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#AWS - Invoke Local

This runs your code locally by emulating the AWS Lambda environment. Please keep in mind, it's not a 100% perfect emulation, there may be some differences, but it works for the vast majority of users. We mock the context with simple mock data.

serverless invoke local --function functionName


  • --function or -f The name of the function in your service that you want to invoke locally. Required.
  • --path or -p The path to a json file holding input data to be passed to the invoked function as the event. This path is relative to the root directory of the service.
  • --data or -d String data to be passed as an event to your function. Keep in mind that if you pass both --path and --data, the data included in the --path file will overwrite the data you passed with the --data flag.


The invoke local command sets reasonable environment variables for the invoked function. All AWS specific variables are set to values that are quite similar to those found in a real "physical" AWS Lambda environment. Additionally the IS_LOCAL variable is set, that allows you to determine a local execution within your code.


#Local function invocation

serverless invoke local --function functionName

This example will locally invoke your function.

#Local function invocation with data

serverless invoke local --function functionName --data "hello world"
serverless invoke local --function functionName --data '{"a":"bar"}'

#Local function invocation with data from standard input

node dataGenerator.js | serverless invoke local --function functionName

#Local function invocation with data passing

serverless invoke local --function functionName --path lib/data.json

This example will pass the json data in the lib/data.json file (relative to the root of the service) while invoking the specified/deployed function.

#Example data.json

  "resource": "/",
  "path": "/",
  "httpMethod": "GET",
  //  etc. //


Currently, invoke local only supports the NodeJs and Python runtimes.

#Resource permissions

Lambda functions assume an IAM role during execution: the framework creates this role, and set all the permission provided in the iamRoleStatements section of serverless.yml.

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, every call to the AWS SDK inside the lambda function is made using this role (a temporary pair of key / secret is generated and set by AWS as environment variables, AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY).

When you use serverless invoke local, the situation is quite different: the role isn't available (the function is executed on your local machine), so unless you set a different user directly in the code (or via a key pair of environment variables), the AWS SDK will use the default profile specified inside you AWS credential configuration file.

Take a look to the official AWS documentation (in this particular instance, for the javascript SDK, but should be similar for all SDKs):

Whatever approach you decide to implement, be aware: the set of permissions might be (and probably is) different, so you won't have an exact simulation of the real IAM policy in place.