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

Podman plugin for the OCI container image format

The Podman plugin is effectively a fork of the Docker plugin, though Podman does not support the changes attribute or Dockerfiles. It also doesn’t come shipped with Packer at the time of writing, so it must be included manually, and a Packer init must be performed first to download it. This time, we will need to include the required_plugins block inside the Packer config so that we can get the plugin during init. Note that this can be risky for production as upstream contributions present an opportunity for supply chain attacks. We will show you how that works in Chapter 12, Developing Packer Plugins. Hopefully, the Podman builder will be mainlined into Packer and supported by HashiCorp, so this won’t be an issue in the future:

packer {
  required_plugins {
    podman = {
      version = ">=v0.1.0"
      source ...