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Linux Guest Environment for Google Compute Engine

This repository historically stored the collection of packages installed on Google supported Compute Engine images. Documentation here summarizes these packages and points to new locations for various software components.

Table of Contents


The Linux guest environment comprises the Google provided configuration and tooling inside of a Google Compute Engine (GCE) virtual machine. The metadata server is a communication channel for transferring information from a client into the guest. The Linux guest environment includes a set of scripts and daemons (long-running processes) that read the content of the metadata server to make a virtual machine run properly on our platform.


We build the following packages for the Linux guest environment.

  • google-compute-engine(located in the guest-configs repo)
    • System init scripts (systemd, upstart, or sysvinit).
    • Includes udev rules, sysctl rules, rsyslog configs, dhcp configs for hostname setting.
    • Includes bash scripts used during instance setup.
    • This package depends on the other necessary packages, and can be used as an entry point to install the guest environment.
  • google-compute-engine-oslogin(located in the guest-oslogin repo)
  • google-guest-agent(located in the guest-agent repo)
    • The guest agent which performs all on-guest actions needed to support GCE features.
  • gce-disk-expand(located in the guest-diskexpand repo)
    • The on-boot resize scripts for root partition.

The legacy guest Python code is packaged as a compliant PyPI Python package that can be used as a library or run independently.

Package Distribution

The deb and rpm packages are published to Google Cloud repositories. Debian, CentOS, and RHEL use these repositories to install and update the google-compute-engine, google-compute-engine-oslogin and google-guest-agent packages. If you are creating a custom image, you can also use these repositories in your image.

For Debian, run the following commands as root:

Add the public repo key to your system:

curl | sudo apt-key add -

Add a source list file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-cloud.list and change DIST to either stretch for Debian 9 or buster for Debian 10:

sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-cloud.list << EOM
deb google-compute-engine-${DIST}-stable main
deb google-cloud-packages-archive-keyring-${DIST} main

Install the packages to maintain the public key over time:

sudo apt update; sudo apt install -y google-cloud-packages-archive-keyring

You are then able to install any of the packages from this repo.

For RedHat based distributions, run the following commands as root:

Add the yum repo to a repo file /etc/yum.repos.d/google-cloud.repo for EL6, EL7, or EL8. Change DIST to either 6, 7, or 8 respectively:

tee /etc/yum.repos.d/google-cloud.repo << EOM
name=Google Compute Engine

You are then able to install any of the packages from this repo.

Deprecated packages

Deprecated PackageReplacement


Have a patch that will benefit this project? Awesome! Follow these steps to have it accepted.

  1. Please sign our Contributor License Agreement.
  2. Fork this Git repository and make your changes.
  3. Create a Pull Request against the development branch.
  4. Incorporate review feedback to your changes.
  5. Accepted!


All files in this repository are under the Apache License, Version 2.0 unless noted otherwise.