Azure Rocky image on marketplace

Hi all,

Nowadays lots of infrastructure is hosted in the cloud. I also wanted to set up a Rocky VM in Azure, but quickly noticed there is no free image available. The only Rocky images that exist are paid (and are build by “random” companies).

In my quick research about Azure images I learned that Azure seems to have high standards and that it’s hard to get your images on their marketplace, but with Azure being one of the main sponsors of Rocky I expected images would be available.

Is there already an expectation on Rocky image releases in the Azure marketplace?

I’m afraid that the long this takes, the more people start using other CentIS derivatives (like Alma) that do have images in the marketplace.

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I know nothing about Azure at all.

But are you not allowed to install your own software on a server that you’re renting from them? If so, is there any reason not to install Rocky from one of the stock images that are readily available?

Again, I don’t know how this works so maybe it’s not something that Microsoft will allow you to do.

In cloud environments like Azure (but also AWS and others) one needs to select an image as starting point of your VM. It’s not possible to upload an ISO file and connect to the console. That’s why I think it’s so important to get Rocky on there as well.

Alternatively it is possible to upload a disk that has your OS already installed on it. I’ve tried that and must admit that it’s quite a hassle if you want to install Rocky on VirtualBox and start an Azure (Hyper-V) VM with that disk. It worked out in the end, but it is not sustainable in case you want to spin up many VMs and introduce tools like Terraform for infra-as-code.

Hey @rednax,

Thanks for the question. I’m the one who’s been working on those images, and I think I should have something up in the marketplace either this weekend, or very early next week, as long as no huge blockers come up.

Thank you (and everyone else who might be waiting) for your patience with building these images. It’s very much appreciated. I’ll update here with any news!

Best,
Neil

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Hey @neil ,
The biggest issue I’ve run into with Azure so far is support telling me that “Rocky Linux isn’t supported.” This means things like extensions that are hard coded to include OL, RHEL, and CentOS will not work simply because Rocky isn’t listed in the hard coded OS list.

As for the image itself, pretty easy to create one using a blend of:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/linux/create-upload-centos#centos-70
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/linux/redhat-create-upload-vhd#rhel-8-using-hyper-v-manager

and for keyboard use at the grub menu:
add_drivers+=" hv_vmbus hv_storvsc hv_netvsc hv_utils hv_balloon hyperv-keyboard hyperv_fb hid-hyperv "
Reference: https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/azure-docs/issues/42910

If using VirtualBox to create the image:

  • Make sure the disk is fixed VHD
  • Recommended to check the option “Enable EFI (special OSes only)” for Azure Gen2 VMs
  • Upload using azcopy.exe copy .\<rocky_image_file_name>.vhd "<Azure Storage link>" --cap-mbps <apply_limit_if_desired> --blob-type PageBlob

@neil That’s great to hear. A couple of applications from our company now supports Rocky Linux 8 as the base OS. My team creates solutions on Azure/AWS/GCP, and we were having trouble finding a free Rocky Linux on Azure like there already is for AWS and GCP. We started building scripts to create an Azure image from an ISO, but would rather not take on the responsibility of updating and testing it regularly.

As I did a search now, I only see images from names such as Ntegral Inc. and ProComputers.com. What vendor will your image be listed as?

As a side notes, in another thread you mentioned https://rockylinux.org/ami but it’s giving me a 404 now. Would be great to see a page to list how one can find the official Rocky image on various clouds.

For AWS images are available at

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That’s great, thanks! Didn’t realize there are non-marketplace images, which is what we prefer.

How do these images compare the the marketplace in terms of how they are built/configured/updated? Or are they just the same images published differently?

Any update on this, please? Would like to help with adoption here by recommending more of my contacts to deploy Rocky on Azure here, but this is significantly complicated by not having official images available. In the meantime, the other marketplace images (e.g. Ntegral and ProComputers, as referenced below) have their own images available that come with additional surcharges.

Hi there,

It’s on its way and I’m hoping it’ll be available next week. We ran into every issue under the sun getting a publishing account setup that took way way longer than I could have ever anticipated.

If you’d like, I can share the VHD with you for your testing from my personal azure account.

Thank you so much for your patience!

