It is never advised to hard-code credentials when making a connection to Athena (even though the option is there). Instead it is advised to use profile_name (set up by AWS Command Line Interface), Amazon Resource Name roles or environmental variables. Here is a list of supported environment variables:

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID: is equivalent to the dbConnect parameter - aws_access_key_id

  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY: is equivalent to the dbConnect parameter - aws_secret_access_key

  • AWS_SESSION_TOKEN: is equivalent to the dbConnect parameter - aws_session_token

  • AWS_EXPIRATION: is equivalent to the dbConnect parameter - duration_seconds

  • AWS_ATHENA_S3_STAGING_DIR: is equivalent to the dbConnect parameter - s3_staging_dir

  • AWS_ATHENA_WORK_GROUP: is equivalent to dbConnect parameter - work_group

  • AWS_REGION: is equivalent to dbConnect parameter - region_name

NOTE: If you have set any environmental variables in .Renviron please restart your R in order for the changes to take affect.

# S4 method for AthenaDriver
  aws_access_key_id = NULL,
  aws_secret_access_key = NULL,
  aws_session_token = NULL,
  catalog_name = "AwsDataCatalog",
  schema_name = "default",
  work_group = NULL,
  poll_interval = NULL,
  encryption_option = c("NULL", "SSE_S3", "SSE_KMS", "CSE_KMS"),
  kms_key = NULL,
  profile_name = NULL,
  role_arn = NULL,
  role_session_name = sprintf("noctua-session-%s", as.integer(Sys.time())),
  duration_seconds = 3600L,
  s3_staging_dir = NULL,
  region_name = NULL,
  bigint = c("integer64", "integer", "numeric", "character"),
  binary = c("raw", "character"),
  json = c("auto", "character"),
  timezone = "UTC",
  keyboard_interrupt = TRUE,
  rstudio_conn_tab = TRUE,
  endpoint_override = NULL,



an object that inherits from DBIDriver, or an existing DBIConnection object (in order to clone an existing connection).


AWS access key ID


AWS secret access key


AWS temporary session token


The catalog_name to which the connection belongs


The schema_name to which the connection belongs


The name of the work group to run Athena queries , Currently defaulted to NULL.


Amount of time took when checking query execution status. Default set to a random interval between 0.5 - 1 seconds.


Athena encryption at rest link. Supported Amazon S3 Encryption Options ["NULL", "SSE_S3", "SSE_KMS", "CSE_KMS"]. Connection will default to NULL, usually changing this option is not required.


AWS Key Management Service, please refer to link for more information around the concept.


The name of a profile to use. If not given, then the default profile is used. To set profile name, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) will need to be configured. To configure AWS CLI please refer to: Configuring the AWS CLI.


The Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the role to assume (such as arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/role_name/role_session_name)


An identifier for the assumed role session. By default `noctua` creates a session name sprintf("noctua-session-%s", as.integer(Sys.time()))


The duration, in seconds, of the role session. The value can range from 900 seconds (15 minutes) up to the maximum session duration setting for the role. This setting can have a value from 1 hour to 12 hours. By default duration is set to 3600 seconds (1 hour).


The location in Amazon S3 where your query results are stored, such as s3://path/to/query/bucket/


Default region when creating new connections. Please refer to link for AWS region codes (region code example: Region = EU (Ireland) region_name = "eu-west-1")


The R type that 64-bit integer types should be mapped to, default is [bit64::integer64], which allows the full range of 64 bit integers.


The R type that [binary/varbinary] types should be mapped to, default is [raw]. If the mapping fails R will resort to [character] type. To ignore data type conversion set to ["character"].


Attempt to converts AWS Athena data types [arrays, json] using jsonlite:parse_json. If the mapping fails R will resort to [character] type. Custom Json parsers can be provide by using a function with data frame parameter. To ignore data type conversion set to ["character"].


Sets the timezone for the connection. The default is `UTC`. If `NULL` then no timezone is set, which defaults to the server's time zone. `AWS Athena` accepted time zones:


Stops AWS Athena process when R gets a keyboard interrupt, currently defaults to TRUE


Optional to get AWS Athena Schema from AWS Glue Catalogue and display it in RStudio's Connections Tab. Default set to TRUE. For large `AWS Glue Catalogue` it is recommended to set `rstudio_conn_tab=FALSE` to ensure a fast connection.


(character/list) The complete URL to use for the constructed client. Normally, paws will automatically construct the appropriate URL to use when communicating with a service. You can specify a complete URL (including the "http/https" scheme) to override this behaviour. If this value is provided, then disable_ssl is ignored. If endpoint_override is a character then AWS Athena endpoint is overridden. To override AWS S3 or AWS Glue endpoints a named list needs to be provided. The list can only have the following names ['athena', 's3', glue'] for example list(glue = "")


other parameters for paws session.

  • disable_ssl (boolean) Whether or not to use SSL. By default, SSL is used. Note that not all services support non-ssl connections.

  • timeout (numeric) The time in seconds till a timeout exception is thrown when attempting to make a connection. The default is 60 seconds.

  • disable_param_validation (bool) Whether parameter validation should occur when serializing requests. The default is FALSE You can disable parameter validation for performance reasons. Otherwise, it's recommended to leave parameter validation enabled.

  • s3_force_path_style Addressing style is always by path. Endpoints will be addressed as such:

  • s3_use_accelerate Refers to whether to use the S3 Accelerate endpoint. The value must be a boolean. If True, the client will use the S3 Accelerate endpoint. If the S3 Accelerate endpoint is being used then the addressing style will always be virtual.

  • use_dual_stack Setting to TRUE enables dual stack endpoint resolution.


dbConnect() returns a s4 class. This object is used to communicate with AWS Athena.

See also


if (FALSE) {
# Connect to Athena using your aws access keys
con <- dbConnect(noctua::athena(),
  aws_access_key_id = "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY_ID", #
  aws_secret_access_key = "YOUR_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY",
  s3_staging_dir = "s3://path/to/query/bucket/",
  region_name = "us-west-2"

# Connect to Athena using your profile name
# Profile name can be created by using AWS CLI
con <- dbConnect(noctua::athena(),
  profile_name = "YOUR_PROFILE_NAME",
  s3_staging_dir = "s3://path/to/query/bucket/"

# Connect to Athena using ARN role
con <- dbConnect(noctua::athena(),
  profile_name = "YOUR_PROFILE_NAME",
  role_arn = "arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/role_name/role_session_name",
  s3_staging_dir = "s3://path/to/query/bucket/"