Compute Engine

Operating Systems

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

For more information about each operating system, see the Linux or Windows documentation.


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 centos-7
Debian Website Google Compute Engine team debian-8
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Website Google Compute Engine team rhel-7
SUSE Website Google Compute Engine team sles-12
Ubuntu Website Google Compute Engine team ubuntu-15-04
Windows Server Website Google Compute Engine team windows-2012-r2

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
CoreOS Website CoreOS forums


FreeBSD* Website FreeBSD forums Import instructions
openSUSE Website openSUSE community opensuse-13
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.