AWS Deployments using Serverless and Localstack

Installing Serverless

The following command installs Serverless onto a Linux host:

$ curl -o- -L | bash
$ source ~/.bashrc

Create New Service using Serverless Templates

A range of “Hello World” templates are readily available for creating services from scratch.

$ serverless create --help
$ cd $HOME
$ serverless create --template aws-python3 --path helloService

Configure the Service to use Localstack

1. Install Localstack Plugin

The serverless-localstack plugin will need to be installed to allow for local deployments to Localstack.

$ cd $HOME/helloService
$ npm install --save-dev serverless-localstack

2. Configure AWS Credentials

Create AWS credentials profile named localstack:

$ aws configure --profile localstack
AWS Access Key ID : test
AWS Secret Access Key : test
Default region name [us-east-1]:
Default output format [json]: json

3. Update serverless.yml

The file containing the service definition$HOME/helloService/serverless.yml will need to be modified to include AWS credentials, plugins to be used, and details of our Localstack instance.

  • Add Localstack plugins details:
service: helloservice
- serverless-localstack
  • Add AWS profile and stage details as shown below:
name: aws
stage: local
runtime: python3.8
profile: localstack
  • Add the following custom section to the end of the file:
# Stages for which the plugin should be enabled
- local
host: http://localhost
edgePort: 4566
autostart: true
mountCode: True
sudo: False

Localstack Docker Compose

The docker-compose Localstack environment used for testing is described next.

1. Host Directories

The following directories were created for volume mounts and storing docker-compose.yml.

$ mkdir $HOME/localstack
$ mkdir $HOME/localstack/tmp
$ mkdir $HOME/localstack/data

2. docker-compose.yml

The complete $HOME/localstack/docker-compose.yml has the following definition. Note, not all the AWS services mentioned in SERVICES variable are required, however, they were included for completeness and further discovery work.

version: '3.7'
# HOST_MNT_ROOT=$HOME/localstack docker-compose up -d
container_name: localstack-main
image: localstack/localstack:latest
- "4566:4566"
- SERVICES=${SERVICES-serverless
- DOCKER_HOST=unix:///var/run/docker.sock
- DATA_DIR=/tmp/localstack/data
- TMPDIR=/tmp/localstack/tmp
- "${HOST_MNT_ROOT}/data:/tmp/localstack/data"
- "/var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock"
- "${HOST_MNT_ROOT}/tmp:/tmp/localstack/tmp"

3. Starting Localstack

Launch Localstack by running:

$ cd $HOME/localstack
$ HOST_MNT_ROOT=$HOME/localstack docker-compose up -d

Deploying the Service to Localstack

Once Localstack is up and running, we can trigger the deployment.

$ cd $HOME/helloService
$ serverless deploy
Service Information
service: helloservice
stage: local
region: us-east-1
stack: helloservice-local
resources: 6
api keys:
hello: helloservice-local-hello

Invoking “hello” Lambda Function

To invoke our deployed hello function, run the following:

$ serverless invoke -f hello
"body": "{\"message\": \"Go Serverless v1.0!
Your function executed successfully!\", \"input\": {}}",
"statusCode": 200

Listing/Identifying Stack Components

To list the stack components, we can use the aws cli.

1. Retrieve Stack Description:

$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint-url http://localhost:4566 \
cloudformation \
describe-stacks \
--stack-name helloservice-local

2. List Stack Resources:

$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint-url http://localhost:4566 \
cloudformation \
describe-stack-resources \
--stack-name helloservice-local
$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint-url http://localhost:4566 \
cloudformation \
describe-stack-resource \
--stack-name helloservice-local \
--logical-resource-id <LogicalResourceId Value>

3. Display the Stack CloudFormation Template:

$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint-url http://localhost:4566 \
cloudformation \
get-template -\
-stack-name helloservice-local

4. View Logs

To view execution logs of our hello function, start by identifying the log group:

$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint-url http://localhost:4566 \
cloudformation describe-stack-resources \
--stack-name helloservice-local

"logGroups": [
"logGroupName": "/aws/lambda/helloservice-local-hello",
$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint http://localhost:4566 \
logs describe-log-streams \
--log-group-name \

"logStreams": [
"logStreamName": "2020/12/17/[LATEST]61a70b90",
$ aws --profile localstack \
--endpoint http://localhost:4566 \
logs get-log-events \
--log-group-name /aws/lambda/helloservice-local-hello \
--log-stream-name 2020/12/17/[LATEST]61a70b90

"events": [
"message": "{'statusCode': 200, 'body':
'{\"message\": \"Go Serverless v1.0!
Your function executed successfully!\"

Undeploying/Removing the Stack

To rollback the deployed stack/service, run the following:

$ cd $HOME/helloService
$ serverless remove


This basic introduction gave some insights into the obvious benefits of choosing Serverless for provisioning applications. A lot went on behind the scenes in response to executing a few simple commands to create our service.



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Tony Tannous

Tony Tannous

Learner. Interests include Cloud and Devops technologies.