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A container-focused OS that's designed for painless management in large clusters

Running CoreOS Container Linux on Microsoft Azure

Choosing a channel

Container Linux is designed to be updated automatically with different schedules per channel. This feature can be disabled, although it is not recommended. The release notes contain information about specific features and bug fixes.

The following command will create a single instance. For more details, check out Launching via the Microsoft Azure CLI.

The Alpha channel closely tracks master and is released frequently. The newest versions of system libraries and utilities will be available for testing. The current version is Container Linux 2514.1.0.

az vm create --name node-1 --resource-group group-1 --admin-username core --custom-data "$(cat config.ign)" --image CoreOS:CoreOS:Alpha:latest

The Beta channel consists of promoted Alpha releases. The current version is Container Linux 2513.2.0.

az vm create --name node-1 --resource-group group-1 --admin-username core --custom-data "$(cat config.ign)" --image CoreOS:CoreOS:Beta:latest

The Stable channel should be used by production clusters. Versions of Container Linux are battle-tested within the Beta and Alpha channels before being promoted. The current version is Container Linux 2512.3.0.

az vm create --name node-1 --resource-group group-1 --admin-username core --custom-data "$(cat config.ign)" --image CoreOS:CoreOS:Stable:latest

Container Linux Config

Container Linux allows you to configure machine parameters, configure networking, launch systemd units on startup, and more via a Container Linux Config. Head over to the docs to learn how to use Container Linux Configs. Note that Microsoft Azure doesn't allow an instance's userdata to be modified after the instance has been launched. This isn't a problem since Ignition, the tool that consumes the userdata, only runs on the first boot.

You can provide a raw Ignition config (produced from a Container Linux Config) to Container Linux via the Microsoft Azure CLI.

As an example, this config will configure and start etcd:

This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
# This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
# generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
# to instances of Container Linux.

  # All options get passed as command line flags to etcd.
  # Any information inside curly braces comes from the machine at boot time.

  # multi_region and multi_cloud deployments need to use {PUBLIC_IPV4}
  advertise_client_urls:       "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2379"
  initial_advertise_peer_urls: "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
  # listen on both the official ports and the legacy ports
  # legacy ports can be omitted if your application doesn't depend on them
  listen_client_urls:          ""
  listen_peer_urls:            "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
  # generate a new token for each unique cluster from
  # specify the initial size of your cluster with ?size=X
  discovery:                   "<token>"
This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
  "ignition": {
    "config": {},
    "timeouts": {},
    "version": "2.1.0"
  "networkd": {},
  "passwd": {},
  "storage": {},
  "systemd": {
    "units": [
        "dropins": [
            "contents": "[Unit]\nRequires=coreos-metadata.service\nAfter=coreos-metadata.service\n\n[Service]\nEnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/coreos\nExecStart=\nExecStart=/usr/lib/coreos/etcd-wrapper $ETCD_OPTS \\\n  --listen-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_AZURE_IPV4_DYNAMIC}:2380\" \\\n  --listen-client-urls=\"\" \\\n  --initial-advertise-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_AZURE_IPV4_DYNAMIC}:2380\" \\\n  --advertise-client-urls=\"http://${COREOS_AZURE_IPV4_DYNAMIC}:2379\" \\\n  --discovery=\"\u003ctoken\u003e\"",
            "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf"
        "enable": true,
        "name": "etcd-member.service"

Launching instances

Via the Microsoft Azure CLI

Follow the installation and configuration guides for the Microsoft Azure CLI to set up your local installation.

Instances on Microsoft Azure must be created within a resource group. Create a new resource group with the following command:

az group create --name group-1 --location <location>

Now that you have a resource group, create an instance of Container Linux Alpha inside it:

az vm create --name node-1 --resource-group group-1 --admin-username core --custom-data "$(cat config.ign)" --image CoreOS:CoreOS:Alpha:latest

Using CoreOS Container Linux

Now that you have a machine booted it is time to play around. Check out the Container Linux quickstart guide or dig into more specific topics.