An image is a running environment template for ECS instances. It generally includes an operating system and preinstalled software. You can use an image to create an ECS instance or change the system disk of an ECS instance. It works as a file copy that includes data from one more multiple disks. These disks can be a single system disk, or the combination of the system disk and data disks.



Image types

ECS provides a diverse types of images for you to easily access image resources.

Type Description  Source
Public image Public images officially provided by Alibaba Cloud support nearly all main Windows and Linux versions. These images are of high stability and are licensed. You can customize your application environment based on a public image. Officially provided by Alibaba Cloud
Custom image Custom images created based on your existing physical server, virtual machine, or cloud host. These images are flexible to meet your personalized needs.
  • You can create it based on an existing instance.
  • You can also import one from the on-premises environment into the corresponding region.
Cloud Marketplace Provided by third-party service providers (ISV, independent software) Vendor). The image of the Marketplace includes not only the operating system required for the application, but also the configuration environment. It saves you complicated deployment process and deploy the environment with one-click.

Alibaba Cloud Marketplace

Shared image Shared by other Alibaba Cloud users. A custom image shared by other Alibaba Cloud users.

Public images

Alibaba Cloud provides authorized and certificated public images, which cover nearly all the trending and popular platforms. Note that the available public images are different when you select different instances. The following images are offered by Alibaba Cloud ECS for public use:

Platform Version of public images
Windows Server
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 R2 Data Center Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server 2016 R2 Data Center Edition 64 bit English Edition
  • Windows Server Version 1709 Data Center Edition 64 bit Chinese Edition
  • Windows Server Version 1709 Data Center Edition 64 bit English Edition
CentOS
  • CentOS 6.8 64bit
  • CentOS 6.8 32bit
  • CentOS 6.9 64bit
  • CentOS 7.2 64bit
  • CentOS 7.3 64bit
  • CentOS 7.4 64bit
  • CentOS 7.5 64bit
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 14.04 64bit
  • Ubuntu 14.04 32bit
  • Ubuntu 16.04 64bit
  • Ubuntu 16.04 32bit
Debian
  • Debian 8.9 64bit
  • Debian 9.2 64bit
  • Debian 9.5 64bit
Red Hat
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 64bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 64bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.9 64bit
SUSE Linux
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4 64bit
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4 64bit
OpenSUSE OpenSUSE 42.3 64bit
Aliyun Linux Aliyun Linux 17.1 64bit
CoreOS CoreOS 1465.8.0 64bit
FreeBSD FreeBSD 11.1 64bit

Image format

Currently, ECS supports VHD, qcow2, and RAW. You must convert other formats before using them in ECS.

Billing details

Billing details of the images are as follows:

Type Description
Public image
Only Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux public images involve billing calculation, which are included in the bill when an instance is created. The public Windows Sever images or Red Hat Enterprise Linux images are provided with certificated license and authorized support from Microsoft or Red Hat, you do have to purchase additional license.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Billing is related to the instance type.
  • Windows Server: Free of charge in Alibaba Cloud regions that are in mainland China. For international regions, public Windows Server images are charging services.

Other public images are free of charge to use.

Custom image Free. Potential costs include:
  • If you use a snapshot to create a custom image:
    • If the image used by the system disk snapshot comes from the Marketplace, the following cost may incur: the fees for the image, and the fees for snapshot capacity.
    • If the image used by the system disk snapshot does not come from the Marketplace, the following cost may incur: the fees for snapshot capacity.

    Currently, snapshot is commercialized.

  • If you use an instance to create a custom image, and the image is from the Marketplace, comply to the billing policies from the ISV.
Alibaba Cloud Marketplace Subject to ISV policies.
Shared image If the origin of the shared image is from the Marketplace, it is subject to the ISV policies.

For more information, see Pricing overview.

Limits

Custom images, marketplace images, and shared images vary depending on the region. For more information about regions and zones, see General Reference Regions and zones.

Related operations

Console operations API operations

You can view the APIs about images in the Developer Guide.