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type Function

type returns the type of a given value.

Sometimes an OpenTofu configuration can result in confusing errors regarding inconsistent types. This function displays OpenTofu's evaluation of a given value's type, which is useful in understanding this error message.

This is a special function which is only available in the tofu console command. It can only be used to examine the type of a given value, and should not be used in more complex expressions.


Here we have a conditional output which prints either the value of var.list or a local named default_list:

Code Block
variable "list" {
default = []

locals {
default_list = [
foo = "bar"
map = { bleep = "bloop" }
beep = "boop"

output "list" {
value = var.list != [] ? var.list : local.default_list

Applying this configuration results in the following error:

Code Block
Error: Inconsistent conditional result types

on line 18, in output "list":
18: value = var.list != [] ? var.list : local.default_list
| local.default_list is tuple with 2 elements
| var.list is empty tuple

The true and false result expressions must have consistent types. The given
expressions are tuple and tuple, respectively.

While this error message does include some type information, it can be helpful to inspect the exact type that OpenTofu has determined for each given input. Examining both var.list and local.default_list using the type function provides more context for the error message:

Code Block
> type(var.list)
> type(local.default_list)
foo: string,
map: object({
bleep: string,
beep: string,