Ruby DSL for managing terraform stacks
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This is a simple DSL for wrapping hashicorp's terraform configuration.

Terraform is an infrastructure-as-code tool for managing infrastructure by defining stack element in a DSL.

This ruby DSL It supports almost identical syntax, and generates JSON that the terraform go application will understand.

Differences from terraform's HCL configuration

There are a few ways to access stack element variables and attributes for different purposes:

  • get(:var) - This gets the actual value of a variable at generation time. This is needed when passing variables to submodules
  • var(:var) - This references the terraform interpolation syntax of a variable.
  • value_of(:var) - This references the value of a variable for a stack element by type and name using interpolation syntax.
  • id_of(:var) - This references the id of a stack element by type and name using interpolation syntax.

Since 'module' is a keyword in ruby, and even though it is technically OK to use it as a function name, we use 'submodule' instead of module, to make editors happy and avoid using the keyword.

  • submodules are terraform modules under the hood - you can use normal terraform module syntax if you wish
  • If you reference your source as 'module_MODULENAME', you can reference another ruby module!
  • This module will be resolved at runtime, not compile time
  • Modules nested most deeply are resolved first. The root module is resolved last.

We allow variables to have array values. This is very useful as a flow-control technique to DRY up modules, and leverage the full power of the ruby DSL. However, since terraform does not allow variables to have array values, we automatically flatten them to a comma-separated string. This variable may or may not be used by terraform, if you reference it explicity using one of the interpolated accessors mentioned above. If it is not used, it doesn't matter and will simply be ignored.

Keep in mind that when specifying a hash as a value within the DSL, you must use brackets around the braces ( call as ({key: value}) instead of {key: value}, this is an unfortunate but necessary syntax).


To use this gem, you will need to:

  • define some stack modules
  • configure secrets for your app
  • define those stacks using your modules in yaml
  • create a simple rake file

Once you've done this, you can run various rake tasks to manage your stacks.

If you get lost, take a look at the sample app

Stack modules

In terraform, everything is defined in terms of 'modules'. Even if you don't use the 'module' (submodule in our case) keyword, you're implicitly working within the 'root' module.

Create a stack module, like one of our examples, such as our simple app

Generally, you need to do:

require 'cloudshaper'

And then subclass Cloudshaper::StackModule

class MyAwesomeStackModule < Cloudshaper::StackModule

Within that class, define resources using a similar syntax to terraform's configuration.


You may even reference other stack modules that you've defined! Just call the module by using "module_MODULENAME" as the 'source' value.

Using submodules are a fantastic way to DRY up your infrastructure! Since they are just terraform modules under the hood, you can specify variables as input (to configure the module) and specify outputs of the module, so that other modules may interpolate them for their own resources.



Create a file at config/secrets.json that contains secrets needed for you providers.

Specify the secrets as a JSON hash like so:

  "aws": {

For other providers, see example configs

Note do not commit plaintext secrets.json to your repository. We recommend you use ejson to store your secrets, and capistrano-ejson to decrypt them in production. Note Secrets are never written to module files, as a safeguared to prevent them from accidentally being committed. Instead, they are passed as environment vairables.


After setting up your rakefile, as below, just run:

bundle exec rake terraform:init

This will set up your stacks.yml with an initial config template, which you can customize for your chosen stack module

      bucket: quartermaster-terraform
      region: us-east-1
  - name: teststack
    uuid: 8adcbfb1-fdcc-4558-8958-ea8a9e1874ea # must be unique
    description: just a test stack
    root: simpleapp
      flavor: t1.micro
      key: SOMESSHKEY

You may also specify a 'common' block, that will be merged into all stacks.

Cloudshaper stacks need somewhere to store their state. By default, this will be the local filesystem.

It's highly recommended that you use a remote backend instead, so that you can share your stacks.




Inspired by terraframe, a very similar but less generic and complete terraform DSL.