Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Harry Trott, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Tutorial

Building Vagrant Machines with Packer

Learn how to use Vagrant and Packer to build virtual machines for development

Building Vagrant Machines with Packer

Sharing a common development environment with everyone on your team is important. It is really hard though to keep the same dependencies, database versions and other systems in sync between different machines.

Vagrant is a great tool that helps with this and manage the lifecycle of a virtual machine. As nice as Vagrant is, provisioning machines with it has always been a pain. A couple of months ago Mitchell Hashimoto, the creator of Vagrant, launched Packer.

Packer lets you build Virtual Machine Images for different providers from one json file. You can use the same file and commands to build an image on AWS, Digital Ocean or for virtualbox and vagrant. This makes it possible to use exactly the same system for development which you then create in production.

In this blog post we will show you how you can use Packer to build your vagrant machines. In a follow up post we will focus on how we use Packer for building all of our Continuous Deployment Infrastructure.

Prerequisites for building Vagrant Machines
You need Virtualbox and Packer installed. Virtualbox provides packages for different Operating systems. Packer is even easier, just download the right zip for your system and unzip it into your PATH

Building your Virtual Machine with Packer
We've collected all the files necessary to build a Vagrant Machine with Packer in our Packer Example repository.

Packer uses builders, provisioners and post-processors as the main configuraition attributes. A builder can for example be virtualbox or AWS. A provisioner can be used to run different scripts. Post-processors can be run after the machine image is done. For example converting a Virtualbox image into a suitable image for vagrant is done in a post-processor.

Here is the main packer.json file. You can see the builder, provisioner and post-processor defined:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 { "provisioners": [ { "type": "shell", "scripts": [ "scripts/root_setup.sh" ], "override": { "virtualbox": { "execute_command": "echo 'vagrant' | sudo -S sh '{{ .Path }}'" } } }, { "type": "shell", "scripts": [ "scripts/setup.sh" ] } ], "builders": [ { "type": "virtualbox", "boot_command": [ "<esc><esc><enter><wait>", "/install/vmlinuz noapic preseed/url=http://{{ .HTTPIP }}:{{ .HTTPPort }}/preseed.cfg <wait>", "debian-installer=en_US auto locale=en_US kbd-chooser/method=us <wait>", "hostname={{ .Name }} <wait>", "fb=false debconf/frontend=noninteractive <wait>", "keyboard-configuration/modelcode=SKIP keyboard-configuration/layout=USA keyboard-configuration/variant=USA console-setup/ask_detect=false <wait>", "initrd=/install/initrd.gz -- <enter><wait>" ], "boot_wait": "4s", "guest_os_type": "Ubuntu_64", "http_directory": "http", "iso_checksum": "4d1a8b720cdd14b76ed9410c63a00d0e", "iso_checksum_type": "md5", "iso_url": "http://releases.ubuntu.com/13.10/ubuntu-13.10-server-amd64.iso", "ssh_username": "vagrant", "ssh_password": "vagrant", "ssh_port": 22, "ssh_wait_timeout": "10000s", "shutdown_command": "echo 'shutdown -P now' > shutdown.sh; echo 'vagrant'|sudo -S sh 'shutdown.sh'", "guest_additions_path": "VBoxGuestAdditions_{{.Version}}.iso", "headless": false, "virtualbox_version_file": ".vbox_version", "vboxmanage": [ [ "modifyvm", "{{.Name}}", "--memory", "2048" ], [ "modifyvm", "{{.Name}}", "--cpus", "4" ] ] } ], "post-processors": ["vagrant"] }

It builds for virtualbox and then exports it into vagrant. The http folder contains a preseed.cfg file that is necessary to set up Ubuntu.

In the scripts folder you can find a root_setup.sh and setup.sh scripts.

