How to programmatically use your public Internet IP address in Terraform?

Obtain your public IP address and use it in Terraform to create AWS Security Rules.

Programmatically use your public IP in Terraform as source IP for AWS Security Rules

During testing of HashiCorp Terraform plans, sometimes there is a need to create firewall rules that use your current public Internet IP address, for example for SSH access to the created instances.


  • 2020 Jun 29: Upgraded to Terraform 0.12
  • 2020 Oct 19: Set IPV4 switch -4 in dig command as suggested by Reque.

There is an easy way to programmatically obtain the IP address using a Terraform External Data Source.

Create a shell script that obtains the IP address and returns the value in a JSON object.

set -e
INTERNETIP="$(dig +short -4)"
echo $(jq -n --arg internetip "$INTERNETIP" '{"internet_ip":$internetip}')

Call the external data source and use the output in a firewall rule. The example in shows how to use the public IP address in an AWS security rule created by Terraform to allow SSH access.

data "external" "whatismyip" {
  program = ["/bin/bash" , "${path.module}/"]
resource "aws_security_group_rule" "allow_ssh_from_my_ip" {
 type = "ingress"
 from_port = 22
 to_port = 22
 protocol = "tcp"
 cidr_blocks = [format("%s/%s",data.external.whatismyip.result["internet_ip"],32)]
 security_group_id = "sg-123456"

Make sure to install jq utility and also make executable using:

sudo apt-get install jq
chmod 764

Since you are now using an additional data source, the External Data Source, initialize Terraform using:

terraform init

See more Terraform and Ansible examples:

terraform-aws-ec2-rds-basic-free - ITWL_AWS_Terraform_VPC_WP_Security1.png
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Javier Ruiz

IT Wonder Lab tutorials are based on the rich and diverse experience of Javier Ruiz, who founded and bootstrapped a SaaS company in the energy sector. His company, which was later acquired by a NASDAQ traded company, managed over €2 billion per year of electricity for prominent energy producers across Europe and America. Javier has more than 20 years of experience in building and managing IT companies, developing cloud infrastructure, leading cross-functional teams, and transitioning his own company from on-premises, consulting, and custom software development to a successful SaaS model that scaled globally.

4 comments on “How to programmatically use your public Internet IP address in Terraform?”

  1. Just a quick fix because the script wasn’t working for me, I don’t if its due to my distro (Ubuntu 20.04)…

    I’d only added a “-4″ at the end of the dig command:

    set -e
    INTERNETIP=”$(dig +short -4)”
    echo $(jq -n –arg internetip “$INTERNETIP” ‘{“internet_ip”:$internetip}’)

    Now is showing my IPv4, if the IPv6 is required just change the “-4” to “-6” and you’re good to go.

    1. Thanks, Reque, you are right.

      I believe that if you have IPV6 and IPV4 addresses, then the command shows both. Your fix is needed to select the required IP version. I will add it to the tutorial.

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