» AMI Builder (EBS backed)

Type: amazon-ebs

The amazon-ebs Packer builder is able to create Amazon AMIs backed by EBS volumes for use in EC2. For more information on the difference between EBS-backed instances and instance-store backed instances, see the "storage for the root device" section in the EC2 documentation.

This builder builds an AMI by launching an EC2 instance from a source AMI, provisioning that running machine, and then creating an AMI from that machine. This is all done in your own AWS account. The builder will create temporary keypairs, security group rules, etc. that provide it temporary access to the instance while the image is being created. This simplifies configuration quite a bit.

The builder does not manage AMIs. Once it creates an AMI and stores it in your account, it is up to you to use, delete, etc. the AMI.

» Configuration Reference

There are many configuration options available for the builder. They are segmented below into two categories: required and optional parameters. Within each category, the available configuration keys are alphabetized.

In addition to the options listed here, a communicator can be configured for this builder.

» Required:

  • access_key (string) - The access key used to communicate with AWS. Learn how to set this

  • ami_name (string) - The name of the resulting AMI that will appear when managing AMIs in the AWS console or via APIs. This must be unique. To help make this unique, use a function like timestamp (see template engine for more info).

  • instance_type (string) - The EC2 instance type to use while building the AMI, such as t2.small.

  • region (string) - The name of the region, such as us-east-1, in which to launch the EC2 instance to create the AMI.

  • secret_key (string) - The secret key used to communicate with AWS. Learn how to set this

  • source_ami (string) - The initial AMI used as a base for the newly created machine. source_ami_filter may be used instead to populate this automatically.

» Optional:

  • ami_block_device_mappings (array of block device mappings) - Add one or more block device mappings to the AMI. These will be attached when booting a new instance from your AMI. To add a block device during the Packer build see launch_block_device_mappings below. Your options here may vary depending on the type of VM you use. The block device mappings allow for the following configuration:

    • delete_on_termination (boolean) - Indicates whether the EBS volume is deleted on instance termination. Default false. NOTE: If this value is not explicitly set to true and volumes are not cleaned up by an alternative method, additional volumes will accumulate after every build.
    • device_name (string) - The device name exposed to the instance (for example, /dev/sdh or xvdh). Required for every device in the block device mapping.
    • encrypted (boolean) - Indicates whether to encrypt the volume or not
    • iops (number) - The number of I/O operations per second (IOPS) that the volume supports. See the documentation on IOPs for more information
    • no_device (boolean) - Suppresses the specified device included in the block device mapping of the AMI
    • snapshot_id (string) - The ID of the snapshot
    • virtual_name (string) - The virtual device name. See the documentation on Block Device Mapping for more information
    • volume_size (number) - The size of the volume, in GiB. Required if not specifying a snapshot_id
    • volume_type (string) - The volume type. gp2 for General Purpose (SSD) volumes, io1 for Provisioned IOPS (SSD) volumes, and standard for Magnetic volumes
  • ami_description (string) - The description to set for the resulting AMI(s). By default this description is empty. This is a template engine, see Build template data for more information.

  • ami_groups (array of strings) - A list of groups that have access to launch the resulting AMI(s). By default no groups have permission to launch the AMI. all will make the AMI publicly accessible. AWS currently doesn't accept any value other than all.

  • ami_product_codes (array of strings) - A list of product codes to associate with the AMI. By default no product codes are associated with the AMI.

  • ami_regions (array of strings) - A list of regions to copy the AMI to. Tags and attributes are copied along with the AMI. AMI copying takes time depending on the size of the AMI, but will generally take many minutes.

  • ami_users (array of strings) - A list of account IDs that have access to launch the resulting AMI(s). By default no additional users other than the user creating the AMI has permissions to launch it.

  • ami_virtualization_type (string) - The type of virtualization for the AMI you are building. This option must match the supported virtualization type of source_ami. Can be paravirtual or hvm.

  • associate_public_ip_address (boolean) - If using a non-default VPC, public IP addresses are not provided by default. If this is toggled, your new instance will get a Public IP.

  • availability_zone (string) - Destination availability zone to launch instance in. Leave this empty to allow Amazon to auto-assign.

