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Packer Image Builder for CentOS


In conjunction with the ansible-playbooks, these packer templates create the Shibboleth IdP, Grouper, and COmanage appliances for use by TIER members. These appliances are CentOS 7 with .vmx and .ova formats available. In addition, if your account has VMImport privileges on EC2, you can also create AMI for AWS purposes. You will need to have credentials setup according to AWS credentials setup


The templates are only tested with packer 0.10.1 and later. If you have homebrew installed, brew install packer is effective.

For local builds, you will need to provide a symbolic link to the ansible-playbooks directory for matching repo location. Make sure you have cloned and setup the ansible-playbooks repo. The master branch is acceptable for all developer test builds.

For Automated builds utilizing Jenkins, you will want to setup your build hosts on physical hardware, as how VirtualBox interacts with the host environment.


ln -s /path/to/ansible-playbooks ansible-playbooks
common parent

If you have ansible-playbooks checked out in the same parent directory as this repository, this command will work.

ln -s ../ansible-playbooks ansible-playbooks

Pre-Requisites for AWS / AMI import

  • IAM needs to be setup for the vmimport role per the AWS guide.
  • The bucket internet2-ami-import-us-west-1 needs to be setup on AWS S3. (Alternatively, you can provide your own bucket name that you prefer.)

AMI build will require both aws_access_key and aws_secret_key to be setup with AWS credentials setup


packer build shibboleth-appliance.json

If you encounter issues you don't understand, try this command:

PACKER_LOG packer build shibboleth-appliance.json

Expect the build to take 30-45 minutes. If you are in position to watch the VirtualBox window, it can verify that progress is continuing during some times that the process appears to have hung.



The OS versions are:

  • Centos 7

For all operating systems we generate images for

  • centos7.json will build:

    • VirtualBox (user: packer/changeme1234)
  • aws-centos7-base.json will build:

    • AMI for AWS (user: centos/centos)
  • sibboleth-appliance.json will build:

    • VirtualBox (user: centos/centos)

This template only is tested against 64 bit systems. With the following sizing requirements:

  "profile": "xfs",
  "disk_size": "20000",
  "memory": "6122",
  "cpus": "2",
  "disk_size": 81920

Post Processors

The final VM appliance formats will be uploaded into AWS infrastructure. The two compressed tarballs to S3 buckets and AMI to EC2.

  • Compressed ova / ovf format
  • Imported AWS AMI