This workshops is made up of a series of labs to take you through the fundamentals of using Terraform to manage the deployment and removal of simple Azure services, through to modularising your own standards to effectively manage large scale deployments.

This lab will cover a lot of ground, including

  • Terraform principles, workflows and terminology
  • The three ways of authenticating the Terraform Azure Provider
  • Using the interpolation syntax
  • Variables, locals, data, outputs
  • Load order and overrides
  • Dependencies and the graph database
  • Using modules and the Module Registry
  • Provisioners and using the taint command
  • Meta-parameters such as count and depends_on
  • Using the splat operator
  • Protecting and locking your state
  • Using workspaces and read only states
  • Sensitive data
  • Integrating with git repositories


For labs 1 and 2 you only need an Azure subscription as we will use the Cloud Shell.

For labs 3 onwards it is assumed that you have a linux terminal environment (for running the az and terraform commands) as well as Visual Studio Code (for editing the HCL files). This is perfect for macOS and Linux desktop users, as well as Windows 10 users who have the Windows Subsystem for Linux configured. (The labs are based on the Ubuntu distribution running as a subsystem in Windows 10.)

Azure Subscription

Required for all labs.

You will need access to a subscription (with ‘contributor rights’), or an Azure Pass or free account. Click on the button above for more details.

Ensure that it is active by logging onto the portal and creating an resource group.

💬 Note. If you are using an Azure Free Pass then please do not activate it using your work email address. If you do then it will be unlikely that you will have RBAC permissions to create Service Principals and you will be limited to using the Azure CLI authentication.

Windows Subsytem for Linux

Required for lab 3 onwards for Windows 10 users.

For Windows 10 users then enable and use the Windows Subsystem for Linux for these labs. Follow the instructions here: (This also has the instructions for installing terraform, git, tree and jq.)

These labs are not tested on Windows 7. If you are using Windows 7 then you cannot install the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It is recommended to upgrade to Windows 10 and use the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It is possible to use both az and terraform commands within a PowerShell integrated console on Windows 7 machine and you can still make your way through the labs, but if there are examples of Bash scripting then you will need to work around that. You may be able to use the Git Bash on Windows 7 but this has not been tested.

💻 Additional Binaries

Required for lab 3 onwards.

The labs make use of a few binaries that are not part of a standard Ubuntu install, so please add the following packages if you cannot find them using which, e.g. which jq:

  • jq
  • git
  • tree

For Ubuntu the install command is `sudo apt update && sudo apt install jq git tree’.

If you have a different distribution then you should use the right package manager for that distribution.

💻 Terraform

Required for lab 3 onwards.

  • Manually download the correct executable from the link above
  • Manually move it to a directory in your OS’ path

Note that for Windows that will need to be in your system path, e.g. C:\Windows\System32\. Visual Studio Code does not search the Windows user path.

  • For linux systems (including the WSL) that use apt as the package manager you may use the following command to download it to /usr/local/bin:
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
  • Run terraform --version to verify

💻 Azure CLI

Required for lab 3 onwards.

For Windows, Linux and macOS users, click on the button above to find the right install instructions to install at the operating system level.

For Windows 10 users who have enabled the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature then you can installing the Azure CLI in the linux subsystem using apt.

💬 Note. Use of the legacy Windows CMD prompt is not advised, and use of alternative bash systems (gitbash or cygwin) is discouraged.

💻 Visual Studio Code

Required for lab 3 onwards.

Please install and configure Visual Studio Code as per the link in the button above. We won’t be writing any real code, but the editor has some great support for editing the .tf files used by Terraform and integrating with Azure.


The following extensions should also be installed as they are assumed by the labs:

Module Name Author Extension Identifier
Azure Account Microsoft
Terraform Mikael Olenfalk mauve.terraform
Advanced Terraform Snippets Generator Richard Sentino mindginative.terraform-snippets
JSON Tools Erik Lynd eriklynd.json-tools

Use CTRL+SHIFT+X to open the extensions sidebar. You can search and install the extensions from within there.

Integrated Console

For Windows Subsystem for Linux users then switch your integrated console from the default $SHELL (either Command Prompt or PowerShell) to WSL. Open the Command Palette (CTRL+SHIFT+P) and then search for the convenience command Select Default Shell.


You will need Git installed at the operating system level. (Linux and macOS should have this already (which git) if you have followed the steps above.)

Visual Studio Code will not find the git executable in WSL on Windows 10, so you need to install it and ensure that it is in the system path. (As vscode also won’t find it in the user path.)

You can download and install Git for Windows by following the instructions here.

You can check where Git has been installed in Windows 10 by running either:

  • Command Prompt: where git
  • PowerShell: Get-Command git.exe | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Definition

It will normally be in the C:\Program Files\Git\cmd\ directory.

Check that the directory is in your system path by clicking Start → Run and typing SystemPropertiesAdvanced. This will open the dialog box. Select Path in the system variables at the bottom, and then Edit. Add the directory if it is missing.

💻 Join GitHub

Required for lab 3 onwards.

For lab 3 onwards we will use a public repository in GitHub so you will need to have a GitHub account.


A good working knowledge of the Azure services and ecosystem has been assumed.

A background knowledge of Terraform is advised. The button below will take you to Terraform’s intro guide.

Terraform Intro


Lab Name Description
1 Basics Use the basic Terraform workflow in Cloud Shell
2 Variables Provision from within VS Code and start to use variables
3 Core Environment Use a GitHub repo and provision a core environment
4 Meta Parameters Make use of copy and other meta parameters
5 Multi Tenancy Using Service Principals and Managed Service Identity
6 State Configuring remote state and using read only state in split environments
7 Modules Learn about modules, converting your .tf files, Terraform Registry
8 Extending beyond ARM Use providers and the AAD API to fully configure a kubernetes cluster
9 Provisioners Leverage provisioners to customise your virtual machine deployments (coming soon)

💬 Note. The labs are currently being built and will become available over the coming month.



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