How to fix-Terraform Error acquiring the state lock ConditionalCheckFiledException?

It might be possible that you are in the middle of running terraform plan or terraform apply command but unfortunately, you ended up with the error - Error locking state: Error acquiring the state lock: ConditionalCheckFailedException: The conditional request failed.

Here is one of the same errors which I have faced while I was working on one of my terraform projects for saving terraform state using DynamoDB

Error acquiring the state lock: ConditionalCheckFailedException: The conditional request failed

In this blog, we will have a more detailed look at the possible root cause as well as how to fix the error.

Table of Content

  1. Root Cause
  2. How to fix it?
  3. Conclusion

1. Root Cause

How the error Happens?- The error might show up on your console when you are either running terraform plan or terraform apply command.

Reason- Terraform has an internal validation that checks if there is a state lock already present then another process can not access the same resource with the same state

  1. Terraform allows you to have one process with one state lock.
  2. When more than one process tries to acquire the same state lock on the same resource then it might result in the Error locking state: Error acquiring the state lock: ConditionalCheckFailedException.
  3. Another possible reason is the
    • Network outage - Because of the network outage there is a chance the previous terraform process might have terminated before it completion resulting in the error.
    • incorrect AWS profile - In your project, you have multiple AWS profile but you are using an incorrect AWS profile which will also result in the same error.

2. How to fix it?

Here I have composed 4 possible solutions to fix it-

1. Using command terraform force-unlock- Here are steps you need to follow

  • Copy the terraform process id from the error message -
    copy terraform process id
  • Run the following command to force unlock the process -
    1terraform force-unlock -force 394uf383-b6fe-c5f2-2678-98323hdfo1 

2. Use -lock=false along with terraform plan - If the previous force-unlock command does not work then use the -lock=false command

1terraform plan -lock=false

3. kill terraform process- Well if none of the previous solutions works then I would recommend using kill -9 to terminate the process.

  • Find the terraform Process ID using the command ps aux | grep terraform
  • Kill the process using - kill -9 <process_id>

(Note- Running the kill -9 might require root privileges)

4. Wrong AWS profile- The another and least possible fix for the issue is - You are using the incorrect AWS profile. You must check the AWS Profile or at least set the correct AWS profile by running the command export AWS_PROFILE=another_one

Running the terraform plan, terraform apply command from another profile might also lead to the issue because the the process has already occupied the lock and another process with an incorrect profile would lead to the error Error acquiring the state lock: ConditionalCheckFailedException

3. Conclusion

I hope the above-mentioned steps would help you to troubleshoot the issue with your terraform state. For more details on Terraform state I would recommend you to go through the article - Managing Terraform states and also, look on how to put state locking using DynamoDB

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