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Terraform plugin commands

Incorporate a Terraform Plugin step in your pipeline to execute specific Terraform commands at designated stages. This topic provides a detailed look at the available commands within the Infrastructure as Code Management (IaCM) module.

For instance, incorporating a Terraform Provision operation automatically configures your pipeline with the terraform init, terraform plan, and terraform apply commands by default.

IaCM Supported Commands

The supported commands include:

  • init
  • plan
  • apply
  • destroy
  • plan-destroy
  • plan-refresh-only
  • apply-refresh-only
  • detect-drift
  • validate

Terraform Plugins

Command Descriptions


The terraform init command prepares a working directory containing Terraform configuration files, performing key functions like:

  • Backend Initialization: Sets up the backend for Terraform state management. Go to Terraform backend initialization for more information on how to use environment variables to initialize your infrastructure dynamically.
  • Provider Installation: Downloads and installs necessary provider plugins to interact with service provider APIs.
  • Module Installation: Downloads and sets up modules included in the configuration within the .terraform directory.


The terraform plan creates an execution plan to preview the actions Terraform will take to align the infrastructure with the specified configuration. This includes:

  • State Refresh: Updates the state file with the latest data from the managed infrastructure.
  • Configuration Comparison: Analyzes current versus desired states to identify necessary changes.
  • Change Proposal: Lists the actions that terraform apply will execute to reach the desired state.


The terraform apply executes the proposed plan to modify the infrastructure state:

  • Executing Plan: Implements the changes outlined in the plan to modify resource states.
  • State Update: Updates the state file to reflect the new status of the infrastructure.


The terraform destroy removes all resources managed by Terraform:

  • Resource Removal: Identifies and eliminates all managed resources, respecting their interdependencies.

Plan & Destroy

The terraform plan-destroy prepares a plan for dismantling infrastructure, outlining:

  • Destruction Overview: Highlights which resources will be removed if the plan is executed.

Plan - Refresh Only

The plan-refresh-only command focuses on updating the state file to mirror real-time data without altering the infrastructure:

  • State Refresh: Updates the state file with the current infrastructure status.

Apply - Refresh Only

The apply-refresh-only applies a state update without changing the infrastructure:

  • Immediate State Update: Refreshes the state file to ensure it accurately reflects the current infrastructure conditions.

Detect Drift

Although not an official command, detect-drift is typically executed using terraform plan with specific flags to:

  • Drift Detection: Identifies discrepancies between the configured and actual states of the infrastructure.


The terraform validate checks the configuration for errors:

  • Syntax Checks: Ensures all configuration files are syntactically correct.
  • Consistency Checks: Confirms all configurations are internally consistent with no unresolved references or missing mandatory arguments.