Terraform Testing Tools

terraform testing tools

What begins with “T”? I have been thinking about various ways of testing infrastructure and resources lately and have been having a difficult time parsing out the various tools that are available. This post is meant to be a reference for “finding the right tool for the right job” as part of testing various infrastructures.

Often times when you start talking about testing, you will hear about the testing pyramid, which is described along with some other interesting aspects of testing Terraform in this blog post, it covers a lot of the pitfalls and gotchas you might run into.

My aim originally was to find a good tool for unit testing Terraform and as part of that adventure have uncovered a number of other interesting projects, that while not directly applicable, could be very useful for a number of different testing scenarios. Read the above blog post for more info but suffice to say, unit testing (the bottom layer of the testing pyramid) is quite difficult to do with Infrastructure as Code and Terraform and at this point is mostly not a solved problem.

Here is the list of tools that I uncovered in my research. Please let me know if there are any missing.


Terratest is written and maintained by the folks at Terragrunt and it provides a comprehensive testing experience for deploying Infrastructure as Code, testing that it works as expected and then tears down the IaC when it is finished. From what I can tell this is probably the most comprehensive testing tool out there, still doesn’t cover unit tests, but is a great way to ensure things are working end to end.


Follows the BDD philosophy and spins up, tests and spins down various Terraform resources. Works in a similar fashion to Terratest to bring up the environment, test and then tear things down.


This testing tool is one of the original tools I ran across when originally mulling over the idea of unit testing infrastructure back in the days when configuration management tools like Chef, Puppet and Salt ruled the earth.

inspec (aws-resources)

Very similiar to awspec, this tool provides a framework for testing various AWS resources. This one is nice because it uses inspec to build on and so it has a lot of extra capabilities.


Very similar to the other “spec” tools, awspec is built in the same style as serverspec/inspec and provides a very nice interface for testing various AWS resource types. Since it is modeled after serverspec, you will need to deal with Ruby.


Another Python based unit testing style framework. This tools varies from Terraform Validate in that it mainly focuses on testing the lower level server and OS, but it does have integration for testing a number of other things.


A nice tool for testing (and enforcing Terraform compliance rules).

Terraform Validate

This is a nice tool for expressing various test conditions as compliance, especially if you are already familiar with Python and its testing landscape. This tool parses configs using pyhcl and allows you to write familiar unittest style tests for Terraform configurations.


This one is a bit of a wild card but could prove interesting to some readers. Pulumi provides direct integration into your language of choice (Python for me) to enable you to write pulumi code using language native unit tests. Obviously Pulumi isn’t Terraform but I had to mention it here because there is a significant amount of crossover between the tools.

Josh Reichardt

Josh is the creator of this blog, a system administrator and a contributor to other technology communities such as /r/sysadmin and Ops School. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.