Packer, Vsphere, kickstart, Rocky Linux 8 , seems to hang at "Starting dracut initqueue hook"

Trying to create vmware template for Rocky Linux 8 using packer and kickstart file.
It is hanging at 'Starting dracut initqueue hook". Although it sometimes goes a bit further and hangs at “Reached target basic system.”

Not being a packer expert I could use some guidance.

Building with the command:
packer build -on-error=ask vmware-build-node.json

In vmware-build-node.json we are pulling the Rocky ISO from the web:
“iso_checksum”: “96c9d96c33ebacc8e909dcf8abf067b6bb30588c0c940a9c21bb9b83f3c99868”,
“iso_url”: “”,

And the boot command:
“boot_command”: [
“inst.text inst.ks=http://{{ .HTTPIP }}:{{ .HTTPPort }}/ks.cfg”

The kisckstart file ks.cfg:

Set the authentication options for the system

auth --passalgo=sha512 --useshadow

Install OS instead of upgrade


License agreement

eula --agreed

Use network installation

url --url=“
repo --name=“AppStream” --baseurl=Index of /pub/rocky/8/AppStream/x86_64/os/

Use text mode install



Keyboard layouts

keyboard --xlayouts=‘us’

System language

lang en_US.UTF-8

Add a user named packer

network --onboot yes --device ens192 --bootproto static --ip 10.xx.xx.xx --netmask --gateway 10.xx.xx.xx --nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx --hostname rocky8-test-vm

Root password

rootpw --iscrypted $1$tCTaO0TO$c1UGkrVOdy.9BGK/Erb/D/

Use CDROM installation media


Run the Setup Agent on first boot

firstboot --enable

ignoredisk --only-use=sda

Partition clearing information

clearpart --none --initlabel

System timezone

timezone America/New_York --isUtc --nontp

%addon com_redhat_kdump --enable --reserve-mb=‘auto’


pwpolicy root --minlen=6 --minquality=1 --notstrict --nochanges --notempty
pwpolicy user --minlen=6 --minquality=1 --notstrict --nochanges --emptyok
pwpolicy luks --minlen=6 --minquality=1 --notstrict --nochanges --notempty

Screenshot of the console output of the newly created VM hanging at this point: