Operating system details

Some operating system images are customized specifically to run on Compute Engine and have notable differences from the standard images that come directly from the operating system vendor.

The following sections provide more information about these differences.

CentOS

CentOS is a free operating system platform that is derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the RHEL yum-cron or dnf-automatic tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • The yum-cron or dnf-automatic does not upgrade VMs between major versions of the operating system.
  • For CentOS 7 and CentOS 8, the upgrade tool is configured to only apply updates marked by the vendor as security updates.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Notable differences from standard CentOS images

The CentOS images that are provided by Compute Engine, have the following differences in configuration from standard CentOS images:

Package system and repository configuration

  • Google Cloud repositories are enabled to install packages for the Compute Engine guest environment and the Cloud SDK.
    • For CentOS 6, the Cloud SDK is installed from the source tar file and uses Python 2.7 from SCL.
  • Repositories are set to use the CentOS default mirror network.
    • For CentOS 8, the PowerTools repository is enabled.
    • For CentOS 6 and 7, EPEL is enabled.
  • Automatic updates are configured as follows:
    • For CentOS 6 and 7, automatic updates are enabled by using yum-cron.
    • For CentOS 8+, automatic updates are enabled by using dnf automatic.
    • For all versions, the update_cmd property is set to security , except in CentOS 6, where there is no update_cmd setting. However, by default CentOS does not offer security tagged repositories.
    • IPv6 endpoints are disabled in the yum or dnf config files for all versions except CentOS 6. CentOS 6 does not support disabling IPv6.

Network configuration

  • The network interface MTU is set to 1460.
  • IPv6 is enabled.
  • The DHCP client is set to retry every 10 seconds instead of every 5 minutes. The client is also set to persistent mode instead of oneshot.
  • The SSH server configuration is set up as follows:
    • Password authentication is disabled.
    • To prevent SSH disconnections, ServerAliveInterval and ClientAliveInterval are set to 7 minutes.
    • Root login is disabled.
  • /etc/udev/rules.d/75-persistent-net-generator.rules is disabled.
  • To prevent MAC addresses from persisting, /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules is removed.
  • By default, all traffic is allowed through the guest firewall because the VPC firewall rules overrides the guest firewall rules. The guest firewall rules remains enabled and can be configured through normal CentOS methods.

Bootloader configuration

  • To force faster boot times, the boot timeout in the grub configuration is set to 0.
  • The I/O scheduler is set to noop.

Additional configuration

  • By default, images are 20 GB. This is the recommended minimum size.
  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI.
  • There are no local users configured with passwords.
  • The NTP server is set to use the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • The floppy module is disabled because there is no floppy disk controller on Compute Engine .
Support

This operating system is supported by an open source project or community.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
CentOS 8 centos-cloud centos-8 Google GA May 2029 Free
CentOS 7 centos-cloud centos-7 Google GA June 30, 2024 Free
CentOS 6 centos-cloud centos-6 Google GA November 30, 2020 Free
CentOS 5 N/A N/A N/A EOL N/A N/A

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
CentOS 8
CentOS 7
CentOS 6
CentOS 5

Container-Optimized OS (COS)

Container-Optimized OS from Google is an operating system image for your Compute Engine instances that is optimized for running Docker containers.

For more information about Container-Optimized OS, see the Container-Optimized OS overview.

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the Container-Optimized OS automatic update tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • These automatic updates from the operating system vendor do not upgrade instances between major versions of the operating system.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Support

This operating system has premium support available for purchase. For information about purchasing and using premium support, see the Google Cloud support page.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
COS 81 LTS cos-cloud cos-81-lts Google GA June 24, 2021 Free
COS 77 LTS cos-cloud cos-77-lts Google GA December 17, 2020 Free
COS 73 LTS EOL EOL Google EOL June 19, 2020 Free
COS 69 LTS EOL EOL Google EOL December 11, 2019 Free

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
COS 81 LTS
COS 77 LTS
COS 73 LTS
COS 69 LTS

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
cos 81 LTS
cos 77 LTS
cos 73 LTS
cos 69 LTS

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
cos 81 LTS
cos 77 LTS
cos 73 LTS
cos 69 LTS

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
cos 81 LTS
cos 77 LTS
cos 73 LTS
cos 69 LTS

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
cos 81 LTS
cos 77 LTS
cos 73 LTS
cos 69 LTS

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
COS 81 LTS
COS 77 LTS
COS 73 LTS
COS 69 LTS

Debian

Debian is a free operating system offered by the Debian community.

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the Debian UnattendedUpgrades tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • The UnattendedUpgrades tool does not upgrade VMs between major versions of the operating system.
  • The UnattendedUpgrades tool is configured to only automatically apply updates obtained from the Debian security repository.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Notable differences from standard Debian images

The Debian image build configuration is available in an open source GitHub repository.

Debian images are always built with the latest Debian packages which reflect the most recent Debian point release.

The Debian images that are provided by Compute Engine, have the following differences in configuration from standard Debian images:

Package system and repository configuration

  • Google Cloud repositories are enabled to install packages for the Compute Engine guest environment and the Cloud SDK. The guest environment packages and the Cloud SDK packages are installed and enabled by default.
  • The APT sources are set to use the Debian CDN.
  • The Unattended-upgrades package is installed and configured to download and install Debian security updates daily. This can be configured or disabled by changing the values in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades and /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic.
  • For Debian 10, the cloud-initramfs-growroot package is removed and replaced with the Google supported gce-disk-expand package.
  • Debian 10+ includes the following:
    • The linux-image-cloud-amd64 kernel instead of the generic Debian kernel.
    • The haveged package to provide entropy.

Network configuration

  • IPv6 is enabled.
  • The SSH server configuration is set up as follows:
    • Password authentication is disabled.
    • Root login is disabled.
  • To prevent MAC addresses from persisting, /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules is removed.
  • Debian 9 does not use predictive network interface naming. In the grub kernel command-line arguments, net.ifnames=0 is set. Therefore, network interfaces still use the traditional ethN naming, with the default interface always being eth0.

Bootloader configuration

  • To force faster boot times, the boot timeout in the grub configuration is set to 0.
  • The I/O scheduler is set to noop.
  • To allow SCSI block multi-queue usage, scsi_mod.use_blk_mq is enabled.

Additional Configuration

  • Images are 10 GB by default.
  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI. There is also an MBR boot block to support BIOS.
  • There are no local users configured with passwords.
  • The NTP server is set to use the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • The floppy module is disabled because there is no floppy disk controller on Compute Engine.
Support

This operating system is supported by an open source project or community.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
Debian 10 debian-cloud debian-10 Google GA TBD Free
Debian 9 debian-cloud debian-9 Google LTS1 June 2022 Free
Debian 8 debian-cloud N/A Google EOL June 2018 Free
Debian 7 debian-cloud N/A Google EOL April 2016 Free

1Debian LTS: Debian is supporting this release with Debian LTS. Critical security updates are provided via the Debian LTS project for the duration of the LTS lifecycle.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
Debian 10
Debian 9
Debian 8
Debian 7

Fedora CoreOS

With the EOL of CoreOS, Google and Fedora introduced the Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) images on Google Cloud.

Fedora CoreOS is a distribution that provides features that are needed to run modern infrastructure stacks. Fedora CoreOS uses Linux containers to manage your services at a higher level of abstraction. Compute Engine provides Fedora CoreOS images built and supported by Fedora.

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the FedoraCoreOS automatic update tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • These automatic updates from the operating system vendor do not upgrade instances between major versions of the operating system.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Support

This operating system is supported by an open source project or community.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
Fedora CoreOS Stable fedora-coreos-cloud fedora-coreos-stable Fedora GA TBD Free
Fedora CoreOS Testing fedora-coreos-cloud fedora-coreos-testing Fedora GA TBD Free
Fedora CoreOS Next fedora-coreos-cloud fedora-coreos-next Fedora GA TBD Free

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
Fedora CoreOS Stable
Fedora CoreOS Testing
Fedora CoreOS Next

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is an open-source Linux operating system that provides both server and desktop operating systems.

