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Packer - Machine Images from the Maker of Vagrant

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Packer - Machine Images from the Maker of Vagrant

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Packer is a new, open source configuration management tool from Mitchell Hashimoto, creator of Vagrant. Packer aims to automate the creation of any type of machine image for multiple platforms, from a single source configuration. If Ops own the environment, they're probably going to want to set aside some time to see how Packer can work for them -- but even apart from the utility, it's just plain cool. With a Packer image, you can get new machines up and running with pre-configured operating systems and ready-for-action software already installed.

Packer runs on every major operating system, and out of the box it can build images for EC2, DigitalOcean, VirtualBox, and VMware, and plugin support for new platforms opens the door for some pretty impressive versatility.

Packer also plays nice with Puppet and Chef -- this post from James Carr walks you through building an immutable server with Puppet and Packer. It's built to slot neatly into a continuous delivery process -- CLI-centric, lightweight, and capable of building multiple images at once and installing software onto an image as it builds with Puppet or Chef. All of which makes it a pretty appealing prospect for keeping environments uniform from development to production. 

If you're interested, you can check out the Packer source on GitHub. Or you can just go ahead and download it here.

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