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
for instructions on setting the PATH on Linux and Mac. This
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:
If you're using OS X and Homebrew, you can install Packer:
$ brew install packer
If you're using Windows and Chocolatey, you can install Packer from Windows command line (cmd). Remember that this is updated by a 3rd party, so it may not be the latest available version.
$ choco install packer