An image is a complete copy of the file system structure and data on a disk.

It is designed to quickly create a data disk, primarily a VM's boot disk. Images can be used for distributing software, such as OS distributions or disks with pre-installed software.


To regularly back up your data on disks, use snapshots.

You can create an image from a disk, snapshot, or other image. If you have an image, you can import it to Yandex.Cloud. You can't import Windows boot disk images.

When you create a Windows boot disk image, indicate this in the operating system type. This is important for proper CPU emulation and billing.

Image family

If you regularly update your images, you can group them into families. You can use the family name to find the latest image in the family.


All images belonging to the same family must be in the same folder.

Let's say you want to upload an image of your operating system to Yandex.Cloud. When creating an image, specify a family, like best-linux-distro. This lets other users get the latest version of your operating system by specifying the family and image folder ID in the query.

Public images

You can grant public access to your image by assigning the compute.images.user role to the allAuthenticatedUsers system group. Then other Yandex.Cloud users will be able to use your image to create their own disks and VMs. However, the compute.images.user role doesn't grant permission to delete or edit your image.

An example of public images are OS distributions provided by Yandex.Cloud.