I have an AWS CLI install problem that I found no solution for on the Web.

Namely, I installed awscliv2 as guided by the AWS installation docs. After the install, when I enter the command aws --version I get the following error:

bash: /usr/bin/aws: No such file or directory

Yet, when I enter the command using the full path /usr/local/bin/aws --version, it works fine, returning the version information.

The command which aws returns the full path, so just entering aws should work but it does not.

I hacked a solution via a symlink.

In more detail, please observe my command line session below, with comments and, if you can, please answer the question I ask below at the last line:

[2021-03-28 19:04:55 root:~]# #dga- I had downloaded and unzipped the AWS install per:

[2021-03-28 17:34:53 root:~]# ls -l aws
total 80
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 Mar 24 21:39 dist
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4047 Mar 24 21:28 install
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1465 Mar 24 21:28 README.md
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 68271 Mar 24 21:28 THIRD_PARTY_LICENSES

[2021-03-28 17:35:00 root:~]# # I installed AWS CLI as instructed in the above AWS link...

[2021-03-28 17:35:00 root:~]# ./aws/install -i /usr/local/aws-cli -b /usr/local/bin
You can now run: /usr/local/bin/aws --version

[2021-03-28 19:09:10 root:~]# which aws

[2021-03-28 19:09:23 root:~]# /usr/local/bin/aws --version
aws-cli/2.1.32 Python/3.8.8 Linux/5.4.0-1041-aws exe/x86_64.ubuntu.18 prompt/off

[2021-03-28 19:09:39 root:~]# aws --version
bash: /usr/bin/aws: No such file or directory

[2021-03-28 19:10:21 root:~]# #dga- WHAT? How is that possible? A mystery.

[2021-03-28 19:11:01 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/bin/aws
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 37 Mar 28 17:35 /usr/local/bin/aws -> /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/bin/aws

[2021-03-28 19:13:45 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/bin/aws
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 11 Mar 28 17:35 /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/bin/aws -> ../dist/aws

[2021-03-28 19:14:03 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/dist/aws
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4414504 Mar 28 17:35 /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/dist/aws

[2021-03-28 19:14:31 root:~]# # Note that /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current is itself a symlink:

[2021-03-28 19:15:07 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 28 Mar 28 17:35 /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current -> /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/2.1.32

[2021-03-28 19:15:31 root:~]# # Presumably future updates from AWS will modify the above "current" symlink to a future path of the form /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/X.Y.Z where X.Y.Z > 2.1.32

[2021-03-28 19:21:03 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/2.1.32
total 8
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Mar 28 17:35 bin
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 Mar 28 17:35 dist

[2021-03-28 19:27:31 root:~]# ls -l /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/2.1.32/dist/aws
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4414504 Mar 28 17:35 /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/2.1.32/dist/aws

[2021-03-28 19:27:58 root:~]# #dga- So the above path is the executable that the "current" symlink references.

[2021-03-28 19:28:53 root:~]# #dga- Here is my total HACK to fix the total bullshit mystery mentioned above...

[2021-03-28 19:29:40 root:~]# #dga- Again, here is what we do NOT want to see happen:

[2021-03-28 19:30:09 root:~]# aws --version
bash: /usr/bin/aws: No such file or directory

[2021-03-28 19:30:24 root:~]# pushd /usr/bin
/usr/bin ~

[2021-03-28 19:31:27 root:/usr/bin]# pwd

[2021-03-28 19:31:35 root:/usr/bin]# ln -s /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/bin/aws

[2021-03-28 19:31:54 root:/usr/bin]# ls -l aws
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 37 Mar 28 19:31 aws -> /usr/local/aws-cli/v2/current/bin/aws

[2021-03-28 20:20:13 root:/usr/bin]# #dga- THAT is my hack and it appears to work:

[2021-03-28 20:20:13 root:/usr/bin]# popd
~ /usr/bin

[2021-03-28 20:20:19 root:~]# aws --version
aws-cli/2.1.32 Python/3.8.8 Linux/5.4.0-1041-aws exe/x86_64.ubuntu.18 prompt/off

[2021-03-28 20:21:28 root:~]# #dga- some additional context:

[2021-03-28 20:47:36 root:~]# cat /etc/issue
Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS \n \l

[2021-03-28 20:47:39 root:~]# uname -a
Linux bamboo.oceanpark.com 5.4.0-1041-aws #43~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Sat Mar 20 15:47:52 UTC 2021 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

[2021-03-28 20:47:44 root:~]# #dga- Can someone explain to me why the hack was needed?

  • Please edit your question to clearly state the problem you're having at the top of your post. Don't put your questions in the body of a terminal session, it's really difficult to understand. Don't put your question in a code block either, again it makes it more difficult to understand.
    – Tim
    Mar 29, 2021 at 7:19
  • A quick skim makes me wonder if your path is set correctly
    – Tim
    Mar 29, 2021 at 7:20
  • The problem I am having is clearly stated in the title of the post. However, I will edit the post to more clearly summarize the problem at the beginning of the post. The problem is NOT a path problem since which aws returns the correct full path to the aws executable (/usr/local/bin/aws). That means that when I enter the command aws it should do what /usr/local/bin/aws does. Instead, entering just aws returns the error whereas entering /usr/local/bin/aws works correctly. Mar 30, 2021 at 18:13
  • 1
    Why not use which? What to use then? Possibly hash -d aws would help. Mar 30, 2021 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


It turns out the problem was that bash had cached the path /usr/bin/aws from a previous install of an old version 1 of aws cli. Prior to the commands shown in my question, I had deleted the old version of aws which removed /usr/bin/aws. My install of the new version 2 of aws cli installed aws to a different path, /usr/local/bin/aws. The which aws command returned that new path, yet bash still had cached /usr/bin/aws as the path to the aws executable.

So I learned that which <command> can return one path, but bash can resolve <command> to a previous no longer existing path since removing the old path does not update the bash cache! (I never even knew that bash has a cache!)

The bash cache can (and should under these circumstances) be updated via hash aws then verified via hash -t aws.

Also, the AWS CLI install documention should suggest doing hash aws after completing the install of awscli2.




I ran into the same issue. I closed the terminal session and re-opened it and the aws command worked correctly.

  • This guys answer is good. Don't down vote him. His solution worked for me. I never fail to forget to reopen a terminal until I see a comment like this one. Mar 30, 2022 at 20:59
  • This one is simple and effective solution.
    – Niby
    May 5, 2022 at 7:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.