» File Provisioner

The file provisioner is used to copy files or directories from the machine executing Terraform to the newly created resource. The file provisioner supports both ssh and winrm type connections.

» Example usage

resource "aws_instance" "web" {
  # ...

  # Copies the myapp.conf file to /etc/myapp.conf
  provisioner "file" {
    source      = "conf/myapp.conf"
    destination = "/etc/myapp.conf"

  # Copies the string in content into /tmp/file.log
  provisioner "file" {
    content     = "ami used: ${self.ami}"
    destination = "/tmp/file.log"

  # Copies the configs.d folder to /etc/configs.d
  provisioner "file" {
    source      = "conf/configs.d"
    destination = "/etc"

  # Copies all files and folders in apps/app1 to D:/IIS/webapp1
  provisioner "file" {
    source      = "apps/app1/"
    destination = "D:/IIS/webapp1"

» Argument Reference

The following arguments are supported:

  • source - This is the source file or folder. It can be specified as relative to the current working directory or as an absolute path. This attribute cannot be specified with content.

  • content - This is the content to copy on the destination. If destination is a file, the content will be written on that file, in case of a directory a file named tf-file-content is created. It's recommended to use a file as the destination. A template_file might be referenced in here, or any interpolation syntax. This attribute cannot be specified with source.

  • destination - (Required) This is the destination path. It must be specified as an absolute path.

» Directory Uploads

The file provisioner is also able to upload a complete directory to the remote machine. When uploading a directory, there are a few important things you should know.

First, when using the ssh connection type the destination directory must already exist. If you need to create it, use a remote-exec provisioner just prior to the file provisioner in order to create the directory. When using the winrm connection type the destination directory will be created for you if it doesn't already exist.

Next, the existence of a trailing slash on the source path will determine whether the directory name will be embedded within the destination, or whether the destination will be created. An example explains this best:

If the source is /foo (no trailing slash), and the destination is /tmp, then the contents of /foo on the local machine will be uploaded to /tmp/foo on the remote machine. The foo directory on the remote machine will be created by Terraform.

If the source, however, is /foo/ (a trailing slash is present), and the destination is /tmp, then the contents of /foo will be uploaded directly into /tmp.

This behavior was adopted from the standard behavior of rsync.