Pulumi YAML Reference

Pulumi programs can be defined in many languages, and the Pulumi YAML dialect offers an additional language for authoring Pulumi programs.

The Pulumi YAML provider supports programs written in YAML or JSON. In both cases, the programs (.yaml or .json files) follow a simple schema, including four top level sections:

configurationmap[string]ConfigurationNoNoConfiguration specifies the Pulumi config inputs to the deployment.
resourcesmap[string]ResourceNoNoResources declares the Pulumi resources that will be deployed and managed by the program
variablesmap[string]ExpressionNoYesVariables specifies intermediate values of the program, the values of variables are expressions that can be re-used.
outputsmap[string]ExpressionNoYesOutputs specifies the Pulumi stack outputs of the program and how they are computed from the resources is a value of the appropriate type for the template to use if no value is specified.

In many locations within this schema, values may be expressions which computed a value based on the configuration, variables, or outputs of resources. These expressions can be provided in two ways:

  • If an object is provided as a value, and has a key that has the prefix Fn::, the object is treated as an expression, and the expression will be resolved to a new value that will be used in place of the object.
  • Any string value is interpreted as an interpolation, with ${...} being replaced by evaluating the expression in the ....

The supported expression forms for each of these is detailed below.


The value of configuration is an object whose keys are logical names by which the config input will be referenced in expressions within the program, and whose values are elements of the schema below. Each item in this object represents an independent config input. Either type or default is required.

typestringNoNoType is the (required) data type for the parameter. It can be one of: String, Number, List<Number>, or List<String>.
defaultanyNoNoDefault is a value of the appropriate type for the template to use if no value is specified.


The value of resources is an object whose keys are logical resource names by which the resource will be referenced in expressions within the program, and whose values which are elements of the schema below. Each item in this object represents a resource which will be managed by the Pulumi program.

typestringYesNoType is the Pulumi type token for this resource.
propertiesmap[string]ExpressionNoYesProperties contains the primary resource-specific keys and values to initialize the resource state.
optionsResource OptionsNoNoOptions contains all resource options supported by Pulumi.
getResource GetterNoYesA getter function for the resource. Supplying get is mutually exclusive to properties.

Resource Options

The value of the options property of a Resource is an object whose keys are resource option names and whose values are elements of the schema below. No resource options are required.

The dependsOn, parent, provider, and providers values permit expressions which must use interpolation syntax to reference resources by name. For example:

      provider: ${myEksProvider}
        aws: ${myAwsProvider}
        - ${otherResource}
      parent: ${someParentResource}
additionalSecretOutputsstring[]AdditionalSecretOutputs specifies properties that must be encrypted as secrets
aliasesstring[]Aliases specifies names that this resource used to have, so that renaming or refactoring doesn’t replace it
customTimeoutsCustom TimeoutCustomTimeouts overrides the default retry/timeout behavior for resource provisioning
deleteBeforeReplaceboolDeleteBeforeReplace overrides the default create-before-delete behavior when replacing
ignoreChangesstring[]IgnoreChanges declares that changes to certain properties should be ignored during diffing
importstringImport adopts an existing resource from your cloud account under the control of Pulumi
protectboolProtect prevents accidental deletion of a resource
versionstringVersion specifies a provider plugin version that should be used when operating on a resource

Resource Getter

Supplying a get key turns the resource declaration into a Getter Function.

idstringYesThe ID of the resource to import
statemap[string]ExpressionNoKnown properties (input & output) of the resource. This assists the provider in figuring out the correct resource.

Custom Timeout

The optional customTimeouts property of a resource is an object of the following schema:

createstringNoNoCreate is the custom timeout for create operations.
deletestringNoNoDelete is the custom timeout for delete operations.
updatestringNoNoUpdate is the custom timeout for update operations.

Providers and provider versions

There are at least two reasons to explicitly define providers in YAML, or explicitly set their versions while creating resources.

  1. Using explicit versions enables pinning the dependencies used, a technique used to improve build reliability.
  2. Using explicit providers enables controlling the options for providers used by each resource, as described in Unlock Programmatic Control by Disabling Default Providers.

