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Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration

What is Packer?

Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images.
Packer is a tool in the Infrastructure Build Tools category of a tech stack.
Packer is an open source tool with 12.5K GitHub stars and 3K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Packer's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Packer?

187 companies reportedly use Packer in their tech stacks, including Instacart, trivago, and Bitpanda.

267 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Packer.

Packer Integrations

Docker, Amazon EC2, VirtualBox, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine are some of the popular tools that integrate with Packer. Here's a list of all 16 tools that integrate with Packer.

Packer's Features

  • Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
  • Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
  • Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.
  • Greater testability. After a machine image is built, that machine image can be quickly launched and smoke tested to verify that things appear to be working. If they are, you can be confident that any other machines launched from that image will function properly.

Packer Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Packer?
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
AWS CloudFormation
You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order in which AWS services need to be provisioned or the subtleties of how to make those dependencies work.
See all alternatives

Packer's Followers
411 developers follow Packer to keep up with related blogs and decisions.