EBS: Import a Disk Image

Greg DeKoenigsberg edited this page Nov 19, 2012 · 2 revisions
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Import a Disk Image

Import an raw disk image into your cloud as a new EBS volume.


  • The disk image file you wish to import into your cloud. Our example will use "disk.img".
  • A "scratch" instance running in your cloud to which you can attach volumes.


  1. Create a new volume of the same size as your disk image file, and attach it to your scratch instance:
$ euca-create-volume -s 5 -z cluster01
$ euca-attach-volume -i i-XXXXX vol-XXXXXX -d /dev/vdc
  1. Determine which actual device the volume attached to by logging into your scratch instance and running "fdisk -l". This example will assume /dev/vdc, but it might be different.

  2. Transfer the disk image to the attached volume by using an SSH-based pipe:

$ gzip - < disk.img | ssh -i euca-key.priv root@SCRATCH-INSTANCE-IP "zcat > /dev/vdc"
  1. Now you can optionally log into the instance and verify the volume contents. Detach the volume from the instance:
$ euca-detach-volume vol-XXXXXX
  1. If your disk image is intended to be an EBS-backed (Boot-From-EBS) image, snapshot the volume and register it like this:
$ euca-create-snapshot vol-XXXXXX
$ euca-register -n "imported disk image" --root-device-name /dev/vda -b /dev/vda=snap-XXXXXX