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The Packer Book by James Turnbull

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3 First steps with Packer

Packer’s purpose is building images—so we’re going to start by building a basic image. Packer calls the process of creating an image a build. Artifacts are the output from builds. One of the more useful aspects of Packer is that you can run multiple builds to produce multiple artifacts.

A build is fed from a template. The template is a JSON document that describes the image we want to build—both where we want to build it and what the build needs to contain. Using JSON as a format strikes a good balance between readable and machine-generated.

Note New to JSON? Here’s a good article to get you started. You can also find an online linter to help validate JSON syntax.

To determine what sort of image to build, Packer uses ...

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