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Style Conventions

The OpenTofu parser allows you some flexibility in how you lay out the elements in your configuration files, but the OpenTofu language also has some idiomatic style conventions which we recommend users always follow for consistency between files and modules written by different teams. Automatic source code formatting tools may apply these conventions automatically.

  • Indent two spaces for each nesting level.

  • When multiple arguments with single-line values appear on consecutive lines at the same nesting level, align their equals signs:

    Code Block
    ami           = "abc123"
    instance_type = "t2.micro"
  • When both arguments and blocks appear together inside a block body, place all of the arguments together at the top and then place nested blocks below them. Use one blank line to separate the arguments from the blocks.

  • Use empty lines to separate logical groups of arguments within a block.

  • For blocks that contain both arguments and "meta-arguments" (as defined by the OpenTofu language semantics), list meta-arguments first and separate them from other arguments with one blank line. Place meta-argument blocks last and separate them from other blocks with one blank line.

    Code Block
    resource "aws_instance" "example" {
    count = 2 # meta-argument first

    ami = "abc123"
    instance_type = "t2.micro"

    network_interface {
    # ...

    lifecycle { # meta-argument block last
    create_before_destroy = true
  • Top-level blocks should always be separated from one another by one blank line. Nested blocks should also be separated by blank lines, except when grouping together related blocks of the same type (like multiple provisioner blocks in a resource).

  • Avoid grouping multiple blocks of the same type with other blocks of a different type, unless the block types are defined by semantics to form a family. (For example: root_block_device, ebs_block_device and ephemeral_block_device on aws_instance form a family of block types describing AWS block devices, and can therefore be grouped together and mixed.)