Building own CirrOS image

The purpose of this document is to provide instructions for building custom CirrOS image that has proper Python-based Cloud Init implementation installed and added to the init sequence.


This example is based on the official sources hosted on launchpad. Assuming that you have already installed git, clone the above repository with the following command:

git clone

Let's go to the cirros/. The assumption is that the rest of the commands are run in that directory.

cd cirros
patch -p1 </path/to/virtlet-repository/contrib/cirros-patches/cirros-repo.diff

Create the downloads directory and download the buildroot tar into it:

mkdir ../downloads ; ln -s ../downloads
( cd downloads ; wget${br_ver}.tar.gz )
tar xf buildroot-${br_ver}.tar.gz

Ensure that you have installed the packages listed in cirros/bin/system-setup (package names can be different for different Linux distros, for Debian-based system you can simply use cirros/bin/system-setup to install them).

Applying the patches

( cd buildroot && QUILT_PATCHES=$PWD/../patches-buildroot quilt push -a )
( cd buildroot && patch -p1 </path/to/virtlet-repository/contrib/cirros-patches/buildroot.diff )

Retrieving the sources of buildroot packages

make ARCH=i386 br-source

Building buildroot

The initial make command is expected to fail.

make ARCH=i386 OUT_D=$PWD/output/i386

Use the following command after make fails:

( cd output/i386/buildroot ; cp -a build/python-cloud-init*/build/lib/cloudinit target/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages )
sed -i -e 's/BR2_PACKAGE_PYTHON_CLOUD_INIT=y/# BR2_PACKAGE_PYTHON_CLOUD_INIT is not set/' conf/buildroot-i386.config

then run the previous build command again:

make ARCH=i386 OUT_D=$PWD/output/i386

Downloading kernel and GRUB

You need to set a correct version of kernel (the versions are listed here) e.g.:

./bin/grab-kernels "$kver"

Same for GRUB (version list is here):

./bin/grab-grub-efi "$gver"

Building the final image

sudo ./bin/bundle -v --arch=i386 output/i386/rootfs.tar \
      download/kernel-i386.deb download/grub-efi-i386.tar.gz output/i386/images

The final image will be named output/i386/images/disk.img.