How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server Tutorial (Step by Step)

How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server. In this article I will introduce what Terraform is with its pros and benefits and I will provide steps how to install it on Debian server using 2 methods. Let’s start. 

What is Terraform?

Terraform is an open source infrastructure as code (IaC) tool that plays a key role in building, changing and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. Most organizations that wish to deploy a hybrid cloud or multi cloud environment must invest in Terraform. The popular infrastructure automation tool allows DevOps engineers to manage, monitor and provision all cloud and on prem resources that can be further reused and shared.

Another feature of Terraform is it can manage both low and high level components, including storage, networking resource, DNS entries and SaaS features. It also supports multi tier applications, various external resource management and multi cloud deployments.

Terraform server uses its HashiCorp Configuration Language (a JSON like configuration language) and version control to define and enforce infrastructure configurations, provision, and re provision resources across cloud environments.

In simple terms, when the DevOps engineers pass a command to deploy or run a specific database or server, the infrastructure automation tool immediately passes and translates the code into an application programming interface (API) call and passes it to the resource provider. They use application programming interfaces (APIs) to create and manage resources on cloud platforms.

Being an open source tool, DevOps engineers can also write a new plugin or compile other versions of previously installed plugins. Further, its various components allow the experts to oversee the reading and interpolation of resource plan executions, define resources, and initialize the libraries used for making API calls.

Terraform reduces the hassle of switching providers and automates the orchestration of infrastructure across different cloud platforms.

in this article about How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server let’s learn about Terraform pros and benefits 

Features of Terraform

  • Installable modules.
  • Multi tier applications.
  • Write Declarative configuration files.
  • Terraform allows users to observe functions such as numeric, string, date and time as well as encoding functions.
  • Self service clusters.
  • State management.
  • Module Count that specifies the number of modules that have been applied to an infrastructure.
  • Software defined networking (SDN).
  • Disposable environments.
  • Translates HCL code into the JSON format.
  • Creates plan and predict changes.
  • Dependency graphing.
  • Supports 1000+ providers.

Benefits of Using Terraform

Apart from building and versioning infrastructure, there are other benefits of using Terraform:

1. Enables tracking of your Infrastructure

DevOps engineers use the powerful infrastructure automation tool to monitor and track infrastructure in a file. The file is later used in planning and determining what changes are necessary or required to match the configuration.

2. Automate changes

What is interesting with Terraform is that there is no need to write step by step instructions for creating resources. Its configuration files are declarative and manage the underlying logic. Also, it has a resource graph feature that helps in determining the dependencies, creating and modifying non dependent resources. As a result, users can easily automate changes and provision resources efficiently.

3. Easy collaboration

Another good feature is for DevOps engineers who can conveniently and securely share the current status with teammates using Terraform. It has a registry that allows easy collaboration of team members on infrastructure.

4. No Additional Documentation is Required

The written script or code works great as documentation. It also enables viewers to figure out the current status, what’s new deployed and configured using the tool. There is no additional documentation necessary with Terraform.

5. Manage any Infrastructure

Terraform has multiple plugins to give interaction to different cloud platforms and other services. Terraform community has written 1000+ Terraform plugins (providers) for managing and monitoring resources on Google cloud platforms, Azure, Amazon Web Services, Datadog, GitHub, and more. DevOps can also write their own provider using Terraform.

6. Reduces development costs

Terraform helps DevOps engineers to create on demand development and deployment environments and evaluate them before making any changes to the system. It further helps the organization save on development costs.

7. Reduced time to provision

Instead of investing in tools that follow the traditional click ops methods for deployment, go for Terraform! The tool will allow you the full deployment in minutes and supports quick and efficient migrations. For example, using Terraform, the provisioning of multiple Alibaba Cloud services will take place simultaneously in a standardized way.

How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server

There are two easy methods How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server. In this post, we will show you both options one by one.

Installation Method 1

Install Terraform using APT

APT also known as an “Advanced Packaging Tool” is a package manager for Debian based distributions. It allows you to install and manage packages on Debian and Ubuntu operating systems. In this section, we will show you how to install Terraform using apt.

First, install the required dependencies using the following command:

					apt-get install wget curl unzip software-properties-common gnupg2 -y

Second, download and add the HashiCorp signed gpg keys to your system:

					curl -fsSL | apt-key add -

Next, add the HashiCorp repository to the APT using the following command:

					apt-add-repository "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture)] $(lsb_release -cs) main"

Next, update the repository using the command given below:

					apt-get update -y

Finally, install the Terraform by running the following command:

					apt-get install terraform -y

Once the Terraform has been installed, verify it using the following command:

					terraform -v

You will get the Terraform version in the following output:

					Terraform v1.1.7
on linux_amd64

Installation Method 2

Install Terraform Manually

Next option about How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server is to install the Terraform manually by downloading it from the source. In this method, you can download the specific or latest version of Terraform to your system. You will also get the flexibility to install more than one version of Terraform.

First, download the latest version of Terraform source using the following command:


Once the download is completed, extract the downloaded file using the following command.


Next, copy the Terraform binary from the extracted file to the /usr/bin/ directory:

					cp terraform /usr/bin/

Next, verify the Terraform version by running the following command:

					terraform -v

You will get the following output:

					Terraform v1.1.7
on linux_amd64

Install the "auto-complete" Terraform Extension

Terraform provides auto-complete features that allow you to list all sub-commands after pressing the TAB key twice. In order to activate the auto-complete feature, you will need to install the autocomplete extension to your system.

You can install it by running the following command:

					terraform -install-autocomplete

Next, run the following command to activate the auto-complete features:

					source ~/.bashrc

To check the Terraform auto-complete feature, run the terraform command and press the TAB key twice:


You should see all sub-commands in the following output:

					apply         env           get           init          output        push          state         untaint       workspace     
console       fmt           graph         login         plan          refresh       taint         validate      
destroy       force-unlock  import        logout        providers     show          test          version

Uninstall Terraform from Debian 11

If you want to remove Terraform from your system, run the following command:

					apt-get remove terraform -y

You can also remove it manually by running the following command:

					rm -rf /usr/bin/terraform

How to Install Terraform on Debian 11 Server Conclusion

In this guide, you learned how to install Terraform using two methods. You can now choose your preferred method to install Terraform on Debian 11. You can now start using Terraform to automate your infrastructure deployment. For more information, visit the Terraform documentation page.


Last thing to mention if Terraform is not for you consider using Ansible, Jenkins, Puppet or Pulumi.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x