Packer templates to build images for vSphere
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ScottGarman Merge pull request #382 from mihaibuzgau/master
fix solaris 11.4 dhcp renewal
Latest commit 4d21216 Oct 31, 2018



This repository contains the Packer and Puppet manifests used to build boxes shipped to VMware vsphere.

The Packer templates are organized under the following directory structure inside the root templates directory:

  1. <os-distribution> is the operating system distribution, for example centos
  2. <variant> is the version or variant, e.g. 7.0 for centos, 10.13 for macOS, or 11.2 for solaris
  3. <architecture> is the architecture, e.g. x86_64 or i386

For brevity, os_dist refers to os-distribution, and arch refers to architecture. Each directory (templates, templates/<os_dist>, templates/<os_dist>/<variant>, or templates/<os_dist>/<variant>/<arch>) may or may not have a common directory in it. This directory can contain the following files:

  • A specialized template that is specific to any sub-directories under that section.
  • A vars.json file containing the required variables needed for other, parent common templates to build successfully.
  • Other files, such as scripts, patches, or preseed files.

The intent for the common directory is to contain things that may be shared by some of the sub-directories.

The <os_dist>/<variant>/<arch> directory can contain (1) and (2), and technically (3), but we do not recommend (3) (as it’s highly likely that scripts, patches, or pressed files can apply to multiple architectures of a specific OS variant so they might as well be in their own common directory). There is one caveat. If a common or <os_dist>/<variant>/<arch> directory contains a particular template (e.g. like vmware.base.json) AND a vars.json file, then all variables for the template should be declared both in the template itself, and in any vars.json files found in sub-directories — the vars.json file in the current directory should not have variables for that specific template.

Here are the semantics behind each of the possible locations for a common directory:

  • templates/common contains relevant templates and files for our Linux-based distributions. This was done because all of our os distributions, save for Macos, Windows, Solaris, are Linux-based.
  • <os-dist>/common represents templates, variables and files that are shared by variants of a single OS distribution. For example for our Centos platforms, we have a vars.json file in centos/common that captures a common boot command.
  • <os-dist>/<variant>/common represents templates, variables, and files specific to architectures of a variant of an OS distribution. For example for our Centos platforms, we have our pressed files in centos/<variant>/common, as well as some overriding variables for Centos 5.11 and Centos 6.6.

SSH user accounts

  • Windows: the Administrator password is PackerAdmin
  • Solaris: the root password is root
  • macOS: see the README under templates/macos
  • For everything else, the root password is puppet


Confluence Documentation is available for the Windows/Packer Imaging Process and the Linux/Packer Imaging Process.


Some very basic linting has been added to ensure files parse properly through packer. To run these tests do:

make test


Please open any issues within the CPR ( Community Package Repository ) project on the Puppet Labs issue tracker.


This repository is currently undergoing a massive cleanup effort. We have decided to keep only the vmware.base and vmware.vsphere.nocm templates. If it turns out that this cleanup and refactoring has removed a template that you rely on (e.g. a virtual box or vagrant one), please checkout a version of the puppetlabs-packer repository at SHA 9babc323c862290d2eeb51d52fe133e564eba533 and accept our apologies in advance. We can correct these issues if we’re notified of them in a ticket.