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Cloud Provisioning Tool

Project Description



Sceptre is a tool to drive AWS CloudFormation. It automates away some of the more mundane, repetitive and error-prone tasks, allowing you to concentrate on building better infrastructure.


  • Code reusability by separating a stack’s template and its configuration
  • Support for templates written in JSON, YAML, Jinja2 or Python DSLs such as Troposphere
  • Dependency resolution by passing of stack outputs to parameters of dependent stacks
  • Environment support by bundling related stacks into logical groups (e.g. dev and prod)
  • Environment-level commands, such as creating multiple stacks with a single command
  • Fast, highly parallelised builds
  • Built in support for working with stacks in multiple AWS accounts
  • Infrastructure visibility with meta-operations such as stack querying protection
  • Support for inserting dynamic values in templates via customisable resolvers
  • Support for running arbitrary code as hooks before/after stack builds


Sceptre organises stacks into environments. Each stack is represented by a YAML configuration file stored in a directory which represents the environment. Here, we have two stacks, vpc and subnets, in an environment named dev:

$ tree
├── config
│   └── dev
│       ├── config.yaml
│       ├── subnets.yaml
│       └── vpc.yaml
└── templates

We can create a stack with the create-stack command. This vpc stack contains a VPC:

$ sceptre create-stack dev vpc
dev/vpc - Creating stack
dev/vpc VirtualPrivateCloud AWS::EC2::VPC CREATE_IN_PROGRESS
dev/vpc VirtualPrivateCloud AWS::EC2::VPC CREATE_COMPLETE
dev/vpc sceptre-demo-dev-vpc AWS::CloudFormation::Stack CREATE_COMPLETE

The subnets stack contains a subnet which must be created in the VPC. To do this, we need to pass the VPC ID, which is exposed as a stack output of the vpc stack, to a parameter of the subnets stack. Sceptre automatically resolves this dependency for us:

$ sceptre create-stack dev subnets
dev/subnets - Creating stack
dev/subnets Subnet AWS::EC2::Subnet CREATE_IN_PROGRESS
dev/subnets Subnet AWS::EC2::Subnet CREATE_COMPLETE
dev/subnets sceptre-demo-dev-subnets AWS::CloudFormation::Stack CREATE_COMPLETE

Sceptre implements meta-operations, which allow us to find out information about our stacks:

$ sceptre describe-env-resources dev
- LogicalResourceId: Subnet
  PhysicalResourceId: subnet-445e6e32
- LogicalResourceId: VirtualPrivateCloud
  PhysicalResourceId: vpc-c4715da0

Sceptre provides environment-level commands. This one deletes the whole dev environment. The subnet exists within the vpc, so it must be deleted first. Sceptre handles this automatically:

$ sceptre delete-env dev
dev/subnets - Deleting stack
dev/subnets Subnet AWS::EC2::Subnet DELETE_IN_PROGRESS
dev/subnets - Stack deleted
dev/vpc - Deleting stack
dev/vpc VirtualPrivateCloud AWS::EC2::VPC DELETE_IN_PROGRESS
dev/vpc - Stack deleted


Sceptre can be used from the CLI, or imported as a Python package.


Usage: sceptre [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

--version             Show the version and exit.
--debug               Turn on debug logging.
--dir TEXT            Specify sceptre directory.
--output [yaml|json]  The formatting style for command output.
--no-colour           Turn off output colouring.
--var TEXT            A variable to template into config files.
--var-file FILENAME   A YAML file of variables to template into config
--help                Show this message and exit.

continue-update-rollback  Roll stack back to working state.
create-change-set         Creates a change set.
create-stack              Creates the stack.
delete-change-set         Delete the change set.
delete-env                Delete all stacks.
delete-stack              Delete the stack.
describe-change-set       Describe the change set.
describe-env              Describe the stack statuses.
describe-env-resources    Describe the env's resources.
describe-stack-outputs    Describe stack outputs.
describe-stack-resources  Describe the stack's resources.
execute-change-set        Execute the change set.
generate-template         Display the template used.
get-stack-policy          Display the stack policy used.
launch-env                Creates or updates all stacks.
launch-stack              Create or launch the stack.
list-change-sets          List change sets.
lock-stack                Prevent stack updates.
set-stack-policy          Set stack policy.
unlock-stack              Allow stack updates.
update-stack              Update the stack.
update-stack-cs           Update the stack via change set.
validate-template         Validate the template.


from sceptre.environment import Environment

env = Environment("/path/to/sceptre_dir", "environment_name")
stack = env.stacks["stack_name"]

A full API description of the sceptre package can be found in the Documentation.


