I'm trying to use terraform to manage AWS resources and trying to set up the credentials configuration. I'm following the official documentation: https://www.terraform.io/docs/providers/aws/index.html

My first idea was set a shared credentials file so I configure it:

  • ~.aws/credentials

  • ~.aws/config

  • app/main.tf

    provider "aws" {
        region = "us-east-1"
        version = "~> 2.0"
        profile = "default"
    terraform {
        backend "s3" {
            bucket = "example-bucket"
            key    = "terraform-test.tfstate"
            region = "us-east-1"

When I run terraform init I receive the following message:

Error: No valid credential sources found for AWS Provider.
        Please see https://terraform.io/docs/providers/aws/index.html for more information on
        providing credentials for the AWS Provider

I have already tested the credentials using aws cli and it's working perfectly.

After that, I tried to configure static credentials in main.tf like this:

provider "aws" {
    region = "us-east-1"
    version = "~> 2.0"
    access_key = "****"
    secret_key = "****"

Same error...

I decided to test with environment variables and then it worked. But now I want to know why I could not configure with static variables or shared config file. All this cases was described in the official docs, what am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


The easiest way I've found to properly set credentials for my local runs and remote terraform cloud runs is to use environment variables. Before running set the environment variables for


This should allow you to run in both Linux, PowerShell or even remote runs in Terraform cloud without issue.

I've gone between various approaches and this has provided me the easiest workflow. If you're doing this in AWS directly then of course you could use IAM instance role and avoid credentials altogether. This wouldn't allow you to keep the same workflow for local and remote though.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.