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In the Initialize Terraform tutorial, you created and applied some basic Cloudflare configuration. Terraform applied this configuration to your zone because you provided your API token at the top of the file that has access to this zone.

$ head -n13 | tail -n3
provider "cloudflare" {
api_token = "your-api-token"

In this tutorial, you will store your configuration in GitHub where it can be tracked, peer-reviewed, and rolled back to as needed. First, you will remove your credentials from the Terraform config file to prevent committing them to a repository.

​​ 1. Use environment variables for authentication

As a good security practice, remove your Cloudflare credentials from anything that will be committed to a repository. The Cloudflare Terraform provider supports reading the credentials (and other configuration) from environment variables, as in the following example:

$ sed -ie 's/^.*api_token =.*$/ # token pulled from $CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN/'
$ head -n13 | tail -n3
provider "cloudflare" {
# token pulled from $CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN
$ export CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN=your-api-token

You must still include the empty provider definition in the file, so that Terraform knows to install the Cloudflare plugin. For more information about advanced options you can use to customize the Cloudflare provider, refer to Provider customization.

After running the commands above, ensure that you can still authenticate to Cloudflare by running terraform plan. Terraform will pull the current state which requires a valid email and API token.

$ terraform plan
cloudflare_record.www: Refreshing state... [id=c38d3102767284e7ca14d5dad3ab8b69]
No changes. Infrastructure is up-to-date.
This means that Terraform did not detect any differences between your
configuration and real physical resources that exist. As a result, no
actions need to be performed.

​​ 2. Store configuration in GitHub

After removing the credentials, initialize a Git repository with your Cloudflare configuration and then push it to GitHub.

First, create the GitHub repository to store the configuration. You can do this via the GitHub user interface or with an API call.

$ export GITHUB_USER=your-github-user
$ export GITHUB_TOKEN=your-github-token
$ export GITHUB_URL=$(curl -H "Authorization: token $GITHUB_TOKEN" -d '{"name": "cf-config", "private": true}' "" 2> /dev/null | jq -r .ssh_url)
$ echo $GITHUB_URL
[email protected]:$GITHUB_USER/cf-config.git

Next, initialize a Git repository and make the first commit.

$ git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/username/cf-config/.git/
$ git remote add origin $GITHUB_URL
$ git add
$ git commit -m "Step 2 - Initial commit with webserver definition."
[master (root-commit) 5acea17] Step 2 - Initial commit with webserver definition.
1 file changed, 16 insertions(+)
create mode 100644

Notice that the .terraform directory and terraform.tfstate file were not committed. The .terraform directory was not committed because the repository may be used on a different architecture, and the plugins contained in the directory are built for the system on which terraform init was run. The terraform.tfstate file was not committed because it may eventually contain sensitive strings, and it is not a good way to keep state in sync, as explained in Hashicorp’s documentation on Remote State.

To prevent Git from notifying you about the two files, add them to a new .gitignore file, commit it, and push everything to GitHub.

$ cat > .gitignore <<'EOF'
$ git add .gitignore
$ git commit -m "Step 2 - Ignore terraform plugin directory and state file."
[master 494c6d6] Step 2 - Ignore terraform plugin directory and state file.
1 file changed, 2 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 .gitignore
$ git push
Counting objects: 6, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done.
Writing objects: 100% (6/6), 762 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 6 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
To [email protected]:$GITHUB_USER/cf-config.git
* [new branch] master -> master