$ pip install sceptre

More information on installing sceptre can be found in our Installation Guide.

Tutorial and Documentation


See our Contributing Guide.


1.2.1 (2017.7.21)

  • Changing Jinja rendering for templates only with ‘.j2’ extension.
  • Fixing broken links in documentation website.
  • Updating references to Python templates instead of Troposphere templates.

1.2.0 (2017.7.14)

  • Increasing maximum number of boto call retires from 5 to 30.
  • Adding support Jinja rendering for stack templates.
  • Adding stricter requirements for existing stack state when launch environments.
  • Adding cmd hook for better cross platform support.
  • Adding documentation around architecture of Sceptre projects.
  • Adding versioned documentation.
  • Improving documentation formatting.
  • Fixing path error bug when using environment level commands on Windows.
  • Fixing bug to correctly throw an AtrributeError in a Python stack template.

1.1.2 (2017.5.26)

  • Fixing bug for protect in stack config.

1.1.1 (2017.2.29)

  • Respect –dir when loading custom resolvers and hooks.

1.1.0 (2017.3.3)

  • Include Scope in update-stack-cs output.
  • Updates to documentation.

1.0.0 (2017.1.31)

  • Removing deprecation notices.
  • Updating documentation.

0.50.0 (2017.1.24)

  • Changing syntax used for resolvers and hooks in config files.
  • Deprecating use of sceptre_get_template function in Troposphere templates.
  • Deprecating the accessing of Troposphere templates returned from sceptre_get_template.
  • Deprecating the accessing of Troposphere templates from the global variable t.
  • Deprecating the global variable SCEPTRE_USER_DATA.
  • Adding support for sceptre_handler function in Troposphere templates.
  • Adding support for pure CloudFormation JSON strings returned by sceptre_handler.
  • Adding support for sceptre_user_data passed to sceptre_handler.
  • Fixing bug in update-stack-cs.
  • Adding project-variables resolver.

0.49.1 (2017.1.6)

  • Adding documentation for CloudFormation Service Role.

0.49.0 (2017.1.6)

  • Updating documentation on hooks.
  • Adding support for CloudFormation Service Role.
  • Adding support for custom stack names.
  • Removing (before|after)_launch hook.
  • Changing documentation styling.
  • Adding Python 3 support.
  • Adding –verbose argument to describe-change-set.
  • Adding support for launching stacks without uploading the template to S3.
  • Adding a FAQ section on parameters vs sceptre_user_data.
  • Adding support for CloudFormation template written in YAML.
  • Bumping boto3 requirement.
  • Adding more intuitive delete stack message.
  • Removing profile.
  • Fixing a multithreading bug.
  • Improve CLI UX by printing only an exception’s message, not the whole stack trace.
  • Adding environment path check.
  • Refactoring out code that fetches stack status.

0.48.0 (2016.12.5)

  • Fixing StackStatusColourer: UPDATE_FAILED wan’t coloured.
  • Fixing bug from uploading templates to S3 from Windows.
  • Improving exception thrown when a user tries to use the stack output resolve on a stack with no outputs.

0.47.0 (2016.12.1)

  • Launch now deletes stacks in the CREATE_FAILED or ROLLBACK_COMPLETE states before re-creating them.
  • Adding support for Troposphere<1.10.0.

0.46.0 (2016.11.11)

  • Adding support for multiple environments.
  • Speeding up integration tests.
  • Switching to CircleCI for continuous integration and deployment of documentation.
  • Changing template S3 key to use a UTC timestamp rather than seconds since epoch.
  • Changing update-stack-cs to delete the change set by default.
  • Stopping appending region to template bucket name.
  • Refactoring logger.
  • Changing exception names from <Name>Exception to <Name>Error.
  • Publishing development docs to

0.45.0 (2016.08.25)

  • Adding support for Troposphere 1.8.
  • Adding stack protection support.
  • Adding support for allowing Troposphere templates to import modules from parent directories.
  • Adding documentation section for IAM role setup.
  • Fixing bug in update-wth-cs command.

