Creating a GCE Image

A GCE image is a copy of the primary virtual disk of an instance, which can be used to create additional instances. Cloudmin supports creation of new private images, but there is a catch - unlike with EC2 or other virtualization types, the system being imaged must be deleted as part of the process.

The exact steps involved are :

  1. Configure a GCE instance the way you want, such as by installing any needed packages, creating users and configuration files, and so on.
  2. Go to System State -> Delete System, and check the box Leave virtual disk images after system is deleted.
  3. Click the Delete System button. This will remove the instance, but leave all GCE disks associated with it behind.
  4. Go to Google Compute Engine -> GCE Images , and scroll down to the GCE image creation options form.
  5. Enter a short unique name for your image in the Image name box (like test-image-1)
  6. Select the original instance's virtual disk from the Create image from disk menu.
  7. Optionally enter a description for the image.
  8. Click the Create Image button.

Once the image creation process is complete, you can test it out by creating a new GCE instance from the image. Private images that you no longer need can be removed on the GCE Images page - because Google charges for image storage, cleaning unused images up occasionally is a good idea.