Skip to main content

Specify Terraform variables

In the Optional Configuration > Terraform Var Files (optional) section of the Terraform Apply, Terraform Plan, and Terraform Destroy steps, you can specify Terraform variable files. You can add multiple entries in the section, and each entry can represent inline variables or a connection to a remote file store such as a GitHub or GitLab repository.

In entries that connect to a remote file store, you can add multiple Terraform variable files, and you can mark those files as optional. At runtime, Harness connects to the file store and fetches the specified files. If you mark the files as optional, Harness fetches any files that are available at runtime, ignores any files that do not exist, and continues to execute the step.

Harness supports all Terraform input types and values.

Harness Manager

To specify optional Terraform variable files, do the following:


In some fields in this procedure, you can specify a fixed value or expression or set up the field to accept an input at run time. For information about value types and how to identify fields that offer this functionality, go to Fixed values, runtime inputs, and expressions.

  1. On the Visual tab of Pipeline Studio, select the step at which you want Harness to download Terraform variable files.

  2. In the step configuration pane that appears, expand Optional Configuration.

  3. In Terraform Var Files (optional), select + Add, and then do one of the following:

  • To enter inline Terraform variables, select Add Inline.

  • To specify files available in remote file stores, select Add Remote.

    The Remote File wizard is displayed.

  1. If you selected Add Inline, do the following:
  • In Identifier, specify an identifier for the file.

    You can reference variables by using the identifier in expressions. For example, if the identifier is myvars you could refer to its content as follows:


  • In Content, provide the input variables and values for your Terraform script. Harness follows the same format as Terraform.

    For example, suppose that your Terraform script has the following:

    variable "region" {  
    type = string

    In Content, you could enter the following:

    region = "asia-east1-a"

    If you are entering secrets (for example, credentials), use Harness secret references in the value of the variable, as follows:

    secrets_encryption_kms_key = "<+secrets.getValue("org.kms_key")>"

    For more information, go to Add Text Secrets.

  1. If you selected Add Remote, on the Specify Terraform Var File Store page of the Remote File wizard, do the following:
  • From the list of file stores shown, select the file store that contains the Terraform variable files.

  • Click in the connector field, select a connector in the dialog that is displayed, and then select Apply Selected.

    Alternately, select the button for creating a connector. For information about creating a connector, go to Connectors.

  1. Select Continue.

  2. On the Var File Details page, do the following:

  • In Identifier, enter an identifier for the remote file store entry.

    You can use the identifier to refer to variables using expressions. For example, if the identifier is myremotevars, you could refer to its content as follows:


  • In Repo Name, specify the name of the repository.

  • In Git Fetch Type, specify what you want Harness to fetch, and then enter the branch name, commit Id, or Git tag in the next field:

    • Latest from Branch. Fetch the latest versions of the files.
    • Specific Commit Id/Git Tag. Fetch a specific commit Id or Git tag.
  • In File Paths, add one or more file paths from the root of the repo to the variable file. Select + Add File Path to add more file paths.

  • Select Optional if you want Harness to ignore any files that do not exist at run time. Harness downloads available files and does not fail the step on account of missing files.

  1. Select Submit. The entry is created.


The following lines illustrate the YAML configuration for the Terraform variable files section:

- varFile:
type: Remote
identifier: optional_var_files_123
optional: true
type: Github
gitFetchType: Branch
repoName: ""
branch: main
- terraform/localresource/localresourcevars/localresource.tfvars
- inexistentaasd123a.tvfars
- iasd13sadfsa6757.tfvars
connectorRef: vlicaprerequisites


At execution time, Harness shows the .tfvars files that were found. The following lines illustrate these logs:

Starting Git Fetch Files

Fetching GIT VAR_FILES files with identifier: optional-var-fil12313
Git connector Url:
Branch: main

Fetching following Files :
- terraform/localresource/localresourcevars/localresource.tfvars
- inexistent131.tfvars
- asfafainexistent.tfvars
- asdsadasdsa.tfavr
Successfully fetched following files:
- terraform/localresource/localresourcevars/localresource.tfvars