» Automated Terraform Enterprise Installation

The installation of Terraform Enterprise can be automated for both online and airgapped installs. There are two parts to automating the install: configuring Replicated -- the platform which runs Terraform Enterprise -- and configuring Terraform Enterprise itself.

Before starting the install process, you must:

  • prepare an application settings file, which defines the settings for the Terraform Enterprise application.
  • prepare /etc/replicated.conf, which defines the settings for the Replicated installer.
  • copy your license file to the instance.
  • download the .airgap bundle to the instance (Airgapped mode only).

You may also need to provide additional flags (such as the instance's public and private IP addresses) in order to avoid being prompted for those values when running the installer (which may result in either a failure of the installer or a unbounded delay while waiting for input).

This document expects that the user is already familiar with how to do a manual install.

» Application settings

This file contains the values you would normally provide in the settings screen, which may be as simple as choosing the Demo installation type or as complex as specifying the PostgreSQL connection string and S3 bucket credentials and parameters. You need to create this file first since it is referenced in the ImportSettingsFrom property in /etc/replicated.conf, which will be described below.

» Format

The settings file is JSON formatted. All values must be strings. The example below is suitable for a Demo installation:

    "hostname": {
        "value": "terraform.example.com"
    "installation_type": {
        "value": "poc"
    "enc_password": {
        "value": "CHANGEME"

Note: The JSON file must be valid JSON for the install to work, so it's best to validate it before using for an install.

The easiest way to check the application config is valid JSON would be with python, which will be present on most Linux installs:

$ python -m json.tool settings.json
Expecting property name enclosed in double quotes: line 8 column 5 (char 171)

After fixing the JSON file, the command will return the valid JSON:

$ python -m json.tool settings.json
    "hostname": {
        "value": "terraform.example.com"
    "installation_type": {
        "value": "poc"
    "enc_password": {
        "value": "CHANGEME"

» Discovery

One the easiest ways to get the settings is to perform a manual install and configure all the settings the way you want them. Then you can SSH in, request the settings in JSON format and use that file in a future automated install.

To extract the settings as JSON, access the instance via SSH, then run:

tfe$ replicatedctl app-config export > settings.json

Here is an example app-config export output for an instance configured in Demo mode:

tfe$ replicatedctl app-config export > settings.json
tfe$ cat settings.json
    "aws_access_key_id": {},
    "aws_instance_profile": {},
    "aws_secret_access_key": {},
    "azure_account_key": {},
    "azure_account_name": {},
    "azure_container": {},
    "azure_endpoint": {},
    "ca_certs": {},
    "capacity_concurrency": {},
    "capacity_memory": {},
    "custom_image_tag": {
        "value": "hashicorp/build-worker:now"
    "disk_path": {},
    "enc_password": {
        "value": "CHANGEME"
    "extern_vault_addr": {},
    "extern_vault_enable": {},
    "extern_vault_path": {},
    "extern_vault_role_id": {},
    "extern_vault_secret_id": {},
    "extern_vault_token_renew": {},
    "extra_no_proxy": {},
    "gcs_bucket": {},
    "gcs_credentials": {},
    "gcs_project": {},
    "hostname": {
        "value": "terraform.example.com"
    "installation_type": {
        "value": "poc"
    "pg_dbname": {},
    "pg_extra_params": {},
    "pg_netloc": {},
    "pg_password": {},
    "pg_user": {},
    "placement": {},
    "production_type": {},
    "s3_bucket": {},
    "s3_endpoint": {},
    "s3_region": {},
    "s3_sse": {},
    "s3_sse_kms_key_id": {},
    "tbw_image": {
        "value": "default_image"
    "vault_path": {},
    "vault_store_snapshot": {}

Note that when you build your own settings file, you do not need to include parameters that do not have value keys, such as extra_no_proxy in the output above.

» Available settings

The settings available to configure your installation are summarized below. It is expected the user will have completed a manual installation first and will already be familiar with the nature of these parameters from the settings screen.

The following settings apply to every installation:

