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reap dangling packer builder machines on AWS

Project description

AWS Hashicorp Packer Reaper

Hashicorp Packer is a great tool for building Amazon Machine Images. However, sometimes the virtual machine running packer is not stopped. This utility stops or terminated all virtual machines with the name tag 'Packer Builder'

You can use it as a command line utility or install it as an AWS Lambda function and stop the spend , NoOps style!

Since version 1.0.9, the default name tag was removed. To make it work with the reaper add a run_tags block to the builder:

source "amazon-ebs" "ubuntu" {
   name = "my_ubuntu"
   run_tags = {
     Name = "Packer Builder"

install the packer reaper

to install the packer reaper, type:

pip install aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper

show running packer instances

To show running packer instances:

$ aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper list

i-06ac951992dbc11a1 (Packer Builder) launched 13 minutes ago - terminated
i-035ebe427a538c829 (Packer Builder) launched 4 minutes ago - running
INFO: 2 packer builder instances found

usage with multiple profiles

If you have multiple AWS Profiles (e.g. when working with AWS Organisations and SSO) you can specify the profile to use on the command line before executing the aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper.

$ AWS_PROFILE=not-my-default-profile aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper list

i-0d72937e04c1123a9 (Packer Builder) launched 31 minutes ago - running
i-0712d9bd593adb2fb (Packer Builder) launched 11 minutes ago - running
INFO: 2 packer builder instances found

stop running packer instances

To stop running packer instances older than 2 hours:

$ aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper stop --older-than 2h

INFO: stopping i-035ebe427a538c829 (Packer Builder) created 2 hours ago
INFO: total of 1 running instances stopped

terminate running packer instances

To terminate stopped and running packer instances older than 24 hours:

aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper --verbose terminate --older-than 24h

INFO: terminating i-035ebe427a538c829 (Packer Builder) created 25 hours ago
INFO: total of 1 instances terminated

deploy the packer reaper

To deploy the packer reaper as an AWS Lambda, type:

git clone
cd aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper
aws cloudformation deploy \
	--capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM \
	--stack-name aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper \
	--template-file ./cloudformation/aws-hashicorp-packer-reaper.yaml

This will install the packer reaper in your AWS account and run every hour, stopping packer instances launched more than 2 hours ago and terminate instances older than 24 hours. You can change the schedule and the action to meet your requirements.

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