Can't SSH into Alpine EC2 instance unless I provide ssh_private_key_file - should I make github issue report?

Hi All,

I have an issue when SSH’ing into an Alpine linux EC2 instance. Unless I put my “ssh_private_key_file” information in the build file I am unable to SSH into it after the build is complete and I create the EC2 instance from the created AMI.

Related issue: ssh_private_key_file is of limited use without key_pair_name parameter · Issue #1635 · hashicorp/packer · GitHub

Is this intended for most linux builds that you have to pre-bake your private key into ~/.ssh/authorized_keys from your AWS keypair otherwise it won’t work? Because I can create an Ubuntu 20.04 image and spin it up on EC2 and ssh while only having to select my keypair on AWS. (as seen below)


    "variables": {
      "aws_profile":    "test-env",
      "ami_name":       "alpine-ami-3.13.5-x86_64-r0-test5",
      "region":         "us-east-1"
    "builders": [
        "name": "Alpine AMI Builder",
        "type": "amazon-ebs",
        "profile": "{{ user `aws_profile`}}",
        "iam_instance_profile": "ec2-instance-profile",
        "source_ami": "ami-068216a0f0800db09",
        "ami_name": "{{user `ami_name`}}",
        "region": "us-east-1",
        "instance_type": "t3a.medium",
        "ssh_username": "alpine",
        "ssh_keypair_name": "ssh-keypair-name",
        "ssh_private_key_file": "~/ssh-keypair-name.pem",
        "tags": {
          "Name": "{{user `ami_name`}}"