RHEL images are premium resources that incur additional fees to use. A Compute Engine RHEL image has an on-demand license and does not require a RHEL subscription. If you want to use an existing RHEL subscription, you can use the Red Hat Cloud Access feature.

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the RHEL yum-cron tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • These automatic updates from the operating system vendor do not upgrade instances between major versions of the operating system.
  • For RHEL 7 and RHEL 8, the operating system is also configured to only apply updates marked by the vendor as security updates.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Notable differences from standard RHEL images

The RHEL image build configuration is available in an open source GitHub repository.

RHEL images are always built with the latest RHEL packages, which reflect the most recent point release.

RHEL for SAP images are tagged to the specific point release they are built for as supported by Red Hat.

The RHEL images that are provided by Compute Engine, have the following differences in configuration from standard RHEL images:

Package and repository configuration

  • Google Cloud repositories are enabled to install packages for the Compute Engine guest environment and the Cloud SDK.
  • For RHEL 6, the Cloud SDK is installed from the source tar file and uses Python 2.7 from SCL.
  • For RHEL 6 and 7, EPEL is enabled.
  • RHEL for SAP yum vars are set to peg the client to the supported RHEL for SAP point release.
  • RHEL content comes from the Compute Engine Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI) servers.
  • The Google RHUI client package, which contains the configuration needed to access RHEL content, is installed.
  • The Red Hat subscription-manager package is removed because it is not used for RHUI.
  • Automatic updates are enabled as follows:
    • For RHEL 6 and 7, by using yum-cron .
    • For RHEL 8+, by using dnf automatic.
    • For all versions, the update_cmd property is set to security , except in RHEL 6, where there is no update_cmd setting.
    • IPv6 endpoints are disabled in the yum or dnf config files.

Network Configuration

  • The network interface MTU is set to 1460.
  • IPv6 is enabled.
  • The DHCP client is set to retry every 10 seconds instead of every 5 minutes. The client is also set to persistent mode instead of oneshot.
  • The SSH server configuration is set up as follows:
    • Password authentication is disabled.
    • To prevent SSH disconnections, ServerAliveInterval and ClientAliveInterval are set to 7 minutes.
    • Root login is disabled.
  • /etc/udev/rules.d/75-persistent-net-generator.rules is disabled.
  • To prevent MAC addresses from persisting, /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules is removed.
  • By default, all traffic is allowed through the guest firewall because the VPC firewall rules overrides the guest firewall rules. The guest firewall rules remains enabled and can be configured through normal RHEL methods.

Bootloader configuration

  • To force faster boot times, the boot timeout in the grub configuration is set to 0.
  • The I/O scheduler is set to noop.

Additional configuration

  • By default, images are 20 GB. This is the recommended minimum size.
  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI.
  • There are no local users configured with passwords.
  • The NTP server is set to use the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • The floppy module is disabled because there is no floppy disk controller on Compute Engine.
Support

Google partners with RedHat to provide support for RHEL images.

For questions specific to using this operating system on Google Cloud, complete one of the following steps:

Google Cloud will file issues to the operating system vendor on your behalf if the issue is with the operating system.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
RHEL 8 rhel-cloud rhel-8 Google GA May 2029 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 7 rhel-cloud rhel-7 Google GA June 2024 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 6 rhel-cloud rhel-6 Google GA November 30, 2020 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A BYOS2
RHEL 8.1 for SAP rhel-sap-cloud rhel-8-1-sap-ha Google GA November 2023 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 7.7 for SAP rhel-sap-cloud rhel-7-7-sap-ha Google GA August 2023 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 7.6 for SAP rhel-sap-cloud rhel-7-6-sap-ha Google GA October 2022 On demand/BYOS1,2
RHEL 7.4 for SAP rhel-sap-cloud rhel-7-4-sap Google GA August 2021 On demand/BYOS1,2

1On demand: This OS is available from Google Cloud with an on-demand license.