  • block_duration_minutes (int64) - Requires spot_price to be set. The required duration for the Spot Instances (also known as Spot blocks). This value must be a multiple of 60 (60, 120, 180, 240, 300, or 360). You can't specify an Availability Zone group or a launch group if you specify a duration.

  • custom_endpoint_ec2 (string) - This option is useful if you use a cloud provider whose API is compatible with aws EC2. Specify another endpoint like this https://ec2.custom.endpoint.com.

  • decode_authorization_messages (boolean) - Enable automatic decoding of any encoded authorization (error) messages using the sts:DecodeAuthorizationMessage API. Note: requires that the effective user/role have permissions to sts:DecodeAuthorizationMessage on resource *. Default false.

  • disable_stop_instance (boolean) - Packer normally stops the build instance after all provisioners have run. For Windows instances, it is sometimes desirable to run Sysprep which will stop the instance for you. If this is set to true, Packer will not stop the instance but will assume that you will send the stop signal yourself through your final provisioner. You can do this with a windows-shell provisioner.

    Note that Packer will still wait for the instance to be stopped, and failing to send the stop signal yourself, when you have set this flag to true, will cause a timeout.

    Example of a valid shutdown command:

    {
      "type": "windows-shell",
      "inline": ["\"c:\\Program Files\\Amazon\\Ec2ConfigService\\ec2config.exe\" -sysprep"]
    }
    
  • ebs_optimized (boolean) - Mark instance as EBS Optimized. Default false.

  • ena_support (boolean) - Enable enhanced networking (ENA but not SriovNetSupport) on HVM-compatible AMIs. If set, add ec2:ModifyInstanceAttribute to your AWS IAM policy. If false, this will disable enhanced networking in the final AMI as opposed to passing the setting through unchanged from the source. Note: you must make sure enhanced networking is enabled on your instance. See Amazon's documentation on enabling enhanced networking.

  • enable_t2_unlimited (boolean) - Enabling T2 Unlimited allows the source instance to burst additional CPU beyond its available CPU Credits for as long as the demand exists. This is in contrast to the standard configuration that only allows an instance to consume up to its available CPU Credits. See the AWS documentation for T2 Unlimited and the T2 Unlimited Pricing section of the Amazon EC2 On-Demand Pricing document for more information. By default this option is disabled and Packer will set up a T2 Standard instance instead.

    To use T2 Unlimited you must use a T2 instance type e.g. t2.micro. Additionally, T2 Unlimited cannot be used in conjunction with Spot Instances, e.g., when the spot_price option has been configured. Attempting to do so will cause an error.

  • encrypt_boot (boolean) - Instruct packer to automatically create a copy of the AMI with an encrypted boot volume (discarding the initial unencrypted AMI in the process). Packer will always run this operation, even if the base AMI has an encrypted boot volume to start with. Default false.

  • force_delete_snapshot (boolean) - Force Packer to delete snapshots associated with AMIs, which have been deregistered by force_deregister. Default false.

  • force_deregister (boolean) - Force Packer to first deregister an existing AMI if one with the same name already exists. Default false.

  • kms_key_id (string) - ID, alias or ARN of the KMS key to use for boot volume encryption. This only applies to the main region, other regions where the AMI will be copied will be encrypted by the default EBS KMS key. For valid formats see KmsKeyId in the AWS API docs - CopyImage.

  • iam_instance_profile (string) - The name of an IAM instance profile to launch the EC2 instance with.

  • launch_block_device_mappings (array of block device mappings) - Add one or more block devices before the Packer build starts. If you add instance store volumes or EBS volumes in addition to the root device volume, the created AMI will contain block device mapping information for those volumes. Amazon creates snapshots of the source instance's root volume and any other EBS volumes described here. When you launch an instance from this new AMI, the instance automatically launches with these additional volumes, and will restore them from snapshots taken from the source instance.

  • mfa_code (string) - The MFA TOTP code. This should probably be a user variable since it changes all the time.

  • profile (string) - The profile to use in the shared credentials file for AWS. See Amazon's documentation on specifying profiles for more details.

  • region_kms_key_ids (map of strings) - a map of regions to copy the ami to, along with the custom kms key id (alias or arn) to use for encryption for that region. Keys must match the regions provided in ami_regions. If you just want to encrypt using a default ID, you can stick with kms_key_id and ami_regions. If you want a region to be encrypted with that region's default key ID, you can use an empty string "" instead of a key id in this map. (e.g. "us-east-1": "") However, you cannot use default key IDs if you are using this in conjunction with snapshot_users -- in that situation you must use custom keys. For valid formats see KmsKeyId in the AWS API docs - CopyImage.

