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External resources

Info

These resources are optional, the homelab still works without them but will lack some features like trusted certificates and offsite backup

Although I try to keep the amount of external resources to the minimum, there's still need for a few of them. Below is a list of external resources and why we need them (also see some alternatives below).

Provider Resource Purpose
Terraform Cloud Workspace Terraform state backend
Cloudflare DNS DNS and DNS-01 challenge for certificates
Cloudflare Tunnel Public services to the internet without port-forwarding

Create credentials

You'll be asked to provide these credentials on first build.

Create Terraform workspace

Terraform is stateful, which means it needs somewhere to store its state. Terraform Cloud is one option for a state backend with a generous free tier, perfect for a homelab.

  1. Sign up for a Terraform Cloud account
  2. Create a workspace named homelab-external, this is the workspace where your homelab state will be stored.
  3. Change the "Execution Mode" from "Remote" to "Local". This will ensure your local machine, which can access your lab, is the one executing the terraform plan rather than the cloud runners.

If you decide to use a different Terraform backend, you'll need to edit the external/versions.tf file as required.

Cloudflare

Alternatives

  • Terraform Cloud: any other Terraform backends
  • Cloudflare DNS: see manual DNS setup
  • Cloudflare Tunnel: you can create a small VPS in the cloud and utilize Wireguard and HAProxy to route traffic via it, or just use simple port-forwarding if it's available (see also awesome tunneling)