  • hostname — (Required) The hostname you will use to access your installation.
  • installation_type — (Required) One of poc or production.
  • enc_password — (Required) The password used to encrypt and decrypt the internally-managed Vault unseal key and root token. Not required only when opting out of internally-managed Vault.
  • capacity_concurrency — Number of concurrent plans and applies; defaults to 10.
  • capacity_cpus - The maximum number of CPU cores that a Terraform plan or apply can use on the system; defaults to 0 (unlimited).
  • capacity_memory — The maximum amount of memory (in megabytes) that a Terraform plan or apply can use on the system; defaults to 512.
  • enable_metrics_collection — Whether Terraform Enterprise's internal metrics collection should be enabled; defaults to true.
  • iact_subnet_list - A comma-separated list of CIDR masks that configure the ability to retrieve the IACT from outside the host. For example: ",". If not set, no subnets can retrieve the IACT.
  • iact_subnet_time_limit - The time limit that requests from the subnets listed can request the IACT, as measured from the instance creation in minutes; defaults to 60.
  • extra_no_proxy — (Optional) When configured to use a proxy, a , (comma) separated list of hosts to exclude from proxying. Please note that this list does not support whitespace characters. For example:,tfe.myapp.com,myco.github.com.
  • restrict_worker_metadata_access - Prevents the environment where Terraform operations are executed from accessing the cloud instance metadata service. This should not be set when Terraform operations rely on using instance metadata (i.e., the instance IAM profile) as part of the Terraform provider configuration.
  • hairpin_addressing - When set, TFE services will direct traffic destined for the installation's FQDN toward the instance's internal IP address. This is useful for cloud environments where HTTP clients running on instances behind a load balancer cannot send requests to the public hostname of that load balancer. Defaults to false.
  • tls_vers - (Optional) Set to tls_1_2 to enable only TLS 1.2, or to tls_1_3 to enable only TLS 1.3. When unset, TFE defaults to both TLS 1.2 and 1.3 (tls_1_2_tls_1_3).
  • tls_ciphers - (Optional) Set to an OpenSSL cipher list format string to enable a custom TLS ciphersuite. When unset, TFE uses a default ciphersuite.
  • force_tls - When set, TFE will require all application traffic to use HTTPS by sending a 'Strict-Transport-Security' header value in responses, and marking cookies as secure. A valid, trusted TLS certificate must be installed when this option is set, as browsers will refuse to serve webpages that have an HSTS header set that also serve self-signed or untrusted certificates.
  • log_forwarding_enabled - (Optional) Whether or not to enable log forwarding for Terraform Enterprise. Set to 1 to enable log forwarding and 0 to disable log forwarding. Defaults to 0.
  • log_forwarding_config - (Optional) Valid log forwarding configuration specifying external destination(s) to forward logs.
  • ca_certs — (Optional) Custom certificate authority (CA) bundle. JSON does not allow raw newline characters, so replace any newlines in the data with \n. For instance:
  --- X509 CERT ---
  --- X509 CERT ---

would become

  --- X509 CERT ---\naabbccddeeff\n--- X509 CERT ---\n
  • extern_vault_enable — (Optional) Indicate if an external Vault cluster is being used. Set to 1 if so.
    • These variables are only used if extern_vault_enable is set to 1.
    • extern_vault_addr — (Required) URL of external Vault cluster.
    • extern_vault_role_id — (Required) AppRole RoleId to use to authenticate with the Vault cluster.
    • extern_vault_secret_id — (Required) AppRole SecretId to use to authenticate with the Vault cluster.
    • extern_vault_path — (Optional) Path on the Vault server for the AppRole auth. Defaults to auth/approle.
    • extern_vault_token_renew — (Optional) How often (in seconds) to renew the Vault token. Defaults to 3600.
  • vault_path — (Optional) Path on the host system to store the vault files. If extern_vault_enable is set, this has no effect.
  • vault_store_snapshot — (Optional) Indicate if the vault files should be stored in snapshots. Set to 0 if not. Defaults to 1.

If you have chosen production for the installation_type, production_type is required:

If you have chosen disk for production_type, disk_path is required:

  • disk_path — Path on instance to persistent storage.
  • pg_password — The password for the internal PostgreSQL access. The password will be auto-generated for each installation if not provided.

If you want to use an alternative Terraform build worker image, the following settings apply:

  • tbw_image - Set this to custom_image if you want to use an alternative Terraform build worker image (the default is default_image).
  • custom_image_tag - The name and tag for your alternative Terraform build worker image in the format <name>:<tag> (the default is hashicorp/build-worker:now).

If you have chosen external for production_type, the following settings apply:

  • pg_user — (Required) PostgreSQL user to connect as.
  • pg_password — (Required) The password for the PostgreSQL user.
  • pg_netloc — (Required) The hostname and port of the target PostgreSQL server, in the format hostname:port.
  • pg_dbname — (Required) The database name.
  • pg_extra_params — (Optional) Parameter keywords of the form param1=value1&param2=value2 to support additional options that may be necessary for your specific PostgreSQL server. Allowed values are documented on the PostgreSQL site. An additional restriction on the sslmode parameter is that only the require, verify-full, verify-ca, and disable values are allowed.

Select which placement will be used for blob storage: S3, Azure, or GCS. Based on this value, you only need to provide one set of the following variables.

  • placement — (Required) Set to placement_s3 for S3, placement_azure for Azure, or placement_gcs for GCS.

