packer.io template for building an Arch Linux base box
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README.md

Packer Arch

Packer Arch is a bare bones Packer template and installation script that can be used to generate a Vagrant base box for Arch Linux. The template works with the default VirtualBox provider as well as with VMware, Parallels and libvirt providers.

Overview

My goal was to roughly duplicate the attributes from a DigitalOcean Arch Linux droplet:

  • 64-bit
  • 20 GB disk
  • 512 MB memory
  • Only a single /root partition (ext4)
  • No swap
  • Includes the base and base-devel package groups
  • OpenSSH is also installed and enabled on boot

The installation script follows the official installation guide pretty closely, with a few tweaks to ensure functionality within a VM. Beyond that, the only customizations to the machine are related to the vagrant user and the steps recommended for any base box.

Usage

VirtualBox Provider

Assuming that you already have Packer, VirtualBox, and Vagrant installed, you should be good to clone this repo and go:

$ git clone https://github.com/elasticdog/packer-arch.git
$ cd packer-arch/
$ packer build -only=virtualbox-iso arch-template.json

Then you can import the generated box into Vagrant:

$ vagrant box add arch output/packer_arch_virtualbox.box

VMware Provider

Assuming that you already have Packer, VMware Fusion (or VMware Workstation), and Vagrant with the VMware provider installed, you should be good to clone this repo and go:

$ git clone https://github.com/elasticdog/packer-arch.git
$ cd packer-arch/
$ packer build -only=vmware-iso arch-template.json

Then you can import the generated box into Vagrant:

$ vagrant box add arch output/packer_arch_vmware.box

Parallels Provider

Assuming that you already have Packer, Parallels, Parallels SDK and Vagrant with the Parallels provider installed, you should be good to clone this repo and go:

$ git clone https://github.com/elasticdog/packer-arch.git
$ cd packer-arch/
$ packer build -only=parallels-iso arch-template.json

Then you can import the generated box into Vagrant:

$ vagrant box add arch output/packer_arch_parallels.box

libvirt Provider

Assuming that you already have Packer, Vagrant with the vagrant-libvirt plugin installed, you should be good to clone this repo and go:

$ git clone https://github.com/elasticdog/packer-arch.git
$ cd packer-arch/
$ packer build -only=libvirt arch-template.json

Then you can import the generated box into Vagrant:

$ vagrant box add arch output/packer_arch_libvirt.box

NOTE: libvirt support is limited to QEMU/KVM only.

wrapacker

For convenience, there is a wrapper script named wrapacker that will run the appropriate packer build command for you that will also automatically ensure the latest ISO download URL and optionally use a mirror from a provided country code in order to build the final box.

$ wrapacker --country US --dry-run

See the --help flag for additional details.

Known Issues

VMware Tools

The official VMware Tools do not currently support Arch Linux, and the Open Virtual Machine Tools (open-vm-tools) require extensive patching in order to compile correctly with a Linux 3.11 series kernel. So for the time being, I have not included support for the tools.

No tools means that the shared folder feature will not work, and when you run vagrant up to launch a VM based on the VMware box, you will see the following error message:

The HGFS kernel module was not found on the running virtual machine. This must be installed for shared folders to work properly. Please install the VMware tools within the guest and try again. Note that the VMware tools installation will succeed even if HGFS fails to properly install. Carefully read the output of the VMware tools installation to verify the HGFS kernel modules were installed properly.

Note that this issue does not apply to VirtualBox, as their official guest additions work just fine.

Vagrant Provisioners

The box purposefully does not include Puppet or Chef for automatic Vagrant provisioning. My intention was to duplicate a DigitalOcean VPS and furthermore use the VM for testing Ansible playbooks for configuration management.

License

Packer Arch is provided under the terms of the ISC License.

Copyright © 2013–2017, Aaron Bull Schaefer.