Oct 21, 2015

Provisioning windows box with Chef-provisioning on azure from a mac

After spending about half a day trying to get vagrant-azure to work it became very clear, that as of this writing the driver is just not mature enough. It works pretty good for Ubuntu/Linux but the moment you try to provision windows boxes, it sets your laptop on fire.

Instead of wasting any more time on it, I decided to give v1 and v2 provisioning drivers a chance, followed by Test Kitchen. IIRC they all use different drivers, and while all are pretty solid at provisioning Linux boxes, support for WinRM is very spotty.


First challenge is to authenticate successfully via provisioning driver. While Vagrant accepts subscription id and path to .pem as parameters, provisioning needs a azureProfile.json.

To get that file generated, I installed azure-cli via brew `brew cask install azure-cli`

Next, import azure creds with `azure account import ../../Projects/Azure/myazure.publishsettings`
This command will generate the missing azureProfile.json in ~/.azure

Next, validate it works with `azure account list`

Chef-Provisioning piece:

Get a name of the box (ami) you'll be using: `azure vm image list | grep -i Win2012`

Next, hack up the simplest recipe that'll spin up a box:

`knife cookbook create azure_old`
content of recipe/default.rb:

require 'chef/provisioning/azure_driver'
with_driver 'azure'
machine_options = {
    :bootstrap_options => {
      :cloud_service_name => 'alexvinyar', #required
      :storage_account_name => 'alexvinyar', #required
      :vm_size => "Standard_D1", #required
      :location => 'West US', #required
      :tcp_endpoints => '80:80' #optional
    :image_id => 'b39f27a8b8c64d52b05eac6a62ebad85__Ubuntu-14_04_2-LTS-amd64-server-20150706-en-us-30GB', #required
    # :image_id => 'a699494373c04fc0bc8f2bb1389d6106__Windows-Server-2012-R2-20150916-en.us-127GB.vhd', #next step
    # Until SSH keys are supported (soon)
    :password => 'Not**RealPass' #required
machine 'toad' do
  machine_options machine_options
  ohai_hints 'azure' => { 'a22' => 'b33' }
Finally, run chef-zero (chef client in local mode): `chef-client -z -r azure_old`

If the above recipe fails, dont fail. Check the output, and see if it gets past the authentication piece. If it does, it's just a matter of getting chef-provisioning syntax correct.

Once the run finishes (Azure is slow) connect to the box with `ssh root@` for centos or ubuntu@ip for ubuntu boxes.

Now the Windows piece

With the `azure vm image list | grep -i Win2012` command I got a list of boxes, and once the test run with ubuntu succeeds, I move on to Windows.

This is where I took a break and had a beer. But I published this post anyway because I'll finish it eventually.

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