Getting Started with Terraform: Infrastructure as Code

Getting Started with Terraform: Infrastructure as Code


In this blog post, we'll explore Terraform, a HashiCorp-created open-source Infrastructure as Code (IAC) tool that allows teams to define, provision, and manage infrastructure in a declarative and version-controlled manner. We'll go over the basics of Terraform and how it simplifies infrastructure management.

What is Terraform?

Terraform is a tool for Infrastructure as Code (IAC) that empowers you to define infrastructure components using a straightforward, user-friendly language. Terraform enables you to specify the state of your infrastructure, and it will automatically generate, modify, or remove resources to match that state. This methodology guarantees uniformity, reproducibility, and expandability in managing your infrastructure.

Key Features of Terraform:

  1. Declarative Syntax: Terraform simplifies infrastructure management by using a declarative syntax that specifies desired infrastructure without detailing how to achieve it.

  2. Multi-Cloud Support: Terraform is compatible with multiple cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and other third-party services, including on-premises services.

  3. Resource Providers: Terraform provides a wide range of resource providers that cover virtual machines, databases, load balancers, and networking resources.

  4. State Management: Terraform keeps track of the actual state of infrastructure in a state file, enabling informed decisions during updates.

  5. Modularity: Terraform configurations can be easily organized into reusable modules, simplifying the maintenance and scaling of complex infrastructures.

Setting Up AWS IAM User for Terraform:

To effectively manage AWS resources with Terraform, it is crucial to first establish an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user with the necessary permissions. This can be achieved by creating an IAM user via the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and configuring it for use with Terraform. Here are the steps to follow in order to do so:

Step 1: Install AWS CLI

If you haven't already, you'll need to install the AWS CLI on your local machine. You can download and install it from the AWS CLI official website.

Step 2: Configure AWS CLI

After installing the AWS CLI, open your terminal and run the following command to configure it with your AWS credentials:

aws configure

You will be asked to provide the following details:

  • AWS Access Key ID: Please provide your AWS access key.

  • AWS Secret Access Key: Please provide your secret access key for AWS.

  • Default region name: Please indicate your preferred AWS region. For example: "ap-south-1" or "Asia-Pacific (Mumbai)".

  • Default output format: You can leave this as it is, for example, with no changes needed (e.g., "as-is").

Getting Started with Terraform:

Let's start with a simple Terraform example: creating an S3 bucket.

Start by downloading Terraform from the official website ( and following the installation instructions.

I am currently utilizing a Ubuntu-based Linux operating system that follows Linux-based procedures.


You can follow these steps to install Terraform:

1. Update Package Lists: Before installing any software, it's recommended to update your package list. Simply open your terminal and run:

sudo apt update  # For Ubuntu/Debian

2. Download Terraform:

wget -O- | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/hashicorp-archive-keyring.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/hashicorp-archive-keyring.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hashicorp.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install terraform
terraform -version

Terraform Versions:

TTerraform evolves continuously, introducing new features and improvements with each release. It's crucial to know your version and ensure compatibility with your configurations and providers.

  • Installing Terraform: Make sure to download the appropriate version of Terraform from the official website.

  • Managing Versions: Terraform configuration files can specify the required versions for building and maintaining infrastructure.

terraform {
  required_version = ">= 1.4.6"

Terraform Terminology:

1. Provider:

In Terraform, a provider is accountable for overseeing the lifecycle of resources in a particular infrastructure platform. Terraform is compatible with a range of cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and others. You can define providers in your configuration files, which will determine the location for the creation of your resources.

provider "aws" {
  region = "us-east-1"

2. Resource Block:

When working with Terraform configuration, a resource block plays a crucial role as a building block. It allows you to define a particular resource that needs management or creation, whether it's an EC2 instance, a virtual network, or a database. Resource blocks also come with customizable settings and attributes that you can use to configure the resource as per your specific requirements.

resource "aws_instance" "example" {
  ami           = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"
  instance_type = "t2.micro"

3. Output:

In Terraform configuration, output blocks allow users to access certain values after the configuration has been applied. This feature is helpful for sharing information about the created infrastructure, such as resource attributes, IP addresses, and DNS names.

output "instance_ip" {
  value = aws_instance.example.public_ip

4. Module:

A module in Terraform is a self-contained unit that groups and reuses configurations, promoting code reusability and simplifying infrastructure organization.

module "web_server" {
  source = "./modules/web_server"