2BYOS: You can apply your existing subscription or license from the OS vendor to the Google provided OS image. The image that is provided by Google Cloud contains enhancements that might not be included if you bring your own OS image.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
RHEL 8
RHEL 7
RHEL 6
RHEL 5
RHEL 8.1 for SAP
RHEL 7.7 for SAP
RHEL 7.6 for SAP
RHEL 7.4 for SAP

SQL Server

Automatic updates

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) determines how SQL Server uses Windows Updates. To configure SQL Server updates, see Configure Group Policy Settings for Automatic Updates.

Notable differences from standard SQL Server images

SQL Server images are similar to the standard Windows Server operating system images, but they include SQL Server preinstalled and have the same Notable differences as standard Windows Server images.

Support

Google partners with Microsoft to provide support for SQL Server images. If you have questions about using SQL Server images and have a support plan with Google Cloud, contact Google Cloud support. Otherwise, use the gce-discussion forum. If your issue is with the SQL Server image, Google Cloud reports the issue to Microsoft on your behalf.

Version support

Version Image project Image family Enterprise Standard Web Express
SQL Server 2019 windows-sql-cloud sql-web-2019-win-2019
sql-std-2019-win-2019
sql-ent-2019-win-2019
SQL Server 2017 windows-sql-cloud sql-web-2017-win-2019
sql-web-2017-win-2016
sql-std-2017-win-2019
sql-std-2017-win-2016
sql-exp-2017-win-2019
sql-exp-2017-win-2016
sql-exp-2017-win-2012-r2
sql-ent-2017-win-2019
sql-ent-2017-win-2016
SQL Server 2016 windows-sql-cloud sql-web-2016-win-2019
sql-web-2016-win-2016
sql-web-2016-win-2012-r2
sql-std-2016-win-2019
sql-std-2016-win-2016
sql-std-2016-win-2012-r2
sql-ent-2016-win-2019
sql-ent-2016-win-2016
sql-ent-2016-win-2012-r2
SQL Server 2014 windows-sql-cloud sql-web-2014-win-2012-r2
sql-std-2014-win-2012-r2
sql-ent-2014-win-2016
sql-ent-2014-win-2012-r2
SQL Server 2012 windows-sql-cloud sql-web-2012-win-2012-r2
sql-std-2012-win-2012-r2
sql-ent-2012-win-2012-r2

Windows Server version support

Version Windows 2012 R2 Windows 2016 Windows 2019
SQL Server 2019 Enterprise
SQL Server 2019 Standard
SQL Server 2019 Web
SQL Server 2017 Enterprise
SQL Server 2017 Standard
SQL Server 2017 Web
SQL Server 2017 Express
SQL Server 2016 Enterprise
SQL Server 2016 Standard
SQL Server 2016 Web
SQL Server 2014 Enterprise
SQL Server 2014 Standard
SQL Server 2014 Web
SQL Server 2012 Enterprise
SQL Server 2012 Standard
SQL Server 2012 Web

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), a versatile server operating system for deploying highly available enterprise-class IT services in mixed IT environments with improved performance and reduced risk.

Automatic updates

This operating system is not configured to install updates by default. For more information about configuring automatic updates for SLES, see SUSE documentation.

Notable differences from standard SUSE images
Notable differences from standard SUSE images

SLES and SLES for SAP images are built and maintained by SUSE. SLES images are built with the latest SLES packages reflected in their release.

The SUSE images that are provided by Compute Engine, have the following differences in configuration from standard SUSE images:

Package system and repository configuration

  • The guest environment for Compute Engine packages are installed from the packages that are supplied by SUSE.
  • SLES instances register with a SUSE run SMT service for Compute Engine and are configured to use SUSE regional mirrors in Compute Engine.

Network configuration

  • IPv6 is enabled.
  • The SSH server configuration is set to disable password authentication.
  • SLES does not use predictive network interface naming. In the grub kernel command-line arguments, net.ifnames=0 is set. Therefore, network interfaces use the traditional ethN naming, with the default interface always being eth0.

