This topic provides an overview of the different types of ECS images provided by Alibaba Cloud, including their types and lifecycle. It also describes the common image operations. An image works as a file copy that includes all the data from the system disk or from the system disk and data disks of an ECS instance.
Type of images
|Image type||Description||Is payment required?|
|Public image||Public images are fully licensed images that are provided by Alibaba Cloud to ensure a stable, secure operating environment. They can run in all Windows Server and leading Linux operating systems. For more information, see Public images.||
Only public images that run in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server operating systems are charged fees because they are licensed by Red Hat and Microsoft, respectively. All other public images are provided free of charge. The details of the fee for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server public images are as follows:
The public images that run in other operating systems than Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are provided free of charge.
|Custom image||Custom images are created from ECS instances or snapshots, or imported from your computer. A custom image can be used, shared, copied, and deleted only by the user who created it. For more information, see Life cycle of a custom image.||
The account under which a custom image is created is charged a fee when the custom image is referenced as a Marketplace image.
|Shared image||Images can be shared among Alibaba Cloud accounts. For more information, see Share images.||When you use a shared Marketplace image, you are charged a fee according to the billing method specified by the ISV in the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace.|
Marketplace images are categorized into the following two types:
|A Marketplace image is charged according to the billing method specified by the specific ISV in the Cloud Marketplace.|
Lifecycle of a custom image
Create a custom image
You can create a custom image by using a system disk or by using a system disk and data disks. For more information, see Create a custom image by using a snapshot.
You can also import a custom image from your computer. For more information, see Import custom images.
Share and copy a custom image
Each image belongs to a region. For example, if you create a custom image in China North 2 (Beijing), you can use this image to create an ECS instance only in the region.
- You can only share the image with a user who is located in the same region. To share the image with a user who is located in a different region, you need to copy the image to the region first. For more information, see Share images.
- If you want to use this image in a different region, you need to copy this image to the region. The image copy is independent and has a unique ID. For more information, see Copy images.
Change the image for an ECS instance
Delete a custom image
You can delete a custom image when you no longer need it. After you delete a custom image, you cannot create an ECS instance by using this image or reinitialize the cloud disk for an ECS instance created by using this image. For more information, see Reinitialize a cloud disk.
A custom image consists of the disks of an ECS instance. After you delete a custom image, the snapshots in it are not deleted. If you no longer need the snapshots, you can delete them from the snapshot list. For more information, see Delete custom images.
You can call ECS API actions to operate images. For more information, see API overview.