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Very good news indeed. I was about cooking my own image converted from a CentOS image, but I’ll wait this one out.
I converted my production systems from CentOS to one of the pay per use Rocky images that is available on Azure Marketplace, but will switch to what the community provides ASAP. The marketplace cost for the pay-per-use image is almost as high as the vm-cost itself and it is impossible to calculate the price in advance, you have to try one out an check the cost in retrospect. IMO the value add doesn’t justify the markup.

BTW, would it be feasible to provide an optional pay-per-use version for the community image? I would consider a markup around 5-10% of the VM cost reasonable, but opinions may differ here. It would provide a way to sponsor the community that would fly under my (and many others) bean-counters radar. We (eg my employer) pays millions to MS every year, but I cannot get a patreon payment past the accountants. Just a thought…

Hi neil,

Where would one go about finding that testing vhd? Thanks for the offer!

Alex

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You can grab it from here (might be a bit slow right now) https://mirror.potato.shrug.pw/scratch/Rocky-8.5-x86_64.vhd

Progress is slow, but steady on the image in Azure for release. I’m hesitant to give a time, but if all goes well, could be end of this week.

Hello,

Any updates on having official Rocky image on Azure ?
We plan to use Rocky on Azure for multiple applications in Azure and would prefer to use some official image instead of the existing non official images on the azure market place.

Hello,

Any updates on this? We would love to have official Rocky images in the marketplace!

wait for Rocky image on Azure marketplace.

@neil - Any updates here? It’s been well over a month since your last update here, and many more since this discussion started. How is it that the “random” companies are getting in here with a Rocky image and capitalizing from their own surcharges here, that Alma already has in their image from the “AlmaLinux OS Foundation”, and Rocky is still stuck here?

Is there anything that I or others here can do to help push this over the finish line? I may even be able to pull in some further resources, if / as needed, as a Microsoft partner.

Hello,

Thanks for the ping here. I’ve been meaning to update this forum thread but it’s just kept getting pushed off due to work on the release and post-release processes for 8.6 and 9.0.

With that said, here are some updates!

Image publishing latency

Due to licensing and legal requirements from Microsoft for their commercial partners, the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation was unable to work with Microsoft in this capacity and instead opted to publish our images without a formal relationship between the RESF and Microsoft. The latency in this process, particularly the legal aspects of it, are the main reason these images have been delayed.

Images for 8.6

The 8.6 image is submitted for automated validation now, I just got everything approved on the legal side to get the offer on the marketplace. I do really appreciate everyone’s patience with the release of this image, including the several people who reached out privately and publicly to offer help by way of their own network or by testing the pre-release images–all of which was really awesome, and I think everyone for it.

This image should be up on the marketplace very soon. The testing usually goes much quicker than this, though there may be some delay due to the weekend. Hopefully everything goes through,
and on Monday we have a new rocky image available for everyone to test out.

Going forward

I’ll update this thread (as well as our news site) when the images are available. Again, I thank everyone for their patience and help, and apologize that the release of the images has dragged on for this long. Going forward, there should be little to no delay in releasing images, and we are also targeting a monthly release cadence, with additional releases if there are critical security vulnerabilities.

The workflows and tooling used to create the image are also open source and will be receiving a lot of love in the next couple months to get it all automated correctly.

Best,
Neil

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I’d please be very curious for any further context that can be provided around this. Is the Rocky image that will be posted appear at least as official as the one that Alma has posted? Or is this instead just saying that it’s not going to appear as being published by Microsoft themselves?

This all just seems especially interesting, given that Microsoft is listed as a Tier 1 sponsor or Rocky, as listed at https://rockylinux.org/sponsors/.

Regardless, thank you for continuing to push through everything here. Looking forward to this, as well as to the 9.0 release that now looks imminent.

What does this mean for Azure supporting Rocky with their extensions? Unfortunately, if this means Rocky will never be listed on this page, then it will limit or completely eliminate the use of Rocky on various projects.

See here for Microsoft’s official Linux supported operating systems that Azure support will point to when discussing extensions: Linux distributions endorsed on Azure - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs

I was glad to see that AWS has Rocky listed though: Supported operating systems - AWS Systems Manager

Unfortunately, for those looking for similar Linux environments across cloud solutions to include extension support, the issue of Azure not being willing to support Rocky eliminates Rocky from those designs.

Hopefully this is something that can be addressed in the future.