Additional configuration

  • Images are 10 GB by default.
  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI. There is also an MBR boot block to support BIOS.
  • There are no local users configured with passwords.
  • The NTP server is set to use the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • The floppy module is disabled because there is no floppy disk controller on Compute Engine.
Support

Google partners with SUSE to provide support for SUSE images.

For questions specific to using this operating system on Google Cloud, complete one of the following steps:

Google Cloud will file issues to the operating system vendor on your behalf if the issue is with the operating system.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
SLES 15 SP2 suse-cloud sles-15 SUSE GA TBD On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 15 SP1 suse-byos-cloud N/A SUSE GA TBD BYOS2
SLES 15 suse-byos-cloud N/A SUSE GA Dec 2022 BYOS2
SLES 12 SP5 suse-cloud sles-12 SUSE GA Oct 2027 On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 12 SP4 suse-byos-cloud N/A SUSE GA June 2023 BYOS2
SLES 12 SP3 suse-byos-cloud N/A SUSE GA June 2022 BYOS2
SLES 12 SP2 suse-byos-cloud N/A SUSE GA March 2021 BYOS2
SLES 12 SP1 N/A N/A SUSE EOL May 2020 EOL
SLES 11 SP4 suse-byos-cloud sles-11-byos SUSE LTSS3 March 2022 BYOS2 with LTSS3
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-15-sp2-sap SUSE GA TBD On demand/BYOS
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-15-sp1-sap SUSE GA TBD On demand/BYOS
SLES 15 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-15-sap SUSE GA Dec 2022 On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-12-sp5-sap SUSE GA Oct 2027 On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-12-sp4-sap SUSE GA June 2023 On demand/BYOS
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-12-sp3-sap SUSE GA June 2022 On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP suse-sap-cloud sles-12-sp2-sap SUSE GA March 2021 On demand/BYOS1,2
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP N/A N/A SUSE EOL May 2020 EOL

1On demand: This OS is available from Google Cloud with an on-demand license.

2BYOS: You can apply your existing subscription from SUSE using the BYOS OS image from the suse-byos-cloud project. The image that is provided by SUSE for BYOS contains enhancements that might not be included if you bring your own OS image.

3LTSS: Support for this operating system is only offered through the Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS) that is available when using BYOS licenses from SUSE.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
SLES 15 SP2
SLES 15 SP1
SLES 15
SLES 12 SP5
SLES 12 SP4
SLES 12 SP3
SLES 12 SP2
SLES 12 SP1
SLES 11 SP4
SLES 15 SP2 for SAP
SLES 15 SP1 for SAP
SLES 15 for SAP
SLES 12 SP5 for SAP
SLES 12 SP4 for SAP
SLES 12 SP3 for SAP
SLES 12 SP2 for SAP
SLES 12 SP1 for SAP

Ubuntu LTS

Ubuntu is a free operating system developed and supported by Canonical.

Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) images receive bug fixes and security updates for five years after their release date. LTS images can run on your instances for several years without having to upgrade to a newer release.

Ubuntu Minimal images are supported the same as Ubuntu LTS images.

Regular (non LTS) Ubuntu images are supported for 9 months from their release date. To continue to use a regular Ubuntu image, you will have to upgrade to the next regular Ubuntu release or LTS release after the support cycle ends to receive fixes and updates. Compute Engine recommends using Ubuntu LTS images unless you require features or software packages that are not yet included in an LTS release. If your instances run Ubuntu releases that are no longer supported, upgrade to a supported Ubuntu release.

Automatic updates

By default, this operating system is configured to install security updates by using the Ubuntu AutomaticSecurityUpdates tool. The updates have the following behaviors:

  • The AutomaticSecurityUpdates tool does not upgrade VMs between major versions of the operating system.
  • The AutomaticSecurityUpdates tool is configured to only automatically apply updates obtained from the Ubuntu security repository.
  • Some updates require reboots to take effect. These reboots do not happen automatically.
Notable differences from standard Ubuntu images

Ubuntu images are built and maintained by Canonical. Ubuntu images are always built with the latest Ubuntu packages which reflect the most recent Ubuntu point release.

