Jenkins vs Packer: What are the differences?
Jenkins: An extendable open source continuous integration server. In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project; Packer: Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images.
Jenkins belongs to "Continuous Integration" category of the tech stack, while Packer can be primarily classified under "Infrastructure Build Tools".
Some of the features offered by Jenkins are:
- Easy installation
- Easy configuration
- Change set support
On the other hand, Packer provides the following key features:
- Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
- Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
- Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.
"Hosted internally" is the primary reason why developers consider Jenkins over the competitors, whereas "Cross platform builds" was stated as the key factor in picking Packer.
Jenkins and Packer are both open source tools. It seems that Jenkins with 13.3K GitHub stars and 5.48K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Packer with 9.1K GitHub stars and 2.47K GitHub forks.
Facebook, Netflix, and Instacart are some of the popular companies that use Jenkins, whereas Packer is used by Instacart, Oscar Health, and MAK IT. Jenkins has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1774 company stacks & 1526 developers stacks; compared to Packer, which is listed in 115 company stacks and 21 developer stacks.
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