Manage your macOS VM Images with the Orka-Packer Plugin

Learn a bit about Packer, its advantages and how to use the Orka-Packer plugin to manage your macOS VM images as code in this post.

Packer is an automation tool for managing VM images as code that can be checked into source control. It is made by Hashicorp, and like any other major automation tooling they produce, such as Terraform, it uses HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL).

Managing images as code is beneficial to development teams on a variety of levels. It allows the images to be checked into source control, and thus be tracked across changes. It allows teams to automate the process of image creation, and it is particularly helpful to teams with large numbers of images to manage. Packer is a preferred tool for managing images as code as it is well established, easy to use, and it interacts well with other CI tooling.

Orka-Packer Plugin

The Orka-Packer plugin allows teams to remotely define and create macOS Orka VM images, which can later be spun up as Orka VMs. In order to use the Orka-Packer plugin, you will first have to install Packer itself. You can find installation instructions for your operating system here.

Packer CLI Syntax

Packer’s CLI syntax is very easy to understand and generally adheres to the following format: