Windows Templates for Packer
This repo is a modified fork of the popular joefitzgerald/packer-windows repo.
Some of my enhancements are:
- Support of fullscreen Retina display on a MacBook Pro.
- WinRM, no more OpenSSH
1.6.0 is recommended.
The following Windows versions are known to work (built with VMware Fusion Pro 11.0.2):
- Windows 10
- Windows 10 2004 -> Vagrant Cloud box StefanScherer/windows_10
- Windows 10 Insider
- Windows Server 2022 Desktop -> Vagrant Cloud box StefanScherer/windows_2022
- Windows Server 2019 Desktop -> Vagrant Cloud box StefanScherer/windows_2019
- Windows Server Core
- Windows Server 2022 without and with Docker -> Vagrant Cloud box StefanScherer/windows_2022_docker
- Windows Server 2019 without and with Docker -> Vagrant Cloud box StefanScherer/windows_2019_docker
- Windows Server 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, and 2004 all without and with Docker
- Windows Server InsiderPreview Semi-Annual without and with Docker
You may find other packer template files, but older versions of Windows doesn't work so nice with a Retina display.
All Windows Server versions are defaulted to the Server Datacenter edition. You
can modify this by editing the Autounattend.xml file, changing the
Value element (e.g. to
Windows Server 2019 SERVERSTANDARDCORE).
To retrieve the correct image name from an ISO file use the following two commands.
PS C:\> Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath C:\iso\17763.737.190906-2324.rs5_release_svc_refresh_SERVER_EVAL_x64FRE_en-us_1.iso PS C:\> Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath e:\sources\install.wim ImageIndex : 1 ImageName : Windows Server 2019 Standard ImageDescription : (Recommended) This option omits most of the Windows graphical environment. Manage with a command prompt and PowerShell, or remotely with Windows Admin Center or other tools. ImageSize : 8,388,579,855 bytes ImageIndex : 2 ImageName : Windows Server 2019 Standard (Desktop Experience) ImageDescription : This option installs the full Windows graphical environment, consuming extra drive space. It can be useful if you want to use the Windows desktop or have an app that requires it. ImageSize : 14,668,863,719 bytes ImageIndex : 3 ImageName : Windows Server 2019 Datacenter ImageDescription : (Recommended) This option omits most of the Windows graphical environment. Manage with a command prompt and PowerShell, or remotely with Windows Admin Center or other tools. ImageSize : 8,378,362,786 bytes ImageIndex : 4 ImageName : Windows Server 2019 Datacenter (Desktop Experience) ImageDescription : This option installs the full Windows graphical environment, consuming extra drive space. It can be useful if you want to use the Windows desktop or have an app that requires it. ImageSize : 14,673,479,669 bytes
If you are not sure about the exact image name, you can use the index instead. Change the
Key element to
/IMAGE/INDEX and put the index number in the
Autounattend.xml files are configured to work correctly with trial ISOs
(which will be downloaded and cached for you the first time you perform a
packer build). If you would like to use retail or volume license ISOs, you
need to update the
ProductKey element as follows:
- Uncomment the
- Insert your product key into the
If you are going to configure your VM as a KMS client, you can use the product
keys at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx. These are the
default values used in the
Using existing ISOs
If you have already downloaded the ISOs or would like to override them, set these additional variables:
- iso_url - path to existing ISO
- iso_checksum - md5sum of existing ISO (if different)
packer build -var 'iso_url=./server2016.iso' .\windows_2016.json
The scripts in this repo will install all Windows updates – by default – during
Windows Setup. This is a very time consuming process, depending on the age of
the OS and the quantity of updates released since the last service pack. You
might want to do yourself a favor during development and disable this
functionality, by commenting out the
WITH WINDOWS UPDATES section and
WITHOUT WINDOWS UPDATES section in
<!-- WITHOUT WINDOWS UPDATES --> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <CommandLine>cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -File a:\openssh.ps1 -AutoStart</CommandLine> <Description>Install OpenSSH</Description> <Order>99</Order> <RequiresUserInput>true</RequiresUserInput> </SynchronousCommand> <!-- END WITHOUT WINDOWS UPDATES --> <!-- WITH WINDOWS UPDATES --> <!-- <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <CommandLine>cmd.exe /c a:\microsoft-updates.bat</CommandLine> <Order>98</Order> <Description>Enable Microsoft Updates</Description> </SynchronousCommand> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <CommandLine>cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -File a:\openssh.ps1</CommandLine> <Description>Install OpenSSH</Description> <Order>99</Order> <RequiresUserInput>true</RequiresUserInput> </SynchronousCommand> <SynchronousCommand wcm:action="add"> <CommandLine>cmd.exe /c C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -File a:\win-updates.ps1</CommandLine> <Description>Install Windows Updates</Description> <Order>100</Order> <RequiresUserInput>true</RequiresUserInput> </SynchronousCommand> --> <!-- END WITH WINDOWS UPDATES -->
Doing so will give you hours back in your day, which is a good thing.
