Manage OpenStack Images

Images in OpenStack are what powers instances. In this guide, you will learn how to view images, upload your own, and make snapshots of images.

An image is a file that contains a bootable operating system. Many different cloud image sources are available for download from major operating system providers like CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian to name a few. You can also make your own images from scratch or create them from volumes or running instances. Snapshots of instances can be created which can serve both as a backup and also a template for other instances.



List and Upload Images

List images

To begin, you will learn how to list images using OpenStackClient.

Step 1 — List images


To list available images, use:

$ openstack image list
| ID                                   | Name                                                 | Status |
| 02609270-b2d7-4ee2-9e7b-450163362b57 | Amphora (x64-haproxy-ubuntu-focal)                   | active |
| 1d6ab32b-a305-403b-9d44-5981890beccf | CentOS 7 (el7-x86_64)                                | active |
| f2d17cda-b84d-4600-8473-111e180a5452 | CentOS 8 (el8-x86_64)                                | active |
| d5a101ff-0870-435f-bf76-c3309e542a53 | CentOS 8 Stream (el8-x86_64)                         | active |
| 8c8e0a35-61dd-4540-b9fd-ca36ca0ef181 | Debian 10 (buster-amd64)                             | active |
| 00468d54-84fd-4e03-9935-aabb6b0fa60f | Debian 9 (stretch-amd65)                             | active |
| be44af12-aa34-4b25-b4af-60a66599f442 | Fedora CoreOS (fedora-coreos-33.20210412.3.0-stable) | active |
| 9a5937ff-9474-4dbe-84b4-ba452024446c | Ubuntu 18.04 (bionic-amd64)                          | active |
| c005b6f3-9d34-4f91-94b6-1ff50c174750 | Ubuntu 20.04 (focal-amd64)                           | active |


To get more information about an image, use openstack image show ID:

$ openstack image show ID

ID is the Name or the ID column in the above output.

Show image details


Example showing the details of an image:

$ openstack image show fa8eb9bd-9ccc-4d3f-b87b-6edb5450a57a --fit-width
| Field            | Value                                                                                            |
| checksum         | 1d3062cd89af34e419f7100277f38b2b                                                                 |
| container_format | bare                                                                                             |
| created_at       | 2020-09-09T20:50:25Z                                                                             |
| disk_format      | qcow2                                                                                            |
| file             | /v2/images/um_fa8eb9bd-9ccc-4d3f-b87b-6edb5450a57a/file                                             |
| id               | fa8eb9bd-9ccc-4d3f-b87b-6edb5450a57a                                                             |
| min_disk         | 0                                                                                                |
| min_ram          | 0                                                                                                |
| name             | cirros                                                                                           |
| owner            | 5ad1f9e795604f4390d274d7388c4b9f                                                                 |


Upload an image

To upload an image into OpenStack, the image needs to first exist on your machine, and then you can use OpenStackClient to upload it.

This section will walk you through uploading the CirrOS image.

Step 1 — Download the CirrOS image


To start, first download the CirrOS image to your machine.

The latest version of CirrOS is available from their download page. Ensure the latest version of the CirrOS image is downloaded. You can use wget to download the image:

$ wget


Step 2 — Upload the image into OpenStack

Use this command to upload the image, replacing variables appropriately:

openstack image create IMAGE_NAME --container-format bare --disk-format

Upload the CirrOS image:


$ openstack image create cirros --container-format bare --disk-format
qcow2 --file ~/Downloads/cirros-0.5.2-x86_64-disk.img

Note that PATH_TO_CIRROS_IMAGE should be the path to the image file.


Step 3 — Confirm successful upload

To confirm the image uploaded into the cloud, use openstack image list.

List the newly uploaded image:


$ openstack image list
| ID                                   | Name                           | Status |
| fa8eb9bd-9ccc-4d3f-b87b-6edb5450a57a | cirros                         | active |


Next Steps

With this guide complete, move on to the next guide, which explains how to create an Instance using the command line.

Nick West Systems Engineer

Nick is an avid aggressive inline skater, nature enthusiast, and loves working with open source software in a Linux environment.

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