Home Use Packer to automate setting up tooling for local dev machine

Use Packer to automate setting up tooling for local dev machine

TL;DR: in which I use HashiCorp’s Packer to automate installing and configuring many developer tools for my local dev environment on Windows. And detailing it on GitHub.

Why? My laptop frequently changes: either it breaks and after its repaired, I need to reinstall the tooling I need for software development. Or after X years, it has to be replaced (due to company policy).

Why not have an automated way to install and configure these tools?

It occured to me that Microsoft/GitHub automatically installs and configures many development tools for its virtual machines on which GitHub Actions run.

I want a similar experience, i.e., open a shell, execute commands to experiment without having first to worry about installing and configuring the tools/SDKs/Runtimes. In due time, that worry will come. Just not now.

Then, why not use the same approach for my laptop but at a smaller scale?

It worked! The tools I ended up with are listed in this file on GitHub.

I’ve also written how to setup and run Packer for such a task in the repository’s readme.

I ended up building on, and reusing, the following TILs:

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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Weeknote: week 48, 2022