»Triton Builder

Type: triton Artifact BuilderId: joyent.triton

The triton Packer builder is able to create new images for use with Triton. These images can be used with both the Joyent public cloud (which is powered by Triton) as well with private Triton installations.

This builder uses the Triton Cloud API to create these images. Triton also supports the Docker API however this builder does not. If you want to create Docker images on Triton you should use the Packer Docker builder.

The builder creates and launches a temporary VM based on a specified source image, runs any provisioning necessary, uses the Triton "VM to image" functionality to create a reusable image and finally destroys the temporary VM. This reusable image can then be used to launch new machines.

The builder does not manage images. Once it creates an image, it is up to you to use it or delete it.

»Configuration Reference

There are many configuration options available for the builder. They are segmented below into two categories: required and optional parameters.

In addition to the options listed here, a communicator can be configured for this builder. In addition to the options defined there, a private key file can also be supplied to override the typical auto-generated key:

  • ssh_private_key_file (string) - Path to a PEM encoded private key file to use to authenticate with SSH. The ~ can be used in path and will be expanded to the home directory of current user.
  • ssh_agent_auth (bool) - 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. The environment variable SSH_AUTH_SOCK must be set for this option to work properly.


  • triton_account (string) - The username of the Triton account to use when using the Triton Cloud API.

  • triton_key_id (string) - The fingerprint of the public key of the SSH key pair to use for authentication with the Triton Cloud API. If triton_key_material is not set, it is assumed that the SSH agent has the private key corresponding to this key ID loaded.

  • source_machine_image (string) - The UUID of the image to base the new image on. Triton supports multiple types of images, called 'brands' in Triton / Joyent lingo, for contains and VM's. See the chapter Containers and virtual machines in the Joyent Triton documentation for detailed information. The following brands are currently supported by this builder:joyent andkvm. The choice of base image automatically decides the brand. On the Joyent public cloud a valid source_machine_image could for example be 70e3ae72-96b6-11e6-9056-9737fd4d0764 for version 16.3.1 of the 64bit SmartOS base image (a 'joyent' brand image). source_machine_image_filter can be used to populate this UUID.

  • source_machine_package (string) - The Triton package to use while building the image. Does not affect (and does not have to be the same) as the package which will be used for a VM instance running this image. On the Joyent public cloud this could for example be g3-standard-0.5-smartos.

  • image_name (string) - The name the finished image in Triton will be assigned. Maximum 512 characters but should in practice be much shorter (think between 5 and 20 characters). For example postgresql-95-server for an image used as a PostgreSQL 9.5 server.

  • image_version (string) - The version string for this image. Maximum 128 characters. Any string will do but a format of Major.Minor.Patch is strongly advised by Joyent. See Semantic Versioning for more information on the Major.Minor.Patch versioning format.


  • triton_url (string) - The URL of the Triton cloud API to use. If omitted it will default to the us-sw-1 region of the Joyent Public cloud. If you are using your own private Triton installation you will have to supply the URL of the cloud API of your own Triton installation.

  • triton_key_material (string) - Path to the file in which the private key of triton_key_id is stored. For example /home/soandso/.ssh/id_rsa. If this is not specified, the SSH agent is used to sign requests with the triton_key_id specified.

  • triton_user (string) - The username of a user who has access to your Triton account.

  • insecure_skip_tls_verify - (bool) This allows skipping TLS verification of the Triton endpoint. It is useful when connecting to a temporary Triton installation such as Cloud-On-A-Laptop which does not generally use a certificate signed by a trusted root CA. The default is false.

  • source_machine_firewall_enabled (boolean) - Whether or not the firewall of the VM used to create an image of is enabled. The Triton firewall only filters inbound traffic to the VM. All outbound traffic is always allowed. Currently this builder does not provide an interface to add specific firewall rules. Unless you have a global rule defined in Triton which allows SSH traffic enabling the firewall will interfere with the SSH provisioner. The default is false.

  • source_machine_metadata (object of key/value strings) - Triton metadata applied to the VM used to create the image. Metadata can be used to pass configuration information to the VM without the need for networking. See Using the metadata API in the Joyent documentation for more information. This can for example be used to set the user-script metadata key to have Triton start a user supplied script after the VM has booted.

  • source_machine_name (string) - Name of the VM used for building the image. Does not affect (and does not have to be the same) as the name for a VM instance running this image. Maximum 512 characters but should in practice be much shorter (think between 5 and 20 characters). For example mysql-64-server-image-builder. When omitted defaults to packer-builder-[image_name].

  • source_machine_networks (array of strings) - The UUID's of Triton networks added to the source machine used for creating the image. For example if any of the provisioners which are run need Internet access you will need to add the UUID's of the appropriate networks here. If this is not specified, instances will be placed into the default Triton public and internal networks.

  • source_machine_tags (object of key/value strings) - Tags applied to the VM used to create the image.

  • image_acls (array of strings) - The UUID's of the users which will have access to this image. When omitted only the owner (the Triton user whose credentials are used) will have access to the image.

  • image_description (string) - Description of the image. Maximum 512 characters.

  • image_eula_url (string) - URL of the End User License Agreement (EULA) for the image. Maximum 128 characters.

  • image_homepage (string) - URL of the homepage where users can find information about the image. Maximum 128 characters.

  • image_tags (object of key/value strings) - Tag applied to the image.

  • source_machine_image_filter (object) - Filters used to populate the source_machine_image field. Example:

      "source_machine_image_filter": {
        "name": "ubuntu-16.04",
        "type": "lx-dataset",
        "most_recent": true

»Basic Example

Below is a minimal example to create an image on the Joyent public cloud:

  "builders": [
      "type": "triton",

      "triton_account": "triton_username",
      "triton_key_id": "6b:95:03:3d:d3:6e:52:69:01:96:1a:46:4a:8d:c1:7e",

      "source_machine_name": "image-builder",
      "source_machine_package": "g4-highcpu-128M",
      "source_machine_image_filter": {
        "name": "ubuntu-16.04",
        "type": "lx-dataset",
        "most_recent": "true"

      "ssh_username": "root",

      "image_name": "my_new_image",
      "image_version": "1.0.0"

In the above example the SSH key used for triton_key_material (connecting to the Cloud API) and the ssh_private_key_file (connecting to the VM once it has started) are the same. This is because Triton automatically configures the root users to be able to login via SSH with the same key used to create the VM via the Cloud API. In more advanced scenarios for example when using a source_machine_image one might use different credentials.

Available triton_key_id, source_machine_package, source_machine_image, and source_machine_networks can be found by using the following Triton CLI commands: triton key list, triton package list, triton image list, and triton network list respectively.