Bring Your Own Image (BYOI)

The Bring Your Own Image (BYOI) feature enables you to bring your own versions of operating systems to the cloud as long as the underlying hardware supports it. The services do not depend on the OS you run.

The BYOI feature does the following things:

  • Enables virtual machine cloud migration projects.

  • Supports both old and new operating systems.
  • Encourages experimentation.
  • Increases infrastructure flexibility.

Licensing Requirements

You must comply with all licensing requirements when you upload and start instances based on OS images that you supply.

Bringing Your Own Image

A critical part of any lift-and-shift cloud migration project is the migration of on-premises virtual machines (VMs) to the cloud. You can import your on-premises virtualized root volumes to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure using the custom image import feature, and then launch Compute instances using those images.

You can import Windows and Linux-based custom images and use them to launch VMs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Bringing your own image to a bare metal instance is not supported.

  • Windows images

    These Windows versions support custom image import:

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2012 Standard, Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2016 Standard, Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2019 Standard, Datacenter

    For steps to import a Windows image, see Importing Custom Windows Images.

    Bring your own license (BYOL) for Windows Server is not permitted when launching a VM instance on a shared host. For more information about BYOL and the licensing requirements for Windows images, see Licensing Options for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Licensing on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

  • Linux images

    These Linux distributions support custom image import:

    Linux Distribution Supported Versions Preferred Launch Mode
    CentOS 7 or later Paravirtualized
    4.0, 4.8, 5.11, 6.9 Emulated
    Debian 8 or later Paravirtualized
    5.0.10, 6.0, 7 Emulated
    Flatcar Container Linux 2345.3.0 or later Paravirtualized
    FreeBSD 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or later Emulated
    openSUSE Leap 15.1 Paravirtualized
    Oracle Linux 7.x, 8.x Paravirtualized
    5.11, 6.x Emulated
    RHEL 7 or later Paravirtualized
    4.5, 5.5, 5.6, 5.9, 5.11, 6.5, 6.9 Emulated
    SUSE 12.2 or later Paravirtualized
    11, 12.1 Emulated
    Ubuntu 13.04 or later Paravirtualized
    12.04 Emulated

    You might also have success importing other distributions of Linux.

    For steps to import a Linux-based image, see Importing Custom Linux Images.

Bringing Your Own Hypervisor Guest OS

You can bring your own hypervisor guest OS using Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) or Hyper-V.


Bring your own hypervisor deployment of ESXi on bare metal Compute instances is not supported. ESXi is supported only by provisioning an Oracle Cloud VMware Solution software-defined data center (SDDC). See Oracle Cloud VMware Solution for more information.

Bringing Your Own KVM

You can bring your own operating system images or older operating systems, such as Ubuntu 6.x, RHEL 3.x, and CentOS 5.4, using KVM on bare metal instances.

To bring your own KVM, first create a bare metal instance using the KVM image from Marketplace. Then, copy your on-premises guest OS to KVM on the bare metal instance.

For more information, see the following resources:

Bringing Your Own Hyper-V

You can bring your own operating system images or older operating systems, such as Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, using Hyper-V on bare metal instances.

To bring your own Hyper-V, first create a bare metal instance using the Oracle-provided Windows Server Datacenter platform image. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will issue a license for Windows Server when the instance is launched. Then, copy your on-premises guest OS to Hyper-V on the bare metal instance. No additional license is required because Windows Server Datacenter includes unlimited virtual machines.

Be aware of the following considerations:

  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will issue a license when you launch an instance using a custom image. If you want to bring your own license (BYOL) for Windows Server, you must activate Windows Server with your own license. For steps, see Activating Licenses on a Dedicated Host.
  • Importing your own ISO image is not supported.

For a list of supported Hyper-V guests, see the following resources:

For more information about deploying Hyper-V, see Deploying Hyper-V on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.