  • run_tags (object of key/value strings) - Tags to apply to the instance that is launched to create the AMI. These tags are not applied to the resulting AMI unless they're duplicated in tags. This is a template engine, see Build template data for more information.

  • run_volume_tags (object of key/value strings) - Tags to apply to the volumes that are launched to create the AMI. These tags are not applied to the resulting AMI unless they're duplicated in tags. This is a template engine, see Build template data for more information.

  • security_group_id (string) - The ID (not the name) of the security group to assign to the instance. By default this is not set and Packer will automatically create a new temporary security group to allow SSH access. Note that if this is specified, you must be sure the security group allows access to the ssh_port given below.

  • security_group_ids (array of strings) - A list of security groups as described above. Note that if this is specified, you must omit the security_group_id.

  • security_group_filter (object) - Filters used to populate the security_group_ids field. Example:

    {
      "security_group_filter": {
        "filters": {
          "tag:Class": "packer"
        }
      }
    }
    

    This selects the SG's with tag Class with the value packer.

    • filters (map of strings) - filters used to select a security_group_ids. Any filter described in the docs for DescribeSecurityGroups is valid.

    security_group_ids take precedence over this.

  • shutdown_behavior (string) - Automatically terminate instances on shutdown in case Packer exits ungracefully. Possible values are "stop" and "terminate", default is stop.

  • skip_region_validation (boolean) - Set to true if you want to skip validation of the region configuration option. Default false.

  • snapshot_groups (array of strings) - A list of groups that have access to create volumes from the snapshot(s). By default no groups have permission to create volumes from the snapshot(s). all will make the snapshot publicly accessible.

  • snapshot_users (array of strings) - A list of account IDs that have access to create volumes from the snapshot(s). By default no additional users other than the user creating the AMI has permissions to create volumes from the backing snapshot(s).

  • snapshot_tags (object of key/value strings) - Tags to apply to snapshot. They will override AMI tags if already applied to snapshot. This is a template engine, see Build template data for more information.

  • source_ami_filter (object) - Filters used to populate the source_ami field. Example:

    {
      "source_ami_filter": {
        "filters": {
          "virtualization-type": "hvm",
          "name": "ubuntu/images/*ubuntu-xenial-16.04-amd64-server-*",
          "root-device-type": "ebs"
        },
        "owners": ["099720109477"],
        "most_recent": true
      }
    }
    

    This selects the most recent Ubuntu 16.04 HVM EBS AMI from Canonical. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one AMI is returned. In the above example, most_recent will cause this to succeed by selecting the newest image.

    • filters (map of strings) - filters used to select a source_ami. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one AMI is returned. Any filter described in the docs for DescribeImages is valid.
    • owners (array of strings) - Filters the images by their owner. You may specify one or more AWS account IDs, "self" (which will use the account whose credentials you are using to run Packer), or an AWS owner alias: for example, amazon, aws-marketplace, or microsoft. This option is required for security reasons.
    • most_recent (boolean) - Selects the newest created image when true. This is most useful for selecting a daily distro build.

    You may set this in place of source_ami or in conjunction with it. If you set this in conjunction with source_ami, the source_ami will be added to the filter. The provided source_ami must meet all of the filtering criteria provided in source_ami_filter; this pins the AMI returned by the filter, but will cause Packer to fail if the source_ami does not exist.

  • spot_price (string) - The maximum hourly price to pay for a spot instance to create the AMI. Spot instances are a type of instance that EC2 starts when the current spot price is less than the maximum price you specify. Spot price will be updated based on available spot instance capacity and current spot instance requests. It may save you some costs. You can set this to auto for Packer to automatically discover the best spot price or to "0" to use an on demand instance (default).

  • spot_price_auto_product (string) - Required if spot_price is set to auto. This tells Packer what sort of AMI you're launching to find the best spot price. This must be one of: Linux/UNIX, SUSE Linux, Windows, Linux/UNIX (Amazon VPC), SUSE Linux (Amazon VPC), Windows (Amazon VPC)

  • spot_tags (object of key/value strings) - Requires spot_price to be set. This tells Packer to apply tags to the spot request that is issued.

