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Fedora on Oracle Cloud

·1143 words·6 mins·

I enjoy taking Fedora with me to various clouds and ensuring that it works well on all of them. I’ve written posts on taking Fedora to Hetzner cloud and deploying custom Fedora images to AWS with image builder.

Although Oracle Cloud isn’t a cloud I use frequently, a question came up earlier this week in the Fedora community about how to take an image there. I love a good challenge, so buckle up and follow along as we launch a Fedora 38 instance on Oracle Cloud.

Be sure to create an Oracle Cloud account first! The rest of the blog post requires CLI interactions with the Oracle Cloud API.

Let’s go! 🎒

Oracle’s cloud tools #

Although you can do the image upload and import via the web interface, I enjoy getting to learn a cloud provider’s CLI tools in case I need them later. Oracle offers a CLI called oci that you can install via pipx:

$ pipx install oci-cli
  installed package oci-cli 3.26.0, installed using Python 3.11.3
  These apps are now globally available
    - create_backup_from_onprem
    - oci
done! ✨ 🌟 ✨

$ oci --version

The CLI tool has a helpful authentication wizard that configures your credentials on your local machine. Run oci -i and follow the prompts.

$ oci session authenticate
Enter a region by index or name(e.g.
1: af-johannesburg-1, 2: ap-chiyoda-1, 3: ap-chuncheon-1, 4: ap-dcc-canberra-1, 5: ap-hyderabad-1,
6: ap-ibaraki-1, 7: ap-melbourne-1, 8: ap-mumbai-1, 9: ap-osaka-1, 10: ap-seoul-1,
11: ap-singapore-1, 12: ap-sydney-1, 13: ap-tokyo-1, 14: ca-montreal-1, 15: ca-toronto-1,
16: eu-amsterdam-1, 17: eu-dcc-dublin-1, 18: eu-dcc-dublin-2, 19: eu-dcc-milan-1, 20: eu-dcc-milan-2,
21: eu-dcc-rating-1, 22: eu-dcc-rating-2, 23: eu-frankfurt-1, 24: eu-jovanovac-1, 25: eu-madrid-1,
26: eu-marseille-1, 27: eu-milan-1, 28: eu-paris-1, 29: eu-stockholm-1, 30: eu-zurich-1,
31: il-jerusalem-1, 32: me-abudhabi-1, 33: me-dcc-muscat-1, 34: me-dubai-1, 35: me-jeddah-1,
36: mx-queretaro-1, 37: sa-santiago-1, 38: sa-saopaulo-1, 39: sa-vinhedo-1, 40: uk-cardiff-1,
41: uk-gov-cardiff-1, 42: uk-gov-london-1, 43: uk-london-1, 44: us-ashburn-1, 45: us-chicago-1,
46: us-gov-ashburn-1, 47: us-gov-chicago-1, 48: us-gov-phoenix-1, 49: us-langley-1, 50: us-luke-1,
51: us-phoenix-1, 52: us-sanjose-1): 51
    Please switch to newly opened browser window to log in!
    You can also open the following URL in a web browser window to continue:

A long URL will appear on the console. Open that URL in a browser and finish the login process in your browser. Once you finish, you should see a message like this:

Enter the name of the profile you would like to create: DEFAULT
Config written to: /home/major/.oci/config

    Try out your newly created session credentials with the following example command:

    oci iam region list --config-file /home/major/.oci/config --profile DEFAULT --auth security_token

Replace major with your username and try out your authentication:

$ oci iam region list --config-file /home/major/.oci/config --profile DEFAULT --auth security_token
  "data": [
      "key": "AMS",
      "name": "eu-amsterdam-1"

Success! Let’s move on.

Uploading the Fedora image #

Most cloud providers have a custom image process that involves uploading the image to some object storage and then telling the compute service where the image is located. Oracle Cloud follows the same pattern.

