NashTech Insights

How to get Started with Terraform: A Beginner’s Guide

Rahul Miglani
Rahul Miglani
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Terraform has revolutionized the way infrastructure is managed by providing a powerful and user-friendly approach to infrastructure as code (IaC). Whether you’re new to Terraform or have prior experience with other IaC tools, this beginner’s guide will walk you through the essential steps to get started with Terraform. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid foundation to begin automating your infrastructure deployments.

Step 1: Install Terraform

To begin your Terraform journey, you need to install Terraform on your local machine. Visit the official Terraform website ( and download the appropriate binary for your operating system. After downloading, add the Terraform executable to your system’s PATH environment variable. This will allow you to run Terraform commands from any directory.

Step 2: Set Up Your Infrastructure Directory

Create a new directory on your machine dedicated to your Terraform project. This directory will contain all the necessary configuration files and resources related to your infrastructure. Having a separate directory helps keep your infrastructure code organized and easy to manage.

Step 3: Write Your First Terraform Configuration

Inside your infrastructure directory, create a new file named “”. This file will contain the Terraform configuration code that describes your infrastructure. Start by defining a provider block for the cloud platform you want to use, such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Specify the necessary credentials and other configuration details required to connect to your chosen cloud provider.

Step 4: Declare Resources

In your Terraform configuration file, declare the resources you want to provision. Resources can include virtual machines, databases, networks, and more. Each resource is defined using a resource block, where you specify the resource type, name, and configuration parameters. For example, if you’re provisioning an AWS EC2 instance, you would define an “aws_instance” resource block and set properties like the instance type, AMI, and tags.

Step 5: Initialize and Apply Changes

Before applying your Terraform configuration, you need to initialize your project. Open a terminal or command prompt, navigate to your infrastructure directory, and run the command “terraform init”. This command downloads the necessary provider plugins and sets up your Terraform environment.

Once initialized, run the command “terraform apply” to apply your configuration and create the infrastructure resources. Terraform will compare the desired state defined in your configuration with the current state and make the necessary changes to bring them in sync. Confirm the changes and Terraform will provision the resources accordingly.

Example Terraform Code Snippet:


Getting started with Terraform doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following the steps outlined in this beginner’s guide, you’ve learned how to install Terraform, set up your infrastructure directory, write a Terraform configuration, and provision resources. This is just the beginning of your Terraform journey.

As you continue your Terraform exploration, you’ll discover advanced features, such as variables, modules, and remote state management, that will further enhance your infrastructure automation capabilities. Keep experimenting, exploring documentation, and leveraging the vast Terraform community to unlock the full potential of infrastructure as code with Terraform.

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani

Rahul Miglani is Vice President at NashTech and Heads the DevOps Competency and also Heads the Cloud Engineering Practice. He is a DevOps evangelist with a keen focus to build deep relationships with senior technical individuals as well as pre-sales from customers all over the globe to enable them to be DevOps and cloud advocates and help them achieve their automation journey. He also acts as a technical liaison between customers, service engineering teams, and the DevOps community as a whole. Rahul works with customers with the goal of making them solid references on the Cloud container services platforms and also participates as a thought leader in the docker, Kubernetes, container, cloud, and DevOps community. His proficiency includes rich experience in highly optimized, highly available architectural decision-making with an inclination towards logging, monitoring, security, governance, and visualization.

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