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I'm in the process of converting a legacy aws setup into Terraform and have the following:

ci
  - main.tf
ci/worker
    - main.tf

In ci I have an aws security group which I want to reference in my submodules. Currently I have:

vpc_security_group_ids      = ["${aws_security_group.vpc-idhere.id}"]

Which errors with:

A managed resource "aws_security_group" "vpc-idhere" has not been declared in ci-workers.

The security group is defined in ci/main.tf

How do I correctly reference a resource in a sub module?

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When calling across module boundaries you need to use variables/outputs to pass references to resources; modules can't peek inside other modules.

So your ci-workers module will need to declare an input variable such as:

variable "vpc_security_group_ids" {
  description = "List of VPC security group IDs"
  type        = list
}

You then use ${var.vpc_security_group_ids} within the module. Then when you instantiate this module, you can pass in the IDs from the parent:

module "ci-workers" {
  source                 = "..."
  vpc_security_group_ids = ["${aws_security_group.vpc-idhere.id}"]
}

See the module documentation for more information.

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