Anyone Use Packer?

The docs suggest we can use Packer to make AMI-style images of our Macs hosted on MacStadium:

However, there’s not really any detail about how to achieve this. I was wondering if anyone has got this working, and if so, do you have any instructions you can share?

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Howdy - are you looking to accomplish this with bare metal? If so Packer doesn’t support bare metal machine images (at least officially - as far as I’m aware). If you’re OK with doing some configuration management (depending on your workflow/needs) Ansible and other tools work pretty well.

If you’re interested in virtualization, the Orka Packer plug-in is worth a look (shameless plug :slight_smile: ) - GitHub - macstadium/packer-plugin-macstadium-orka: Builder for Orka in MacStadium. (originally )


Thanks @spikeburton

I am interested in Orka, but we tend to need quite high CPU/Memory specifications (eg. for video rendering) so I’m not sure our use case is a great fit?

Ansible is a tempting idea, though I think it works best when combined with a base image, so all the heavy lifting is already done before the playbooks provide the finishing touches.

For sure - it might be worth checking out Orka Toolkit Orka Toolkit | Deploy macOS virtual machines (VMs) on your local machine for testing & QA

It’s the same virtualization stack that is used with Orka, and you could test it out on a bare metal machine via VNC/Screen Share. So if you’re interested it could help give an idea with a pretty apples to apples comparison of if virtualization would fit your needs or not.

If you decide to go the bare metal route then depending on what you’re looking for maybe an MDM is an option for some base setup + Ansible (or whatever your tool of choice is there)