Windows 7 support
Windows 7 is going out of support in January 2020, and the scripts for building Windows 7 machines are only sporadically maintained.
Windows 7 was first released in 2009. This means there are a lot of updates available for Windows 7, and running Windows Updates on a Windows 7 box using the mechanism described above takes an extremely long time.
The Windows 7 templates therefore take a slightly different approach, first installing Service Pack 1, updating the servicing stack and then installing the latest update rollup, .NET 4.8 and PowerShell 5.1. Finally, any missing updates are installed using Ansible.
This means you'll need to install Ansible on your machine if you want to run the Windows 7 scripts. You can install ansible on a Linux machine.
If you want to run these scripts on a Windows machine, you can try to run Ansible in cygwin or Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.
Alternatively, you can disable the
ansible steps in the
windows_7.json file. Make sure to manually run
Windows Update if you do!
These boxes use WinRM. There is no OpenSSH installed.
If you are running Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 or later, then you can also use these packerfiles to build a Hyper-V virtual machine. I have the ISO already downloaded to save time, and only have Hyper-V installed on my laptop, so I run:
packer build --only hyperv-iso -var 'hyperv_switchname=Ethernet' -var 'iso_url=./server2016.iso' .\windows_2016_docker.json
Ethernet is the name of my default Hyper-V Virtual Switch. You then can use this box with Vagrant to spin up a Hyper-V VM.
Generation 2 VMs
Some of these images use Hyper-V "Generation 2" VMs to enable the latest features and faster booting. However, an extra manual step is needed to put the needed files into ISOs because Gen2 VMs don't support virtual floppy disks.
packer build, be sure to run
./make_unattend_iso.ps1 first. Otherwise the build will fail on a missing ISO file
hyperv-iso output will be in this color. 1 error(s) occurred: * Secondary Dvd image does not exist: CreateFile ./iso/windows_server_insider_unattend.iso: The system cannot find the file specified.
If you are using Linux and have KVM/qemu configured, you can use these packerfiles to build a KVM virtual machine. To build a KVM/qemu box, first make sure:
- You are a member of the kvm group on your machine. You can list the groups you are member of by running
groups. It should include the
kvmgroup. If you're not a member, run
sudo usermod -aG kvm $(whoami)to add yourself.
- You have downloaded the iso image with the Windows drivers for paravirtualized KVM/qemu hardware.
You can do this from the command line:
wget -nv -nc https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/stable-virtio/virtio-win.iso -O virtio-win.iso.
You can use the following sample command to build a KVM/qemu box:
packer build --only=qemu --var virtio_win_iso=./virtio-win.iso ./windows_2019_docker.json
In case you're using Parallels, you can now build the
Windows Server 2019 with Docker VM.
- Parallels Pro or Business, version 11 and up.
- Vagrant Parallels Provider: https://github.com/Parallels/vagrant-parallels
- Parallels Virtualization SDK for Intel Mac (https://www.parallels.com/download/pvsdk/intel/)
You can use the following sample command to build a Parallels VM:
packer build --only=parallels-iso windows_2019_docker.json
The Parallels builder config turns
efi boot off in order to use the same answer file like all the other builders. If you find you need to turn
efi boot on then make sure to adjust the appropriate answer file, especially the section regarding the partitioning of the disk.
If you need to further customize the VM, consult the documentation at https://www.packer.io/docs/builders/parallels-iso.html.
When using VirtualBox, you can use the following sample command to build a corresponding VM image:
packer build --only=virtualbox-iso windows_2022_docker.json
After building, you can expect a box package like
in the working directory.
Using .box Files With Vagrant
The generated box files include a Vagrantfile template that is suitable for use with Vagrant 1.7.4+, but the latest version is always recommended.
Example Steps for Hyper-V:
vagrant box add windows_2016_docker windows_2016_docker_hyperv.box vagrant init windows_2016_docker vagrant up --provider hyperv
Pull requests are welcome!