» Command: import

The terraform import command is used to import existing resources into Terraform.

» Usage

Usage: terraform import [options] ADDRESS ID

Import will find the existing resource from ID and import it into your Terraform state at the given ADDRESS.

ADDRESS must be a valid resource address. Because any resource address is valid, the import command can import resources into modules as well directly into the root of your state.

ID is dependent on the resource type being imported. For example, for AWS instances it is the instance ID (i-abcd1234) but for AWS Route53 zones it is the zone ID (Z12ABC4UGMOZ2N). Please reference the provider documentation for details on the ID format. If you're unsure, feel free to just try an ID. If the ID is invalid, you'll just receive an error message.

The command-line flags are all optional. The list of available flags are:

  • -backup=path - Path to backup the existing state file. Defaults to the -state-out path with the ".backup" extension. Set to "-" to disable backups.

  • -config=path - Path to directory of Terraform configuration files that configure the provider for import. This defaults to your working directory. If this directory contains no Terraform configuration files, the provider must be configured via manual input or environmental variables.

  • -input=true - Whether to ask for input for provider configuration.

  • -lock=true - Lock the state file when locking is supported.

  • -lock-timeout=0s - Duration to retry a state lock.

  • -no-color - If specified, output won't contain any color.

  • -provider=provider - Specified provider to use for import. The value should be a provider alias in the form TYPE.ALIAS, such as "aws.eu". This defaults to the normal provider based on the prefix of the resource being imported. You usually don't need to specify this.

  • -state=path - Path to the source state file to read from. Defaults to the configured backend, or "terraform.tfstate".

  • -state-out=path - Path to the destination state file to write to. If this isn't specified the source state file will be used. This can be a new or existing path.

  • -var 'foo=bar' - Set a variable in the Terraform configuration. This flag can be set multiple times. Variable values are interpreted as HCL, so list and map values can be specified via this flag. This is only useful with the -config flag.

  • -var-file=foo - Set variables in the Terraform configuration from a variable file. If a terraform.tfvars or any .auto.tfvars files are present in the current directory, they will be automatically loaded. terraform.tfvars is loaded first and the .auto.tfvars files after in alphabetical order. Any files specified by -var-file override any values set automatically from files in the working directory. This flag can be used multiple times. This is only useful with the -config flag.

» Provider Configuration

Terraform will attempt to load configuration files that configure the provider being used for import. If no configuration files are present or no configuration for that specific provider is present, Terraform will prompt you for access credentials. You may also specify environmental variables to configure the provider.

The only limitation Terraform has when reading the configuration files is that the import provider configurations must not depend on non-variable inputs. For example, a provider configuration cannot depend on a data source.

As a working example, if you're importing AWS resources and you have a configuration file with the contents below, then Terraform will configure the AWS provider with this file.

variable "access_key" {}
variable "secret_key" {}

provider "aws" {
  access_key = "${var.access_key}"
  secret_key = "${var.secret_key}"

You can force Terraform to explicitly not load your configuration by specifying -config="" (empty string). This is useful in situations where you want to manually configure the provider because your configuration may not be valid.

» Example: AWS Instance

This example will import an AWS instance:

$ terraform import aws_instance.foo i-abcd1234

» Example: Import to Module

The example below will import an AWS instance into a module:

$ terraform import module.foo.aws_instance.bar i-abcd1234