Minimal Deploy IAM Policy

The IAM user you use to run the ufo ship command needs a minimal set of IAM policies to deploy to ECS.

Note: This is different than the Task Definition IAM Roles.

Minimal IAM Permissions

Here is a table of the baseline services needed:

Service Description
ApplicationAutoScaling To create ECS Service AutoScaling policy and scalable target.
CloudFormation To create the CloudFormation stack that creates most of the AWS resources that UFO creates, like ECS service and the ELB.
EC2 To describe subnets associated with VPC. Used to configure subnets to use for ECS tasks and ELBs.
ECR To pull and push to the ECR registry. If you’re using DockerHub, this permission is not required.
ECS To create ECS service, task definitions, etc.
ElasticloadBalancing To create the ELB and related load balancing resources like Listeners and Target Groups.
ElasticloadBalancingV2 To create the ELB and related load balancing resources like Listeners and Target Groups.
IAM To create ECS Task Role and Execution Role. See: ECS IAM Roles.
Logs To write to CloudWatch Logs.
Route53 To create vanity DNS endpoint when using Route53 setting.


It is recommended that you create an IAM group and associate it with the IAM users that need access to use ufo ship. Here are starter instructions and a policy that you can tailor for your needs:

Commands Summary

Here’s a summary of the commands:

aws iam create-group --group-name Ufo
cat << 'EOF' > /tmp/ufo-policy.json
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "*",
            "Effect": "Allow"
            "Action": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Resource": "*",
            "Condition": {
                "StringLike": {
                    "iam:PassedToService": [
aws iam put-group-policy --group-name Ufo --policy-name UFOPolicy --policy-document file:///tmp/ufo-policy.json

Then create a user and add the user to IAM group. Here’s an example:

aws iam create-user --user-name tung
aws iam add-user-to-group --user-name tung --group-name Ufo

ECS Task IAM Policy vs User Deploy IAM Policy

This page refers to your user IAM policy used when running ufo ship. These are different from the IAM Policies associated with ECS Task. For those IAM policies refer to IAM Roles for Tasks .