Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz

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
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...