A trusted Alibaba Cloud service can assume a Resource Access Management (RAM) role to access other Alibaba Cloud services. RAM roles that a trusted Alibaba Cloud service can assume are classified into two types: normal service role and service-linked role. This topic describes service-linked roles.

Background information

An Alibaba Cloud service may need to access other services to implement a feature. In this case, the Alibaba Cloud service must be authorized to access other services. For example, to retrieve resource lists and log data from Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and ApsaraDB RDS, Cloud Config requires the access permissions on ECS and ApsaraDB RDS. Alibaba Cloud provides service-linked roles to simplify the process to authorize a service to access other services.

A service-linked role is a RAM role that only the linked service can assume. In most cases, a service automatically creates or deletes the service-linked role if needed. A service-linked role simplifies the process to authorize a service to access other services and reduces the risks caused by misoperations.

The policy that is attached to a service-linked role is predefined by the linked service. You cannot modify or delete the policy. You cannot attach policies to or detach policies from a service-linked role.

If a service does not support service-linked roles, you can use a normal service role to authorize the service.

Create a service-linked role

Some Alibaba Cloud services automatically create service-linked roles when you perform operations. For example, when you create a cloud resource or enable a feature, a service-linked role may be automatically created. You can view the created service-linked roles on the RAM Roles page of the RAM console. You can also retrieve the list of created service-linked roles by using the API or a CLI to call the ListRoles operation.

You can also manually create service-linked roles. For more information, see Create a service linked role.

  • The number of service-linked roles that you can create is based on the limit of the number of RAM roles that you can create within your Alibaba Cloud account. If the limit is exceeded, you can still create service-linked roles. However, you can no longer create other types of RAM roles.
  • For more information about how an Alibaba Cloud service creates a service-linked role, see the documentation of the service.

Delete a service-linked role

Some Alibaba Cloud services automatically delete service-linked roles when you perform operations. For example, when you delete a cloud resource or disable a feature, a service-linked role may be automatically deleted. You can also manually delete service-linked roles in the RAM console. For more information, see Delete a RAM role.

If you attempt to delete a service-linked role, RAM checks whether the role is being assumed by the linked service.

  • If the role is not being assumed, the role can be deleted.
  • If the role is being assumed, the role cannot be deleted. However, you can view the cloud resources of the linked service that assume the service-linked role. If you no longer need the cloud resources of the linked service, find and remove the resources of the linked service. Then, delete the service-linked role.
Note For more information about the conditions that allow you to delete a service-linked role, see the documentation of the linked service.

Permissions required to create and delete a service-linked role

RAM identities must be granted the required permissions before the RAM identities can create or delete a service-linked role. The permissions are also required when service-linked roles are automatically created.

Note The permissions to create a service-linked role are included in the administrative policy of the linked service. For ECS, the administrative policy is AliyunESSFullAccess. If you attach the administrative policy of a service to a RAM identity, the RAM identity can create the service-linked role for the service.

The following sample policy allows authorized RAM identities to create and delete the service-linked role for Resource Management:

    "Action": [
    "Resource": "*",
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Condition": {
        "StringEquals": {
            "ram:ServiceName": "resourcemanager.aliyuncs.com"

Assume a service-linked role

A service-linked role can be assumed only by the linked service. The role cannot be assumed by identities such as RAM users or other RAM roles.

You can view the service that can assume a service-linked role in the Service parameter on the Trust Policy Management tab of the role details page.

Alibaba Cloud services that support service-linked roles

Alibaba Cloud service Code Service-linked role References
Auto Scaling (ESS) ess.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForAutoScaling Grant permissions to Auto Scaling
Time Series Database (TSDB) hitsdb.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForTSDB


CloudMonitor cloudmonitor.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForCloudMonitor Manage the service-linked role for Cloud Monitor
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) baas.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForBaaS


Alibaba Cloud DNS (DNS) alidns.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForDNS


CDN cdn-ddos.cdn.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForCDNAccessingDDoS Configure Anti-DDoS
cdn-waf.cdn.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForCDNAccessingWAF


DataWorks di.dataworks.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForDataWorksDI Service linked role of DataWorks Data Integration
Elastic High Performance Computing (E-HPC) ehpc.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForEHPC


Server Migration Center (SMC) smc.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForSMC Service linked roles for SMC
Message Queue for Apache Kafka connector.alikafka.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForAlikafkaConnector


NAT Gateway (NAT) nat.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForNatgw Service-linked roles for NAT Gateway
Alibaba Cloud DNS PrivateZone pvtz.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForPvtz


ActionTrail actiontrail.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForActionTrail Manage the service-linked role
Data Lake Analytics (DLA) openanalytics.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForOpenAnalytics


Elasticsearch ops.elasticsearch.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForElasticsearchOps


collector.elasticsearch.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForElasticsearchCollector
Bastionhost bastionhost.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForBastionhost


Global Accelerator (GA) vpcendpoint.ga.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForGaVpcEndpoint AliyunServiceRoleForGaVpcEndpoint
ddos.ga.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForGaAntiDdos


Message Queue for Apache RocketMQ ons.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForOns Service-linked roles for Message Queue for Apache RocketMQ
Key Management Service (KMS) secretsmanager-rds.kms.aliyuncs.com AliyunServiceRoleForKMSSecretsManagerForRDS Manage the service-linked role for dynamic ApsaraDB RDS secrets