Install Packer

Packer must first be installed on the machine you want to run it on. To make installation easy, Packer is distributed as a binary package for all supported platforms and architectures. This page will not cover how to compile Packer from source, as that is covered in the README and is only recommended for advanced users.

Installing Packer

To install packer, first find the appropriate package for your system and download it. Packer is packaged as a "zip" file.

Next, unzip the downloaded package into a directory where Packer will be installed. On Unix systems, ~/packer or /usr/local/packer is generally good, depending on whether you want to restrict the install to just your user or install it system-wide. On Windows systems, you can put it wherever you'd like.

After unzipping the package, the directory should contain a set of binary programs, such as packer, packer-build-amazon-ebs, etc. The final step to installation is to make sure the directory you installed Packer to is on the PATH. See this page for instructions on setting the PATH on Linux and Mac. This page contains instructions for setting the PATH on Windows.

Verifying the Installation

After installing Packer, verify the installation worked by opening a new command prompt or console, and checking that packer is available:

$ packer
usage: packer [--version] [--help] <command> [<args>]

Available commands are:
    build        build image(s) from template
    fix          fixes templates from old versions of packer
    inspect      see components of a template
    validate     check that a template is valid

If you get an error that packer could not be found, then your PATH environmental variable was not setup properly. Please go back and ensure that your PATH variable contains the directory which has Packer installed.

Otherwise, Packer is installed and you're ready to go!

Alternative Installation Methods

Installation from binary packages is currently the only officially supported installation method. The binary packages are guaranteed to be the latest available version and match the proper checksums. However, in addition to the official binaries, there are other unofficial 3rd party methods of installation managed by the Packer community:

Homebrew

If you're using OS X and Homebrew, you can install Packer by adding the binary tap. Remember that this is updated by a 3rd party, so it may not be the latest available version.

$ brew tap homebrew/binary
$ brew install packer