How to Install Terraform in Ubuntu 20.04

Terraform is an open-source Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool developed by HashiCorp that allows network engineers to programmatically provision the physical resources that are required by an application to keep running.

We will show you how you can install Terraform on Ubuntu by multiple methods. But first, let’s clear some basics on Terraform.

What is Terraform?

Terraform is an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool. IaC allows network engineers or operations teams to automatically manage, monitor, and provision resource just by code instead of done manually by a technician.

By using Terraform, users can define their entire infrastructure just by using configuration files and version control in HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL).

HCL is a simple language that is formed on the base of simple syntax which allows network engineers to provision and reprovision infrastructure across multiple cloud data centers.

Terraform is one of the most popular IaC tools, especially for cloud-based workloads

How Does Terraform Work?

When you apply a command to run and deploy a server, database, or even a load balancer, Terraform will parse the code and translate it to Application Programming Language (API) to call a respected resource provider.

Terraform has two main components:

Terraform core: It handles the planned execution of resources, resource graphs, and configuration files. It is created and compiled in binaries that are written in the Go programming language. In core, each compiled binary will act as Command Line Interface for interacting plugins through Remote Procedure Calls.

Terraform Plugins: They are responsible for specifying resources for requested services and also authenticating the providers to make API calls.

Installing Terraform in Ubuntu 20.04

We will guide you through 3 easy methods by which you can install Terraform in the Ubuntu system. You can choose any one of them as per your preference.

Method 1: Installing Terraform Using Snap

This is the easiest method to install Terraform because Snap comes preconfigured on Ubuntu so it will take the least effort to install Terraform in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Using Snap Command for Installation

Utilize the following command to install Terraform:

sudo snap install terraform –candidate

1. sudo snap install terraform --candidate

Step 2: Checking Version of Installation

The reason why we are checking the installed version is we can be assured that Terraform has been installed on our system. To check the version of Terraform, use the following command:

terraform -v

2. terraform -v

If it shows the version number, you have successfully installed Terraform on your system.

Method 2: Installing Terraform Using Apt

Apt is the official package manager on Debian-based distributions which also includes Ubuntu. Using Apt we can install software conveniently. So let’s start our installation process.

Step 1: Adding HashiCorp Repository

Adding repository avails up to download official packages. This is the crucial step that will allow us to install HashiCorp on our system. Use the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository “deb [arch=$(dpkg –print-architecture)] https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com $(lsb_release -cs) main”

1. Adding repository

Step 2: Adding HasiCorp GPG keys

Adding GPG keys to our system will allow us to authenticate the installed packages. Use the given command to add GPG keys to your system:

curl -fsSL https://apt.releases.hashicorp.com/gpg | sudo apt-key add –

2. adding GPG keys

Step 3: Updating Added Repositories

Once we are done with adding repository and GPG keys to our system, we are required to update our system to get the latest version of Terraform. This command will update all repositories on the system and will download updates if any. -y is used to allow download files.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

3. sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Step 4: Installing Terraform

After adding the repository, GPG keys, and updating the system, its time to install Terraform by the following command:

sudo apt install terraform

4. sudo apt install terraform

Step 5: Checking Terraform Version

The reason why we are performing this step is that we want to make sure that Terraform is installed properly on our system.

terraform -v

5. terraform -v

If it shows a similar output to this image, you have managed to install Terraform successfully and if it throws any errors, you can repeat the process.

Method 3: Installing Terraform Manually

The major benefits of installing Terraform are:

  • You can install the 32-bit version

  • You can choose a version manually

  • You can select your preferred directory to install Terraform

  • You can install multiple versions of Terraform

Step 1: Downloading Terraform from Browser

Go to the official download page of Terraform for downloading. Now, select the preferred version from there under Ubuntu/Debian section.

