HashiCorp Packer 1.0

HashiCorp Packer 1.0

Apr 04 2017    Mitchell Hashimoto

We're announcing HashiCorp Packer 1.0. Packer is a tool for building images for cloud platforms, virtual machines, containers, and more from a single source configuration.

Packer 1.0 is a significant milestone. Packer is a powerful and full-featured tool to create cloud images and application packages. Today, Packer is in use by tens of thousands of organizations worldwide to automate their image creation.

Packer 1.0 is a promise of stability and backwards compatibility. We will continue to develop releases for 1.0 to fix any issues that may exist. At the same time, development on major new versions of Packer are underway.

HashiCorp Packer

HashiCorp Packer is a tool for building images for cloud platforms, virtual machines, containers and more from a single source configuration.

Packer was started in 2013 and was the first project started at HashiCorp. Vagrant, our earliest project, was started prior to the founding of HashiCorp. We started Packer with the goal to create one workflow to build various types of deployment images.

Prior to Packer, image creation was a highly platform-specific problem. An organization often had multiple types of images that had to be created and a user would have to learn the details and process to create an image for each. For example, AWS may be used for production while VirtualBox is used for development. Each would have a completely different set of complex steps to build an image.

Packer builds images for all these platforms and more using a single packer build command. Users of Packer only need to learn the Packer template format and can build almost two dozen types of images from that one format.

Packer is part of the HashiCorp Product Suite that enables you to provision, secure, and run any infrastructure for any application. You can provision Packer images using HashiCorp Terraform, handle secrets management with Vault, schedule workloads with Nomad, and connect your infrastructure with a common backbone using Consul.

Packer in the HashiCorp Suite

Community and Team

We want to thank our community and the Packer core team for bringing Packer to 1.0! HashiCorp Packer has over 500 contributors since it began 4 years ago. These contributors have added features, fixed bugs, and helped Packer move forward for years.

At HashiCorp, Matthew Hooker has led the charge. He was an early Packer contributor and after years of contributions became Packer project lead. Matthew made the heroic push to complete the 1.0 release. Prior to Matthew, Chris Bednarski was the second project lead for the project and helped close hundreds of issues and make important improvements to the project that were necessary on the road to 1.0.

Today, the Packer community is more active than ever and is under strong leadership by Matthew. Packer downloads are at an all-time high and issues are at a record low.

A HashiCorp 1.0

The "1.0" release represents a major milestone for technical implementation, project scope, and user experience. HashiCorp Packer hits all of these marks and we're proud to call it 1.0.

We hold an extremely high bar for the “1.0” version of our products. A HashiCorp 1.0 means that the major use cases are understood and well supported. This requires a mature technical architecture and implementation that is highly stable for intended use cases. The user experience and workflow of the project is well defined, easy to learn, and enables the major use cases in practice. Lastly, we require the project be deployed broadly and have years of production hardening. This gives us confidence that the software provides a successful "out-of-the-box" experience.

All of our projects which are not yet "1.0" are used in production by thousands of companies. We expect many to reach our bar for "1.0" in the near future, but all are ready for production usage today. Despite the stability of these tools, we feel there are further fundamental improvements that can be made before we feel confident calling them "1.0".

The "1.0" release is a milestone and doesn't represent the end of project development. Development will continue with significant improvements and features planned for the future.

A New Look

The HashiCorp Packer logo and website has an updated design. This design modernizes the look and feel of the Packer identity and gives it a unique look in the HashiCorp suite.

The website has an updated and better organized docs section. It now supports link-able headers to more easily share specific sub-sections, and the documentation can now be printed in a print-friendly format for easy offline reading.

Packer 1.0 Identity

Future

Thanks again to our users and customers for providing valuable feedback and contributions to make HashiCorp Packer what it is today. Packer 1.0 is available immediately from the Packer website. You can find the full list of improvements in recent Packer releases in the Changelog.

We have exciting improvements planned for Packer in the future. For the past 6 months, the Packer team has been heads down resolving issues and preparing for this 1.0 release. With the release now publicly available, work on the next major version of Packer will begin. During this time, maintenance releases to 1.0 will continue.

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