To create private images based on public/official cloud images that will not be removed or deregistered by the cloud provider


  • You must log in under a RightScale account with actor and library user roles in order to complete the tutorial.
  • You must have an supported cloud registered with RightScale
  • We strongly recommend that you set up credentials for password values and any other sensitive data included as inputs.


This tutorial describes the steps for launching one Chef server in the cloud, using the Image Bundler For RightLink 10 ServerTemplate.


Add a Server

Follow these steps to add the image builder to the deployment.

  1. Go to the MultiCloud Marketplace (Design > MultiCloud Marketplace > ServerTemplates) and import the most recently published revision of the Image Bundler For RightLink 10 ServerTemplate into the RightScale account.
  2. From the imported ServerTemplate's show page, click the Add Server button.
  3. Select the cloud for which you will configure a server.
  4. Select the deployment into which the new server will be placed.
  5. Next, the Add Server Assistant wizard will walk you through the remaining steps that are required to create a server based on the selected cloud.
    • Server Name - Provide a nickname for your new server (e.g., ImageBundler - AWS - CentOs).
    • Select the appropriate cloud-specific resources that are required in order to launch a server into the chosen cloud. The required cloud resources may differ depending on the type of cloud infrastructure.
  6. Click Confirm, review the server's configuration and click Finish to create the server.

Configure Inputs

The next step is to define the properties of the packer build and configuration parameter by entering values for inputs. As a best practice, you should define required inputs for the servers at the deployment level. For a detailed explanation of how inputs are defined and used in RightScripts, see Inheritance of Inputs.

To enter inputs, open the deployment's Inputs tab, click Edit, and use the following settings to configure input values. We recommend that you set up credentials for password values and any other sensitive data as shown in the examples.

Image Bundler Inputs

The CLOUD Category provides inputs to select which cloud specific parameters.

Input Name Description Example Value
CLOUD Select the supported target cloud for your image text: ec2
DATACENTER The Datacenter or Availability Zone to create the image in. text: us-east-1
IMAGE_NAME The name of the image to be created. Image name must not already exist. text: my-image
INSTANCE_TYPE The instance type used to create the image. text: m3.medium
PLATFORM The Platform of the target image. Either Linux or Windows text: linux
SOURCE_IMAGE The source image id of the image being copied. Leave blank for Azure RM. text: ami-abc123

The AWS Category provides inputs specific to images created in AWS.

Input Name Description Example Value
AWS_SUBNET_ID The Subnet id used with the VPC. Leave blank for default.
AWS_VPC_ID The VPC ID of the VPC to use Leave blank for default

The Google Compute Category provides inputs specific to images created in GCE.

Input Name Description Example Value
GOOGLE_ACCOUNT The Google Service Account json file cred:GOOGLE_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_FILE
GOOGLE_NETWORK The Network name to use when building the image. Leave blank for default
GOOGLE_SUBNETWORK The Subnet name used with the Network being used. Leave blank for default.

The Azure RM category provides inputs specific to images created on Azure. Carefully read the Packer Azure Setup to gather the credentials needed below.

Input Name Description Example Value
AZURERM_CLIENT_ID The Active Directory service principal associated with your builder. cred:AZURERM_CLIENT_ID
AZURERM_CLIENT_SECRET The password or secret for your service principal. cred:AZURERM_CLIENT_SECRET
AZURERM_IMAGE_OFFER Offer for your base image.CLI example azure vm image list-offers -l westus -p Canonical text: UbuntuServer
AZURERM_IMAGE_PUBLISHER PublisherName for your base image. CLI example azure vm image list-publishers -l westus text:Canonical
AZURERM_IMAGE_SKU SKU for your base image. CLI example azure vm image list-skus -l westus -p Canonical -o UbuntuServer text:14.04.5
AZURERM_RESOURCE_GROUP Resource group under which the final artifact will be stored. text:myresourcegroup
AZURERM_SPN_OBJECT_ID Storage account under which the final artifact will be stored. cred:AZURERM_SPN_OBJECT_ID
AZURERM_STORAGE_ACCOUNT (Storage Accounts)[/clouds/azure_resource_manager/reference/resources.html#storage-accounts] under which the final artifact will be stored. text:mystorageaccount
AZURERM_SUBSCRIPTION_ID Subscription under which the build will be performed. The service principal specified in client_id must have full access to this subscription. cred:AZURERM_SUBSCRIPTION_ID

The MISC Category provides inputs to install RightLink on the Image.

Input Name Description Example Value
IMAGE_PASSWORD The Windows Administrator password when building windows images. The password must abide to the Windows Password requirements cred: WINDOWS_ADMIN_PASSWORD
SSH_USERNAME The username packer will use to ssh into the new image to run scripts. This is the username provided by the cloud provider or linux distribution. For example, on CentOS distro the username is 'centos', and ubuntu it's 'ubuntu' text: centos
CUSTOM_SCRIPT_URL Public URL to custom script to modify image. This script will run in the provision section of the packer build, after the image is built. text: https://s3.awsamazon.com/mybucket/myscript.sh

The RIGHTLINK Category provides inputs to install RightLink on the Image.

Input Name Description Example Value
RIGHTLINK_VERSION The version of RightLink 10 to install on image. Leave blank to NOT add RightLink to image. Enter 10 to get the latest version or RightLink 10, or provide the explicit version, i.e 10.6.0 text: 10.6.0

The RIGHTSCALE Category provides inputs manage boot time RightScripts.

Input Name Description Example Value
MANAGED_LOGIN To enable or disable managed login. Default is 'enable'. text: enable

Launch the Server

  1. Go to the deployment's Servers tab and launch the image builder. When you view the input confirmation page, there should not be any required inputs with missing values. If there are any required inputs that are missing values (highlighted in red) at the input confirmation page, cancel the launch and add values for those inputs at the deployment level before launching the server again. Refer to the instructions in Launch a Server if you are not familiar with this process.

Create or Update your MultiCloud Image (MCI).

Now that you have your new Image created you before you can use it you need to create a new or Update an existing (MCI). Refer to the Create a new MultiCloud Image document for these details.

More Details

RightLink 10 on Linux can be installed at boot time and doesn't need to be bundled into the image, but it can be if it's desired. Windows however can not install RightLink during boot and it must be added to the image. You can use the RIGHTLINK_VERSION input to tell packer to include RightLink on the image.

Networks, Subnets and Security Groups

Packer use the default network, subnet unless specific network and subnets are supplied as Inputs for those clouds.

Azure Resource Manager and Storage Accounts

When custom images are created in Azure they are placed in (Storage Accounts)[/clouds/azure_resource_manager/reference/resources.html#storage-accounts]. When launching a server using custom images they must be launched in the same storage accounts the image is in. When Launching a server in RightScale select the Storage Account created for the custom images in the Placement Group download list.

Further Reading