For S3 (or S3-compatible storage providers):

  • aws_instance_profile (Optional) When set, use credentials from the AWS instance profile. Set to 1 to use the instance profile. Defaults to 0. If selected, aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key are not required.
  • aws_access_key_id — (Required unless aws_instance_profile is set) AWS access key ID for S3 bucket access. To use AWS instance profiles for this information, set it to "".
  • aws_secret_access_key — (Required unless aws_instance_profile is set) AWS secret access key for S3 bucket access. To use AWS instance profiles for this information, set it to "".
  • s3_endpoint — (Optional) Endpoint URL (hostname only or fully qualified URI). Usually only needed if using a VPC endpoint or an S3-compatible storage provider.
  • s3_bucket — (Required) The S3 bucket where resources will be stored.
  • s3_region — (Required) The region where the S3 bucket exists.
  • s3_sse — (Optional) Enables server-side encryption of objects in S3; if provided, must be set to aws:kms.
  • s3_sse_kms_key_id — (Optional) An optional KMS key for use when S3 server-side encryption is enabled.

As of the v202103-1 release, Terraform Enterprise supports using AWS IMDSv2 when using the instance profile to obtain credentials to connect to S3 object storage.

For Azure:

  • azure_account_name — (Required) The account name for the Azure account to access the container.
  • azure_account_key — (Required) The account key to access the account specified in azure_account_name.
  • azure_container — (Required) The identifer for the Azure blob storage container.
  • azure_endpoint — (Optional) The URL for the Azure cluster to use. By default this is the global cluster.

For GCS:

  • gcs_credentials — (Required) JSON blob containing the GCP credentials document. Note: This is a string, so ensure values are properly escaped.
  • gcs_project — (Required) The GCP project where the bucket resides.
  • gcs_bucket — (Required) The storage bucket name.

» Installer settings

» Online

The following is an example /etc/replicated.conf suitable for an automated online install using a certificate trusted by a public or private CA. ImportSettingsFrom must be the full path to the application settings file. You also need to provide the full path to your license file in LicenseFileLocation.

See the full set of configuration parameters in the Replicated documentation.

    "DaemonAuthenticationType":     "password",
    "DaemonAuthenticationPassword": "your-password-here",
    "TlsBootstrapType":             "server-path",
    "TlsBootstrapHostname":         "server.company.com",
    "TlsBootstrapCert":             "/etc/server.crt",
    "TlsBootstrapKey":              "/etc/server.key",
    "BypassPreflightChecks":        true,
    "ImportSettingsFrom":           "/path/to/settings.json",
    "LicenseFileLocation":          "/path/to/license.rli"

» Invoking the online installation script

Once /etc/replicated.conf has been created, you can retrieve and execute the install script as root:

curl -o install.sh https://install.terraform.io/ptfe/stable
bash ./install.sh \
    no-proxy \
    private-address= \

Note the private-address and public-address flags provided to the installer. These may be left out, but the installer will prompt for them if it is unable to determine appropriate values automatically. If the instance will not have a separate public address, you may provide the private address for both values.

» Airgapped

The following is an example /etc/replicated.conf suitable for an automated airgapped install, which builds on the online example above. Note the addition of LicenseBootstrapAirgapPackagePath, which is a path to the .airgap bundle on the instance.

    "DaemonAuthenticationType":          "password",
    "DaemonAuthenticationPassword":      "your-password-here",
    "TlsBootstrapType":                  "server-path",
    "TlsBootstrapHostname":              "server.company.com",
    "TlsBootstrapCert":                  "/etc/server.crt",
    "TlsBootstrapKey":                   "/etc/server.key",
    "BypassPreflightChecks":             true,
    "ImportSettingsFrom":                "/path/to/settings.json",
    "LicenseFileLocation":               "/path/to/license.rli",
    "LicenseBootstrapAirgapPackagePath": "/path/to/bundle.airgap"

» Invoking the airgap installation script

Following on from the manual airgapped install steps, you must also have the installer bootstrapper already on the instance. For illustrative purposes, it is assumed the installer bootstrapper has been unarchived in /tmp.

Once /etc/replicated.conf has been created, you can now execute the install script as root:

cd /tmp
./install.sh \
    airgap \
    no-proxy \
    private-address= \

» Waiting for Terraform Enterprise to become ready

Once the installer finishes, you may poll the /_health_check endpoint until a 200 is returned by the application, indicating that it is fully started:

while ! curl -ksfS --connect-timeout 5 https://tfe.example.com/_health_check; do
    sleep 5

» If the installation does not appear to be configured correctly

If the installation script (install.sh) exits successfully, but the Replicated web UI prompts for additional configuration rather than skipping that step, it's likely that the supplied configuration files were not applied during installation.

  • Verify the locations and permissions of the files. The Replicated configuration file should be placed in /etc/replicated.conf, and the application settings file should be placed in the path specified in the Replicated configuration file. The permissions of both files should be 600 if owned by the replicated user, or 644.
  • Run a JSON validator on the files to check their validity.

After resolving any issues with file validity or permissions, run the following commands to reload your configuration:

sudo systemctl stop replicated replicated-ui replicated-operator
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/replicated
sudo systemctl start replicated replicated-ui replicated-operator

» References