How to Install Terraform in Ubuntu as a virtual machine on Windows

6 minute read

We are going to install Terraform in Ubuntu 20.04 to start developing our AWS infrastructure.

In addition we are going to setup the Virtual Box with Ubuntu and install AWS CLI, Terraform and Terragrunt with Microsoft Visual Code as main editor.

Table of Contents

If you are working in Windows or Mac you can install VirtualBox 6.1.22 otherwise you can skip the following step.

Section 1. Ubuntu as a virtual machine on Windows

To install Ubuntu as a virtual machine on Windows 10:

  1. Download VirtualBox for Windows and install it on your computer.

  2. Download the Ubuntu ISO file you want to install from the Ubuntu download page.

  1. Open VirtualBox and select New in the top taskbar.

  2. Give your VM a name, choose Linux as the Type, then choose Ubuntu as the Version and select Next.

  3. Choose how much RAM you want to assign to the virtual machine and select Next. The recommended minimum is 1024 MB . I will use 4096 MB

    The amount of memory you set aside is only used while the virtual machine is running.

  4. Choose Create a virtual hard disk now and select Create.

    You must create a virtual hard drive to save the changes you make in Ubuntu.

  5. Choose VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) and select Next.

  6. Choose Dynamically allocated or Fixed size for the storage type and select Next.

    A fixed size disk performs better because the virtual machine doesn’t have to increase the file size as you install software.

    Choose at least 20GB of size.

  7. The name of your virtual machine will now appear on the left side of the VirtualBox manager. Select Start in the toolbar to launch your VM.

  8. This is the point where you need to choose the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded earlier.

  9. Select Add in the window that pops up.

  10. Choose your Ubuntu disk image and select Open.

  11. Select Choose.

  12. Select Start.

  13. Your VM will now boot into a live version of Ubuntu. Choose your language and select Install Ubuntu.

    If you select Try Ubuntu, you can run the installer later by double-clicking Install Ubuntu on the desktop.

  14. Choose your keyboard layout and select Continue.

  15. Choose Normal installation or Minimal installation, then select Continue.

    Check the boxes under Other Options to download updates.

  16. Choose Erase disk and install Ubuntu and select Install Now, then select Continue to ignore the warning.

    This step will not erase your computer’s physical hard drive; it only applies to the virtual machine.

  17. Choose your time zone on the map, then select Continue.

  18. Set up your user account, your computer we select aws and select Continue.

  19. Select Restart Now and press enter. After restart you will have something like

  20. To enable the shared clipboard in VirtualBox , go to Oracle VM Virtual Box Manager and our image called ubuntu click settings then General>Advanced>Shared Clipboard we change to Bidirectional and then click OK

  21. Hide the Dock (optional)

    Due to we will going to code, we need work with a clean screen. so Let us to clear the screen in ubuntu by removing the left panel of ubuntu while we are coding.

    Press the Win key on your keyboard and type “dock” to filter the app list down to the sub-page you need in “Appearance Settings.” Select the Settings entry that appears to open that page.

    Enable the toggle next to “Auto-hide the Dock.”

  22. Then return back to your terminal in Ubuntu , open a new terminal,

  23. and type the following

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt install virtualbox-guest-x11
    sudo VBoxClient --clipboard

    then Shared Clipboard should be work. Copy the following text

    echo 'Your VM is Ready!'

    and paste it with ctrl + shift +v and then press enter.

    Great, now you have virtual box with Ubuntu ready to start your project.

Section 2. Installation AWS CLI , Terraform and Terragrunt

First update the package repository cache with the following command:

sudo apt-get update


Now install AWS CLI with the following command:

sudo apt-get install awscli

Now press y and then press Enter to continue.

Now check whether AWS CLI is working with the following command:

aws --version

you should have something like

aws-cli/1.18.69 Python/3.8.5 Linux/5.11.0-38-generic botocore/1.16.19


In this project we will use the Terraform version 0.13.5

We first need install software-properties-common, gnupg, and curl packages

sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common
sudo apt-get install gnupg
sudo apt install curl

We will verify the HashiCorp’s GPG signature, and install HashiCorp’s

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y gnupg software-properties-common curl

Add the HashiCorp GPG key.

