How to Create And use Variables File With Terraform

In this blog post, I will show you how to create and use a variables file with Terraform and create a more dynamic configuration.

In the previous articles about Terraform, we used variables in the main configuration file and applied the configuration; however, there is a better way to use Terraform variables.

A variable helps us keep the configuration dynamic and clean simultaneously by separating the variables from the main configuration.

Example

In the following example, I will create a resource group in Microsoft Azure using a main.tf file and a configuration file called terraform.tfvars.

Let’s start with main.tf

Configuration file (main.tf)

The following configuration will create a resource group in Azure. If you look closely, you will see that I’m using two variables for the name and location of the RG.

terraform {
   required_providers {
     azurerm = {
       source = "hashicorp/azurerm"
       version = ">= 2.41"
     }
   }
 }
 provider "azurerm" {
   features {}
 }
 variable "rgname" {
     default = "Myrgname" 
 }
 variable "rglocation" {
     default = "westus"
 }
 resource "azurerm_resource_group" "rg" {
   name     = var.rgname
   location = var.rglocation
 }

To use a variables file, I will create a new file in the same folder as my main.tf folder and will call it terraform.tfvars.

Variables file (terraform.tfvars)

The following configuration of the variable file is straightforward as you can see below. The file only contains the values for variables. Terraform is smart enough to know what to do with the values and populate the configuration.

rgname = "rg0001"
rglocation = "eastus"

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