Book Image

HashiCorp Packer in Production

By : John Boero
Book Image

HashiCorp Packer in Production

By: John Boero

Overview of this book

Creating machine images can be time-consuming and error-prone when done manually. HashiCorp Packer enables you to automate this process by defining the configuration in a simple, declarative syntax. This configuration is then used to create machine images for multiple environments and cloud providers. The book begins by showing you how to create your first manifest while helping you understand the available components. You’ll then configure the most common built-in builder options for Packer and use runtime provisioners to reconfigure a source image for desired tasks. You’ll also learn how to control logging for troubleshooting errors in complex builds and explore monitoring options for multiple logs at once. As you advance, you’ll build on your initial manifest for a local application that’ll easily migrate to another builder or cloud. The chapters also help you get to grips with basic container image options in different formats while scaling large builds in production. Finally, you’ll develop a life cycle and retention policy for images, automate packer builds, and protect your production environment from nefarious plugins. By the end of this book, you’ll be equipped to smoothen collaboration and reduce the risk of errors by creating machine images consistently and automatically based on your defined configuration.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Part 1: Packer’s Beginnings
Part 2: Managing Large Environments
Part 3: Advanced Customized Packer


Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to perfect your workflows. A lot of trial and error is part of the development process with Packer templates and CI automation. The important thing is to get comfortable with an automated workflow that helps make minor changes to Packer templates without manually running builds along the way.

The sample code for this chapter shows examples of GitHub Actions and GitLab CI pipelines. They can be browsed and customized, but to try these yourself, you will need to fork the repo or create your own in GitHub or GitLab and add your own runner where appropriate. Runners use a pull mechanism that can enable a public or a private VCS platform such as GitHub or GitLab to trigger automatic builds even behind firewalls or private networks.

Automation provides instant collaboration and audit trails for a team to edit Packer templates using a GitOps workflow and view the full history of logs for any build in the past. As the logs from...