  • sriov_support (boolean) - Enable enhanced networking (SriovNetSupport but not ENA) on HVM-compatible AMIs. If true, add ec2:ModifyInstanceAttribute to your AWS IAM policy. Note: you must make sure enhanced networking is enabled on your instance. See Amazon's documentation on enabling enhanced networking. Default false.

  • ssh_keypair_name (string) - If specified, this is the key that will be used for SSH with the machine. The key must match a key pair name loaded up into Amazon EC2. By default, this is blank, and Packer will generate a temporary keypair unless ssh_password is used. ssh_private_key_file or ssh_agent_auth must be specified when ssh_keypair_name is utilized.

  • ssh_agent_auth (boolean) - If true, the local SSH agent will be used to authenticate connections to the source instance. No temporary keypair will be created, and the values of ssh_password and ssh_private_key_file will be ignored. To use this option with a key pair already configured in the source AMI, leave the ssh_keypair_name blank. To associate an existing key pair in AWS with the source instance, set the ssh_keypair_name field to the name of the key pair.

  • ssh_private_ip (boolean) - No longer supported. See ssh_interface. A fixer exists to migrate.

  • ssh_interface (string) - One of public_ip, private_ip, public_dns, or private_dns. If set, either the public IP address, private IP address, public DNS name or private DNS name will used as the host for SSH. The default behaviour if inside a VPC is to use the public IP address if available, otherwise the private IP address will be used. If not in a VPC the public DNS name will be used. Also works for WinRM.

    Where Packer is configured for an outbound proxy but WinRM traffic should be direct, ssh_interface must be set to private_dns and <region>.compute.internal included in the NO_PROXY environment variable.

  • subnet_id (string) - If using VPC, the ID of the subnet, such as subnet-12345def, where Packer will launch the EC2 instance. This field is required if you are using an non-default VPC.

  • subnet_filter (object) - Filters used to populate the subnet_id field. Example:

    {
      "subnet_filter": {
        "filters": {
          "tag:Class": "build"
        },
        "most_free": true,
        "random": false
      }
    }
    

    This selects the Subnet with tag Class with the value build, which has the most free IP addresses. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one Subnet is returned. By using most_free or random one will be selected from those matching the filter.

    • filters (map of strings) - filters used to select a subnet_id. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one Subnet is returned. Any filter described in the docs for DescribeSubnets is valid.
    • most_free (boolean) - The Subnet with the most free IPv4 addresses will be used if multiple Subnets matches the filter.
    • random (boolean) - A random Subnet will be used if multiple Subnets matches the filter. most_free have precendence over this.

    subnet_id take precedence over this.

  • tags (object of key/value strings) - Tags applied to the AMI and relevant snapshots. This is a template engine, see Build template data for more information.

  • temporary_key_pair_name (string) - The name of the temporary key pair to generate. By default, Packer generates a name that looks like packer_<UUID>, where <UUID> is a 36 character unique identifier.

  • temporary_security_group_source_cidr (string) - An IPv4 CIDR block to be authorized access to the instance, when packer is creating a temporary security group. The default is 0.0.0.0/0 (i.e., allow any IPv4 source). This is only used when security_group_id or security_group_ids is not specified.

  • token (string) - The access token to use. This is different from the access key and secret key. If you're not sure what this is, then you probably don't need it. This will also be read from the AWS_SESSION_TOKEN environmental variable.

  • user_data (string) - User data to apply when launching the instance. Note that you need to be careful about escaping characters due to the templates being JSON. It is often more convenient to use user_data_file, instead.

  • user_data_file (string) - Path to a file that will be used for the user data when launching the instance.

  • vpc_id (string) - If launching into a VPC subnet, Packer needs the VPC ID in order to create a temporary security group within the VPC. Requires subnet_id to be set. If this field is left blank, Packer will try to get the VPC ID from the subnet_id.

  • vpc_filter (object) - Filters used to populate the vpc_id field. Example:

    {
      "vpc_filter": {
        "filters": {
          "tag:Class": "build",
          "isDefault": "false",
          "cidr": "/24"
        }
      }
    }
    

    This selects the VPC with tag Class with the value build, which is not the default VPC, and have a IPv4 CIDR block of /24. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one VPC is returned.

