Terraform on AWS, GCP, and Azure

This is a Unix-focused guide to Terraform. It will work on Linux distributions and Mac OS X. During this video, I will be using a Mac or CentOS 7.

What is Terraform?

Terraform is an infrastructure tool for Building, changing, and Versioning infrastructure. Often referred to as Infrastructure as Code. It is released by the HashiCorp organization

It works with two coding data languages:

  • HashiCorp Config Language (HCL)
  • JSON

What is Terraform used for?

In its simplest form, Terraform can be used to automatically create server infrastructure on several different platforms. It can also be integrated into Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD).

Terraform is a cloud-agnostic platform and is popular for the following cloud platforms :

  • The Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • VMware
  • Red Hat OpenStack

What is a Terraform Provider?

Terraform providers are now known as the Terraform Registry


For a full list of temporary providers, see: 


What is the use of Terraform in DevOps?

It can also be used as a bulk configuration tool, similar to products like Ansible. It requires a Plan, Execution of the plan, and Applying to the infrastructure. There is minimal human interaction and it is an incredibly powerful tool.

In this example, I will be using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Github to implement terraform infrastructure. GCP will be the cloud provider where I will build the infrastructure, and GitHub is a cloud-based code repository to store revisions and versions of code.

You will need an account on GCP and Github.

See the prerequisites below for instructions on how to do this:

Terraform: Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud SDK image

I am using GCP as this is something I already have an account on. You may choose to use AWS or Azure for testing. I also use OpenStack. I will be adding instructions here for those providers at some point in the future.

Download the Google SDK for Linux – https://cloud.google.com/sdk/docs/quickstart-redhat-centos

Configure Google SDK for CentOS

From the CentOS command line, type:

sudo tee -a /etc/yum.repos.d/google-cloud-sdk.repo << EOM

name=Google Cloud SDK

How to Install the Google SDK

sudo yum install google-cloud-sdk

Next, initialize the Google SDK and create or select a project.

I am using a Project I have previously created in the Google Cloud Console

gcloud init

Just Exit out CRTL C, and we will come back to this later

How to set Terraform and connect it to GitHub

If you have not already got a GitHub account, sign up at https://github.com

Log into GitHub and create a new repository

The Next Steps are :

  • Choose the name of your GitHub repo
  • Choose public or private
  • tick initialize this report and choose the Terraform gitignore and apache license 2.0
  • Then click Create the repository
  • Press the Create Repository button
  • then, once created, click the clone repository and copy the GitHub URL
  • Next, go back to our CentOS installation. I had to install the CentOS git applications and pre-req files (I was using CentOS core, which doesn’t include git by default)
yum install git -y

next, Clone the GitHub repo to the CentOS shell

git clone https://github.com/TurboBailey1980/Terraform-Turbogeek.git

You are now synced to your GitHub repo and you can read/write to your Github repo.

If you want to learn about GitHub, check out the GitHub website help files

How to configure Terraform on Linux (Mac / Ubuntu / Centos)

Linux is my preferred Operating System for installing Terraform. It is natively supported. In this example, I will be using Centos 7 Core (or Minimal installation)

Terraform also works on Windows 10 Desktop and Windows Server products. Click here for a guide to install on Windows.

Download terraform using curl

curl -O https://releases.hashicorp.com/terraform/0.11.10/terraform_0.11.10_linux_amd64.zip

(You can also download the latest Terraform binaries from the HashiCorp website and FTP to your server)

Next, unzip it to your /usr/bin directory (note I am doing this as root)

unzip terraform_0.11.10_linux_amd64.zip -d /usr/bin/

(As I am using a CentOS7 core I needed to yum install unzip first.)

Next test the binary is working as part of your system environment variables

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control tmp]# terraform -v

Next, you need to create a working directory for terraform and an empty terraform config file.

This step is really important and will greatly help organize your projects once you start using Terraform

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control /]# mkdir terraform-templates && cd terraform-templates

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control terraform-templates]# touch template.tf

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control terraform-templates]# terraform apply

Apply complete! Resources: 0 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.

You now have to terraform installed on your Linux distribution, and can execute the terraform command from any location as we have installed directly to /usr/bin system $PATH

type terraform to test this

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control Terraform-Turbogeek]# terraform

If you want to learn more about the core command lists above – check out this page on my site

Configure Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to work with Terraform

Log in to the Google Cloud Platform and create a new project https://console.cloud.google.com

Create an IAM Service Account for Terraform to use.

Select IAM & Admin > Service Accounts > Create Service Account

Enter a name for the service account

Set the role as Service Account Admin

Create a JSON key

Check the key has downloaded to your computer

Copy the JSON file  to the CentOS Server, for ease of use save it “below” your project folder

Now we can write the connections.tf file to “connect” to GCP

I prefer to use vi or nano, but you can use whatever text editor you prefer

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control Terraform-Turbogeek]# vi connections.tf

update the connections.tf with

provider "google" {
 credentials = "${file("../turbogeek-terraform-d64341070e0c.json")}"
 project = "turbogeek-terraform"
 region = "us-west1"

If you have other providers, such as AWS, Azure - you can add them here as well

Next, we test the settings are correct by running

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control Terraform-Turbogeek]# terraform ini

Test create a resource on Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

For this test to work – make sure your terraform service account has the following permissions

  • Compute Network Admin
  • Service Account Admin
Elsewhere On TurboGeek:  Free Up Disk Space on Linux

Next, we can test the automated creation of a resource within GCP. We will create a simple network name

resource "google_compute_network" "our_development_network" {
 name = "turbogeek"
 auto_create_subnetworks = true

next type

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control Terraform-Turbogeek]# terraform plan

This will cause terraform to reach out to GCP and see if the turbogeek network already exists

Next type

[root@Ansible-Terraform-Control Terraform-Turbogeek]# terraform apply

Now if you check GCP you will see the automatically created resource



Richard Bailey, a seasoned tech enthusiast, combines a passion for innovation with a knack for simplifying complex concepts. With over a decade in the industry, he's pioneered transformative solutions, blending creativity with technical prowess. An avid writer, Richard's articles resonate with readers, offering insightful perspectives that bridge the gap between technology and everyday life. His commitment to excellence and tireless pursuit of knowledge continues to inspire and shape the tech landscape.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »