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Virtual machine templates for BSD flavours
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Latest commit 75ac73d Jun 1, 2018
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bin Add script to upload boxes to atlas Dec 12, 2015
script Updated to FreeBSD 11.0 RELEASE Oct 12, 2016
.gitattributes Add templates for various BSD flavours Nov 29, 2015
VERSION Make end-user oriented var-list files for all the templates Nov 29, 2015 Add templates for various BSD flavours Nov 29, 2015
dragonflybsd52.json Updated to DragonFly BSD 5.2.1 Jun 1, 2018
freebsd.json Cleanup FreeBSD templates and scripts Jul 31, 2016
openbsd.json Updated to OpenBSD 6.3 Jun 1, 2018

Packer templates for various BSD flavors


This repository contains Packer templates for creating BSD Vagrant boxes.

Current Boxes

We no longer provide pre-built binaries for these templates.

Building the Vagrant boxes with Packer

To build all the boxes, you will need VirtualBox, VMware Fusion/VMware Workstation and Parallels installed.

Parallels requires that the Parallels Virtualization SDK for Mac be installed as an additional preqrequisite.

There are currently base Packer templates for the supported BSD flavors:

  • freebsd.json
  • openbsd.json
  • netbsd.json
  • dragonflybsd.json

NOTE: The NetBSD box times out on vagrant up waiting on SSH, but vagrant ssh works fine. This seems to be a vagrant issue, see mitchellh/vagrant#6640.

We make use of JSON files containing user variables to build specific versions of BSD. You tell packer to use a specific user variable file via the -var-file= command line option and which base template to use. This will override the default options in the base template for your BSD flavor.

For example, if you want to build FreeBSD 10.02, use the following:

$ packer build -var-file=freebsd102.json freebsd.json

If you want to make boxes for a specific desktop virtualization platform, use the -only parameter. For example, to build FreeBSD 10.2 for VirtualBox:

$ packer build -only=virtualbox-iso -var-file=freebsd102.json freebsd.json

The boxcutter templates currently support the following desktop virtualization strings:

Building the Vagrant boxes with the box script

We've also provided a wrapper script bin/box for ease of use, so alternatively, you can use the following to build FreeBSD 10.2 for all providers:

$ bin/box build freebsd102 freebsd

Or if you just want to build FreeBSD 10.2 for VirtualBox:

$ bin/box build freebsd102 freebsd virtualbox

Building the Vagrant boxes with the Makefile

A GNU Make Makefile drives a complete basebox creation pipeline with the following stages:

  • build - Create basebox *.box files
  • assure - Verify that the basebox *.box files produced function correctly
  • deliver - Upload *.box files to Artifactory, Atlas or an S3 bucket

The pipeline is driven via the following targets, making it easy for you to include them in your favourite CI tool:

make build   # Build all available box types
make assure  # Run tests against all the boxes
make deliver # Upload box artifacts to a repository
make clean   # Clean up build detritus

Proxy Settings

The templates respect the following network proxy environment variables and forward them on to the virtual machine environment during the box creation process, should you be using a proxy:

  • http_proxy
  • https_proxy
  • ftp_proxy
  • rsync_proxy
  • no_proxy


Automated tests are written in Serverspec and require the vagrant-serverspec plugin to be installed with:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-serverspec

The bin/box script has subcommands for running both the automated tests and for performing exploratory testing.

Use the bin/box test subcommand to run the automated Serverspec tests. For example to execute the tests for the Ubuntu 14.04 box on VirtualBox, use the following:

bin/box test ubuntu1404 virtualbox

Similarly, to perform exploratory testing on the VirtualBox image via ssh, run the following command:

bin/box ssh ubuntu1404 virtualbox


  1. Fork and clone the repo.
  2. Create a new branch, please don't work in your master branch directly.
  3. Add new Serverspec or Bats tests in the test/ subtree for the change you want to make. Run make test on a relevant template to see the tests fail (like make test-virtualbox/freebsd102).
  4. Fix stuff. Use make ssh to interactively test your box (like make ssh-virtualbox/freebsd102).
  5. Run make test on a relevant template (like make test-virtualbox/freebsd102) to see if the tests pass. Repeat steps 3-5 until done.
  6. Update and AUTHORS to reflect any changes.
  7. If you have a large change in mind, it is still preferred that you split them into small commits. Good commit messages are important. The git documentatproject has some nice guidelines on writing descriptive commit messages.
  8. Push to your fork and submit a pull request.
  9. Once submitted, a full make test run will be performed against your change in the build farm. You will be notified if the test suite fails.

Would you like to help out more?



Parallels provided a Business Edition license of their software to run on the basebox build farm.

SmartyStreets provided basebox hosting for the box-cutter project since 2015 - thank you for your support!.

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