I finally manage to create an image of the Debian Installer automatically, with no key or password transiting on the Cloud or the network, and without using the ec2-api-tools, which are non-Free. Thanks to Eucalyptus for implementing the attribute InstanceInitiatedShutdownBehavior in euca2ools 2.1.2.

In brief, I start a micro-instance with an additional volume, and I pass it a script for cloud-init, which will download the Installer on the volume and shut down the instance. Then, I register the volume as a machine image.

Those machine images of the Installer are to be preseeded via instance metadata to install Debian on another volume. I am still struggling with the pre-configuration. More details will follow in the next article. In the meantime, here are the commands I a using.

On the local computer, start an instance on the Cloud. Until #696595 is fixed and cloud-init is installed by default, I use a Ubuntu image.

HELPER_AMI=ami-7609bb77 # Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise amd64 EBS (Asia North-East)

Start the instance with an extra volume of 1 GiB, which will persist after termination (/dev/sdb=:1:false). Pass the script debigen-install-installer-cloud (see below).

HELPER_INSTANCE=$( euca-run-instances \
        --instance-initiated-shutdown-behavior terminate \
        --instance-type t1.micro \
        --block-device-mapping /dev/sdb=:1:false \
        --user-data-file debigen-install-installer-cloud \
        $HELPER_AMI |
        tee /dev/stderr | grep INSTANCE | awk '{print $2}')

Wait that the boot finished.

while [ ! $(euca-describe-instances $HELPER_INSTANCE | grep INSTANCE | cut -f 6 | tee /dev/stderr) = "running" ]
    do sleep 30

Get the volume's identifier

TARGET_VOLUME=$( euca-describe-volumes |
        grep $HELPER_INSTANCE | grep '/dev/sdb' |
        tee /dev/stderr | awk '{print $2}')

Wait that the scripts shuts down the instance.

while [ ! $(euca-describe-instances $HELPER_INSTANCE | grep INSTANCE | cut -f 6 | tee /dev/stderr) = "terminated" ]
    do sleep 30

Snapshot the volume and register it as a machine image.

PV_KERNEL=aki-44992845 # Boot PV-Grub on hd0 (Asia North-East)

TARGET_SNAPSHOT=$( euca-create-snapshot $TARGET_VOLUME |
        tee /dev/stderr | awk '{print $2}')

while euca-describe-snapshots $TARGET_SNAPSHOT | grep -q pending ; do sleep 30 ; done

euca-register \
    --name test_di \
    --description test_of_debian_installer \
    --snapshot $TARGET_SNAPSHOT \
    --kernel $PV_KERNEL \
    --architecture x86_64

Here is the script called debigen-install-installer-cloud, used above.

#!/bin/sh -ex    
mke2fs -L debian-installer /dev/xvdb -F
mount LABEL=debian-installer /mnt/

cd /mnt    

wget $BASEURL/initrd.gz $BASEURL/vmlinuz    
mkdir -p boot/grub    
cat > boot/grub/menu.lst <<__END__
default 0
timeout 3

title  Debian Installer ($DI_VERSION $ARCH)
root   (hd0)
kernel /vmlinuz root=LABEL=debian-installer ro console=hvc0 auto=true priority=critical url= DEBIAN_FRONTEND=text
initrd /initrd.gz

sleep 30