First up, we need our compartment ID. This is a way to logically separate infrastructure at Oracle Cloud. We will store it as an environment variable called COMPARTMENT_ID

$ COMPARTMENT_ID=$(oci iam compartment list --auth security_token | jq -r '.data[]."compartment-id"')

We need an object storage bucket to hold our image file. Naming things isn’t my strong suit, so I’ll call my bucket majors-fedora-upload-bucket:

$ oci os bucket create --name majors-fedora-upload-bucket \
    --compartment-id $COMPARTMENT_ID --auth security_token
  "data": {
    "approximate-count": null,
    "approximate-size": null,
    "auto-tiering": null,
Within the data that is returned, look for the namespace key. You will need the value from that key when you do the image import step.

Now we need a Fedora image. The latest Fedora 38 QCOW image should work fine.

$ wget

(Oracle Cloud has aarch64 instances and you can use a Fedora aarch64 image for those instead. This example focuses on x86_64.)

Upload the image to our bucket:

$ oci os object put \
    --bucket-name majors-fedora-upload-bucket \
    --file ~/Downloads/Fedora-Cloud-Base-38-1.6.x86_64.qcow2 \
    --auth security_token
Upload ID: 0f9b7008-b2d5-185f-08c7-8aeae904f136
Split file into 4 parts for upload.
Uploading object  [####################################]  100%          
  "etag": "c0f1bd77-46c6-4e65-a2bb-0d0b0dafe586",
  "last-modified": "Fri, 05 May 2023 21:33:41 GMT",
  "opc-multipart-md5": "iK+1qeXizzd1r+5lEZX6cQ==-4"

This may take a while depending on your upload speed.

Import the Fedora image #

If you forgot to save the namespace from your bucket when you created it, just look it up again with the bucket get command:

$ oci os bucket get --name majors-fedora-upload-bucket \
    --auth security_token | jq -r '.data.namespace'

At this point, we must tell Oracle’s compute service to import the image we just uploaded to the object storage. Let’s run another command to do the import:

$ oci compute image import from-object --auth security_token \
    --bucket-name majors-fedora-upload-bucket \
    --compartment-id $COMPARTMENT_ID \
    --name "Fedora-Cloud-Base-38-1.6.x86_64.qcow2" \
    --namespace axr6swqvwoeb \
    --display-name Fedora-Cloud-Base-38-1.6 \
    --operating-system Fedora \
    --operating-system-version 38 \
    --source-image-type QCOW2 \
    --launch-mode PARAVIRTUALIZED
  "data": {
    "agent-features": null,
    "base-image-id": null,
    "billable-size-in-gbs": null,

Look for the id in the output that was returned. Use that identifier to check the status of the import.

$ export IMAGE_ID=ocid1.image.oc1.phx.aaaaaaaayiu26gv67exe7mvpxkq76zwh44otstzktzaf2f6vqe5izqzrciqq
$ oci compute image get --auth security_token \
    --image-id $IMAGE_ID | jq -r '.data."lifecycle-state"'

This step takes about ten minutes for most images I tested.

Oracle Cloud uses work requests for most long running actions in the cloud. You can get their status via the CLI tools, but I found that to be extremely tedious. For a percentage completed and a progress bar, go to the Custom Images panel in the web interface, click your image name, click the Create image link under Work requests and monitor the percentage there. 😉

Create an instance #

The oci CLI tool is good at many things, but it’s tedious with many others. Launching a VM instance via the CLI was incredibly frustrating for me, so I usually go to the web interface to get this done. (You could also use tools like Terraform for this step.)

Let’s run through the steps:

  1. Go to the Instances panel in the web UI
  2. Click the Create instance button at the top
  3. Click Change Image in the Image and Shape section
  4. Click the My images box and then the checkbox next to the Fedora image you imported
  5. Click Select Image at the bottom
  6. Choose your preferred shape (instance type)
  7. Choose your SSH key
  8. Click Create at the bottom

Now you should have an instance beginning to launch! 🚀

After it’s online, you should be able to ssh1 to the instance using the fedora user:

$ ssh
[fedora@fedora-38-oracle-whee ~]$ cat /etc/fedora-release 
Fedora release 38 (Thirty Eight)

Enjoy running Fedora on Oracle Cloud! 🎉

  1. If you aren’t able to access the instance, you might be missing an internet gateway or a security group to allow traffic through to your instance. Here are direct links to the console instructions for those items: