Faster Ubuntu installs up in the clouds

It all started with a Ubuntu Blog blog post about a slimmer Ubuntu server image. I play around with virtual machines at home, many based on Ubuntu’s full-size server ISO. It would take 20-25 minutes to spin up a new VM using some prebuilt preseed files I had constructed to automate user creation and SSH key copying. I knew there was a better way, and it turns out, using the pre-built Ubuntu minimal image (subsequently called cloud image), combined with cloud-init infrastructure, I was able to spin up Ubuntu Cloud Image minimal VMs in under 2 minutes.

What did it take?

Two git commits (one including some refactoring of my virtbuilder script):

What’s the big difference?

  • Full-size server ISO install: 21m10s.
  • Cloud Image install: 10m57s with cloud image download. 56s when the cloud image is already locally downloaded.


Where might you be able to find this handy automation script?

Jeffrey Forman
Jeffrey Forman

I do things that make the Internet work at work, and I play around with things that make the Internet work at home.