Setting up templates
Provider authentication

Provider authentication

Do not store secrets in templates. Assume every user has cleartext access to every template.

The Coder server's provisioner process needs to authenticate with other provider APIs to provision workspaces. There are two approaches to do this:

  • Pass credentials to the provisioner as parameters.
  • Preferred: Execute the Coder server in an environment that is authenticated with the provider.

We encourage the latter approach where supported:

  • Simplifies the template.
  • Keeps provider credentials out of Coder's database, making it a less valuable target for attackers.
  • Compatible with agent-based authentication schemes, which handle credential rotation or ensure the credentials are not written to disk.

Generally, you can set up an environment to provide credentials to Coder in these ways:

  • A well-known location on disk. For example, ~/.aws/credentials for AWS on POSIX systems.
  • Environment variables.

It is usually sufficient to authenticate using the CLI or SDK for the provider before running Coder, but check the Terraform provider's documentation for details.

These platforms have Terraform providers that support authenticated environments:

Other providers might also support authenticated environments. Check the documentation of the Terraform provider for details.

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