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Getting Started

Preflight Checks

Here are the requirements you need to set up before you start:

  1. For Terraform Controller v0.15+, it requires Flux v2.0 or later (not only the CLI, but also the controllers on the cluster). If you are not sure about the Flux version on your cluster, please re-bootstrap your cluster.
  2. For Terraform Controller v0.13 and v0.14, Flux 2 v0.32 - v0.41 (of course, not only the CLI, but also the controllers on the cluster).
  3. TF-controller uses the Controller/Runner architecture. The Controller acts as a client, and talks to each Runner's Pod via gRPC. Please make sure
    1. Each Runner's Pod in each Namespace is allowed to open, and serve at port 30000 (the gRPC port of a Runner), and the Controller can connect to it.
    2. The Controller needs to download tar.gz BLOBs from the Source controller via port 80.
    3. The Controller needs to post the events to the Notification controller via port 80.


Before using TF-controller, you have to install Flux by using either flux install or flux bootstrap command. Please note that TF-controller now requires Flux v2.0 or later, so please make sure you have the latest version of Flux. After that you can install TF-controller with Flux HelmRelease by:

kubectl apply -f

For the most recent release candidate of TF-controller, please use rc.yaml.

kubectl apply -f

Installation on GKE

As of September 2023, GKE Autopilot clusters will use Cloud DNS for internal DNS resolution. This means that the default DNS resolution method used by TF-controller will not work. To use TF-controller on GKE Autopilot, you must set flag --use-pod-subdomain-resolution=true on the TF-controller deployment. This flag can be set by adding the following to the TF-controller HelmRelease:

    usePodSubdomainResolution: true
      - flux-system
      - dev-team

Enabling this value will cause TF-controller to use the Pod's subdomain for DNS resolution instead of the default Pod resolution method. Pod's subdomain resolution requires a Service to be created for the Pod. The HelmRelease above will create a Service named tf-runner in each namespace specified by the runner.allowedNamespaces value.

We have provided a HelmRelease to install TF-controller on GKE Autopilot with Pod's subdomain resolution enabled here.

kubectl apply -f

Tested with GKE Autopilot v1.27.3-gke.100.

With Branch Planner

kubectl apply -f

For the most recent release candidate of TF-controller with Branch Planner, please use branch-planner/rc.yaml.

kubectl apply -f

For more details about the Branch Planner, please visit the Branch Planner documentation.

Manual installation

With Helm by:

# Add tf-controller helm repository
helm repo add tf-controller

# Install tf-controller
helm upgrade -i tf-controller tf-controller/tf-controller \
    --namespace flux-system

For details on configurable parameters of the TF-controller chart, please see chart readme.

Alternatively, you can install TF-controller via kubectl:

export TF_CON_VER=v0.15.1
kubectl apply -f${TF_CON_VER}/tf-controller.crds.yaml
kubectl apply -f${TF_CON_VER}/tf-controller.rbac.yaml
kubectl apply -f${TF_CON_VER}/tf-controller.deployment.yaml

Quick start

Here's a simple example of how to GitOps your Terraform resources with TF-controller and Flux.

Define source

First, we need to define a Source controller's source (GitRepository, Bucket, OCIRepository), for example:

kind: GitRepository
  name: helloworld
  namespace: flux-system
  interval: 30s
    branch: main

The GitOps Automation mode

The GitOps automation mode could be enabled by setting .spec.approvePlan=auto. In this mode, Terraform resources will be planned, and automatically applied for you.

kind: Terraform
  name: helloworld
  namespace: flux-system
  interval: 1m
  approvePlan: auto
  path: ./
    kind: GitRepository
    name: helloworld
    namespace: flux-system

For a full list of features and how to use them, please follow the Use TF-controller guide.

Other Examples

  • A Terraform GitOps with Flux to automatically reconcile your AWS IAM Policies.
  • GitOps an existing EKS cluster, by partially import its nodegroup and manage it with TF-controller: An EKS scaling example.