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:

I am blocked by the exact same problem. And I do mean exact. I’ve gotten a little further in debugging by over-riding the ‘quiet’ in the boot string but it is no help.

The problem is rooted in what looks like a DHCP failure. But I haven’t been able to tcpdump the DHCPDISCOVER yet to see if there is a clue there.

FYI, this has nothing to do with the contents of the kickstart file. This fails as the system is trying to read the kickstart. Packer has setup the http server correctly. But the Rocky 8 VM that is being started does not have an IP address so any progress is blocked.

FYI, if you try this with CentOS 7 instead of Rocky 8, it works perfectly.


I have the same trouble, did you find something ?


Per Mike.drangula suggestion, I reset the DHCP lease to free up IP addresses then the installation finished successfully. Thank you.