0.44.0 (2016.08.5)

  • Adding require_version.
  • Renaming –machine-readable to –output.
  • Refactoring

0.43.4 (2016.08.2)

  • Improving logging.

0.43.3 (2016.08.2)

  • Updating CONTRIBUTING.rst.

0.43.2 (2016.08.1)

  • Fixing multithreaded S3 bucket create bug.

0.43.1 (2016.08.1)

  • Deprecating the CLI flags –iam-role, –profile, –region.

0.43.0 (2016.08.1)

  • Adding machine readable output support.

0.42.0 (2016.08.1)

  • Adding support for CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM.

0.41.0 (2016.07.28)

  • Adding Resolver support for sceptre_user_data.

0.40.0 (2016.07.28)

  • Adding plugin support for Parameter Resolvers and Hooks.

0.39.2 (2016.07.21)

  • Fixing exit status bug.

0.39.1 (2016.07.15)

  • Updating requirements.

0.39.0 (2016.07.15)

  • Add sceptre_hooks.
  • Add builtin suspend and resume asg scaling actions.

0.38.4 (2016.07.14)

  • Adding deprecation warning for –profile, –region, –iam_role.

0.38.3 (2016.07.14)

  • Combining account_id and iam_role into a single parameter, iam_role, which is now the ARN of the IAM Role to assume.
  • Fixing bug in integration tests.

0.38.2 (2016.07.14)

  • Updating docs.

0.38.1 (2016.07.14)

  • Updating docstrings.

0.38.0 (2016.07.14)

  • Removing autocomplete as it broke integration tests.
  • Fixing integration tests.

0.37.0 (2016.07.13)

  • Adding the ability to tag stacks created by Sceptre.

0.36.0 (2016.07.12)

  • Adding templating support to config files.

0.35.1 (2016.07.12)

  • Fixing permissions on autocomplete files.

0.35.0 (2016.07.12)

  • Sceptre now encrypts templates uploaded to S3 using AES256 by default.

0.34.0 (2016.07.12)

  • Adding autocomplete support for bash and zsh.

0.33.0 (2016.07.11)

  • Specify sceptre directory via –dir flag.

0.32.0 (2016.07.11)

  • Refactoring how parameters are handled internally.
  • Adding stack_output_external resolver.
  • Adding the ability to explicitly specify dependencies.

0.31.0 (2016.07.11)

  • Adding sceptre-update-cs.

0.30.0 (2016.07.08)

  • Tail stack events for sceptre execute-change-set.
  • Added formatted output for sceptre describe-change-set.

0.29.1 (2016.07.08)

  • Fixing CI bug in 0.29.0.

0.29.0 (2016.07.08)

  • Adding automatic support for no-colour’ed output.

0.28.0 (2016.07.07)

  • Adding –no-colour flag.

0.27.2 (2016.07.07)

  • Updating docs to add get-stack-policy and set-stack-policy.

0.27.1 (2016.07.07)

  • Patching unittests and lint from previous release.

0.27.0 (2016.07.07)

  • Adding get-stack-policy and set-stack-policy.

0.26.1 (2016.07.06)

  • Changing ConfigReader object to Config object.

0.26.0 (2016.07.06)

  • Adding more integration tests.

0.25.1 (2016.07.05)

  • Fixing UnrecognisedHookTaskTypeException import in

0.25.0 (2016.07.05)

  • Adding describe-env command.

0.24.1 (2016.07.05)

  • Updating documentation.

0.24.0 (2016.07.04)

  • Ability to specify the region via the cli.
  • Ability to specify a profile via the cli or config.yml.
  • Ability to specify a role via the cli.
  • Skip role assume when no role is specified in config.yaml or via the cli.

0.23.1 (2016.06.30)

  • Moving upload_template_to_s3 into the Template object.

0.23.0 (2016.06.30)

  • Adding support for the cascading of <stack_name>.yaml files.
  • Moved –debug flag to be after sceptre keyword ($ sceptre –debug <command>).
  • Refactor how config is handled internally.
  • Lazy load stack config and templates.

0.22.1 (2016.06.28)

  • Adding dependency resolving to create-change-set.

0.22.0 (2016.06.27)

  • Adding hooks.

0.21.2 (2016.06.24)

  • Refactoring connection_manager.

