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Resource persistence

Resource persistence

Resource persistence

By default, all Coder resources are persistent, but production templates must use the practices laid out in this document to prevent accidental deletion.

Coder templates have full control over workspace ephemerality. In a completely ephemeral workspace, there are zero resources in the Off state. In a completely persistent workspace, there is no difference between the Off and On states.

The needs of most workspaces fall somewhere in the middle, persisting user data like filesystem volumes, but deleting expensive, reproducible resources such as compute instances.

Disabling persistence

The Terraform coder_workspace data source exposes the start_count = [0 | 1] attribute. To make a resource ephemeral, you can assign the start_count attribute to resource's count meta-argument.

In this example, Coder will provision or tear down the docker_container resource:

data "coder_workspace" "me" {
}

resource "docker_container" "workspace" {
  # When `start_count` is 0, `count` is 0, so no `docker_container` is created.
  count = data.coder_workspace.me.start_count # 0 (stopped), 1 (started)
  # ... other config
}

⚠️ Persistence pitfalls

Take this example resource:

data "coder_workspace" "me" {
}

resource "docker_volume" "home_volume" {
  name = "coder-${data.coder_workspace.me.owner}-home"
}

Because we depend on coder_workspace.me.owner, if the owner changes their username, Terraform will recreate the volume (wiping its data!) the next time that Coder starts the workspace.

To prevent this, use immutable IDs:

  • coder_workspace.me.owner_id
  • coder_workspace.me.id
data "coder_workspace" "me" {
}

resource "docker_volume" "home_volume" {
  # This volume will survive until the Workspace is deleted or the template
  # admin changes this resource block.
  name = "coder-${data.coder_workspace.id}-home"
}

🛡 Bulletproofing

Even if your persistent resource depends exclusively on immutable IDs, a change to the name format or other attributes would cause Terraform to rebuild the resource.

You can prevent Terraform from recreating a resource under any circumstance by setting the ignore_changes = all directive in the lifecycle block.

data "coder_workspace" "me" {
}

resource "docker_volume" "home_volume" {
  # This resource will survive until either the entire block is deleted
  # or the workspace is.
  name = "coder-${data.coder_workspace.me.id}-home"
  lifecycle {
    ignore_changes = all
  }
}
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