Every week or so, a new version of the Official Ubuntu Trusty x64 Vagrant base box for Virtual appears on Hashicorp Atlas: https://atlas.hashicorp.com/ubuntu/boxes/trusty64

Presumably, for repeatable consistency, this has all been automated.

I know there are general blog posts about how a Vagrant base box can be built but I'm more interested in how these boxes are built. I'm hoping, that like the rest of the Ubuntu ecosystem I've encountered, the process for building these boxes is all public open source.


I'm specifically interested in the options chosen during the Ubuntu OS installation and any post-OS-install changes that are made before packaging the box.

The details of using Vagrant, Packer, or other tools to package the machine into a box are much less important.

2 Answers 2


You would be correct that the build process for Ubuntu images is all open!

For 16.04 and newer

Look at the livecd-rootfs package for how the images are built:

For older releases of Ubuntu


And this is probably what you're looking for:


I'm not sure what you are asking, and why.

The process for building an Ubuntu box, or any other box, is all public open source. Create a VM, install an OS, configure it for Vagrant, package it and distribute it. The guys at HashiCorp could not have done anything differently than the rest of us. They could have installed additional packages (besides the ones installed automatically when installing a clean, fresh Ubuntu and the ones needed to interact with Vagrant). They could have used the Vagrant provisioning system to update the box, after which they repackaged and redistributed. Or they used Packer. Either way, automating things like this is the HahiCorp core business I suppose.

Perhaps check out Atlas (https://atlas.hashicorp.com/) and Mitchell Hashimoto's GitHub account for some more information on how Vagrant is used.

  • You're suggesting that Mitchell Hashimoto (or someone at HashiCorp) is responsible for publishing these base boxes? I assumed they were produced by the Ubuntu core community. Perhaps the first part of my question should have been to ask who publishes them. The Hashi* GitHub repos don't seem to contain anything that might be responsible for producing these boxes. Nov 13, 2015 at 21:43
  • hm I was assuming the Hashi guys made the 'official' boxes. Good point that this may not be true. Anyone can make a box. Nov 14, 2015 at 16:59

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