recursive file upload to s3 in terraform

I’ve been working a lot with HashiCorp’s terraform recently. From learning how to set up a highly available container based infrastructure using AWS ECS , to setting up a CloudFront distribution for a static site hosted on S3 .

One problem I have had to solve a number of times, is uploading the contents of a directory recursively to an S3 bucket. With the help of a post from Andy Dote’s blog, I was able to get some files uploaded. However I didn’t like the idea of writing a .tf file from a bash script, so I wanted do this completely inside terraform.

creating the S3 bucket

To begin with, we need an S3 bucket defined in our terraform project. The code block below comes with a website block that sets up web hosting for the bucket.

resource "aws_s3_bucket" "s3_static" {
  bucket  = "testing-website-static-hosting"
  acl     = "public-read"

  website {
    index_document = "index.html"
    error_document = "error.html"

uploading multiple files

Now we need get a set of files from a local directory containing the website using the fileset function.

We then feed that into the for_each to iterate over the set of files and directories matched by the glob. We then continue much in the same way we did in Andy’s post, but leveraging the each.value property in place of the full filename.

The mimetypes variable is used with the file extension taken from the file path split on ..

variable "upload_directory" {
  default = "${path.cwd}/codebases/website-static/"

variable "mime_types" {
  default = {
    htm   = "text/html"
    html  = "text/html"
    css   = "text/css"
    ttf   = "font/ttf"
    js    = "application/javascript"
    map   = "application/javascript"
    json  = "application/json"

resource "aws_s3_bucket_object" "website_files" {
  for_each      = fileset(var.upload_directory, "**/*.*")
  bucket        = aws_s3_bucket.s3_static.bucket
  key           = replace(each.value, var.upload_directory, "")
  source        = "${var.upload_directory}${each.value}"
  acl           = "public-read"
  etag          = filemd5("${var.upload_directory}${each.value}")
  content_type  = lookup(local.mime_types, split(".", each.value)[length(split(".", each.value)) - 1])

no caveats!

The caveat from Andy’s post around deleting files that are no longer in the list is not an issue any longer. If you remove a file from the folder and run terraform plan you will see a deletion.

An execution plan has been generated and is shown below.
Resource actions are indicated with the following symbols:
  - destroy

Terraform will perform the following actions:

  aws_s3_bucket_object.website_files["test.html"] will be destroyed

Hopefully this will help those who are using terraform to host a site in S3. I’ve been using this to build a maintenance holding page for emergency situations where the main application is down.