» VMware Builder

The VMware Packer builder is able to create VMware virtual machines for use with any VMware product.

Packer actually comes with multiple builders able to create VMware machines, depending on the strategy you want to use to build the image. Packer supports the following VMware builders:

  • vmware-iso - Starts from an ISO file, creates a brand new VMware VM, installs an OS, provisions software within the OS, then exports that machine to create an image. This is best for people who want to start from scratch.

  • vmware-vmx - This builder imports an existing VMware machine (from a VMX file), runs provisioners on top of that VM, and exports that machine to create an image. This is best if you have an existing VMware VM you want to use as the source. As an additional benefit, you can feed the artifact of this builder back into Packer to iterate on a machine.

  • vsphere-iso - This builder starts from an ISO file, but utilizes the vSphere API rather than the esxcli to build on a remote esx instance. This allows you to build vms even if you do not have SSH access to your vSphere cluster.

  • vsphere-clone - This builder clones a vm from an existing template, then modifies it and saves it as a new template. It uses the vSphere API rather than the esxcli to build on a remote esx instance. This allows you to build vms even if you do not have SSH access to your vSphere cluster.