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Integrating Terrascan into CI/CD

Terrascan can be integrated into CI/CD pipelines to enforce security best practices as codified in the OPA rego policies included as part of Terrascan or any custom policies. This section contains examples on how to configure Terrascan in popular CI/CD tooling.

GitHub Actions

Terrascan can be configured as a job within GitHub actions workflows. A straightforward way to accomplish this is by using the super-linter GitHub action which includes Terrascan. Note that at the moment super-linter only supports scanning Terraform HCL files.

When using super-linter you can pass the environment variable "VALIDATE_TERRAFORM_TERRASCAN: true" to ensure that Terraform configuration files are evaluated using Terrascan. To configure your GitHub actions workflow a file with the below YAML content can be included within the .github/workflows/ directory of your repository.

name: Scan Code Base
    branches: [master]
    name: Scan Code Base
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: Checkout Code
        uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - name: Scan Code Base
        uses: github/super-linter@v3
          DEFAULT_BRANCH: master
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

Documentation on the GitHub actions workflow syntax is available here.

GitLab CI

GitLab CI can use Docker images as part of a pipeline. We can take advantage of this functionality and use Terrascan's docker image as part of your pipeline to scan infrastructure as code.

To do this you can update your .gitlab-ci.yml file to use the "accurics/terrascan:latest" image with the ["bin/sh", "-c"] entrypoint. Terrascan can be found on "/go/bin" in the image and you can use any Terrascan command line options according to your needs. Here's an example .gitlab-ci.yml file:

  - scan

    name: accurics/terrascan:latest
    entrypoint: ["/bin/sh", "-c"]
  stage: scan
    - /go/bin/terrascan scan .

Argo CD Application PreSync Hooks

Terrascan can be configured as an Argo CD job during the application sync process using resource hooks. The PreSync resource hook is the best way to evaluate the kubernetes deployment configuration and report any violations.


Adding the Terrascan job consists of two steps:

  1. Creating a container which runs Terrascan
  2. Configuring a PreSync hook which uses that container

We'll address the PreSync hook first.

Step 1: Configure PreSync resource hook

The following example hooks yaml is mostly ready to be added to an existing kubernetes configuration. Just make sure the secrets volume is relevant, specify your new Terrascan container image, and make sure the embedded script scans your repo and sends notifications to your Slack webhook endpoint.

apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
  generateName: terrascan-hook-
  annotations: PreSync
  ttlSecondsAfterFinished: 3600
      - name: secret-volume
          secretName: ssh-key-secret    
      - name: terrascan-argocd
        image: "<your container namespace>/<your container build from step #2 below>:<hash>"
        command: ["/bin/ash", "-c"]
        - >
          cp /etc/secret-volume/ssh-privatekey /home/terrascan/.ssh/id_rsa &&
          chmod 400 /home/terrascan/.ssh/id_rsa &&
          /go/bin/terrascan scan -r git -u <git URL to scan> -i k8s -t k8s | /home/terrascan/bin/ webhook-tests argo-cd
          - name: secret-volume
            readOnly: true
            mountPath: "/etc/secret-volume"
      restartPolicy: Never
  backoffLimit: 1

As shown, the PreSync requires access to the repository where IaC is stored, using the same branch (default) as the Argo CD application pipeline.

For non-public repositories, the private key needs to be added as a kubernetes secret.

  kubectl create secret generic ssh-key-secret \
    --from-file=ssh-privatekey=/path/to/.ssh/id_rsa \

Configuring the job to delete only after the specified time see ttlSecondsAfterFinished will allow users to check for violations in the User Interface, the alternative is through notifications.


Step 2: Create Terrascan container

The container which runs Terrascan can be built using the following files: known_hosts,, Dockerfile.


The known_hosts file ensures that the container will be able to clone your project's git repository in order to scan it. Hashes for the most common public repository hosts are included here, and you may add hashes for any private hosts which you need to access in order to clone your project.

# known_hosts, ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAq2A7hRGmdnm9tUDbO9IDSwBK6TbQa+PXYPCPy6rbTrTtw7PHkccKrpp0yVhp5HdEIcKr6pLlVDBfOLX9QUsyCOV0wzfjIJNlGEYsdlLJizHhbn2mUjvSAHQqZETYP81eFzLQNnPHt4EVVUh7VfDESU84KezmD5QlWpXLmvU31/yMf+Se8xhHTvKSCZIFImWwoG6mbUoWf9nzpIoaSjB+weqqUUmpaaasXVal72J+UX2B+2RPW3RcT0eOzQgqlJL3RKrTJvdsjE3JEAvGq3lGHSZXy28G3skua2SmVi/w4yCE6gbODqnTWlg7+wC604ydGXA8VJiS5ap43JXiUFFAaQ==, ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAubiN81eDcafrgMeLzaFPsw2kNvEcqTKl/VqLat/MaB33pZy0y3rJZtnqwR2qOOvbwKZYKiEO1O6VqNEBxKvJJelCq0dTXWT5pbO2gDXC6h6QDXCaHo6pOHGPUy+YBaGQRGuSusMEASYiWunYN0vCAI8QaXnWMXNMdFP3jHAJH0eDsoiGnLPBlBp4TNm6rYI74nMzgz3B9IikW4WVK+dc8KZJZWYjAuORU3jc1c/NPskD2ASinf8v3xnfXeukU0sJ5N6m5E8VLjObPEO+mN2t/FZTMZLiFqPWc/ALSqnMnnhwrNi2rbfg/rd/IpL8Le3pSBne8+seeFVBoGqzHM9yXw==, ecdsa-sha2-nistp256 AAAAE2VjZHNhLXNoYTItbmlzdHAyNTYAAAAIbmlzdHAyNTYAAABBBFSMqzJeV9rUzU4kWitGjeR4PWSa29SPqJ1fVkhtj3Hw9xjLVXVYrU9QlYWrOLXBpQ6KWjbjTDTdDkoohFzgbEY=

The script is used to send a Slack notification after the scan completes. This example expects the channel name, username, and webhook URL to be passed as command line arguments from the PreSync hook which invokes this container. You may modify this script if you wish to send notifications in a different way.


function send_slack_notificaton {

  curl -X POST --data-urlencode payload="{\"channel\": \"#${channel}\", \"username\": \"${username}\", \"text\": \" \`\`\` $(cat results.out) \`\`\` \", \"icon_emoji\": \":ghost:\"}" ${slack_hook}

if [ -p /dev/stdin ]; then
  echo "processing terrascan results"
  while IFS= read line; do
          echo "${line}" | tr '\\"' ' ' >> results.out

  cat results.out

  send_slack_notificaton $1 $2 $3

  echo "notification exit code: $?"
  echo "no response skipping"


The Dockerfile is, of course, used to build the container. In this case, we start with the official Terrascan image and we add in the above files to ensure we can access the repository and send notifications.

# Dockerfile
  FROM accurics/terrascan:929e377


  USER root 

  RUN apk add --no-cache openssh curl

  WORKDIR /home/terrascan

  RUN mkdir -p .ssh && mkdir -p bin

  COPY known_hosts .ssh

  COPY bin/

  RUN chown -R terrascan:terrascan .ssh && \
      chown -R terrascan:terrascan bin && \
      chmod 400 .ssh/known_hosts && \
      chmod u+x bin/

  USER terrascan

  CMD ["ash"]

Once you've built the image and pushed to your container registry, you can add the PreSync hook which will automatically run Terrascan during the application sync process.