Terraform VS OpenTofu

Terraform VS OpenTofu

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What is Terraform?

  • Terraform is an Infrastructure as a Code(IAC) tool, popularly used in DevOps CI/CD automation of provisioning of infrastructure.

  • Terraform was first released on 28th July 2014 making cloud automation easier for lots of AWS and DigitalOcean users at that time only, introducing the cloud-agnostic syntax of writing scripts to provision infrastructure that was earlier done via either UI or CLI of each cloud provider.

  • Terraform was inspired by AWS CloudFormation to offer Infrastructure as Code (IAC) capabilities for all cloud providers.

  • Now, Terraform has more than 100 million downloads and over 1200 commercial customers and is supported by a growing ecosystem of over 100 technology partners, more than 1000 providers, and more than 5000 modules in the Terraform Registry for ease of developers.

  • Terraform was initially an Open Source project of Hashicorp and any business can use its model starting from 2014, the date of its release. But since the recent year 2023 in August, Terraform announced a business model named Business Source License (BSL) v1.1

What is BSL?

  • The Business Source License (BSL), sometimes called BUSL, is a kind of license that sits between open-source and regular user licenses. It's like having a door that's open for people to look inside or use things for testing, but if you want to use it for making money, there are some rules you need to follow.

Since 2014 Terraform was completely Open-source and in the year 2023, it has changed its model for commercial use.

What is OpenTofu?

Image taken from here.

OpenTofu is a Terraform version made by Terrateam, Terramate, Spacelift, Harness, Env0, Scalr, and others.

They created it because HashiCorp changed its open-source license to the BSL(Business Source Licence). Many communities and businesses supported this initiative, here is the list of businesses supporting OpenTofu.

Why OpenTofu was started?

  • The rules in the BUSL license and the guidelines from HashiCorp are a bit unclear. This makes it hard for companies, vendors, and developers who use Terraform to know what's allowed and what's not.

  • Even though HashiCorp has tried to answer some questions, it's still not clear how these rules might affect Terraform in the future. There's a worry that HashiCorp could change what they mean by words like "competitive" or "embedding," or they might make the license more restrictive. This uncertainty is a problem for Terraform users.

  • The business thinks Terraform should stay open-source. Many companies use it, and it's been successful because lots of people from the community

  • It’s like if the community helped you to grow, then let others grow as well alongside you.

Who is behind OpenTofu?

  • OpenTofu is made by a community of open-source contributors.

Companies Supporting OpenTofu

Linux Foundation

OpenTofu VS Terraform Comparision.

Installation and Use

  • To install and set OpenTofu visit the official GitHub repo and clone the complete repo, since OpenTofu is still a very early-stage product it does not have an executable file or a binary file available that you can set to your system environment.

  • Clone the repo and install Golang along with it, and build the application with the command go build . and you will see it’s building, now you can set it to your system environment and use it.

  • Now just like Terraform, we start with terraform init, with OpenTofu as well run the similar command opentofu init, since OpenTofu is a fork of Terraform each file that runs with the extension .tf can also run and provisioned with OpenTofu.

  • All the commands are still the same with OpenTofu as it’s a fork of Terraform, in the future, you might see some changes in the OpenTofu commands and features.

People Thought on OpenTofu taken from Social media platforms

  • One of the polls on Reddit:

  • People are accepting OpenTofu, but still majority of the people will continue using Terraform.

  • Since Terraform turning to a Business model only affects business, most individual developers prefer to continue with Terraform due to its millions of resources available on the web.

  • Many users on Reddit are still doubting Why to care about OpenTofu.

  • The comment section of this post says a lot about the people doubting OpenTofu over Terraform.

  • There’s a 50/50 community dispersal on this debate, some are in favor of OpenTofu and some are with Terraform since it’s already a completely developed software for IAC users to work with.

Why to Choose OpenTofu

Support from Open Source Community:

  • The big group of experts, people who do the work, and users are the ones who make this open-source project strong. Organizations like the Linux Foundation help keep it stable and make it grow. The community support brought in to know what and how to build new features in the product.

Community-Led Effort:

  • A community can't just create a whole system, it also shows the way forward. When people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas come together, it makes a lively space for sharing experiences and building a project that's ready for people to use.

Impact on Plans and Progress:

  • The power of open-source, community-driven projects like OpenTofu comes from the chance for people to join in, help it get bigger, and shape where it's going.

OpenTofu is a continuously growing technology that is led by open-source contributors and developers around the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Is OpenTofu entirely open-source ?

    • Absolutely, OpenTofu is entirely open-source. It follows the Mozilla Public License and is under the oversight of the Linux Foundation, which guarantees its open-source status and unbiased management structure.
  2. Is it straightforward to switch from Terraform to OpenTofu ?

    • The process of switching from Terraform to OpenTofu is designed to be straightforward because OpenTofu was originally built from Terraform and aims to have similar features. But still, try and test OpenTofu on your test environments before implementing it on the whole ecosystem.

To learn more about OpenTofu visit here.

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