Cloud/?Google Compute Engine Image lists for Google Compute Engine

Official Debian AMIs

(Work in Progress)

For discussion about Debian on various cloud providers, please visit Debian-Cloud mailing list.

Image build script

Anders Ingemann has created a build script for bootstrapping instances. The script runs fully automatic and needs no user interaction, custom scripts can be attached to the process as well. You can download or clone the script on github. Any bugs or suggestions should be reported via the github issue tracker.

Procedure to build images

  1. If you want to help and don't already have Google Compute Engine space in which to work, email David and me saying how you want to help and giving the name of your Google account (Google Apps and consumer accounts are both fine). We'll add people to whichever projects are appropriate for how they're helping, within the constraints in my previous email.
  2. Use our github fork on any Linux machine to create the images. I'll submit a pull request tomorrow so that Anders can merge it into his tree. Example command line (root is needed for the loopback mounting process):
    • # Either squeeze or wheezy should work.
    • sudo ./build-debian-cloud gce --codename squeeze --volume-size 10
  3. The image will end up in the same directory. From there, follow the steps to upload and use a custom image in Google Compute Engine, beginning with step 4 here: Once official Debian images are published via the debian-cloud project, end users will be able to use them simply by adding a suitable --image option when creating their instance.

    • Please note the linked instructions tell you to run:
      • gcutil --project=<project-id> addimage <image-name> <image-uri> --preferred_kernel=/projects/google/global/kernels/<kernel-name>, without specifying how to find <kernel-name>

      • You can use gce-v20130325 (Which is appears to be Google's latest build), however, if you want a list of available kernels you can run:
        • gceutil listkernels --project=google (Rather than your own project)

Future Plans

User contributed images

Notes on Kernel

You may notice that all Google Compute Engine images are booted using an injected Linux 3.3.8 kernel using a configuration to reduce security vulnerabilities. Most notably, that configuration disables modules and access to /dev/mem. We are working to add support for booting from arbitrary kernels, as we know it’s an important freedom. In the meantime, /proc/config.gz will show the enabled options. Kernel source code is available here:

SSH user accounts

One intentional difference from the Amazon EC2 images is that, instead of sshing in via a default “admin” account, we install a cron job in /etc/cron.d to manage accounts in line with the Google Compute Engine documentation. See here for how ssh works:

GCE Documentation

Google Compute Engine home page, including documentation:

Google Contacts

If you have any questions, concerns, or general feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact the Google Compute team ( or David ?McWherter ( or me ( or directly about this effort.

Access to test account, for Debian Developers interested in testing, or working on official images

The Google GCE team has created two projects for Debian’s use for Google Compute Engine. Billing for Compute and Storage has been waived on these projects. The first project, ‘debian-cloud’ is intended for pushing new images for customers. The second project ‘debian-cloud-experiments’ is intended for Debian volunteers to experiment with the project. It has a small quota and must be shared. We can work with Debian to maintain who can use these projects, or we can push management off to trusted parties in Debian. Google Compute Engine is working toward toward general availability, so over time it will become easier for anyone to get involved.