The Ubuntu images that are provided by Compute Engine, have the following differences in configuration from standard Ubuntu images:

Package system and repository configuration

  • The guest environment for Compute Engine packages are installed from the Ubuntu supplied packages.
  • For Ubuntu 18.04+, the Cloud SDK is installed and maintained as a snap package.
  • The APT sources are set to use the Ubuntu Compute Engine mirrors via cloud-init.
  • The Unattended-upgrades package is installed and configured to download and install Debian security updates daily. This can be configured or disabled by changing the values in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades and /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic.
  • The linux-image-gcp kernel is used instead of the generic Ubuntu kernel. The Google Cloud kernel reflects the latest rolling HWE kernel for Ubuntu LTS.

Network Configuration

  • IPv6 is enabled.
  • The SSH server configuration is set to disable password authentication.
  • To prevent MAC addresses from persisting, /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules is removed.

Bootloader configuration

  • To force faster boot times, the boot timeout in the grub configuration is set to 0.
  • To allow SCSI block multi-queue usage, scsi_mod.use_blk_mq is enabled.

Additional configuration

  • Images are 10 GB by default.
  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI. There is also an MBR boot block to support BIOS.
  • Ubuntu uses cloud-init to do some boot time initialization. The cloud.cfg file is configured for Compute Engine and enables only the cloud-init modules that are used.
  • There are no local users configured with passwords.
  • The NTP server is set to use the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • The floppy module is disabled because there is no floppy disk controller on Compute Engine.
Support

This operating system is supported by an open source project or community.

This operating system also has premium support available for purchase from Ubuntu. For information about purchasing and using premium support, see the Ubuntu documentation.

General information

For information about non LTS Ubuntu releases, see Ubuntu release wiki.

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage EOL and image deprecation date License model
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ubuntu-os-cloud ubuntu-2004-lts Canonical GA April 2025 (ESM April 2030) Free
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ubuntu-os-cloud ubuntu-1804-lts Canonical GA April 2023 (ESM April 2028) Free
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ubuntu-os-cloud ubuntu-1604-lts Canonical GA April 2021 (ESM April 2024) Free
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ubuntu-os-cloud ubuntu-1404-lts Canonical Ubuntu ESM April 2022 Ubuntu ESM1
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS ubuntu-os-cloud ubuntu-1204-lts Canonical EOL April 2017 EOL

1Ubuntu ESM: You can apply your existing ESM subscription to the Google provided OS image. The image that is provided by Google Cloud contains enhancements that might not be included if you bring your own OS image.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Compute optimization

OS version GPU supported
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Import

For operating system support information on migrating VMs using Migrate for Compute Engine, see supported operating systems.

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Windows client

Automatic updates

The Windows client update settings determine how versions of Windows client use Windows Updates. To configure Windows client updates, see Manage additional Windows Update settings.

Support

Although Google supports bringing your own licenses, but not the image, with Windows client, Google does not provide support for the Windows client image. For licensing support, which is included in your BYOL contract, please contact Microsoft Support. For questions about tools related to BYOL, please contact Google Cloud support.

General information

OS version Built by Support stage1 License model
Windows 10 x64 N/A Via migration BYOL
Windows 10 x86 N/A Via migration BYOL
Windows 8.1 x64 N/A Via migration BYOL
Windows 8.1 x86 N/A Via migration BYOL
Windows 7 x642 N/A Via migration; EOL BYOL
Windows 7 x862 N/A Via migration; EOL BYOL

1Google Support typically coincides with Extended Support End Date. For information about the end of support (EOS) date for each of the operating systems in the table below, see the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy.
2For information about Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7, see Microsoft's Extended Security Updates Lifecycle FAQ.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
Windows 10 x64
Windows 10 x86
Windows 8.1 x64
Windows 8.1 x86
Windows 7 x64
Windows 7 x86

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
Windows 10 x64 N/A N/A N/A
Windows 10 x86 N/A N/A N/A
Windows 8.1 x64 N/A N/A N/A
Windows 8.1 x86 N/A N/A N/A
Windows 7 x64 N/A N/A N/A
Windows 7 x86 N/A N/A N/A

Compute optimization

OS version GPUs supported
Windows 10 x64
Windows 10 x86
Windows 8.1 x64
Windows 8.1 x86
Windows 7 x64 1
Windows 7 x86 1

1v100 GPUs not supported.

