Terraform is a tool for building, changing, and combining infrastructure safely and efficiently.
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Terraform is a tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. Terraform can manage existing and popular service providers as well as custom in-house solutions.

The key features of Terraform are:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.

  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.

  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

  • Change Automation: Complex changesets can be applied to your infrastructure with minimal human interaction. With the previously mentioned execution plan and resource graph, you know exactly what Terraform will change and in what order, avoiding many possible human errors.

For more information, see the introduction section of the Terraform website.

Getting Started & Documentation

All documentation is available on the Terraform website.

Developing Terraform

If you wish to work on Terraform itself or any of its built-in providers, you'll first need Go installed on your machine (version 1.4+ is required). Alternatively, you can use the Vagrantfile in the root of this repo to stand up a virtual machine with the appropriate dev tooling already set up for you.

For local dev first make sure Go is properly installed, including setting up a GOPATH. You will also need to add $GOPATH/bin to your $PATH. Next, install the following software packages, which are needed for some dependencies:

Next, clone this repository into $GOPATH/src/github.com/hashicorp/terraform. Install the necessary dependencies by running make updatedeps and then just type make. This will compile some more dependencies and then run the tests. If this exits with exit status 0, then everything is working!

$ make updatedeps
$ make

To compile a development version of Terraform and the built-in plugins, run make dev. This will put Terraform binaries in the bin and $GOPATH/bin folders:

$ make dev
$ bin/terraform

If you're developing a specific package, you can run tests for just that package by specifying the TEST variable. For example below, onlyterraform package tests will be run.

$ make test TEST=./terraform

If you're working on a specific provider and only wish to rebuild that provider, you can use the plugin-dev target. For example, to build only the Azure provider:

$ make plugin-dev PLUGIN=provider-azure

If you're working on the core of Terraform, and only wish to rebuild that without rebuilding providers, you can use the core-dev target. It is important to note that some types of changes may require both core and providers to be rebuilt - for example work on the RPC interface. To build just the core of Terraform:

$ make core-dev

Acceptance Tests

Terraform also has a comprehensive acceptance test suite covering most of the major features of the built-in providers.

If you're working on a feature of a provider and want to verify it is functioning (and hasn't broken anything else), we recommend running the acceptance tests. Note that we do not require that you run or write acceptance tests to have a PR accepted. The acceptance tests are just here for your convenience.

Warning: The acceptance tests create/destroy/modify real resources, which may incur real costs. In the presence of a bug, it is technically possible that broken providers could corrupt existing infrastructure as well. Therefore, please run the acceptance providers at your own risk. At the very least, we recommend running them in their own private account for whatever provider you're testing.

To run the acceptance tests, invoke make testacc:

$ make testacc TEST=./builtin/providers/aws TESTARGS='-run=Vpc'
go generate ./...
TF_ACC=1 go test ./builtin/providers/aws -v -run=Vpc -timeout 90m
=== RUN TestAccVpc_basic
2015/02/10 14:11:17 [INFO] Test: Using us-west-2 as test region

The TEST variable is required, and you should specify the folder where the provider is. The TESTARGS variable is recommended to filter down to a specific resource to test, since testing all of them at once can take a very long time.

Acceptance tests typically require other environment variables to be set for things such as access keys. The provider itself should error early and tell you what to set, so it is not documented here.

Cross Compilation and Building for Distribution

If you wish to cross-compile Terraform for another architecture, you can set the XC_OS and XC_ARCH environment variables to values representing the target operating system and architecture before calling make. The output is placed in the pkg subdirectory tree both expanded in a directory representing the OS/architecture combination and as a ZIP archive.

For example, to compile 64-bit Linux binaries on Mac OS X Linux, you can run:

$ XC_OS=linux XC_ARCH=amd64 make bin 
$ file pkg/linux_amd64/terraform
terraform: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, not stripped

XC_OS and XC_ARCH can be space separated lists representing different combinations of operating system and architecture. For example, to compile for both Linux and Mac OS X, targeting both 32- and 64-bit architectures, you can run:

$ XC_OS="linux darwin" XC_ARCH="386 amd64" make bin
$ tree ./pkg/ -P "terraform|*.zip"
├── darwin_386
│   └── terraform
├── darwin_386.zip
├── darwin_amd64
│   └── terraform
├── darwin_amd64.zip
├── linux_386
│   └── terraform
├── linux_386.zip
├── linux_amd64
│   └── terraform
└── linux_amd64.zip

4 directories, 8 files

Note: Cross-compilation uses gox, which requires toolchains to be built with versions of Go prior to 1.5. In order to successfully cross-compile with older versions of Go, you will need to run gox -build-toolchain before running the commands detailed above.