Resource version

To create a resource with a specific provider version use the version option as described in Resource Options:

    type: aws:s3:Bucket
      version: 5.6.0

Explicit provider

To create an explicit provider instance, preferably with a specific version, use the resources section and prefix the name of the provider with pulumi:providers which will the value of the type property.

    type: pulumi:providers:azure
      version: 5.1.0

The provider instance can than be used as described in section Resource Options by setting the provider option:

    type: pulumi:providers:azure
      version: 5.1.0
    type: azure:core:ResourceGroup
      location: WestEurope
      provider: ${provider}


The value of outputs is an object whose keys are the logical names of the outputs that are available from outside the Pulumi stack (via pulumi stack output), and whose values are potentially computed expressions the resolve to the values of the desired outputs.


Expressions can be used in several contexts:

  • the properties of properties of resources
  • the properties of options of resources that take references to other resources: parent, dependsOn, provider, and providers
  • the values of variables and outputs
  • some or all values provided to built-in functions, as specified below

Generally speaking, most values permit an expression and exceptions will be documented as not permitting an expression, as above.

In these contexts, any JSON/YAML value may be provided. If that value is a string, it is interpolated. If that value is an object, and the object has a key with a prefix of Fn::, it is evaluated as an expression.


In expression locations, strings are evaluated as interpolations and any nested ${...} expressions within the string value are replaced by the value of the expression .... The syntax of expressions within interpolations permits property access only.

To use ${} in a string literal, escape $ with $$ like so:

  plainString: $${value}

A string like Hello, ${foo} will convert the expression foo to a string.

If a string contains only an ${...} expression, it’s considered a substitution.

Property Access

Within an expression denoted by ${...} property access is permitted according to the forms below. Config, variables, and resource keys all exist in a single namespace, and in the examples, root or equivalent must be the name of one of these items, and it must be valid to access the foo property of that item if it’s a map or object, or if it’s an array, the index must be valid.

  • ${root}
  • ${root.foo}
  • ${root["foo"]}
  • ${root.bar.quux}
  • ${root["bar"].quux}
  • ${root["bar"]["quux"]}
  • ${root[0]}
  • ${root[100]}
  • ${root[0].foo}
  • ${root[0][1].foo}
  • ${root.foo.items[0].bar[1]}
  • ${root["key with \"escaped\" quotes"]}
  • ${root["key with a ."]}
  • ${["root key with \"escaped\" quotes"].foo}
  • ${["root key with a ."][100]}

We have not discussed types until now, but implicitly every expression has a type, such as number, string, map, array, or even resource. When interpolated, these values must become strings, otherwise they are substituted in. Additionally:

  • maps must have string keys and expression values
  • arrays have non-negative integer indices and expression values
  • property access on a Resource retrieves outputs


Expressions denoted by ${...} are only converted to strings when interpolated into a string with surrounding text. If a resource property takes a list or a map for example, that can be provided by a variable whose value can be substituted in. In the example below, the httpPort variable is used to reduce repetition in the two Kubernetes Service resources.

name: kubernetes-port-example
    protocol: TCP
    port: 80
    targetPort: 8000
    type: kubernetes:core/v1:Service
          app: "MyApp"
          - ${httpPort}
    type: kubernetes:core/v1:Service
          app: "OtherApp"
          - ${httpPort}

The last two lines are equivalent as if the variable were substituted for its value:

          - protocol: TCP
            port: 80
            targetPort: 8000

Built-in Functions

In any expression location, an object containing a single key beginning with Fn:: calls a built-in function.


Converts a UTF-8 string into a Base64 encoded string using the standard encoding.

    Fn::ToBase64: "Hello, world!"

The expression ${greeting} will return SGVsbG8sIHdvcmxkIQ==


Converts a Base64 encoded string into a UTF-8 string. This will fail if the result is not a valid UTF-8 string

    Fn::FromBase64: SGVsbG8sIFdvcmxkIQ==

The expression ${greeting} will return Hello, World!