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
Windows 10 x64
Windows 10 x86
Windows 8.1 x64
Windows 8.1 x86
Windows 7 x64
Windows 7 x86

Storage

OS version NVMe supported1 VSS agent2
Windows 10 x64
Windows 10 x86
Windows 8.1 x64
Windows 8.1 x86
Windows 7 x64
Windows 7 x86

1Google provides NVMe drivers for 64-bit Windows images, but not for 32-bit Windows images. Google tests a limited number of Windows client versions. For images that require Secure Boot, Google provides signed NVMe drivers for Windows 8.1 64-bit, which you can also use on Windows 10.
2Google does not test the VSS agent on any client images.

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
Windows 10 x64
Windows 10 x86
Windows 8.1 x64
Windows 8.1 x86
Windows 7 x64
Windows 7 x86

Windows Server

Automatic updates

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) determines how Windows Server uses Windows Updates. To configure Windows Server updates, see Configure Group Policy Settings for Automatic Updates.

Notable differences from standard Windows Server images

Windows Server images are built with the latest updates, but have the following differences in configuration from standard Windows Server images:

Account configuration

  • The Administrator account is disabled.
  • User passwords must be at least eight characters long.
  • The LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy property is enabled to grant access to administrative file shares.

Activation configuration

  • Windows Server images cannot activate without a network connection to kms.windows.googlecloud.com, and stop functioning if they do not authenticate within 30 days. Make sure to allow access in your VPC network.
  • A KMS client key is installed and the KMS client is set to activate by using the Compute Engine KMS servers.

Bootloader configuration

  • BootStatusPolicy is set to IgnoreAllFailures.
  • Emergency Management Services (EMS) redirection is enabled on the COM2 port. For more information, see bootcfg ems.

Network configuration

  • The Compute Engine metadata server is added to the hosts file, which is typically in the %WinDir%\System32\drivers\etc directory.
  • The Windows firewall is open to allow communication with the Compute Engine metadata server.
  • TCP KeepAliveTime is set to 5 minutes.
  • Web Proxy Auto Discovery (WPAD) is disabled.
  • The NetKVM adapter is set to use DHCP.
  • Remote Desktop (RDP) is enabled and the associated Windows firewall ports opened.
  • WinRM over HTTPS is configured using a self signed certificate and the associated Windows firewall ports are open.

Package system and Windows Update

  • Windows Server images update automatically according to the default update schedule for Windows Server.
  • To install packages for the guest environment, Google Cloud repositories are enabled.
  • To manage Compute Engine component packages for Windows, GooGet is installed, which you can configure to update packages automatically.
  • The Cloud SDK is installed with its own Python 2.7 environment. Cloud SDK works with project service accounts, instance scopes, and works in PowerShell and the standard command-line environment.
  • To boot Windows on Compute Engine, Compute Engine drivers are installed.
  • PowerShell v5 and v7 are installed.

Power configuration

  • Power settings are changed to never turn off the monitor.

Storage configuration

  • The partition table is GPT, and there is an EFI partition to support booting on UEFI.
  • The paging file is set to a static size of 1 GB.
  • The EnableQueryAccessAlignment property is enabled for the VioSCSI driver.

