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Nebulaworks Insight Content Card Background - Erik eastman shanghai architecture

Terraform Tips: Vim Plugin Basics

January 9, 2018 Rob Hernandez

A simplistic Vim plugin and base config for working with Terraform.

Recent Updates

HashiCorp Terraform

Terraform & Vim Plugin Basics

If you’ve been starting to write Terraform configuration inside of vim then here are a few tips of what you should enable to make life simpler when working with those *.tf files.


Taken directly from the vim-terraform git repo: Installation is as simple as cloning the repo if you are leveraging pathogen.vim:

cd ~/.vim/bundle
git clone

Note: If you prefer to use something besides pathogen, go ahead.


The most immediate change you should notice without any additional configuration is that syntax highlighting is now enabled! If you want to set up a specific olorscheme for *.tf’s then specify it as follows (this assumes the colorscheme icansee is already installed):

autocmd BufEnter *.tf* colorscheme icansee

Terraform has a command called terraform fmt which is the canonical format and style for *.tf files. What’s really slick is vim-terraform allows automatically running terraform fmt when saving *.tf and/or *.tfvars files. Its as simple as adding the following to your existing .vimrc:

let g:terraform_fmt_on_save=1

Along with terraform fmt I would recommend adding the override for indentation to your .vimrc. This overrides the indentation level to 2 spaces to conform to the hashicorp style:

let g:terraform_align=1

Note: Make sure you have a recent clone of the plugin since there was a bug in Sept which effected this option.


This should give you a very nice and consistent configuration to be able to work with terraform inside of vim. Happy Terraforming!

Insight Authors

Rob Hernandez, CTO Rob Hernandez CTO
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