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Terraform fot d abs()

Ned Bellavance
2 min read

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This post references Terraform version 0.11 and older. Check out the official docs for 0.12 and newer here

This is part of an ongoing series of posts documenting the built-in interpolation functions in Terraform. For more information, check out the beginning post. In this post I am going to cover the abs() function. The example file is on GitHub here.

Function name: abs(float) Returns: The absolute value of the float value passed to the function. Will attempt to perform implicit conversion of other data types to float prior to conversion. Example:

variable "negative_float" {
  default = -3.14159
}

# Returns 3.14159
output "plus_float" {
  value = "${abs(var.plus_float)}"
}

Here’s a generalized example:

##############################################
# Function: abs
##############################################
##############################################
# Variables
##############################################
variable "abs" {
  default = false
}

##############################################
# Resources
##############################################

##############################################
# Outputs
##############################################
output "abs_output" {
  value = "${abs(var.abs)}"
}

Run the following from the abs folder to get example output for a number of different cases:

terraform apply -var 'abs=5'
terraform apply -var 'abs=-5'
terraform apply -var 'abs=3.14159'
terraform apply -var 'abs=3.14149'
terraform apply -var 'abs="-1"'
terraform apply -var 'abs="String"'
terraform apply

I learned in the process that there is an implicit conversion of boolean true to float as 1 and false to float as 0. This conversion only happens when using a default value or passing the value in a tfvars file. True or false passed in the -var agrument will be treated as a string without conversion. Strings will be converted to float if it’s a number, but not if it’s regular text. Fun stuff!

Coming up next is basename().

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