Howto build VyOS 1.2 ISO image and VMWare .OVF

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Revision as of 15:47, 30 June 2017 by Max1e6 (talk | contribs)
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Executive Summary

This HowTo describes how to build VyOS 1.2 from source. It assumes you are familiar with installing Linux and are comfortable working in a Unix shell/command line. The HowTo is based upon the readme file from the VyOS github site and adds some details and other observations which might not be that obvious.

Step 1: Create Build Machine Setup

For my testing I created a Debian 8 "jesse" virtual machine for building VyOS 1.2. You could use VMWare Workstation, VMWare Fusion, Virtual Box, HyperV or similar. For my testing I used an ESXi server in my lab environment.

  1. Download Debian 8 "jesse" (
  2. Install Debian either on a dedicated machine or as a virtual machines.

Note: Install Gnome, KDE or your favorite windowing system. Most of the build process can be done via the command line. However, troubleshooting the qemu build process requires vncview, so it is recommended that you install a windowing system when you install Debian. I think I used Cinnamon.

Once Debian was installed I logged and ran the following commands as root:

apt-get install sudo
apt-get install open-vm-tools
apt-get install emacs


  • sudo is not strictly necessary, but is useful.
  • open-vm-tools was needed for running my build machine under ESXi.
  • emacs any text editor will do. I think nano is installed by default with Debian. Install your editor of choice.

At this point you should have a pretty clean install of Debian. If you are running a virtual machine and your environment allows for snapshooting now might be a good time to take a snapshot in case you make a mistake and need to revert.

Install Required Software

In addition to all the "standard" tools required to build VyOS there are a few others which are required to build VyOS 1.2:

  • Packer
  • VMWare open-vmdk
  • VMWare ovftool

First install the git and all the other linux tools needed:

sudo apt-get install git autoconf automake dpkg-dev syslinux genisoimage qemu jq libz-dev zip python3 live-build pbuilder devscripts python3-pystache

Download & Install Packer

Never heard of Packer before, neither had is a pretty cool tool. You can download it here form

  • Transfer .zip to your build machine
  • unzip
  • copy to /usr/local/bin

Download & Compile VMWare open-vmdk

Download & Install VMWare ovftool

Download VyOS Source

Generate Private Key

Build VyOS