Building Fedora Vagrant boxes for VirtualBox using Packer

In a previous post, I shared that we are going to have Fedora Scientific Vagrant boxes with the upcoming Fedora 29 release. Few weeks back, I wanted to try out a more recent build to script some of the testing I do on Fedora Scientific boxes to make sure that the expected libraries/programs are installed. Unexpectedly, vagrant ssh would not succeed.
I filed a issue with rel-eng where I was suggested to see if a package in Fedora Scientific was mucking around with the SSH config. To do so, I had to find a way to manually build Vagrant boxes.

The post here seems to be one way of doing it. Unfortunately, I was in a Windows environment where I wanted to build the box, so I needed to try out something else. chef/bento uses Packer and hence this approach looked promising.

After creating a config file for Fedora 29 and making sure I had my kickstart files right, the following command will build a virtual box vagrant image:

$ packer build -force -only=virtualbox-iso .\fedora-29-scientific-x86_64.json

Once I had the box build environment ready, it was then a matter of a manual commenting/uncomenting out of package/package groups to find out the culprit.