0.21.1 (2016.06.14)

  • Fixing bug in

0.21.0 (2016.06.14)

  • Adding sceptre describe-stack-outputs command.

0.20.0 (2016.06.14)

  • Switching from configure to PyYaml.
  • Fixing a print stack events error.

0.19.0 (2016.06.8)

  • Adding Boto3 call retries when request limits are hit.

0.18.2 (2016.06.2)

  • Removing a potential race condition when storing templates in S3.

0.18.1 (2016.05.27)

  • Tidying up method names in the Stack() object.

0.18.0 (2016.05.26)

  • Moving to using threading to launch/delete environments.
  • Create/update/launch/delete commands now return non-zero if the command fails.

0.17.0 (2016.05.10)

  • Adding basic integration tests.

0.16.1 (2016.05.9)

  • Bumping to Troposphere 1.6.0.

0.16.0 (2016.05.4)

  • Switching from Docopt to Click, improving support for use as a Python module.

0.15.3 (2016.04.21)

  • Bumping boto3 dependency version to 1.3.1.

0.15.2 (2016.04.21)

  • Defend against troposphere_data being a string in yaml.

0.15.1 (2016.04.14)

  • Moving exceptions into their own file,

0.15.0 (2016.04.14)

  • Support for automatic reading in of arbitrary files.

0.14.1 (2016.04.14)

  • Refactor

0.14.0 (2016.04.11)

  • Adding change set support.

0.13.3 (2016.04.11)

  • Moving dependency resolver code from to

0.13.2 (2016.04.7)

  • Refactoring

0.13.1 (2016.04.7)

  • Improving troposphere template not found exception.

0.13.0 (2016.04.6)

  • Adding $ sceptre --version.

0.12.1 (2016.04.6)

  • Hiding internal class names.

0.12.0 (2016.04.6)

  • Adding support for reading in environment variables for use as CloudFormation parameters.

0.11.0 (2016.03.31)

  • Adding continue-update-rollback command.

0.10.2 (2016.03.31)

  • Refactoring ConfigReader.

0.10.1 (2016.03.31)

  • Updating documentation.

0.10.0 (2016.03.31)

  • Adding Troposphere data injection support.

0.9.1 (2016.03.21)

  • Minor refactor.

0.9.0 (2016.03.21)

  • Adding –debug option.

0.8.2 (2016.03.21)

  • Adding date time to printed out stack events.

0.8.1 (2016.03.21)

  • Fixing bug in generate-template.

0.8.0 (2016.03.21)

  • Sceptre now prints out stack events as stacks are being launched or deleted.

0.7.1 (2016.03.18)

  • Refactoring interactor commands.

0.7.0 (2016.03.17)

  • Adding lock-stack and unlock-stack commands.

0.6.3 (2016.03.16)

  • Adding improved error handling for when users enter incorrect stack names.

0.6.2 (2016.03.16)

  • Adding improved error handling for when users enter incorrect environment paths.
  • Refactoring config_reader

0.6.1 (2016.03.15)

  • Updating documentation.

0.6.0 (2016.03.15)

  • Adding support for user-defined config directory structure.

0.5.1 (2016.03.10)

  • Sceptre waits after checking a stack’s status. This update drops the wait time from 3s to 1s.

0.5.0 (2016.03.10)

  • Adds sceptre validate-template <env> <stack_name> command.

0.4.0 (2016.03.10)

  • Sceptre now creates, updates and launches stacks from a template it uploads to s3.

0.3.2 (2016.03.10)

  • Fixing create_bucket for region us-east-1.

0.3.1 (2016.03.10)

  • Sceptre removes trailing slash from template_bucket_name.

0.3.0 (2016.03.09)

  • Sceptre now appends time since epoch to uploaded JSON template names.

0.2.0 (2016.03.09)

  • Sceptre now appends region to supplied bucket name.

0.1.3 (2016.03.08)

  • Adding support for subdirectories in the template_bucket_name param.

0.1.2 (2016.03.08)

  • Updating Troposphere to version 1.5.0.

0.1.1 (2016.03.08)

  • Updating tox to only support Python 2.6 versions > 2.6.9.

0.1.0 (2016-03-07)

  • Changing how parameter chaining is stated in yaml files.

0.0.1 (2015-12-13)

  • First release.
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