1. downloading files

Step 2: Unzipping the Downloaded File

Before unzipping, you have to change your directory to Downloads. Use the following command to change your directory from Home to Downloads:

cd Downloads

2. cd Downlods

Now, we are ready to unzip files. Use the given command to unzip the downloaded file.

unzip terraform_1.1.7_linux_amd64.zip

2.1 unzip files

This will create a separate folder named terraform in our Downloads directory.

Step 3: Setting up “Terraform PATH” Variable

In this step, we just have to move to terraform folder from usr/bin/ directory by the given command.

sudo mv ~/Downloads/terraform /usr/bin/

3. Terraform PATH variable

Once we move the folder, we can check the path where terraform is located by below command

which terraform

4. which terraform

As you can see, it is located at /usr/bin/terraform

Step 4: Checking Current Release of Terraform

After going through all these steps, we have to confirm whether we are on right track or not, and by checking the version of Terraform, if we get output suggesting version, we are on right track and if not, you can cross-check missed step.

terraform -v

5. terraform -v

Step 5: Installing Terraform “auto-complete” Extension

We can use the extension named auto-complete which will make an entry in “.bashrc” in your home directory where Terraform is installed.

terraform -install-autocomplete

6. terraform -install-autocomplete

Now, if we use grep with “complete” in our .bashrc, you will see the following output at -C  /usr/bin/terraform terraform.

grep “complete” /home/sagar/.bashrc

7. grep command

Note: change your name with sagar.

Step 6: Reading Executable File After Changes

In the previous step we have installed an auto-complete extension but to make it work, we have to use the “source” command as follows:

source /home/sagar/.bashrc

8. source running files

Uninstallation of Terraform

If you are not satisfied with Terraform or you don’t need it anymore installed on your system, you can use these 3 methods to remove Terraform from your system.

Method 1: Uninstalling Terraform from Ubuntu (For Snap)

This method is only for those who have installed Terraform from Snap using the 1st method.

Step 1: Using Sudo Snap Remove

You can easily remove the given command to remove Terraform:

sudo snap remove terraform

1. sudo snap remove obs-studio

Step 2: Removing Terraform folder

You will still see the folder of Terraform at /home/snap.

2. showing folder is still there

To remove Terraform, first, we have to change our current directory to snap by given command:

cd snap/

3. cd snap

Now, use the given command to remove Terraform folder:

sudo rm -r terraform

4. sudo rm -r terraformsudo apt purge --auto-remove terraform

Method 2: Uninstalling Terraform from Ubuntu (For Apt Method)

If you have installed Terraform using the 2nd method, you can easily remove it just by the following command. We have used purge with auto-remove which will remove all the dependencies, configuration files, and data of Terraform.

sudo apt purge –auto-remove terraform

sudo apt purge --auto-remove terraform

Method 3: Uninstalling Terraform from Ubuntu (Manual process)

If you went through 3rd method, you can use this method for removing Terraform from your system.

You are just required to remove the directory where you have extracted Terraform files. In our shown method, we have moved all extracted files to usr/bin/terraform. So we will remove that folder by the following command:

sudo rm -rf /usr/bin/terraform

1. manual removal with -rm

Now, let’s try to run Terraform. It should show us an error.

terraform

2. terraform

FAQs on installing Terraform on Ubuntu

Here are some of the frequently asked questions while installing Terraform on any Ubuntu version. 

How do you check if Terraform is installed?

Open your Terminal and use this command: terraform -v. It will show you the version number if it’s installed on your system and if throws any error, it is not installed.

How do I get Terraform on Ubuntu?

Ubuntu comes preconfigured with snap and it’s the easiest option to install Terraform in Ubuntu. Use this single command and it will download and install Terraform: sudo snap install terraform –candidate.

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Final Thoughts

This was our simplified approach on how to install Terraform in Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. Hope you’ve got enough information about installing and uninstalling Teeraform on Ubuntu 20.04

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Sagar Sharma

Sagar always uses Linux to its core and loves to write the technical side of system administration! While he's not writing, you can always find him exploring new Linux distros!

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