You are viewing the documentation for an older version of boto (boto2).

Boto3, the next version of Boto, is now stable and recommended for general use. It can be used side-by-side with Boto in the same project, so it is easy to start using Boto3 in your existing projects as well as new projects. Going forward, API updates and all new feature work will be focused on Boto3.

For more information, see the documentation for boto3.

An Introduction to boto’s RDS interface

This tutorial focuses on the boto interface to the Relational Database Service from Amazon Web Services. This tutorial assumes that you have boto already downloaded and installed, and that you wish to setup a MySQL instance in RDS.


This tutorial covers the ORIGINAL module for RDS. It has since been supplanted by a second major version & an updated API complete with all service operations. The documentation for the new version of boto’s support for RDS is at RDS v2.

Creating a Connection

The first step in accessing RDS is to create a connection to the service. The recommended method of doing this is as follows:

>>> import boto.rds
>>> conn = boto.rds.connect_to_region(
...     "us-west-2",
...     aws_access_key_id='<aws access key'>,
...     aws_secret_access_key='<aws secret key>')

At this point the variable conn will point to an RDSConnection object in the US-WEST-2 region. Bear in mind that just as any other AWS service, RDS is region-specific. In this example, the AWS access key and AWS secret key are passed in to the method explicitly. Alternatively, you can set the environment variables:

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID - Your AWS Access Key ID
  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY - Your AWS Secret Access Key

and then simply call:

>>> import boto.rds
>>> conn = boto.rds.connect_to_region("us-west-2")

In either case, conn will point to an RDSConnection object which we will use throughout the remainder of this tutorial.

Starting an RDS Instance

Creating a DB instance is easy. You can do so as follows:

>>> db = conn.create_dbinstance("db-master-1", 10, 'db.m1.small', 'root', 'hunter2')

This example would create a DB identified as db-master-1 with 10GB of storage. This instance would be running on db.m1.small type, with the login name being root, and the password hunter2.

To check on the status of your RDS instance, you will have to query the RDS connection again:

>>> instances = conn.get_all_dbinstances("db-master-1")
>>> instances
>>> db = instances[0]
>>> db.status
>>> db.endpoint
(u'', 3306)

Creating a Security Group

Before you can actually connect to this RDS service, you must first create a security group. You can add a CIDR range or an EC2 security group to your DB security group

>>> sg = conn.create_dbsecurity_group('web_servers', 'Web front-ends')
>>> sg.authorize(cidr_ip='')

You can then associate this security group with your RDS instance:

>>> db.modify(security_groups=[sg])

Connecting to your New Database

Once you have reached this step, you can connect to your RDS instance as you would with any other MySQL instance:

>>> db.endpoint
(u'', 3306)

% mysql -h -u root -phunter2

Making a backup

You can also create snapshots of your database very easily:

>>> db.snapshot('db-master-1-2013-02-05')

Once this snapshot is complete, you can create a new database instance from it:

>>> db2 = conn.restore_dbinstance_from_dbsnapshot(
...    'db-master-1-2013-02-05',
...    'db-restored-1',
...    'db.m1.small',
...    'us-west-2')