After creating a custom image, you can share it with other Alibaba Cloud users. Shared images help new users adapt to ECS faster as they can quickly create ECS instances and set up business environments based on your custom images. Moreover, shared images do not consume the image quota of those who share an image.


You can only share your own custom images, not the images shared by other users. Each custom image can be shared with up to 50 users within the same Alibaba Cloud region. That is, an image cannot be shared across regions.

Before sharing an image, make sure that sensitive data and files have been removed from the image.
Note The integrity or security of shared images is not guaranteed. Make sure that you use only images shared by trusted accounts before using shared images. Besides, you shall bear the risk on your own. After you create an instance based on a shared image, be sure to connect the instance to check the integrity and security of the image.
Impacts of deleting shared images

If your custom image has been shared with other accounts, you need to remove all the sharing relationships for that image before you can delete the image. After deleting a shared custom image:

  • The users who are using the shared image can no longer find the image through the ECS console or ECS API, nor can they use the image to create ECS instances or replace system disks.
  • ECS instances that are created from the shared image cannot re-initialize their system disks.

Share an image

To share an image in the ECS console, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. Select a region.
  3. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Snapshots and Images > Images.
  4. Select a Custom Image. In the Actions column, click Share Image.

  5. In the pop-up dialog box, select Alibaba Cloud Account ID in the Account Type drop-down list. Then, enter the account ID you want to share the image with in the Account box. You can refer to Appendix. How to get the account ID to get the Alibaba Cloud account ID.

    Note If you want to stop sharing the image with an account, click Unshare next to the account. After you cancel the sharing, that account will be unable to query and use the image. If that account has already created an instance by using this shared image, the instance will be unable to re-initialize the system disk.
  6. (Optional) For those with whom you share an image, they can view the shared image in Snapshots and Images > Images > Share Image in the same region in the ECS console.

You can also use the ECS APIs ModifyImageSharePermission and DescribeImageSharePermission to share an image.

Next steps

After an image is shared with other users, they can use it to create one or more instances.
  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. Create one or more instances by referring to Step 2. Create an instanceCreate an instance in Quick Start. Note that you should select Shared Image during the procedure.

They can also use the shared image to Change the system disk (custom image) for instances.

Appendix. How to get the account ID

To query your account ID, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. Move the cursor onto the upper right user avatar, such as funCustomer***** From the pop-up account menu, click Security Settings.
  3. On the page that appears, find the account ID.