Skip to main content

Terraform Integration

Atmos natively supports opinionated workflows for Terraform. It's compatible with every version of terraform and designed to work with multiple different versions of Terraform concurrently.

Atmos provides many settings that are specific to Terraform.


All of these settings are defined by default in the Atmos CLI Configuration, but can be overridden at any level of the Stack configuration.

# The executable to be called by `atmos` when running terraform commands.
command: "/usr/bin/terraform-1"
# Can also be set using 'ATMOS_COMPONENTS_TERRAFORM_BASE_PATH' ENV var, or '--terraform-dir' command-line argument
# Supports both absolute and relative paths
base_path: "components/terraform"
apply_auto_approve: false
# Can also be set using 'ATMOS_COMPONENTS_TERRAFORM_DEPLOY_RUN_INIT' ENV var, or '--deploy-run-init' command-line argument
deploy_run_init: true
# Can also be set using 'ATMOS_COMPONENTS_TERRAFORM_INIT_RUN_RECONFIGURE' ENV var, or '--init-run-reconfigure' command-line argument
init_run_reconfigure: true
# Can also be set using 'ATMOS_COMPONENTS_TERRAFORM_AUTO_GENERATE_BACKEND_FILE' ENV var, or '--auto-generate-backend-file' command-line argument
auto_generate_backend_file: false


The settings for terraform can be defined in multiple places and support inheritance. This ensures that projects can override the behavior.

The defaults everything are defined in the atmos.yaml.


The same settings, can be overridden by Stack configurations at any level:

  • terraform
  • components.terraform
  • components.terraform._component_

For example, we can change the terraform command used by a component (useful for legacy components)

command: "/usr/local/bin/terraform-0.13"

Terraform Provider

A Terraform provider (cloudposse/terraform-provider-utils) implements a data source that can read the YAML Stack configurations natively from within terraform.

Terraform Module

A Terraform module (cloudposse/terraform-yaml-stack-config) wraps the data source.

Here's an example of accessing the variables for a given component from within a Terraform module.

module "vars" {
source = "cloudposse/stack-config/yaml//modules/vars"
# version = "x.x.x"

stack_config_local_path = "./stacks"
stack = "my-stack"
component_type = "terraform"
component = "my-vpc"

context = module.this.context

Example: Provision Terraform Component

To provision a Terraform component using the atmos CLI, run the following commands in the container shell:

atmos terraform plan eks --stack=ue2-dev
atmos terraform apply eks --stack=ue2-dev


  • eks is the Terraform component to provision (from the components/terraform folder)
  • --stack=ue2-dev is the stack to provision the component into

Short versions of all command-line arguments can be used:

atmos terraform plan eks -s ue2-dev
atmos terraform apply eks -s ue2-dev

terraform deploy command executes terraform apply -auto-approve to provision components into stacks without user interaction:

atmos terraform deploy eks -s ue2-dev