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Azure Shared Image Gallery now supports specialized images in preview

Published date: November 06, 2019

Azure Shared Image Gallery, which has the ability to create image versions with generalized managed images as source, now has specialized image support in Shared Image Gallery (in preview). In addition to this, you also now have the ability to create image versions with multiple snapshots (OS disk and data disks) as source.


Frequently asked questions:

  • What makes a virtual machine (VM) image specialized? How is it different from generalized VM images?

Generalized VM images require Sysprep (Windows) or Deprovision (Linux) to be run on the VM before an image is created and the source VM then becomes unusable. To create a specialized VM image, there's no need to run Sysprep (Windows) or Deprovision (Linux) prior to creating the image leaving the source VM intact. A specialized VM image retains login credentials and computer name.

  • What are the limitations of the preview?


A specialized image version can be created only through snapshots.

In October 2019, we launched customer-managed key encrypted snapshots. This preview doesn’t support encrypted snapshots.

  • What should I be aware of before using this feature?

If you are using the image to deploy multiple VMs in the same virtual network or domain, be sure to change the computer name immediately after the VMs boot up to enable inter-VM communication.

  • Is this preview available in all Azure regions?

The preview is available in all Azure public cloud regions. The feature will be launched in sovereign clouds in the coming months.

  • How can I start using the feature?

The preview doesn’t require any registration. Get started with the documentation, and see CLI, Azure portal and API. PowerShell and SDKs aren't supported during the preview.

  • Virtual Machines
  • Features
  • Management

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