Build VM Images using Diskimage-builder

OpenStack has this nice tool diskimage-builderto create virtual machine images without the need of a cloud. These vm images can then be uploaded to cloud (e.g. in Glance for OpenStack cloud), and they become immediately usable. You can also create VMs in virtualbox from these images (though I don’t remember exact steps to make the image work with VirtualBox. Do let me know if you get the VM working with VirtualBox/Vagrant)

Here I’ll describe ways to create a bare cloud-uploadable Ubuntu image. I will also provide information as to how to build an image which will have some packages pre-installed in them. Note that the commands here will create only one image file as opposed to three – one each for ramdisk, kernel and machine image.


sudo apt-get install qemu-utils
git clone
cd diskimage-builder
sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

All the binaries are in bin filder. You can go in the bin\ directory to execute diskimage-builder commands, or add that directory to your $PATH

Create bare Ubuntu image, which you can directly upload to a cloud e.g. OpenStack.

disk-image-create -a amd64 -o ubuntu-amd64 vm ubuntu

Image generated will be of name ubuntu-amd64.qcow2. Such an image will be for same OS version as your host Ubuntu version. If you want to build an image against a different OS version, specify DIB_RELEASE=<releasename> as a prefix to the command.

DIB_RELEASE=trusty disk-image-create -a amd64 -o ubuntu-amd64 vm ubuntu

Create an Ubuntu VM image which you can boot via KVM or VirtualBox/Vagrant. You will need to manually add public keys to authorized_keys for a user inside that VM.

disk-image-create -o base -a amd64 vm base ubuntu cloud-init-nocloud

Create an image with mysql-server and tmux package (and their dependencies) installed inside the image:

disk-image-create -a amd64 -o ubuntu-amd64 -p mysql-server,tmux vm ubuntu

How to upload image to glance:

glance image-create --name dib-ubuntu --disk-format=qcow2 --container-format=bare < img/ubuntu-amd64.qcow2

Where ubuntu-amd64.qcow2 is the image to upload.