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aws-vault only runs subcommands, there's no API for other languages to use, short of running them _under_ aws-vault. Here's a workaround for Python (3.6+)
def login():
if not shutil.which('aws-vault'):
return boto3.Session()
if 'AWS_SESSION_TOKEN' in os.environ:
return boto3.Session()
if 'AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID' in os.environ and 'AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY' in os.environ:
return boto3.Session()
profile=os.environ.get('AWS_PROFILE', 'default')
rc =['aws-vault', 'exec', profile, '--', 'python', '-c',
'import json,os; print(json.dumps({k:os.environ[k] for k in os.environ if k.startswith("AWS_")}))'],
check=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=sys.stderr)
need = json.loads(rc.stdout)
# too late to put those in os.environ for our benefit, and subprocess ignores changes too
# Which of these are guaranteed? We get:
return boto3.Session(

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@philpennock philpennock commented Feb 28, 2018

Note: the above is a simplified version of what I ended up using. The core issue is that AWS does not permit STS token credentials to access any IAM resources unless an MFA was used; this is an implicit policy rule and results in signature verification failures.

You can hard-require MFA for all usage which might touch IAM. You can hard-require MFA on principle. You can use --no-session to avoid using temporary credentials and just export the registered aws_access_key_id/aws_secret_access_key variables into environ.

There's no great answer.

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