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Image Registration with HTTP

All new Brightbox cloud servers are built from an initial Server Image which provides the base operating system. We provide several official up-to-date images for common operating systems (such as Ubuntu, Centos, Fedora, FreeBSD and Windows), but you can supply your own (and share them with other users if you like).

To supply your own image you need to upload it to us and register it. Historically this used FTP but we now support HTTP!

One of the benefits of supporting HTTP is we now allow registring images directly from the source, so you don’t have to download the image and reupload it.

For example, here I’m registering the latest Arch Linux cloud image directly from their mirror:

$ brightbox image register --url https://geo.mirror.pkgbuild.com/images/latest/Arch-Linux-x86_64-cloudimg.qcow2 -n "arch-latest" --arch=x86_64

id         owner      type    created_on  status    size  name                 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
img-8yeen  acc-xxxxx  upload  2023-01-03  creating  0     arch-latest (x86_64)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the download and registration is complete, the image goes from status creating to private:

$ brightbox image show img-8yeen
                id: img-8yeen
              type: upload
             owner: acc-xxxxx
        created_at: 2023-01-03T13:08Z
            status: private
              arch: x86_64
              name: arch-latest (x86_64)
      virtual_size: 2048
         disk_size: 512
            public: false
compatibility_mode: false
          official: false

And then I can create a server using the image:

$ brightbox server create -n "archlinux test" img-8yeen
Creating a 1gb.ssd (typ-w0hf9) server with image arch-latest (img-8yeen)

 id         status    type     zone   created_on  image_id   cloud_ip_ids  name          
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 srv-8gbi6  creating  1gb.ssd  gb1-a  2023-01-03  img-8yeen                archlinux test
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Arch Linux cloud images support cloud-init which installs your SSH keys on first boot so you can SSH straight in:

$ ssh arch@ipv6.srv-8gbi6.gb1.brightbox.com

[arch@srv-8gbi6 ~]$

Registration from Orbit

The registration system supports raw formatted (optionally compressed with lz4 or xv) and qcow2 formatted images, but has some limits about how long it will spend downloading and processing. So if you’re registering a larger image (more than ten gigabytes for a raw image and more than a couple of gigabytes for qcow2) we suggest downloading it yourself, converting to compressed raw, uploading to Orbit and registering it from there.

Orbit uses HTTP so it’s as simple as creating an authenticated temporary Orbit URL and using that for registration.

This is also the best option if you have a server image that you need to keep private and cannot provide via a public URL.

Image verification

Some image providers help you to verify their images using a PGP signature or a SHA256 file or similar. Our registration system cannot do this for you, so if you want additional verification of images (beyond HTTPS certificates) you’ll need to download the image yourself, verify it and then upload it to our object storage system, Orbit and register it from then register it via Orbit.

Goodbye to FTP!

Now that we support HTTP we’ll be discontinuing support for FTP from the 1st February 2023.

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