    • filters (map of strings) - filters used to select a vpc_id. NOTE: This will fail unless exactly one VPC is returned. Any filter described in the docs for DescribeVpcs is valid.

    vpc_id take precedence over this.

  • windows_password_timeout (string) - The timeout for waiting for a Windows password for Windows instances. Defaults to 20 minutes. Example value: 10m

» Basic Example

Here is a basic example. You will need to provide access keys, and may need to change the AMI IDs according to what images exist at the time the template is run:

{
  "type": "amazon-ebs",
  "access_key": "YOUR KEY HERE",
  "secret_key": "YOUR SECRET KEY HERE",
  "region": "us-east-1",
  "source_ami": "ami-fce3c696",
  "instance_type": "t2.micro",
  "ssh_username": "ubuntu",
  "ami_name": "packer-quick-start {{timestamp}}"
}

Further information on locating AMI IDs and their relationship to instance types and regions can be found in the AWS EC2 Documentation for Linux or for Windows.

» Accessing the Instance to Debug

If you need to access the instance to debug for some reason, run the builder with the -debug flag. In debug mode, the Amazon builder will save the private key in the current directory and will output the DNS or IP information as well. You can use this information to access the instance as it is running.

» AMI Block Device Mappings Example

Here is an example using the optional AMI block device mappings. Our configuration of launch_block_device_mappings will expand the root volume (/dev/sda) to 40gb during the build (up from the default of 8gb). With ami_block_device_mappings AWS will attach additional volumes /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc when we boot a new instance of our AMI.

{
  "type": "amazon-ebs",
  "access_key": "YOUR KEY HERE",
  "secret_key": "YOUR SECRET KEY HERE",
  "region": "us-east-1",
  "source_ami": "ami-fce3c696",
  "instance_type": "t2.micro",
  "ssh_username": "ubuntu",
  "ami_name": "packer-quick-start {{timestamp}}",
  "launch_block_device_mappings": [
    {
      "device_name": "/dev/sda1",
      "volume_size": 40,
      "volume_type": "gp2",
      "delete_on_termination": true
    }
  ],
  "ami_block_device_mappings": [
    {
      "device_name": "/dev/sdb",
      "virtual_name": "ephemeral0"
    },
    {
      "device_name": "/dev/sdc",
      "virtual_name": "ephemeral1"
    }
  ]
}

» Build template data

In configuration directives marked as a template engine above, the following variables are available:

  • BuildRegion - The region (for example eu-central-1) where Packer is building the AMI.
  • SourceAMI - The source AMI ID (for example ami-a2412fcd) used to build the AMI.
  • SourceAMIName - The source AMI Name (for example ubuntu/images/ebs-ssd/ubuntu-xenial-16.04-amd64-server-20180306) used to build the AMI.
  • SourceAMITags - The source AMI Tags, as a map[string]string object.

» Tag Example

Here is an example using the optional AMI tags. This will add the tags OS_Version and Release to the finished AMI. As before, you will need to provide your access keys, and may need to change the source AMI ID based on what images exist when this template is run:

{
  "type": "amazon-ebs",
  "access_key": "YOUR KEY HERE",
  "secret_key": "YOUR SECRET KEY HERE",
  "region": "us-east-1",
  "source_ami": "ami-fce3c696",
  "instance_type": "t2.micro",
  "ssh_username": "ubuntu",
  "ami_name": "packer-quick-start {{timestamp}}",
  "tags": {
    "OS_Version": "Ubuntu",
    "Release": "Latest",
    "Base_AMI_Name": "{{ .SourceAMIName }}",
    "Extra": "{{ .SourceAMITags.TagName }}"
  }
}

» Windows 2016 Sysprep Commands - For Amazon Windows AMIs Only

For Amazon Windows 2016 AMIs it is necessary to run Sysprep commands which can be easily added to the provisioner section.

{
    "type": "powershell",
    "inline": [
      "C:/ProgramData/Amazon/EC2-Windows/Launch/Scripts/InitializeInstance.ps1 -Schedule",
      "C:/ProgramData/Amazon/EC2-Windows/Launch/Scripts/SysprepInstance.ps1 -NoShutdown"
    ]

}