5. Variables:

Using variables in Terraform is a great way to make your configurations more flexible and reusable. By defining variables in your Terraform configuration, you can customize resource configurations as needed. This is especially helpful when you need to provide different values for different environments or instances of your infrastructure.

variable "instance_count" {
  description = "Number of EC2 instances to create"
  type        = number
  default     = 2

resource "aws_instance" "example" {
  ami           = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"
  instance_type = "t2.micro"
  count         = var.instance_count

Directory Structure for Terraform Project:

├── module/
│   └── s3/
│       ├──
│       ├──
│       └──
├── terraform.tfvars

The directory structure you've provided appears to be a typical layout for a Terraform project that manages AWS S3 buckets. Explain the purpose and content of each of these files and directories:

  1. s3_terraform/ Directory:

    • This is the root directory of your Terraform project, typically named after the purpose of the managed infrastructure. In this case, it is for provisioning an AWS S3 bucket.

    • This is a key configuration file for defining infrastructure resources and settings, including Terraform provider configurations and references to S3 bucket modules.
  3. module/ Directory:

    • This directory usually contains submodules or nested modules that encapsulate specific functionalities or resources. In this case, it holds the S3 module.
  4. module/s3/ Directory:

    • This directory contains the AWS S3 bucket management module, with separate Terraform configuration files for each aspect.
  5. module/s3/

    • This file contains the configurations for your intended AWS S3 buckets, including the bucket names, access control policies, versioning, and other S3-specific settings.
  6. module/s3/

    • This document outlines the input variables needed for the S3 module. These variables enable customization of module behavior during usage. Examples of variables include bucket name specification, region selection, and other configuration options.
  7. module/s3/

    • This file defines the outputs of the S3 module, which enables users to retrieve and display information about created resources. Examples of common outputs for S3 buckets are the bucket name, ARN, or website URL.

    • This is the output file for your main Terraform configuration. It defines outputs that provide information about the infrastructure managed by your project, not just the S3 module.
  9. terraform.tfvars:

    • This document is utilized to establish input variable values for your project. You can set values for the variables previously defined in your configuration, such as AWS access keys, secret keys, or specific bucket names.

    • This file defines input variables for your main configuration and any modules it uses.

    • This file specifies the version of Terraform that your project requires to run.

Let's create a simple Terraform configuration step-by-step:-

terraform {
  required_version = ">= 1.4.6"
  required_providers {
    aws = {
      source  = "hashicorp/aws"
      version = "~> 4.0"

Create Module

└── s3
resource "aws_s3_bucket" "example_bucket" {
  bucket = var.bucket_name
  acl    = var.bucket_acl
variable "bucket_name" {
  description = "The name of the S3 bucket"
variable "bucket_acl" {
  description = "The Access Control List for the S3 bucket"
  default     = "private"
output "bucket_id" {
  description = "The ID of the S3 bucket"
  value       =

Root Level Directory

provider "aws" {
  region = var.aws_region
module "s3_bucket_example" {
  source      = "./module/s3"
  bucket_name = var.s3_bucket_name
  bucket_acl  = "private"

variable "aws_region" {
  description = "The AWS region where resources will be created"
  type        = string
  default     = "us-east-1" 

variable "s3_bucket_name" {
  description = "The name of the S3 bucket"

output "aws_region" {
  description = "The AWS region where resources were created"
  value       = var.aws_region

output "s3_bucket_id" {
  description = "The ID of the S3 bucket created"
  value       = module.s3_bucket_example.bucket_id


aws_region     = "ap-south-1"    
s3_bucket_name = "neeteshawsbucket2023"

This setup outlines the use of an AWS provider and a resource for an S3 Bucket.

initialization: To initialize Terraform and download the necessary provider plugins, please run the command in your project directory.

terraform init

Planning: Execute terraform plan to see what Terraform will create. It will analyze your configuration and display a summary of changes.

terraform plan

Deployment: Use Terraform to apply your configuration and create an AWS EC2 instance based on your specifications.

terraform apply

Cleanup: To free up resources, use this command to ensure you only pay for what you use.

terraform destroy


Welcome to Terraform, where infrastructure becomes code, simplifying cloud resource management. This post introduced Terraform fundamentals, including providers, resources, modules, variables, and outputs. We also covered configuring an IAM user for secure Terraform interaction. Terraform's declarative syntax enables systematic infrastructure management, supporting version-controlled, repeatable provisioning across cloud providers. Whether provisioning AWS S3 buckets or orchestrating complex cloud setups, Terraform is your trusted Infrastructure as a Code ally. Embrace Terraform to streamline modern cloud and DevOps infrastructure management.

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