How to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 packer templates for terraform on VSphere without duplicate IP’s


For a while now I have been struggling with Packer templates built with Ubuntu 20.04 server deployed on VSphere 7.0. When I build the packer image and deploy VM’s with terraform specifying a static IP with terraforms customize block, DHCP would pick up an additional IP address as well as the static IP.

I found that the issue stemmed from packer requiring dhcp assignment for the post deploy ssh shell provisioner. To solve this issue a few lines of code were added to the provisioner to:

  1. Remove netplan config
  2. Remove dhcp from grub file
  3. Update grub
  4. Purge cloud-init


I have included the .hcl code below, after building this template, all terraform provisioned vm’s off this template will only have the static IPs assigned via the customize block.

source “vsphere-iso” “this” {
vcenter_server = var.vsphere_server
username = var.vsphere_user
password = var.vsphere_password
datacenter = var.datacenter
cluster = var.cluster
insecure_connection = true
vm_name = “tf-ubuntu-server-20.04”
guest_os_type = “ubuntu64Guest”
ssh_username = “ubuntu”
ssh_password = “ubuntu”
ssh_timeout = “20m”
ssh_handshake_attempts = “50”
CPUs = 8
RAM = 4128
RAM_reserve_all = true
disk_controller_type = [“pvscsi”]
datastore = var.datastore
storage {
disk_size = 16384
disk_thin_provisioned = true
iso_paths = [“[iSCSI Raid-10] OS/ubuntu-20.04.2-live-server-amd64.iso”]
iso_checksum = “sha256:b23488689e16cad7a269eb2d3a3bf725d3457ee6b0868e00c8762d3816e25848”
http_directory = “subiquity/http”
http_port_max = 8336
http_port_min = 8336
network_adapters {
network = var.network_name
network_card = “vmxnet3”
boot_wait = “5s”
boot_command = [
” “,
“autoinstall net.ifnames=0 biosdevname=0 ip=dhcp ipv6.disable=1 ds=nocloud-net;seedfrom={{ .HTTPPort }}/”,
build {
sources = [
provisioner “shell” {
inline = [
“while [ ! -f /var/lib/cloud/instance/boot-finished ]; do sleep 5; done”,
“sudo rm /etc/netplan/*”,
“sudo sed -i ‘s/ip=dhcp//g’ /etc/default/grub”,
“sudo update-grub”,
“sudo apt -y purge cloud-init”

I have also include a sample below:

provider "vsphere" {
vsphere_server = var.vsphere_server
user = var.vsphere_user
password = var.vsphere_password
# If you have a self-signed cert
allow_unverified_ssl = true
data "vsphere_datacenter" "dc" {
name = var.datacenter
data "vsphere_resource_pool" "pool" {
name = var.resourcepool
datacenter_id =
data "vsphere_datastore" "datastore" {
name = var.datastore
datacenter_id =
data "vsphere_network" "network" {
name = var.network_name
datacenter_id =
data "vsphere_virtual_machine" "ubuntu" {
name = var.ubuntu_name
datacenter_id =
resource "vsphere_virtual_machine" "k8Master1-0" {
name = "k8Master1-0"
resource_pool_id =
datastore_id =
network_interface {
network_id =
adapter_type = "vmxnet3"
num_cpus = 4
memory = 4128
wait_for_guest_net_timeout = 0
wait_for_guest_ip_timeout = 0
disk {
label = "disk0"
thin_provisioned = true
size = 16
guest_id = "ubuntu64Guest"
clone {
template_uuid =
customize {
network_interface {
ipv4_address = ""
ipv4_netmask = 24
ipv4_gateway = ""
linux_options {
host_name = "k8Master1-0"

I hope this quick write up help anyone with this issue. It took me quite a bit of researching and was unable to find a single solution. I wished that a resource such as this one was available so I decided to make it.

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