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This cheat sheet provides a quick reference for some common Terraform commands and concepts. Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code (IAC) tool used to define, provision, and manage infrastructure resources.


To use Terraform, you need to install it on your system. Installation methods vary depending on your operating system. Refer to the official Terraform documentation for installation instructions.

Terraform Concepts

Configuration Files

Terraform uses configuration files written in HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) to define and manage infrastructure.

  • Create a basic Terraform configuration file (e.g.,

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

    resource "aws_instance" "example" {
    ami = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"
    instance_type = "t2.micro"
  • Use variables, outputs, and modules in configuration files for more advanced infrastructure definitions.


Providers define the target cloud or infrastructure platform where resources will be created. Terraform supports providers for various cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

  • Declare a provider block in the configuration file:
    provider "aws" {
    region = "us-west-2"


Resources represent the infrastructure components you want to create, such as virtual machines, databases, and networks.

  • Define a resource block in the configuration file:
    resource "aws_instance" "example" {
    ami = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"
    instance_type = "t2.micro"


Variables allow you to parameterize your Terraform configuration, making it reusable and easier to manage.

  • Declare a variable block in the configuration file:
    variable "instance_count" {
    type = number
    default = 1


Outputs allow you to define values that should be displayed after Terraform applies the configuration.

  • Declare an output block in the configuration file:
    output "instance_ip" {
    value = aws_instance.example[*].public_ip


Terraform maintains a state file (by default, terraform.tfstate) that tracks the actual infrastructure state. It's essential for Terraform to understand the current state and make necessary changes.

Terraform Command-Line

  • Initialize a Terraform configuration:

    terraform init
  • Validate the Terraform configuration:

    terraform validate
  • Create or update infrastructure resources:

    terraform apply
  • Plan and preview changes:

    terraform plan
  • Destroy resources:

    terraform destroy
  • Show Terraform state:

    terraform show


This cheat sheet covers some common Terraform commands and concepts. Terraform simplifies the management of infrastructure as code, enabling you to provision and manage resources efficiently; refer to the official Terraform documentation for more in-depth information and advanced usage.