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Windows Imaging Tools

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Windows OpenStack Imaging Tools automates the generation of Windows images.
The tools are a bundle of PowerShell modules and scripts.

The supported target environments for the Windows images are:

  • OpenStack with KVM, Hyper-V, VMware and baremetal hypervisor types
  • MAAS with KVM, Hyper-V, VMware and baremetal

The generation environment needs to be a Windows one, with Hyper-V virtualization enabled.
If you plan to run the online Windows setup step on another system / hypervisor, the Hyper-V virtualization is not required.

The following versions of Windows images (both x86 / x64, if existent) to be generated are supported:

  • Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2022
  • Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 11

To generate Windows Nano Server 2016, please use the following repository:

Workflow of Windows imaging tools

Fast path to create a Windows image


  • A Windows host, with Hyper-V virtualization enabled, PowerShell >=v4 support
    and Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)
  • A Windows installation ISO or DVD
  • Windows compatible drivers, if required by the target environment
  • Git environment

Steps to generate the Windows image

  • Clone this repository
  • Mount or extract the Windows ISO file
  • Download and / or extract the Windows compatible drivers
  • If the target environment is MAAS or the image generation is configured to install updates,
    the windows-curtin-hooks and WindowsUpdates git submodules are required.
    Run git submodule update --init to retrieve them
  • Import the WinImageBuilder.psm1 module
  • Use the New-WindowsCloudImage or New-WindowsOnlineCloudImage methods with
    the appropriate configuration file

PowerShell image generation example for OpenStack KVM (host requires Hyper-V enabled)

git clone
pushd windows-openstack-imaging-tools
Import-Module .\WinImageBuilder.psm1
Import-Module .\Config.psm1
Import-Module .\UnattendResources\ini.psm1
# Create a config.ini file using the built in function, then set them accordingly to your needs
$ConfigFilePath = ".\config.ini"
New-WindowsImageConfig -ConfigFilePath $ConfigFilePath

# To automate the config options setting:
Set-IniFileValue -Path (Resolve-Path $ConfigFilePath) -Section "DEFAULT" `
                                      -Key "wim_file_path" `
                                      -Value "D:\Sources\install.wim"
# Use the desired command with the config file you just created

New-WindowsOnlineImage -ConfigFilePath $ConfigFilePath


Image generation workflow


This command does not require Hyper-V to be enabled, but the generated image
is not ready to be deployed, as it needs to be started manually on another hypervisor.
The image is ready to be used when it shuts down.

You can find a PowerShell example to generate a raw OpenStack Ironic image that also works on KVM
in Examples/create-windows-cloud-image.ps1


This command requires Hyper-V to be enabled, a VMSwitch to be configured for external
network connectivity if the updates are to be installed, which is highly recommended.

This command uses internally the New-WindowsCloudImage to generate the base image and
start a Hyper-V instance using the base image. After the Hyper-V instance shuts down,
the resulting VHDX is shrinked to a minimum size and converted to the required format.

You can find a PowerShell example to generate a raw OpenStack Ironic image that also works on KVM
in Examples/create-windows-online-cloud-image.ps1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The image generation never stops

  • Make sure that the Hyper-V VMSwitch is correctly configured and it allows Internet connectivity
    if you have configured the image generation to install the Windows updates.
  • Check in the associated Hyper-V VM that the Logon.ps1 script has not failed.
    If the script failed, there should be a PowerShell window showing the error message.

I booted an instance with the image and I got a BSOD

  • This is the most common scenario that one can encounter and it is easily fixable.
  • If you boot on KVM hypervisor, make sure that you configure the correct path for the ISO/folder with VirtIO drivers.
    The configuration options are virtio_iso_path and virtio_base_path.
  • On the KVM hypervisor side, make sure you start the KVM vm process with the --enable-kvm flag.
  • If you boot on a baremetal machine, make sure that either the basic Windows installation has the storage drivers builtin
    or that you specify the proper path to drivers folder for the drivers_path configuration option.

I booted an instance with the image and I got a forever Windows loading screen

Useful links on

For developers

Running unit tests

You will need PowerShell Pester package installed on your system.

It should already be installed on your system if you are running Windows 10.
If it is not installed you can install it on Windows 10 or greater:

Install-Package Pester

or you can clone it from:

Running the tests in a closed environment:

cmd /c 'powershell.exe -NonInteractive { Invoke-Pester }'

This will run all tests without polluting your current shell environment.
This is not needed if you run it in a Continuous Integration environment.


Tools to automate the creation of a Windows image for OpenStack, supporting KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi and more.







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