AWS SAM in a Docker container

Table of Contents

In this article we will see how to install AWS SAM in a docker container and to create an AWS Lambda using AWS SAM.


  • Download and install docker for your platform. Click here for instructions

  • Create an AWS account. Click here for instructions

Create AWS IAM user

Start docker containers

  • Clone this repo

  • Open a new terminal and cd into aws-tools directory. This directory contains Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml to bring up a docker container with AWS SAM.

  • Create a copy of .env.template as .env

  • Update the .env with the access key from previous step

  • Start aws-tools container by running

    docker-compose up -d
  • Validate the container by running

    docker ps

Validate AWS CLI and SAM

  • SSH into the container by running

    docker exec -it aws-tools /bin/bash
  • Validate AWS CLI by running

    aws --version
  • Validate AWS SAM by running

    sam --version
  • Validate your AWS profile by running

    aws configure list

    You can also override the profile OR create a new profile at any point by running aws configure OR aws configure --profile <profile-name>

Create SAM project

  • cd into your preferred directory

    cd /C/
  • Create SAM project by running and following the guided instructions

    sam init

    This can be also done in non interactive mode by invoking the command sam init --name sam-lambda-api --runtime python3.9 --dependency-manager pip --app-template hello-world --no-interactive

  • cd into the SAM project directory and validate SAM project by running

    sam validate
  • Build SAM project by running

    sam build

Validate SAM project locally

  • Invoke SAM project locally by running

    sam local invoke --container-host host.docker.internal
  • Start Lambda locally by running

    sam local start-lambda --container-host host.docker.internal --host
  • Invoke Lambda by running below command from a new session

    aws lambda invoke --function-name "HelloWorldFunction" --endpoint-url "http://localhost:3001" --no-verify-ssl lamda_output.txt && cat lamda_output.txt
  • Start API locally by running

    sam local start-api --container-host host.docker.internal --host
  • Validate local API by invoking endpoint from a browser OR postman


Deploy SAM project to AWS

  • Deploy SAM project by running below command

    sam deploy --guided
    sam deploy --stack-name sam-lambda-api --s3-bucket <bucket-name>
  • Validate the SAM deployment status from the CloudFormation console.

  • Navigate to the output tab of CloudFormation template to collect the API endpoint.

  • Validate API by invoking API endpoint from a browser OR postman

Validate Lambda logs

  • Validate SAM/Lambda logs by running below command

    sam logs -n HelloWorldFunction --stack-name sam-lambda-api --tail

    You can find more information and examples about filtering Lambda function logs in the SAM CLI Documentation.

  • SAM/Lambda logs can be also validated from CloudWatch Log groups for the Lambda created by the SAM project

Clean the demo resources

  • Delete the SAM application by running

    aws cloudformation delete-stack --stack-name sam-lambda-api
  • Delete the docker container from a new terminal, cd into aws-tools directory and run the below command to delete the docker containers and related volumes

    docker-compose down --volume --remove-orphans


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