[CentOS-virt] How to build CentOS 7 AMI

Mon Feb 1 21:44:19 UTC 2016
Alan Ivey <alanivey at gmail.com>

I'd like to revisit the thread about how the CentOS 7 AMIs are created (
https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-devel/2015-July/013652.html) and
see if the process can be published in the
https://github.com/CentOS/sig-cloud-instance-build repository or another
relevant location.

With CentOS 7 AMIs only being available in the Marketplace, all resulting
EC2 instances have the Marketplace codes attached to the EBS volumes. A
significant restriction of this is that a resulting image cannot be the
non-primary volume of an instance unless it is powered down. This presents
itself to be a problem in at least the following scenarios:

   - Unable to attach a CentOS 7 boot volume to another instance for repair
   without either creating a temporary instance or shutting down an existing
   one. For example, if you messed up the /etc/sudoers file and logged out,
   and wanted to repair, you would not be able to repair by mounting to
   another instance and editing the file without incurring additional (albeit
   small) cost, or having an existing instance be temporarily unavailable.
   - The "amazon-chroot" Packer Builder (
   https://www.packer.io/docs/builders/amazon-chroot.html) does not work
   because it starts by mounting a copy of the snapshot tied to the AMI as
   part of a scripted operation and therefore cannot power off to do so

Custom AMIs, snapshots, copied EBS volumes, etc, all have the marketplace
codes copied to them and inherit the restrictions. If an org was to use
these features for automating environments and was disconnected from the
original Marketplace agreement, they may be unaware of this limitation.

I would also appreciate being able to have the additional transparency of
seeing how an AWS AMI is created as the docker/openstack/etc images from
the repository referenced above. This would be useful in environments with
regulatory compliance concerns, such as AWS GovCloud, HIPAA, FedRAMP, etc.

I understand the benefit that Marketplace registrations allow for the
ability to notify users of any changes, and I am not necessarily advocating
for switching away from the Marketplace as the primary AMI location. I
would like to be provided the opportunity to build a private AMI in the
exact same procedure as the official image so as to avert the restrictions
provided by the Marketplace.

Thank you,
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