_distribution_config values into your config file. For example:

    min_ttl: 600
    quantity: 1

See the section below for more information about the valid values of the cloudfront_distribution_config setting.

If you want to, you can look at the distribution settings on the management console at

Updating an existing distribution

You can modify an existing CloudFront distribution by defining the id of the distribution and the configs you wish to override the defaults with.

Let's say your config file contains the following fragment:

cloudfront_distribution_id: AXSAXSSE134
    min_ttl: 600
  default_root_object: index.json

When you invoke configure-s3-website, it will overwrite the default value of default_cache_behavior's min_ttl as well as the default value of default_root_object setting in the default distribution configs.

This gem generates <DistributionConfig> of the CloudFront REST API. For reference, see (example) and (XSD). In other words, When you call configure-s3-website, it will turn the values of your cloudfront_distribution_config into XML, include them in the <DistributionConfig> element and send them to the CloudFront REST API.

The YAML keys in the config file will be turned into CloudFront REST API XML with the same logic as in configuring redirects.

Having the distribution settings in the config file is handy, because it allows you to store most (in many cases all) website deployment settings in one file.

Default distribution configs

Below is the default CloudFront distribution config. It is built based on the API version 2012-07-01 of DistributionConfig Complex Type.

  'caller_reference' => 'configure-s3-website gem [generated-timestamp]',
  'default_root_object' => 'index.html',
  'logging' => {
    'enabled' => 'false',
    'include_cookies' => 'false',
    'bucket' => '',
    'prefix' => ''
  'enabled' => 'true',
  'comment' => 'Created by the configure-s3-website gem',
  'aliases' => {
    'quantity' => '0'
  'default_cache_behavior' => {
    'target_origin_id' => '[generated-string]',
    'trusted_signers' => {
      'enabled' => 'false',
      'quantity' => '0'
    'forwarded_values' => {
      'query_string' => 'true',
      'cookies' => {
        'forward' => 'all'
    'viewer_protocol_policy' => 'allow-all',
    'min_ttl' => '86400'
  'cache_behaviors' => {
    'quantity' => '0'
  'price_class' => 'PriceClass_All'

Specifying a non-standard S3 endpoint

By default, configure-s3-website creates the S3 website into the US Standard region.

If you want to create the website into another region, add into the configuration file a row like this:

s3_endpoint: EU

The valid s3_endpoint values consist of the S3 location constraint values.

Specifying non-standard index or error documents

By default, configure-s3-website uses index.html for the index document and error.html for the error document.

You can override either or both of these defaults like this:

index_document: default.html
error_document: 404.html

You can specify the name of any document in the bucket.

Configuring redirects

You can configure redirects on your S3 website by adding routing_rules into the config file.

Here is an example:

  - condition:
      key_prefix_equals: blog/some_path
      replace_key_prefix_with: some_new_path/
      http_redirect_code: 301

You can use any routing rule property that the REST API supports. All you have to do is to replace the uppercase letter in AWS XML with an underscore and an undercase version of the same letter. For example, KeyPrefixEquals becomes key_prefix_equals in the config file.

Apply the rules by invoking configure-s3-website --config [your-config-file] on the command-line interface. You can verify the results by looking at your bucket on the S3 console.

How does configure-s3-website work?

configure-s3-website uses the AWS REST API of S3 for creating and modifying the bucket. In brief, it does the following things:

  1. Create a bucket for you (if it does not yet exist)
  2. Add the website configuration on the bucket via the website REST API
  3. Make the bucket readable to the whole world
  4. Apply the redirect (a.k.a routing) rules on the bucket website

When interacting with CloudFront, configure-s3-website uses the POST Distribution, GET Distribution and PUT Distribution Config APIs.

Running headlessly

Use the --headless option to run without user interaction. If you add the --autocreate-cloudfront-dist option, configure-s3-website will automatically create a CloudFront distribution for your S3 website.



Created by Lauri Lehmijoki.

Big thanks to the following contributors (in alphabetical order):

  • SlawD
  • Steve Schwartz
  • Toby Marsden

Supported Ruby versions

The file .travis.yml defines the officially supported Ruby versions. This gem might work on other versions as well, but they are not covered with continuous integration.


See the file LICENSE.