The root_setup.sh script sets up necessary packages and parameters for Vagrant:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 #!/bin/bash set -e # Updating and Upgrading dependencies sudo apt-get update -y -qq > /dev/null sudo apt-get upgrade -y -qq > /dev/null # Install necessary libraries for guest additions and Vagrant NFS Share sudo apt-get -y -q install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential dkms nfs-common # Install necessary dependencies sudo apt-get -y -q install curl wget git tmux firefox xvfb vim # Setup sudo to allow no-password sudo for "admin" groupadd -r admin usermod -a -G admin vagrant cp /etc/sudoers /etc/sudoers.orig sed -i -e '/Defaults\s\+env_reset/a Defaults\texempt_group=admin' /etc/sudoers sed -i -e 's/%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL/%admin ALL=NOPASSWD:ALL/g' /etc/sudoers #Install Redis sudo apt-get -y -q install libjemalloc1 wget -q http://d7jrzzvab3wte.cloudfront.net/checkbot/deb/redis-server_2.6.13-1_amd64.deb sha1sum redis-server_2.6.13-1_amd64.deb | grep 'ab50cf037fd63e160946f8946b6d318cdf11800d' dpkg -i redis-server_2.6.13-1_amd64.deb rm redis-server_2.6.13-1_amd64.deb # Install required libraries for RVM and Ruby sudo apt-get -y -q install gawk libreadline6-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 autoconf libgdbm-dev libncurses5-dev automake libtool bison pkg-config libffi-dev libxml2-dev libxslt-dev libxml2 # Install Postgresql sudo apt-get -y -q install postgresql libpq-dev postgresql-contrib # Set Password to test for user postgres sudo -u postgres psql -c "ALTER USER postgres WITH PASSWORD 'test';"

The setup.sh script install different dependencies like ruby or redis to set up the virtual machine exactly how you need it:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 #!/bin/bash set -e echo "Instaling for rof" # Installing vagrant keys mkdir ~/.ssh chmod 700 ~/.ssh cd ~/.ssh wget --no-check-certificate 'https://raw.github.com/mitchellh/vagrant/master/keys/vagrant.pub' -O authorized_keys chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys chown -R vagrant ~/.ssh # Node.js Setup wget --retry-connrefused -q -O - https://raw.github.com/creationix/nvm/master/install.sh | sh source ~/.nvm/nvm.sh nvm install 0.10.18 nvm alias default 0.10.18 echo "source ~/.nvm/nvm.sh" >> ~/.bash_profile # RVM Install wget --retry-connrefused -q -O - https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable source /home/vagrant/.rvm/scripts/rvm rvm autolibs read-fail rvm install 2.0.0-p195 gem install bundler zeus

You don't have any limits what you can run in your virtual machine through these scripts.

Building the Machine
We've added a create_box script that makes it easy for you to get started

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 #!/bin/bash set -e #export PACKER_LOG=1 rm packer_virtualbox_virtualbox.box || true packer build -only=virtualbox packer.json vagrant box remove vagrant_machine || true vagrant box add vagrant_machine packer/packer_virtualbox_virtualbox.box

You will then see Virtualbox start up and build the machine

Packer Virtualbox

Run the script and it will create the packer machine and import it into vagrant. Then all you have to do is run

1 2 vagrant destroy vagrant up

And you have your development environment set up.

You can now get into the machine with vagrant ssh and start coding.

Codeship - A hosted Continuous Deployment platform for web applications

Conclusion
Vagrant is an incredibly powerful tool and together with Packer it is easy to build development environments for your whole team.

But this is only the beginning. Packer can go much further than just providing your development environment. We are currently implementing Packer as the tool to build all of our test infrastructure servers. This new set of tools is great for Immutable Infrastructureand Continuous Deployment so you can build more stable, secure and easy to change infrastructure than ever before.

Let us know in the comments how you use Packer and Vagrant. We are excited to hear your thoughts!

Additional Links


Download Efficiency in Development Workflows: A free eBook for Software Developers. This book will save you a lot of time and make you and your development team happy.

Go ahead and try Codeship for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment! Set up for your GitHub and BitBucket projects only takes 3 minutes. It's free!

More Stories By Manuel Weiss

I am the cofounder of Codeship – a hosted Continuous Integration and Deployment platform for web applications. On the Codeship blog we love to write about Software Testing, Continuos Integration and Deployment. Also check out our weekly screencast series 'Testing Tuesday'!

@ThingsExpo Stories
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...