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

Technical requirements

For our Hello World base image, let’s choose a simple Linux base image that we will customize with a Message of the Day (MOTD) that says Hello World from Packer. Then, we will add a few bells and whistles in stages. We’ll focus on HCL2 since JSON is considered legacy by the Packer developers. You will need to have Packer version 1.5 or newer installed to try this, and you’ll need to either install VirtualBox or select a different hypervisor or builder to use in its place. This build assumes you have an Intel x86_64-compatible PC with VirtualBox installed and sufficient CPU, and at least 8 GB of RAM to run the VM required for the build. Other platforms and architectures such as ARM should work, as long as the template image is adjusted. It doesn’t matter whether your operating system is macOS, Windows, or Linux, as long as VirtualBox and Packer are available for your platform.