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -

Add the official HashiCorp Linux repository.

sudo apt-add-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) main"

Update to add the repository, and install the Terraform CLI.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install terraform=0.13.5

Verify the installation

terraform -help plan

Additional resource’s.(optional)

If you are interested to switch different versions of Terraform, you can install tfswitch

sudo snap install tfswitch


Terragrunt is used to work with Terraform configurations which allows to orchestrate dependent layers, update arguments dynamically and keep configurations DRY.

The officially supported versions are:

Terraform Version Terragrunt Version
1.0.x >= 0.31.0
0.15.x >= 0.29.0
0.14.x >= 0.27.0
0.13.x >= 0.25.0

In this project we will use Terraform version 0.13.5 of and Terragrunt 0.29.4

sudo apt-get install build-essential procps curl file git

then we install brew

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

and then press enter ,you will have something like

then copy the two commands like says in your terminal as example in my case is

echo 'eval "$(/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)"' >> /home/ruslanmv/.profile
eval "$(/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin/brew shellenv)"

then you can test your brew installation by

brew help

and finally we can install Terragrunt.

We are going to us the following package tgenv to switch different versions of terragrunt.

git clone ~/.tgenv

you can make symlinks for tgenv/bin/* scripts into a path that is already added to your $PATH (e.g. /usr/local/bin) OSX/Linux Only!

sudo ln -s ~/.tgenv/bin/* /usr/local/bin

Install a specific version of terragrunt

tgenv install 0.29.4

to install latest version

tgenv install latest

List installed versions

tgenv list

Switch a version to use 0.29.4 is a syntax to use the latest installed version

tgenv use 0.29.4

terragrunt --version

terraform --version

Perfect, now we are ready start setup the AWS credentials.

Section 3. Configure access to AWS account

There are several ways to view and set your configuration settings in the files.

  • The first method is use aws configure

    Run this command to quickly set and view your credentials, region, and output format. The following example shows sample values.

$ aws configure
AWS Secret Access Key [None]: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY
Default region name [None]: us-east-1
Default output format [None]: json
  • The second method is by using Credentials and config file.

    Import CSV credentials generated from the AWS web console.

    aws configure import --csv credentials.csv

To list all configuration data, use the aws configure list command. This command displays the AWS CLI name of all settings you’ve configured

aws configure list

You can create s3 bucket and check if you can see it with the command

aws s3 ls

For Terraform to be able to make changes in your AWS account, you will need to set the AWS credentials for the IAM user you created earlier as the environment variables AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY.

The recommended way to configure access credentials to AWS account is using environment variables:

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=(your access key id)
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=(your secret access key)
export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=us-east-1

If your are using additional layers of security such as Token, you should also include it.

export AWS_SESSION_TOKEN=(your token key)

Note that these environment variables apply only to the current shell, so if you reboot your computer or open a new terminal window, you’ll need to export these variables again.

Alternatively, you can edit terragrunt.hcl and use another authentication mechanism as described in AWS provider documentation.

You can use an AWS credentials or configuration file to specify your credentials. The default location is $HOME/.aws/credentials on Linux and macOS, or "%USERPROFILE%\.aws\credentials" on Windows. You can optionally specify a different location in the Terraform configuration by providing the shared_credentials_file argument or using the AWS_SHARED_CREDENTIALS_FILE environment variable.

Great, now le us install the editor where we can start creating our infrastructure code

Section 4. Install Visual Studio Code

The Visual Studio Code is available from the official Microsoft Apt repositories.

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https wget

Import the Microsoft GPG key using the following wget command:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

And enable the Visual Studio code repository by typing:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] stable main"

Once the apt repository is enabled, install the Visual Studio code package:

sudo apt install code

First let us create a folder where we will create our project.

mkdir project
cd project

VS Code can be launched from the command line by typing

code .

then click Trust the authors.

Then, you can install an additional extension in VS code

Well done ! Now we are ready start developing our AWS infrastructure.


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