How to select a system image

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017

Windows

  • The Microsoft Windows Server on Alibaba Cloud contains genuine activation, and the CD-ROM configuration is removed by default.
  • Suitable for applications that run on Microsoft Windows.
  • Convenient for deploying applications using the Internet Information Server (IIS), ASP.NET, and Microsoft Web Platform.
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server and other databases, and additional installation is required.
  • Manageable by the remote desktop session.

Unix-like/Linux

  • The most popular server-side OS built with robust security and stability.
  • Free and open-source, easy to build and compile the source code.
  • Remotely accessible by SSH.
  • Suitable for high-performance server applications such as Web applications, with support for common programming languages such as PHP and Python and databases such as MySQL (additional installation is required).
  • Alibaba Cloud provides the following Unix-like/Linux OSs:
    • (Recommended) CentOS. Use yum method for online software installation.
    • Ubuntu. Use apt-get method for online software installation.
    • Debian. Use aptitude method for online software installation.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux. Use yum method for online software installation.
    • CoreOS
    • FreeBSD
    • OpenSUSE
    • SUSE Linux
  • Click Quick Start for more information.

Considerations for replacing the OS

  • Replacing the ECS OS changes your ECS instance’s system disk to a new one based on the image, and the loss of data on the previous system disk is inevitable.
  • Data on your ECS instance’s data disk are not affected when replacing the OS.
  • We recommend that you back up personal data on your system disk to the data disk or back up the data using snapshots or other methods.
  • Alibaba Cloud is not liable for any data loss if you fail to back up personal data on your system disk beforehand.
  • See OS replacement Instructions for how to replace the OS.

How to select the CPU, memory, and OS

  • A 32-bit OS has addressing limitation. So if you want to use a 32-bit OS, you can only buy an ECS instance with no more than 4 GB RAM.
  • If you want to buy an ECS instance with more than 4 GB RAM, you can only select a 64-bit OS.
  • A 32-bit Windows OS can only support a CPU with no more than four cores.
  • If you want to use the image of Windows Server 2016, you must select an ECS instance with no less than 2 GB RAM.
  • To guarantee performance, a greater than 2 GB RAM instance is recommended for Windows Server 2008 and 2012.
  • ECS instances in the regions outside of mainland China do not support interchange between Unix-like/Linux and Windows OSs. A Windows or Unix-like/Linux OS can only be replaced by a different version of the same platform.
  • Alibaba Cloud has stopped providing Windows Server 2003 public image, see Offline announcement of Windows Server 2003 system image for more information.
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