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Terraform workspaces, direnv, dotenv, and mental sanity

Once you have all your environments working with Direnv, Advanced Direnv for Devops, if you are working with Terraform namespaces there is another improvement you can make to automate further.

We use another directive from direnv called watch_file, which reloads the environment each time a particular file is changed. We can point this directive to the .terraform/workspace file, which holds the currently selected workspace in Terraform. The following code in the .envrc file implements this behavior:

watch_file .terraform/environment

if test -e .terraform/environment; then

dotenv .env.$(cat .terraform/environment)


This technique allows us to have different variables (defining accounts, regions, usernames, more) per environment, and that variables will be automatically loaded each time we run terraform workspace select <workspace>.

Carlos Barroso

Senior MLOps Engineer

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