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Serhii Vasylenko for AWS Community Builders

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Terraforming mac1.metal at AWS

Updated on the 23rd of October, 2021: Terraform AWS provider now supports Dedicated Hosts natively

In November 2021, AWS announced the support for Mac mini instances.

I believe this is huge, even despite the number of constraints this solution has. This offering opens the door to seamless macOS CI/CD integration into existing AWS infrastructure.

So here is a quick-start example of creating the dedicated host and the instance altogether using Terraform.

I intentionally used some hardcoded values for the sake of simplicity in the example.

resource "aws_ec2_host" "example_host" {
  instance_type     = "mac1.metal"
  availability_zone = "us-east-1a"

resource "aws_instance" "example_instance" {
  ami           =
  host_id       =
  instance_type = "mac1.metal"
  subnet_id     =

data "aws_subnet" "example_subnet" {
  availability_zone = "us-east-1a"
  filter {
    name   = "tag:Tier" # you should omit this filter if you don't distinguish your subnets on private and public 
    values = ["private"]

data "aws_ami" "mac1metal" {
  owners      = ["amazon"]
  most_recent = true
  filter {
    name   = "name"
    values = ["amzn-ec2-macos-11*"] # get latest BigSur AMI
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Simple as that, yes. Now, you can integrate it into your CI system and have the Mac instance with the underlying host in a bundle.

💡 Pro tip: you can leverage the aws_ec2_instance_type_offerings Data Source and use its output with aws_subnet source to avoid availability zone hardcoding.

To make the code more uniform and reusable, you can wrap it into a Terraform module that accepts specific parameters (such as instance_type or availability_zone) as input variables.

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Top comments (4)

danieldias profile image
Daniel Dias

This terraform module will use the same approach to solve the problem:
Terraform AWS provider has a pull request to solve this problem open for more than 1 year :(
If you used this feature, please upvote the PR

svasylenko profile image
Serhii Vasylenko

Yeah, that issue already has my vote, as well as related PR. But still no luck :(

kondetiram profile image

Hello Daniel,
Can we create multiple dedicated hosts and mac instances from your script

svasylenko profile image
Serhii Vasylenko

@kondetiram hi there! :) Check out the update to this article — Terraform now supports Dedicated Hosts natively. So you can create a module and define the count argument for it nice and easy now 🤗

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