Create a custom AMI

Learn how to build a custom AMI for use with Konvoy

This procedure describes how to use the Konvoy Image Builder to create Cluster API a compliant Amazon Machine Image (AMI). AMI images contain configuration information and software to create a specific, pre-configured, operating environment. For example, you can create an AMI image of your current computer system settings and software. The AMI image can then be replicated and distributed, creating your computer system for other users. The Konvoy Image Builder uses variable overrides to specify base image and container images to use in your new AMI.


Before you begin, you must:

  • Download the latest Konvoy Image Builder bundle (prefixed with konvoy-image-bundle) for your OS. Do not use the release prefixed with konvoy-image-builder.
  • Create a working Docker setup:

Extract the bundle and cd into the extracted konvoy-image-bundle-$VERSION_$OS folder. The bundled version of konvoy-image contains an embedded docker image that contains all the requirements for building.

NOTE: The konvoy-image binary and all supporting folders are also extracted. When run, konvoy-image bind mounts the current working directory (${PWD}) into the container to be used.

  • Set environment variables for AWS access. The following variables must be set using your credentials:

    export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID

Override files

The Konvoy Image Builder uses yaml override files to configure specific attributes of your AMI file. These files provide information to override default values for certain parts of your AMI file. override files can modify the version and parameters of the image description and the ansible playbook. Common overrides are found in the repo. The parts these files address are:

  • Base image: The specific AMI image used as the base for your new AMI image.
  • Container images: The container images that will be used in your AMI image.
  • HTTP proxy: Proxy configurations to use when creating your AMI image.

Base image override files

Currently the Konvoy Image Builder supports ami images based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Centos 7, only. By default, Konvoy Image Builder searches for the latest Centos 7 ami for the base image. The current base image description, at images/ami/centos-7.yaml, is similar to the following:

# Example images/ami/centos-7.yaml
download_images: true
  ami_filter_name: "CentOS 7.9.2009 x86_64"
  ami_filter_owners: "125523088429"
  distribution: "CentOS"
  distribution_version: "7"
  source_ami: ""
  ssh_username: "centos"
  root_device_name: "/dev/sda1"
build_name: "centos-7"
packer_builder_type: "amazon"
python_path: ""

NOTE: You can specify a base image to build on, using the --source-ami command line flag:
konvoy-image build --source-ami=ami-12345abcdef <path/to/image.yaml>

To override the above base image with another base image, you can create an override file. Create a new file and set the source_ami under the packer key. This overrides the image search and forces the use of the specified source_ami.

# Example override-source-ami.yaml
  source_ami: "ami-0123456789"

Container image override files

The ansible playbooks pull a minimal set of container images for use. Additional images can be added or deleted by specifying an override file for the extra_images variable.

Konvoy requires several additional images be present in the image. Create a new override file and specify the following extra_images:

# Example override-images.yaml
  - calico/cni:v3.19.1
  - calico/kube-controllers:v3.19.1
  - calico/node:v3.19.1
  - calico/pod2daemon-flexvol:v3.19.1
  - calico/typha:v3.19.1
  - bitnami/kubectl:1.21.3
  - busybox:1

HTTP proxy override files

The ansible playbooks create systemd drop-in files for containerd and kubelet to configure the http_proxy, http_proxy, and no_proxy environment variables for the service from the file /etc/konvoy_http_proxy.conf. To configure a proxy to be used during image creation, create a new override file and specify the following:

# Example override-proxy.yaml
export http_proxy:
export https_proxy:
export no_proxy:,,

These values are only used for the image creation. After the image is created, the ansible playbooks remove the /etc/konvoy_http_proxy.conf file. The dkp command can be used to configure the KubeadmConfigTemplate object to create this file on bootup of the image with values supplied during the dkp invocation. This enables using different proxy settings for image creation and runtime.

Build the image

Run the konvoy-image command to build and validate the image.

konvoy-image build --overrides override-source-ami.yaml --overrides override-images.yaml images/ami/centos-7.yaml

By default it builds in the us-west-2 region. to specify another region set the --region flag:

konvoy-image build --region us-east-1 --overrides override-source-ami.yaml --overrides override-images.yaml images/ami/centos-7.yaml

When the command is complete the ami id is printed and written to ./manifest.json.

Launch a Konvoy cluster with a custom AMI

To use the built ami with Konvoy, specify it with the --ami flag when calling cluster create.

dkp create cluster aws --cluster-name=$(whoami)-aws-cluster --ami ami-0123456789

Launch a Konvoy cluster with custom AMI lookup

By default konvoy-image will name the AMI in such a way that dkp can discover the latest AMI for a base OS and Kubernetes version. To create a cluster that will use the latest AMI, specify the --ami-format, --ami-base-os and --ami-owner flags:

dkp create cluster aws --cluster-name=$(whoami)-aws-cluster --ami-format "konvoy-ami-{{.BaseOS}}-?{{.K8sVersion}}-*" --ami-base-os centos-7 --ami-owner 123456789012