How do I add routes to the main route table in my VPC with CloudFormation?

Last updated: 2022-09-09

I want to add routes to the main route table when I create my Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) in AWS CloudFormation.

Short description

When you use CloudFormation to create an Amazon VPC, CloudFormation doesn't recognize the main route table that's created by default. Therefore, information about the route table can't be passed between your Amazon VPC and CloudFormation. As a result, you can't add or remove routes from the main route table because you can't reference the route table from your CloudFormation template.

Resolution

Note: If you receive errors when running AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands, make sure that you're using the most recent AWS CLI version.

To resolve this issue, you can use an AWS Lambda-backed custom resource in the CloudFormation template. The CloudFormation stack creates an Amazon VPC. Then, the custom resource uses an AWS Lambda function to retrieve the main route table ID that's associated with your Amazon VPC.

Create a CloudFormation stack using the following RouteTable-template.yml template:

AWSTemplateFormatVersion: 2010-09-09
Description: Template to add routes to default/main routetable of VPC
Resources:
  MyVPC:
    Type: 'AWS::EC2::VPC'
    Properties:
      CidrBlock: 10.0.0.0/16
      Tags:
        - Key: Env
          Value: Test
  LambdaIAMRole:
    Type: 'AWS::IAM::Role'
    DependsOn: MyVPC
    Properties:
      AssumeRolePolicyDocument:
        Version: 2012-10-17
        Statement:
          - Effect: Allow
            Principal:
              Service:
                - lambda.amazonaws.com
            Action:
              - 'sts:AssumeRole'
      Path: /
      Policies:
        - PolicyName: root
          PolicyDocument:
            Version: 2012-10-17
            Statement:
              - Effect: Allow
                Action:
                  - 'ec2:Describe*'
                Resource: '*'
              - Effect: Allow
                Action:
                  - 'logs:CreateLogGroup'
                  - 'logs:CreateLogStream'
                  - 'logs:PutLogEvents'
                Resource: 'arn:aws:logs:*:*:*'
  LambdaFunction:
    Type: 'AWS::Lambda::Function'
    Properties:
      Handler: index.lambda_handler
      Role: !GetAtt LambdaIAMRole.Arn
      Runtime: python3.9
      Timeout: 50
      Code:
        ZipFile: |
            from __future__ import print_function
            import json
            import boto3
            import urllib3
            import cfnresponse

            SUCCESS = "SUCCESS"
            FAILED = "FAILED"

            http = urllib3.PoolManager()

            print('Loading function')
            ec2 = boto3.client('ec2')

            def lambda_handler(event, context):
                print("Received event: " + json.dumps(event, indent=2))
                responseData={}
                try:
                    if event['RequestType'] == 'Delete':
                        print("Request Type:",event['RequestType'])
                        print("Delete Request - No Physical resources to delete")
                    elif event['RequestType'] == 'Create':
                        print("Request Type:",event['RequestType'])
                        VPCID=event['ResourceProperties']['VPCID']
                        RouteTableID=get_vpc(VPCID)
                        responseData={'RouteTableID':RouteTableID}
                        print("Sending response to custom resource")
                    elif event['RequestType'] == 'Update':
                        print("Request Type:",event['RequestType'])
                        VPCID=event['ResourceProperties']['VPCID']
                        RouteTableID=get_vpc(VPCID)
                        responseData={'RouteTableID':RouteTableID}
                        print("Sending response to custom resource")
                    responseStatus = 'SUCCESS'
                    print("responseStatus: " + responseStatus)
                    cfnresponse.send(event, context, cfnresponse.SUCCESS, responseData, "CustomResourcePhysicalID")
                except Exception as e:
                    print('Failed to process:', e)
                    responseStatus = 'FAILURE'
                    responseData = {'Failure': 'Something bad happened.'}
                    cfnresponse.send(event, context, cfnresponse.FAILURE, responseData, "CustomResourcePhysicalID")

            def get_vpc(VPCID):
                response = ec2.describe_route_tables (
                  Filters=[
                    {
                      'Name': 'association.main',
                      'Values': [ 'true' ]
                    },
                    {
                      'Name': 'vpc-id',
                      'Values': [ VPCID ]
                    }
                  ]
                )
                print("Printing the VPC Route Table ID ....")
                RouteTableID=response['RouteTables'][0]['RouteTableId']
                print(RouteTableID)
                return RouteTableID

            def send(event, context, responseStatus, responseData, physicalResourceId=None, noEcho=False):
                responseUrl = event['ResponseURL']
                print(responseUrl)
                responseBody = {'Status': responseStatus,
                                'Reason': 'See the details in CloudWatch Log Stream: ' + context.log_stream_name,
                                'PhysicalResourceId': physicalResourceId or context.log_stream_name,
                                'StackId': event['StackId'],
                                'RequestId': event['RequestId'],
                                'LogicalResourceId': event['LogicalResourceId'],
                                'Data': responseData}
                json_responseBody = json.dumps(responseBody)
                print("Response body:\n" + json_responseBody)
                headers = {
                    'content-type' : '',
                    'content-length' : str(len(json_responseBody))
                }
                try:
                    response = http.request('PUT', responseUrl, headers=headers, body=json_responseBody)
                    print("Status code: " + response.reason)
                except Exception as e:
                    print("send(..) failed executing requests.put(..): " + str(e))


  Lambdatrigger:
    Type: 'Custom::RouteTableLambda'
    Properties:
      ServiceToken: !GetAtt LambdaFunction.Arn
      VPCID: !Ref MyVPC
  MyInternetGateway:
    Type: 'AWS::EC2::InternetGateway'
    Properties:
      Tags:
        - Key: Env
          Value: Test
  AttachGateway:
    Type: 'AWS::EC2::VPCGatewayAttachment'
    Properties:
      VpcId: !Ref MyVPC
      InternetGatewayId: !Ref MyInternetGateway
  MyRoute:
    Type: 'AWS::EC2::Route'
    Properties:
      RouteTableId: !GetAtt Lambdatrigger.RouteTableID

      DestinationCidrBlock: 0.0.0.0/0
      GatewayId: !Ref MyInternetGateway
Outputs:
  RouteTableID:
    Value: !GetAtt Lambdatrigger.RouteTableID

The data that the custom resource returns contains the main route table ID. You can reference the ID using GetAtt in AWS::EC2::Route to add routes to the main route table. Also, the outputs of the stack display the route table ID.

The following is an example of the SUCCESS response body that the custom resource sends to the CloudFormation stack:

{
  "Status": "SUCCESS",
  "Reason": "See the details in CloudWatch Log Stream: 2022/08/31/[$LATEST]c48b90efb3944c11ad3fb6e1ce5e1f45",
  "PhysicalResourceId": "CustomResourcePhysicalID",
  "StackId": "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-west-1:XXXX:stack/VPC-RT/06c957b0-297e-11ed-afb5-02ca6fd67f8d",
  "RequestId": "55c0f2b8-3044-47f7-aba4-84502b4ef632",
  "LogicalResourceId": "Lambdatrigger",
  "NoEcho": false,
  "Data": {
    "RouteTableID": "rtb-0fba8d15701234567a"
  }
}

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