Authoring a Policy Pack (Preview)

Policy as Code is a beta feature and is subject to breaking changes. The open source `--policy-pack` flag is free and available for all to use. A preview of the feature is also available in the Pulumi Console, which enables you to enforce policies across an organization. To get access, submit a request here.

  1. Create a directory for your new Policy Pack, and change into it.

    $ mkdir policypack && cd policypack
  2. Run the pulumi policy new command. Since Policy as Code is a beta feature, you will need to set PULUMI_DEBUG_COMMANDS=true as an environment variable or simply pre-append it to your commands as shown. (Note: Pulumi 1.4.1 or later is required to use pulumi policy new command.)

    $ PULUMI_DEBUG_COMMANDS=true pulumi policy new aws-typescript
    Created Policy Pack!
    Installing dependencies...
    Finished installing dependencies
    Your new Policy Pack is ready to go! ✨
    Once you're done editing your Policy Pack, run `pulumi policy publish <org-name>/<policy-pack-name>` to publish the pack.
  3. Tweak the Policy Pack in the index.ts file as desired. The existing policy in the template (which is annotated below) mandates that an AWS S3 bucket not have public read or write permissions enabled. A Policy Pack can contain up to 25 Policies. Each Policy must have a unique name, an enforcement level and at least one rule. Here we use a typeRule that allows us to create an assertion against all S3 resources.

    // Create a new Policy Pack.
    new PolicyPack("policy-pack-typescript", {
        // Specify the Policies in the Policy Pack.
        policies: [{
            // The name for the Policy must be unique within the Pack.
            name: "s3-no-public-read",
            // The description should document what the Policy does and why it exists.
            description: "Prohibits setting the publicRead or publicReadWrite   permission on AWS S3 buckets.",
            // The enforcement level can either be "advisory" or "mandatory". An    "advisory" enforcement level
            // simply prints a warning for users, while a "mandatory" policy will block     an update from proceeding.
            enforcementLevel: "mandatory",
            // One or more rules can be specified as part of a Policy.
            rules: [
                // The typedRule function allows you to filter resources. In this case,     the rule only
                // applies to S3 buckets and asserts that the acl is not "public-read"  nor "public-read-write".
                // If the assertion fails, the custom assertion message will be     displayed to users.
                typedRule(aws.s3.Bucket.isInstance, it => assert.ok(it.acl !==  "public-read"
                    && it.acl !== "public-read-write",
                    "You cannot set public-read or public-read-write on an S3 bucket. "     +
                    "Read more about ACLs here:   latest/dev/acl-overview.html")),

    You can find more example Policy Packs in the examples repo. Best practices for writing a Policy Pack can be found here.

Testing the Policy Pack Locally

Policy Packs can be tested on a user’s local workstation to facilitate rapid development and testing of policies. This removes the step of publishing and applying policy packs to the Pulumi Console and lets developers reference a policy pack on their local workstation.

  1. Run npm install in the Policy Pack directory.

  2. Use the --policy-pack flag with pulumi preview or pulumi up to specify the path to the directory containing your Policy Pack when previewing/updating a Pulumi project.

    If you don’t have a Pulumi project readily available, you can create a new project for testing by running pulumi new aws-typescript in an empty directory. This AWS example will create an S3 bucket, which is perfect for testing our Policy.

    In the Pulumi project’s directory run:

    PULUMI_DEBUG_COMMANDS=true pulumi preview --policy-pack <path-to-policy-pack-directory>

    If the stack is in compliance, we expect the output to simply tell us which Policy Packs were run.

    $ PULUMI_DEBUG_COMMANDS=true pulumi preview --policy-pack policy-pack-typescript
    Previewing update (dev):
         Type                 Name          Plan
     +   pulumi:pulumi:Stack  test-dev  	create
     +   └─ aws:s3:Bucket     my-bucket     create
        + 2 to create
  3. We can then edit the stack code to specify the ACL to be public-read.

    const bucket = new aws.s3.Bucket("my-bucket", {
        acl: "public-read",
  4. We then run the pulumi preview command again and this time get an error message indicating we failed the preview because of a policy violation.

    $ PULUMI_DEBUG_COMMANDS=true pulumi preview --policy-pack ~/policy-pack-typescript
    Previewing update (dev):
         Type                 Name          Plan       Info
     +   pulumi:pulumi:Stack  test-dev  	create     1 error
     +   └─ aws:s3:Bucket     my-bucket     create     1 error
      pulumi:pulumi:Stack (test-dev):
        error: preview failed
      aws:s3:Bucket (my-bucket):
        mandatory: [s3-no-public-read] Prohibits setting the publicRead or  publicReadWrite permission on AWS S3 buckets.
        expected value 'true' to == 'false'

Now that your Policy Pack is ready to go, let’s enforce the pack across your organization.