Create EC2 instance using Terraform

Create EC2 instance using Terraform

Terraform code is written in a language called HCL in files with the extension .tf. It is a declarative language, so your goal is to describe the infrastructure you want, and Terraform will figure out how to create it. Terraform can create infrastructure across a wide variety of platforms using providers, including AWS, Azure, GCP, and many others.

In this blog post, we will create an AWS EC2 instance using Terraform.

Create an AWS EC2 instance

  • Create a file called and put the following code in it:
provider "aws" {
region = "ap-south-1b"

This tells Terraform that you are going to be using the AWS provider and that you wish to deploy your infrastructure in the ap-south-1b region.

  • Add the following code to, which uses the aws_instance resource to deploy an EC2 Instance
resource "aws_instance" "hello" {
ami = "ami-0d51ghh9cbfagedf68"
instance_type = "t2.micro"

The general syntax for a Terraform resource is:

resource "<PROVIDER>_<TYPE>" "<NAME>" {

Where PROVIDER is the name of a provider (e.g., aws), TYPE is the type of resources to create in that provider (e.g., instance), NAME is an identifier you can use throughout the Terraform code to refer to this resource (e.g., hello), and CONFIG consists of one or more arguments that are specific to that resource (e.g., ami = "aim 0d51ghh9cbfagedf68").

  • In a terminal, go into the folder where you created , and run the terraform init
$ terraform init
Initializing the backend...
Initializing provider plugins...
- Checking for available provider plugins...
- Downloading plugin for provider "aws"
Terraform has been successfully initialized!

terraform init will tell Terraform to scan the code, figure out what providers you’re using, and download the code for them. By default, the provider code will be downloaded into a .terraform folder.

  • Now that you have the provider code downloaded, run the terraform plan command:
$ terraform plan
Refreshing Terraform state in-memory prior to plan...
+ aws_instance.example
ami: "ami-4567803n"
availability_zone: "<computed>"
ebs_block_device.#: "<computed>"
ephemeral_block_device.#: "<computed>"
instance_state: "<computed>"
instance_type: "t2.micro"
key_name: "<computed>"
network_interface_id: "<computed>"
placement_group: "<computed>"
private_dns: "<computed>"
private_ip: "<computed>"
public_dns: "<computed>"
public_ip: "<computed>"
root_block_device.#: "<computed>"
security_groups.#: "<computed>"
source_dest_check: "true"
subnet_id: "<computed>"
tenancy: "<computed>"
vpc_security_group_ids.#: "<computed>"
Plan: 1 to add, 0 to change, 0 to destroy.

The plan command lets you see what Terraform will do before actually doing it. This is a great way to sanity-check your changes before unleashing them onto the world. The output of the plan command is a little like the output of the diff command: resources with a plus sign (+) are going to be created, resources with a minus sign (-) are going to be deleted, and resources with a tilde sign (~) are going to be modified in-place. In the output above, you can see that Terraform is planning on creating a single EC2 Instance and nothing else, which is exactly what we want.

  • To actually create the instance, run the terraform apply command:
$ terraform apply
Terraform will perform the following actions:
# aws_instance.example will be created
+ resource "aws_instance" "hello" {
+ ami = "ami-0c55b159cbfafe1f0"
+ arn = (known after apply)
+ associate_public_ip_address = (known after apply)
+ availability_zone = (known after apply)
+ cpu_core_count = (known after apply)
+ cpu_threads_per_core = (known after apply)
+ get_password_data = false
+ host_id = (known after apply)
+ id = (known after apply)
+ instance_state = (known after apply)
+ instance_type = "t2.micro"
+ ipv6_address_count = (known after apply)
+ ipv6_addresses = (known after apply)
+ key_name = (known after apply)
Plan: 1 to add, 0 to change, 0 to destroy.
Do you want to perform these actions?
Terraform will perform the actions described above.
Only 'yes' will be accepted to approve.
Enter a value:

You’ll notice that the terraform apply command shows you the same plan output and asks you to confirm if you actually want to proceed with this plan. So while the plan is available as a separate command, it’s mainly useful for quick sanity checks and during code reviews, and most of the time you’ll run apply directly and review the planned output it shows you. Type in “yes” and hit enter to deploy the EC2 Instance.

Do you want to perform these actions?
Terraform will perform the actions described above.
Only 'yes' will be accepted to approve.
Enter a value: yes
aws_instance.example: Creating…
aws_instance.example: Still creating… [10s elapsed]
aws_instance.example: Still creating… [20s elapsed]
aws_instance.example: Creation complete after 26s
Apply complete! Resources: 1 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.

Congrats, you’ve just deployed a server with Terraform! To verify this, you can log in to the EC2 console, and you’ll see something like this:



In this blog post, we saw how to provision the EC2 instance using Terraform. We also learned the terraform commands.

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