Refreshing Terraform state is done by adding the
-refresh-only flag (since
terraform refresh is depricated) when running
apply operations. To start off, what does it mean and why are you getting stdout messsages telling you to add the
-refresh-only flag on the next plan/apply operation?
Refreshing the Terraform state means that TF will read the up-to-date configs from all managed cloud resources and update the TF state to match.
Basically, you are getting the
-refresh-only stdout messages when there is a TF state drift that has happened outside of Terraform since it’s last run.
A drift could happen because of a manual configuration update done by a team member, or even worse, by an unauthorized person, a TF misconfiguration, not using lifecycle blocks to ignore certain resources that are frequently updated by another app (CI/CD for example), not covering edge cases, and so on.
Once you are asked to refresh the TF state, run the following command:
terraform apply -refresh-only
Note: Add the
-auto-approve flag if you don’t want to be prompt to type
yes once TF compares the state with the remote resources configs, but I’m strongly against it.
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