A future-proof Terraform provider definition
When defining the version of a Terraform provider, do not use
=> conditions. You will run into troubles caused by breaking changes with the next major release. Instead, lock the major version of the Terraform provider by using a
But let’s start at the beginning.
terraform apply to deploy a small change to a code base that I had not touched for a while, I ran into the following error.
An argument named "enable_classiclink" is not expected here.
While debugging the issue, I learned a lot about Terraform version constraints that you should also be aware of to avoid unpleasant surprises.
I wrote the following code a few years ago to create a VPC and some other resources.
But, after updating to the latest AWS provider version, I was stuck with an
An argument named "enable_classiclink" is not expected here. error.
After a while, I found out that the major release 5.0.0 of the AWS provider introduced a few breaking changes. The change log includes the following entry.
resource/aws_default_vpc: With the retirement of EC2-Classic the enable_classiclink and enable_classiclink_dns_support attributes have been removed (#30966)
terraform-aws-modules/vpc/aws module in version
3.19.0 still used the
enable_classiclink_dns_support attribute, which caused the error.
It turns out that the terraform-aws-modules/vpc/aws module follows the major release cycle of the AWS provider. However, the module does not enforce using an AWS provider with the supported major version.
Here is how the
terraform-aws-modules/vpc/aws module specifies the AWS provider version.
The version condition states that the module works with any AWS provider version greater or equal to
3.73. But that is not the case because each major version of the AWS provider introduces breaking changes.
When defining the required version, use the
~> condition instead, which the Terraform documentation describes as follows:
“Allows only the rightmost version component to increment. For example, to allow new patch releases within a specific minor release, use the full version number: ~> 1.0.4 will allow installation of 1.0.5 and 1.0.10 but not 1.1.0. This is usually called the pessimistic constraint operator.” (see Terraform: Version Constraints)
Back to the example from above, the
terraform-aws-modules/vpc/aws module should specify the AWS provider as follows.
Doing so would pick the latest version of the AWS provider with major version 3. Newer major versions (4 or 5) with potential breaking changes are not supported.
Note that this approach requires all parts of your Terraform configuration -including all the modules you use- to use the same major provider versions. Alternatively, you could use tools like terragrunt that execute modules separately.