How to Use Packer and Subiquity on WSL2


My main dev environment is windows convenient WSL2, however the WSL2 instance is isolated from the host machines IP, leading to some issues when it comes to accessing ports WSL ports on my LAN. Specifically the issue I ran into was when building packer and automating my Ubuntu 20.04 install. After some research I found that restricting the subiquity port and port forwarding vis netsh successfully allows packers http server to be reached on my host machines LAN.

Code and Commands

First you need to edit your packer file to restrict the http ports to a single port so you can port forward.

I have included a sample .pkc.hcl file below, the static port configuration is achieved on code lines 30 and 31 by defining http_port_max and http_port_min

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”

Next you will port forward the WLS2 port to your windows host machine with the below command in command prompt (as admin)

netsh interface portproxy add v4tov4 listenport=8336 listenaddress= connectport=8336 connectaddress=

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