Getting Started with AWS CDK: A Step-by-Step Guide

This guide will walk through how to get up and running with CDK to define your cloud infrastructure through code.


Before starting, make sure you have:

  • An AWS account
  • Node.js 14.x or later
  • AWS credentials configured

How to install Node.js and TypeScript?

If you don’t have Node.js installed on your machine, you can download it here. To check if you have Node.js installed, run the following command in your terminal:

node --version # make sure your version is 14.x or later

To install TypeScript, run the following command in your terminal:

npm install -g typescript
tsc --version # check installation

Install the CDK Toolkit

Install the latest CDK Toolkit globally:

npm install -g aws-cdk@latest

Check the installation:

cdk --version

What is the CDK Toolkit?

The CDK Toolkit is a command-line tool that allows you to interact with CDK apps. It lets you create, deploy, and manage CDK stacks, as well as perform other tasks such as synthesizing templates, diffing stacks, and bootstrapping environments.

Initialize a CDK App

Initialize a new app in TypeScript:

cdk init app --language=typescript

This creates a sample stack and supporting files.

Explore the CDK API Reference

The CDK API Reference documents all available constructs.

For example, to make an S3 bucket, look at the Bucket API docs.

What are constructs?

Constructs are the building blocks of CDK apps. They represent cloud components that can be composed together to form higher-level abstractions. Constructs can be either low-level or high-level. Low-level constructs, also known as CloudFormation Resource Constructs (or CfnResources), provide direct access to the AWS CloudFormation resources. High-level constructs, also known as AWS Constructs (or L2 constructs), provide convenient defaults and syntactic sugar for common cloud patterns.

Define an S3 Bucket

In cdk-workshop-stack.ts, define a bucket:

import { Bucket } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-s3"

new Bucket(this, "MyBucket")

The API reference shows how to configure the bucket.

Deploy the Stack

Deploy your stack:

cdk deploy

Check it created the S3 bucket in AWS. You can make edits and redeploy by running the same command to apply changes.


The key steps for CDK v2 are:

  • Use the CDK toolkit
  • Initialize a CDK app
  • Find constructs in the API reference
  • Write infrastructure as code
  • Deploy stacks with cdk deploy

Check the CDK v2 Developer Guide for more!

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Maintained by Caleb Waymeyer