Create Terraform constraints

Before you begin

Constraint Framework

gcloud beta terraform vet uses Constraint Framework policies, which consist of constraints and constraint templates. The difference between the two is as follows:

  • A constraint template is like a function declaration; it defines a rule in Rego and optionally takes input parameters.
  • A constraint is a file that references a constraint template and defines the input parameters to pass to it and the resources covered by the policy.

This allows you to avoid repetition. You can write a constraint template with a generic policy, then write any number of constraints that provide different input parameters or different resource matching rules.

Create a constraint template

To create a constraint template, follow these steps:

  1. Collect sample data.
  2. Write Rego.
  3. Test your Rego.
  4. Set up a constraint template skeleton.
  5. Inline your Rego.
  6. Set up a constraint.

Collect sample data

In order to write a constraint template, you need to have sample data to operate on. Terraform-based constraints operate on resource change data, which comes from the resource_changes key of Terraform plan JSON.

For example, your JSON might look like this:

// tfplan.json
  "format_version": "0.2",
  "terraform_version": "1.0.10",
  "resource_changes": [
      "address": "google_compute_address.internal_with_subnet_and_address",
      "mode": "managed",
      "type": "google_compute_address",
      "name": "internal_with_subnet_and_address",
      "provider_name": "",
      "change": {
        "actions": [
        "before": null,
        "after": {
          "address": "",
          "address_type": "INTERNAL",
          "description": null,
          "name": "my-internal-address",
          "network": null,
          "prefix_length": null,
          "region": "us-central1",
          "timeouts": null
        "after_unknown": {
          "creation_timestamp": true,
          "id": true,
          "network_tier": true,
          "project": true,
          "purpose": true,
          "self_link": true,
          "subnetwork": true,
          "users": true
        "before_sensitive": false,
        "after_sensitive": {
          "users": []
  // other data

Write Rego

After you have sample data, you can write the logic for your constraint template in Rego. Your Rego must have a violations rule. The resource change being reviewed is available as Constraint parameters are available as input.parameters. For example, to require that google_compute_address resources have an allowed address_type, write:

# validator/tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.rego
package templates.gcp.TFComputeAddressAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1

  "msg": message,
  "details": metadata,
}] {
  resource :=
  resource.type == "google_compute_address"

  allowed_address_types := input.parameters.allowed_address_types
  count({resource.after.address_type} & allowed_address_types) >= 1
  message := sprintf(
    "Compute address %s has a disallowed address_type: %s",
    [resource.address, resource.after.address_type]
  metadata := {"resource":}

Name your constraint template

The previous example uses the name TFComputeAddressAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1. This is a unique identifier for each constraint template. We recommend following these naming guidelines:

  • General format: TF{resource}{feature}Constraint{version}. Use CamelCase. (In other words, capitalize each new word.)
  • For single-resource constraints, follow the Terraform provider's conventions for product naming. For example, for google_tags_tag the product name is tags even though the API name is resourcemanager.
  • If a template applies to more than one type of resource, omit the resource part and only include the feature (example: "TFAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1").
  • The version number does not follow semver form; it is just a single number. This effectively makes every version of a template an unique template.

We recommend using a name for your Rego file that matches the constraint template name, but using snake_case. In other words, convert the name to lowercase separate words with _. For the previous example, the recommended filename is tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.rego

Test your Rego

You can test your Rego manually with the Rego Playground. Make sure to use non-sensitive data.

We recommend writing automated tests. Put your collected sample data in validator/test/fixtures/<constraint filename>/resource_changes/data.json and reference it in your test file like this:

# validator/tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1_test.rego
package templates.gcp.TFComputeAddressAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1

import data.test.fixtures.tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1_test.resource_changes as resource_changes

test_violation_with_disallowed_address_type {
  parameters := {
    "allowed_address_types": "EXTERNAL"
  violations := violation with as resource_changes[_]
    with input.parameters as parameters
  count(violations) == 1

Place your Rego and your test in the validator folder in your policy library.

Set up a constraint template skeleton

After you have a working and tested Rego rule, you must package it as a constraint template. Constraint Framework uses Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions as the container for the policy Rego.

The constraint template also defines what parameters are allowed as inputs from constraints, using the OpenAPI V3 schema.

Use the same name for the skeleton as you used for your Rego. In particular:

  • Use the same filename as for your Rego. Example: tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.yaml
  • spec.crd.spec.names.kind must contain the template name
  • must contain the template name, but lower-cased

Place the constraint template skeleton in policies/templates.

For the example above:

# policies/templates/tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.yaml
kind: ConstraintTemplate
  name: tfcomputeaddressaddresstypeallowlistconstraintv1
        kind: TFComputeAddressAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1
              description: "A list of address_types allowed, for example: ['INTERNAL']"
              type: array
                type: string
    - target:
      rego: |

Inline your Rego

At this point, following the previous example, your directory layout looks like this:

| policy-library/
|- validator/
||- tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.rego
||- tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1_test.rego
|- policies
||- templates
|||- tf_compute_address_address_type_allowlist_constraint_v1.yaml

If you cloned the Google-provided policy-library repository, you can run make build to automatically update your constraint templates in policies/templates with the Rego defined in validator.

Set up a constraint

Constraints contain three pieces of information that gcloud beta terraform vet needs to properly enforce and report violations:

  • severity: low, medium, or high
  • match: parameters for determining if a constraint applies to a particular resource. The following match parameters are supported:
    • addresses: A list of resource addresses to include using glob-style matching
    • excludedAddresses: (Optional) A list of resource addresses to exclude using glob-style matching.
  • parameters: Values for the constraint template's input parameters.

Make sure that kind contains the constraint template name. We recommend setting to a descriptive slug.

For example, to only allow INTERNAL address types using the previous example constraint template, write:

# policies/constraints/tf_compute_address_internal_only.yaml
kind: TFComputeAddressAddressTypeAllowlistConstraintV1
  name: tf_compute_address_internal_only
  severity: high
    - "**"
    - "INTERNAL"

Matching examples:

Address matcher Description
`module.**` All resources in any module
`module.my_module.**` Everything in module `my_module`
`**.google_compute_global_forwarding_rule.*` All google_compute_global_forwarding_rule resources in any module
`module.my_module.google_compute_global_forwarding_rule.*` All google_compute_global_forwarding_rule resources in `my_module`

If a resource address matches values in addresses and excludedAddresses, it is excluded.


Terraform plan data gives the best available representation of actual state after apply. However, in many cases, the state after apply might not be known because it is calculated on the server side.

Building CAI ancestry paths is part of the process when validating policies. It uses the default project provided to get around unknown project IDs. In the case where a default project is not provided, the ancestry path defaults to organizations/unknown.

You can disallow unknown ancestry by adding the following constraint:

kind: GCPAlwaysViolatesConstraintV1
  name: disallow_unknown_ancestry
    description: |
      Unknown ancestry is not allowed; use --project=<project> to set a
      default ancestry
  severity: high
    - "organizations/unknown"
  parameters: {}

Supported resources

You can create resource change constraints for any Terraform resource from any Terraform provider.