Google Compute Engine is compatible with many operating systems and distributions. You can use any operating system images offered by Compute Engine or you can create a custom image.
Several operating system images are currently available and ready to use on Compute Engine. These operating systems are provided by Google or by a third-party vendor.
To create an instance from the images in the following tables, use the following command:
$ gcloud compute instances create example-instance --zone ZONE --image IMAGE
Operating systems with support from Compute Engine
Google Compute Engine provides support for the following operating system images:
|Operating system||Documentation||Support channel||Compute Engine image||Notes|
|CentOS||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
|Debian||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
|SUSE||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
|Ubuntu||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
|Windows Server||Website||Google Compute Engine team||
Operating systems with support outside of Compute Engine
For the following operating system images, you can get support with the resource listed under Support channel.
|Operating system||Documentation||Support channel||Compute Engine image|
|FreeBSD*||Website||FreeBSD forums||Import instructions|
|SELinux*||Website||Community Wiki||Import instructions|
*Compute Engine does not manage these operating systems and any questions or costs would be determined by the corresponding operating system community.
Operating systems that update automatically
Instances update automatically if they use public images for the following operating systems:
Automatic updates apply security patches and system upgrades to your running instances. RHEL and CentOS instances automatically update their installed packages in addition to the security patches and system upgrades.
Automatic updates apply system upgrades only for minor versions, and do not upgrade instances between major versions of the operating system.
Instances with private images do not update automatically by default.