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.
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,
/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-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.
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 environment 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!
While the binary packages is the only official method of installation, there are alternatives available.
If you're using OS X and Homebrew, you can install Packer by adding the
$ brew tap homebrew/binary $ brew install packer