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.

If you already have an image file, you can import it to Yandex.Cloud. Currently, you cannot upload your own image with the Windows OS.

If you are creating a boot disk image, you can specify the type of operating system (Windows or Linux) when creating it.

Image family

If you regularly update your images, you can group them into families. A search for an image by family will return the image that was created last in that family. For example, the result of a search for an image by centos-7 family will be the latest version of CentOS 7.

Public images

You can allow public access to your image by assigning the role compute.images.user to the system group allAuthenticatedUsers. Then other Yandex.Cloud users will be able to use your image to create their own disks and VMs. In this case, the role compute.images.user does not give the right to delete or change your image.

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