Tutorial: Create a Terraform base template in Azure using Yeoman

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use the combination of Terraform and Yeoman. Terraform is a tool for creating infrastructure on Azure. Yeoman makes it easy to create Terraform modules.

In this article, you learn how to do the following tasks:

  • Create a base Terraform template using the Yeoman module generator.
  • Test the Terraform template using two different methods.
  • Run the Terraform module using a Docker file.
  • Run the Terraform module natively in Azure Cloud Shell.


  • Azure subscription: If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.
  • Visual Studio Code: Download Visual Studio Code for your platform.
  • Terraform: Install Terraform to run the module created by Yeoman.
  • Docker: Install Docker to run the module created by the Yeoman generator.
  • Go programming language: Install Go as Yeoman-generated test cases are code using the Go language.


Most of the procedures in this tutorial involve the command line interface. The steps described apply to all operating systems and command line tools. For the examples, PowerShell was chosen for the local environment and Git Bash for the cloud shell environment.

Prepare your environment

Install Node.js

To use Terraform in the Cloud Shell, you need to install Node.js 6.0+.


To verify that Node.js is installed, open a terminal window and enter node --version.

Install Yeoman

Run the following command:

npm install -g yo

Install Yeoman

Install the Yeoman template for Terraform module

Run the following command:

npm install -g generator-az-terra-module

Install generator-az-terra-module

To verify that Yeoman is installed, run the following command:

yo --version

Create a directory for the Yeoman-generated module

The Yeoman template generates files in the current directory. For this reason, you need to create a directory.

This empty directory is required to be put under $GOPATH/src. For more information about this path, see the article Setting GOPATH.

  1. Navigate to the parent directory from which to create a new directory.

  2. Run the following command replacing the placeholder. For this example, a directory name of GeneratorDocSample is used.

    mkdir <new-directory-name>


  3. Navigate to the new directory:

    cd <new-directory-name>

    Navigate to your new directory

Create a base module template

  1. Run the following command:

    yo az-terra-module
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to provide the following information:

    • Terraform module project Name - A value of doc-sample-module is used for the example.

      Project name

    • Would you like to include the Docker image file? - Enter y. If you select n, the generated module code will support running only in native mode.

      Include Docker image file?

  3. List the directory contents to view the resulting files that are created:


    List created files

Review the generated module code

  1. Launch Visual Studio Code

  2. From the menu bar, select File > Open Folder and select the folder you created.

    Visual Studio Code

The following files were created by the Yeoman module generator. For more information about these files and their usage, see Terratest in Terraform Modules..

  • main.tf - Defines a module called random-shuffle. The input is a string_list. The output is the count of the permutations.
  • variables.tf - Defines the input and output variables used by the module.
  • outputs.tf - Defines what the module outputs. Here, it's the value returned by random_shuffle, which is a built-in, Terraform module.
  • Rakefile - Defines the build steps. These steps include:
    • build - Validates the formatting of the main.tf file.
    • unit - The generated module skeleton doesn't include code for a unit test. If you want to specify a unit test scenario, you would you add that code here.
    • e2e - Runs an end-to-end test of the module.
  • test
    • Test cases are written in Go.
    • All codes in test are end-to-end tests.
    • End-to-end tests attempt to provision all of the items defined under fixture. The results in the template_output.go file are compared with the pre-defined expected values.
    • Gopkg.lock and Gopkg.toml: Defines the dependencies.

Test your new Terraform module using a Docker file

This section shows how to test a Terraform module using a Docker file.


This example runs the module locally; not on Azure.

Confirm Docker is installed and running

From a command prompt, enter docker version.

Docker version

The resulting output confirms that Docker is installed.

To confirm that Docker is actually running, enter docker info.

Docker info

Set up a Docker container

  1. From a command prompt, enter

    docker build --build-arg BUILD_ARM_SUBSCRIPTION_ID= --build-arg BUILD_ARM_CLIENT_ID= --build-arg BUILD_ARM_CLIENT_SECRET= --build-arg BUILD_ARM_TENANT_ID= -t terra-mod-example ..

    The message Successfully built will be displayed.

    Message indicating a successful build

  2. From the command prompt, enter docker image ls to see your created module terra-mod-example listed.

    List containing the new module

  3. Enter docker run -it terra-mod-example /bin/sh. After running the docker run command, you're in the Docker environment. At that point, you can discover the file by using the ls command.

    File list in Docker

Build the module

  1. Run the following command:

    bundle install
  2. Run the following command:

    rake build

    Rake build

Run the end-to-end test

  1. Run the following command:

    rake e2e
  2. After a few moments, the PASS message will appear.


  3. Enter exit to complete the test and exit the Docker environment.

Use Yeoman generator to create and test a module in Cloud Shell

In this section, the Yeoman generator is used to create and test a module in Cloud Shell. Using Cloud Shell instead of using a Docker file greatly simplifies the process. Using Cloud Shell, the following products are all pre-installed:

  • Node.js
  • Yeoman
  • Terraform

Start a Cloud Shell session

  1. Start an Azure Cloud Shell session via either the Azure portal, shell.azure.com, or the Azure mobile app.

  2. The Welcome to Azure Cloud Shell page opens. Select Bash (Linux).

    Welcome to Azure Cloud Shell

  3. If you have not already set up an Azure storage account, the following screen appears. Select Create storage.

    You have no storage mounted

  4. Azure Cloud Shell launches in the shell you previously selected and displays information for the cloud drive it just created for you.

    Your cloud drive has been created

Prepare a directory to hold your Terraform module

  1. At this point, Cloud Shell will have already configured GOPATH in your environment variables for you. To see the path, enter go env.

  2. Create the $GOPATH directory, if one doesn't already exist: Enter mkdir ~/go.

  3. Create a directory within the $GOPATH directory. This directory is used to hold the different project directories created in this example.

    mkdir ~/go/src
  4. Create a directory to hold your Terraform module replacing the placeholder. For this example, a directory name of my-module-name is used.

    mkdir ~/go/src/<your-module-name>
  5. Navigate to your module directory:

    cd ~/go/src/<your-module-name>

Create and test your Terraform module

  1. Run the following command and follow the instructions. When asked if you want to create the Docker files, you enter N.

    yo az-terra-module
  2. Run the following command to install the dependencies:

    bundle install
  3. Run the following command to build the module:

    rake build

    Rake build

  4. Run the following command to run the text:

    rake e2e

    Test-pass results

Next steps