Deploy an Ubuntu/Debian Amazon Web Services server with Terraform

This guide provides the information you need to deploy an Ubuntu/Debian Amazon Web Services Cloud Server with systemd and a bastion to your Advanced Server Access team with Terraform. Depending on your target server and enrollment type some topics in this guide may not apply to you, such as if your team's project will not be using terraform or if you plan to add a different server type to your project. Modify your steps as needed to fit your team or refer to a different guide on the cloud deployments page.

Creating a cloud server with Terraform means installing the Terraform tool on your personal machine and using an Access ID, enrollment token, and secret ID to create servers on the Amazon Web Services console. Once created, your new servers should list automatically within your team's console in Advanced Server Access.

Note: For this guide we used the ScaleFT ubuntu-behind-bastion StarterKit provided by Okta on Github as our terraform module. For your setup, use your company's Terraform repo for you production environment instead, though you should still end up with similar configuration values in your terraform.tfvars file.


You need the following permissions you need to deploy an Amazon Web Services Server with Terraform:

Amazon Web Services

Requirement Description
Amazon Web Services Account An Amazon Web Services account is needed to access the AWS Management console, where you can create a Virtual Machine for your team.

Advanced Server Access

Requirement Description
Advanced Server Access team This is the top-level object that is representing an organization within Advanced Server Access.
Advanced Server Access project This is the authorization-scope of your team, organizing your users, groups, and servers.


Deploying an Amazon Web Services Server with Terraform can be done in 3 steps:

  1. Download and install Terraform.
  2. Locate your Amazon Web Services security credentials.
  3. Configure Terraform for Amazon Web Services and Advanced Server Access.


Download and install Terraform

  1. Download the Terraform installer from the official site.

  2. Unzip the downloaded file and run the unix executable.

Locate and save your Amazon Web Services security credentials

  1. Navigate to the Amazon Web Services console and sign in to your account.
  2. Click the dropdown next to your username in the top-right corner of the console and select My Security Credentials.

    If prompted with another window concerning AWS Identity and Access Management users, click Continue to Security Credentials.

  3. Expand Access Keys (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key).
  4. Click Create New Access Key, then expand Hide Access Key to see your new access key ID and secret access key.
  5. Copy the access key ID and then secret access key and save them both in a secure location.

Configure Terraform for Advanced Server Access and Amazon Web Services

  1. Open your machine's console and run the ls -a command to see the folders in your home directory.

  2. Create a file named terraform.tfvars and add the following lines:




  3. Save the file and place it in your Terraform module.

  4. In your machine's console, run the which terraform command to confirm that your terraform path exists. Depending on your platform, the output should look something like the following:


  5. Confirm that you are in your Terraform module before running terraform init.
  6. Confirm that the information you saved to your terraform.tfvars file is correct by running terraform plan. If you receive any errors, troubleshoot as needed before proceeding.
  7. Run terraform apply to begin creating your servers. If prompted for approval, type yes and press return on your keyboard.

Navigate to the Advanced Server Access console and confirm that your new servers are listed before attempting to SSH into your team's servers.