Time configuration

  • The RealTimeIsUniversal registry key is set. The BIOS is a UTC clock, and is not set to the local time.
  • The time zone is set to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
  • NTP is set to sync to the Compute Engine metadata server.
Support

Google partners with Microsoft to provide support for Windows Server images. If you have questions about using Windows Server images and have a support plan with Google Cloud, contact Google Cloud support. Otherwise, use the gce-discussion forum. If your issue is with the Windows Server image, Google Cloud reports the issue to Microsoft on your behalf.

General information

OS version Image project Image family Built by Support stage1 License model
Windows Server 2019 windows-cloud windows-2019
windows-2019-for-containers
windows-2019-core
windows-2019-core-for-containers
Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 2016 windows-cloud windows-2016
windows-2016-core
Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 2012 R2 windows-cloud windows-2012-r2
windows-2012-r2-core
Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 2012 N/A N/A N/A Via migration BYOL
Windows Server 2008 R22 (SP1 required) N/A N/A N/A Via migration; EOL On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 2008 N/A N/A N/A Via migration; EOL BYOL
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required) N/A N/A N/A Via migration; EOL BYOL
Windows Server 2004 windows-cloud windows-2004-core Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 1909 windows-cloud windows-1909-core
windows-1909-core-for-containers
Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 1903 windows-cloud windows-1903-core
windows-1903-core-for-containers
Google GA On-demand / BYOL
Windows Server 1809 N/A N/A N/A EOL EOL
Windows Server 1803 N/A N/A N/A EOL EOL
Windows Server 1709 N/A N/A N/A EOL EOL

1Google Support typically coincides with Extended Support End Date. For information about the end of support (EOS) date for each of the operating systems in the table below, see the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy.
2For information about Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 2008 R2, see Microsoft's Extended Security Updates Lifecycle FAQ.

Security features

OS version Shielded VM support
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required)
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required)
Windows Server 2004
Windows Server 1909
Windows Server 1903
Windows Server 1809 EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL

User space features

OS version Guest environment installed gcloud CLI installed OS Login supported
Windows Server 2019 N/A
Windows Server 2016 N/A
Windows Server 2012 R2 N/A
Windows Server 2012 N/A
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required) N/A
Windows Server 2008 EOL N/A
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required) EOL N/A
Windows Server 2004 N/A
Windows Server 1909 N/A
Windows Server 1903 N/A
Windows Server 1809 EOL N/A
Windows Server 1803 EOL N/A
Windows Server 1709 EOL N/A

Compute optimization

OS version GPUs supported
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required) 1
Windows Server 2008 1
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required) 1
Windows Server 2004
Windows Server 1909
Windows Server 1903
Windows Server 1809 EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL

1v100 GPUs not supported.

Import

OS version Import disk Import virtual appliance Import machine image Migrate for Compute Engine
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required) 2
Windows Server 2008 3
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required) 4 4 4 5
Windows Server 2004 6
Windows Server 1909 6
Windows Server 1903 6 6 6 6
Windows Server 1809 EOL EOL EOL EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL EOL EOL EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL EOL EOL EOL

1VSS not supported.
2Supported with deprecated Python agent.
364-bit supported, 32 bit only supported for offline migration with manual adaptations.
4Self-import is available.
5Only supported for offline migration with manual adaptions.
6Not tested by Google.

Networking

OS version Google Virtual NIC (gVNIC) supported Multiple network interfaces supported
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required)
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required)
Windows Server 2004
Windows Server 1909
Windows Server 1903
Windows Server 1809 EOL EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL EOL

Storage

OS version NVMe supported1 VSS agent
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required)
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required)
Windows Server 2004
Windows Server 1909
Windows Server 1903
Windows Server 1809 EOL EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL EOL

1Google provides NVMe drivers for 64-bit Windows images, but not for 32-bit Windows images.
2Image is past its end of support (EOS) date.

OS Config

OS version OS Config agent installed OS inventory supported OS configuration supported OS patch supported
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 required)
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003 (R2 optional, SP2 required)
Windows Server 2004
Windows Server 1909
Windows Server 1903
Windows Server 1809 EOL EOL EOL EOL
Windows Server 1803 EOL EOL EOL EOL
Windows Server 1709 EOL EOL EOL EOL