Converts a value into its JSON representation.

      key1: value1
      key2: 123

The expression ${item} will return a JSON value { "key1": "value1", "key2": 123 }.


Calls a function from a package and returns either the whole object or a single key if given the “Return” property. The schema is:

FunctionstringYesNoName of a function to call.
Argumentsmap[string]ExpressionYesYesArguments to pass to the expression, each key is a named argument.
ReturnstringNoNoIf the function returns an object, a single key may be selected and returned instead with its name.
      Function: aws:getAmi
          - name: name
            values: ["amzn-ami-hvm-*-x86_64-ebs"]
        owners: ["137112412989"]
        mostRecent: true
      Return: id

The expression ${AmazonLinuxAmi} will return the AMI ID returned from the aws:getAmi function.


Joins strings together separated by a delimiter. Arguments are passed as a list, with the first item being the delimiter, and the second item a list of expressions to concatenate.

            - 'NaN'
            - - Ba
              - a

The expression ${banana} will have the value "BaNaNa".


Selects one of several options given an index. Arguments are passed as a list, with the first item being the index, 0-based, and the second item a list of expressions to select from.

            - 1
            - - v1
              - v1.1
              - v2.0

The expression ${policyVersion} will have the value v1.1.

Fn::*Asset and Fn::*Archive

Assets and Archives are intrinsic types to Pulumi, like strings and numbers, and some resources may take these as inputs or return them as outputs. The built-ins create each kind of asset or archive. Each takes all take a single string value.

Built-InArgument TypeDescription
Fn::FileAssetstringThe contents of the asset are read from a file on disk.
Fn::StringAssetstringThe contents of the asset are read from a string in memory.
Fn::RemoteAssetstringThe contents of the asset are read from an http, https or file URI.
Fn::FileArchivestringThe contents of the archive are read from either a folder on disk or a file on disk in one of the supported formats: .tar, .tgz, .tar.gz, .zip or .jar.
Fn::RemoteArchivestringThe contents of the asset are read from an http, https or file URI, which must produce an archive of one of the same supported types as FileArchive.
Fn::AssetArchivemapThe contents of the archive are read from a map of either Asset or Archive objects, one file or folder respectively per entry in the map.
    Fn::FileAsset: ./file.txt
    Fn::StringAsset: Hello, world!
    Fn::RemoteAsset: http://worldclockapi.com/api/json/est/now

    Fn::FileArchive: ./file.zip
    Fn::RemoteArchive: http://example.com/file.zip
        Fn::StringAsset: Hello, world!
        Fn::FileArchive: ./folder

Stack References allow accessing the outputs of a stack from a YAML program. Arguments are passed as a list, with the first item being the stack name and the second argument the name of an output to reference:

      - org/project/stack
      - outputName

The expression ${reference} will have the value of the outputName output from the stack org/project/stack.


Constructs a Secret from an existing value.

        Function: my:pkg:GetSecretValue

Reads a file from disk and returns the contents as a string, must be utf-8. This function has special rules for its behavior.

    Fn::ReadFile: ./README.md

Any subpath of the Pulumi project directory is allowed, whether it is absolute, relative, constant, or an expression:

  • Fn::ReadFile: ./README.md, a relative subpath
  • Fn::ReadFile: ${pulumi.cwd}/example.txt, an absolute subpath
  • Fn::ReadFile: /opt/project-dir/example.json, an absolute subpath if the program is in /opt/project-dir

Absolute paths to any location are allowed if they are constants:

  • Fn::ReadFile: /etc/lsb-release
  • Fn::ReadFile: /usr/share/nginx/html
  • Fn::ReadFile: /var/run/secrets/kubernetes.io/serviceaccount/token

Relative paths that escape the project directory and absolute paths that are non-constant are forbidden to prevent path traversals.

  • Fn::ReadFile: ../../etc/shadow, a relative path that escapes the project
  • Fn::ReadFile: ${pulumi.cwd}/../../.ssh/id_rsa.pub, an expression that returns an absolute path that escapes the project