IaC describe


Note: This feature is available in Snyk CLI version v1.876.0 or greater.

snyk iac describe [<OPTIONS>]


The snyk iac describe command detects unmanaged infrastructure resources. It compares resources in your Terraform state file against actual resources in your cloud provider and outputs a report.

  • Resources in your Terraform state files are managed resources.

  • Resources that exist but are not in your Terraform state file are unmanaged resources.

For detailed information and examples, see IaC describe command examples

For a list of related commands see the snyk iac help; iac --help

Exit codes

Possible exit codes and their meaning:

0: success, no drift found 1: unmanaged resources found 2: failure

Configure the Snyk CLI

You can use environment variables and set variables for connecting with the Snyk API; see Configure the Snyk CLI

Configure the Terraform provider

You can set environment variables to configure the Terraform provider used by the describe command; see Configure cloud providers


Use the -d option to output the debug logs.

Optional arguments


Specify the <ORG_ID> to run Snyk commands tied to a specific Snyk Organization. Overrides the default <ORG_ID> that is the current preferred Organization in your Account settings

Note that you can also use --org=<orgslugname>. The ORG_ID works in both the CLI and the API. The Organization slug name works in the CLI, but not in the API.

For more information, see the article How to select the Organization to use in the CLI


Specify multiple Terraform state files to be read. Glob patterns are supported.

For more information, including a list of supported IaC sources and how to use them, see IAC Sources usage


Specify the cloud provider to scan (default: AWS with Terraform).

Supported providers:

  • github+tf (GitHub with Terraform)

  • aws+tf (Amazon Web Services with Terraform)

  • gcp+tf (Google Cloud Platform with Terraform)

  • azure+tf (Azure with Terraform)


Specify a Terraform provider version to use. If none is specified, default versions are used as follows:

  • aws@3.19.0

  • github@4.4.0

  • google@3.78.0

  • azurerm@2.71.0


Read the Terraform lock file (.terraform.lock.hcl) from a custom path (default: current directory).

If parsing the lockfile fails, errors are logged and scan continues.

Note: When you are using both the --tf-lockfile and --tf-provider-version options together, --tf-provider-version takes precedence.


Use a specific HTTP header or headers for the HTTP backend when fetching Terraform state.


Specify an API token to authenticate to the Terraform Cloud or Enterprise API.


Read the current state for a given workspace from Terraform Enterprise by passing the tfc-endpoint value that is specific to your org's Terraform Enterprise installation.


Change the directory path used for iac describe configuration (default $HOME). This can be useful, for example, if you want to invoke this command in an AWS Lambda function where you can only use the /tmp folder.

Options for including and excluding resources


Specify the services whose resources are inspected for drift or unmanaged resources.

This option cannot be used with a .snyk drift ignore rule; the content in .snyk will be ignored.

Supported services: aws_s3, aws_ec2, aws_lambda, aws_rds, aws_route53, aws_iam , aws_vpc, aws_api_gateway, aws_apigatewayv2, aws_sqs, aws_sns, aws_ecr, aws_cloudfront, aws_kms, aws_dynamodb, azure_base, azure_compute, azure_storage, azure_network, azure_container, azure_database, azure_loadbalancer, azure_private_dns, google_cloud_platform, google_cloud_storage, google_compute_engine, google_cloud_dns, google_cloud_bigtable, google_cloud_bigquery, google_cloud_functions, google_cloud_sql, google_cloud_run


Use filter rules.

Filter rules allow you to build a JMESPath expression to include or exclude a set of resources from the report.

For more information, see Filter results


Enable strict mode.

The iac describe command ignores service-linked resources by default (like service-linked AWS IAM roles, their policies, and policy attachments). To include those resources in the report you can enable strict mode. Note that this can create noise when used with an AWS account.

Options for policies


Ignore all set policies, the current policy in the .snyk file, org level ignores, and the project policy in the Snyk Web UI.


Manually pass a path to a .snyk policy file.

Options for output


Output only the scan result to stdout.


Output the report as a JSON data structure to stdout.


Output the report as html to stdout.


Output the report as html into a file.

Examples for snyk iac describe command

For more examples, see IaC describe command examples

Detect unmanaged resources on AWS with a single local Terraform state

$ snyk iac describe --from="tfstate://terraform.tfstate"

Specify AWS credentials


Use an AWS named profile

$ AWS_PROFILE=profile_name snyk iac describe

Use a single Terraform state stored on an S3 backend

$ snyk iac describe --from="tfstate+s3://my-bucket/path/to/state.tfstate"

Aggregate multiple Terraform states

$ snyk iac describe --from="tfstate://terraform_S3.tfstate,tfstate://terraform_VPC.tfstate"

Aggregate many Terraform states using glob pattern

$ snyk iac describe --from="tfstate://path/to/**/*.tfstate"

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