Adding resources

Use the azurerm documentation to add a resource to your configuration.


In this lab you will

  • browse the documentation
  • add a resource to create an Azure Container Instance
  • plan and apply the change

Starting point

Your files should still look like this:


    terraform {
      required_providers {
        azurerm = {
          source  = "hashicorp/azurerm"
          version = "~>3.1"
    provider "azurerm" {
      features {}
      storage_use_azuread = true

    variable "resource_group_name" {
      description = "Name for the resource group"
      type        = string
      default     = "terraform-basics"
    variable "location" {
      description = "Azure region"
      type        = string
      default     = "West Europe"

    resource "azurerm_resource_group" "basics" {
      name     = var.resource_group_name
      location = var.location
  • terraform.tfvars

    location = "UK South"

    You may have set a different value for location.

Azure Resource Group

There is a short URL for the azure provider’s resource documentation.

  1. Browse to in a new tab

    Commit this short URL to memory! You’ll be using it often.

    Note the azurerm version drop down at the top of the page. Default is the latest version.

    Which terraform CLI command shows the azurerm provider version currently in use?

    You can also search at the top of the screen for azuread and azurestack providers. Move from the Overview tab to the Documentation tab to see the matching view for those providers.

    The available resources and data sources for Azure Resource Manager are shown on the left, along with a filter.

    • A resource will create a resource, a sub-resource or an association between resources.

    • A data source allows the azurerm provider to interrogate existing resources and and make use of their attributes. (An example of a common data source is azurerm_client_config which exports the client_id, tenant_id, subscription_id and object_id attributes.)

  2. Filter the resources on the left

    Type “resource group” in the search filter.

  3. Select the azurerm_resource_group resource


    This is the documentation page for the resource group you’ve already created.

    Each resource page shows an example, plus the arguments (name, location, tags) and the exported attributes (all arguments plus id).

Azure Container Instance

In the next section you will add a new azurerm_container_group resource to create an Azure Container Instance. Look at the documentation page for the resource.

  1. Filter to “container” on the page

  2. Select the azurerm_container_group resource


    This is a more complex resource with a larger number of arguments and attributes.

    Here is the Example Usage from the page:

    resource "azurerm_resource_group" "example" {
      name     = "example-resources"
      location = "West Europe"
    resource "azurerm_container_group" "example" {
      name                = "example-continst"
      location            = azurerm_resource_group.example.location
      resource_group_name =
      ip_address_type     = "public"
      dns_name_label      = "aci-label"
      os_type             = "Linux"
      container {
        name   = "hello-world"
        image  = ""
        cpu    = "0.5"
        memory = "1.5"
        ports {
          port     = 443
          protocol = "TCP"
      container {
        name   = "sidecar"
        image  = ""
        cpu    = "0.5"
        memory = "1.5"
      tags = {
        environment = "testing"

    Note that as well as top level arguments (name, location, os_type etc.) that there are also blocks. This example has container blocks. Some blocks support multiples. (The example container group contains two containers.) There can be blocks within blocks, such as the ports block within the first container block.

    The documentation shows which arguments are required and optional within each block type, and detail on the permitted values.

    In the example it uses azurerm_resource_group.example.location as the location value, rather than "UK South" or var.location.

    This creates an implicit dependency between azurerm_container_group.example and azurerm_resource_group.example. These become linked nodes in the graph that Terraform generates to understand the order of operations, parallelism, dependencies etc.

    You can also define explicit dependencies using the depends_on = [] argument.


💪 Challenge: Add an azurerm_container_group resource.

Use the example config on the documentation page as your starting point. Here are the requirements.

  • Create a new variable, container_group_name
    • Description: Name of the container group
    • Default: terraform-basics
  • Add another variable, prefix
    • Description: Prefix string to ensure FQDNs are globally unique
    • No default


  • Set the value for prefix
    • In the example screenshots the value has been set to richeney

    • Choose a different value that is unique to you

      Recommended: no more than eight lowercase alphabetical characters

  • Create a new azurerm_container_group, retaining example as the ident

    i.e., resource "azurerm_container_group" "example" {

  • Specify your existing resource group, and use the resource group’s location

  • Use the new container_group_name variable for the resource name

    This would use the “bare” format, i.e. var.container_group_name

  • The DNS label should concatenate the prefix and the container_group_name

    The interpolation format is "${var.prefix}-${var.container_group_name}".

    Interpolation allows us to generate more complex expressions. Terraform knows to evaluate the variables surrounded with ${} to get their values.

  • Use the Inspector Gadget image for the container

    • name: inspectorgadget

    • image: "jelledruyts/inspectorgadget:latest"

      The Inspector Gadget image should be the only container in the container group.

    • Reduce the memory requirement to 1GB

    • Set the container port to 80 (HTTP)

  • No tags

Don’t forget to save all of your files.

⚠️ If you get completely stuck then the start of the next lab has a working config.

Terraform workflow

Run through the terraform workflow.

  1. Format the files

    terraform fmt
  2. Validate the config

    terraform validate
  3. Check the plan

    terraform plan
  4. Apply the changes

    terraform apply

Confirm the container is working

  1. Browse the portal and find the URL for the container instance

    ACI in the portal

  2. Open a new tab in the browser and go to the site

    Inspector Gadget

If your screen is similar to the one above then you have been successful! If not then check if your config differs from the one shown at the start of the next lab. (Note that the value of your prefix should be different.)


You successfully updated the config and added a resource.

Being able to navigate the documentation is a key skill when you are adding and modifying resources. You will also need to have a good working understanding of Azure, how the resources work and relate to each other.

In addition to the official documentation, you will also find plenty of sample configurations and blog pages for Terraform.

If you find the documentation is a little vague on an argument and its possible values then check the documentation for the Azure Resource Manager REST APIs as they can sometimes add insight where the resources closely match the properties found in those REST API calls.

In the next lab we will use locals and add an output.

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