Debian Linux now Google Compute Engine's default OS

Want to run Linux on the Google Computer Engine cloud? Starting immediately, Debian Linux is Google's Linux of choice.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Earlier in May, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Google site reliability engineer and Debian developer, announced that Google would not just be adding Debian 6 and 7 images to the Google's infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Google Compute Engine (GCE); it was also making Debian Linux its default server image.

Say hello to the newly Debian Linux-friendly Google Compute Engine.
Image: Google

Kaplowitz, one of several Debian developers who works for Google, wrote, "Today, we're adding Debian images for Google Compute Engine. Debian, in collaboration with us, is providing images for both Debian 7.0 'wheezy' and the previous stable release, Debian 6.0 'squeeze'. This support will make it easy for anyone using Debian today to migrate their workloads onto Compute Engine."

This comes on the heels of Debian releasing its next major version, 7.0. On the GCE, this version, and its predecessor, 6.0, "Google is hosting a Debian package mirror for use by Google Compute Engine Debian instances". Google has also updated its operating system image documentation, and will support Debian via its usual GCE support packages.

In addition, GCE will continue to support the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone CentOS. Ubuntu, which had been supported, is no longer a primary GCE distribution. Advanced users can also set up and use their own Linux images. You cannot, however, run any non-Linux operating system on GCE.

The Google Compute Engine itself is based on Linux. It uses the KVM hypervisor to run its Linux instances. While meant as competition for Amazon Web Services (AWS), GCE is still in beta. It's currently available only to users with a Google $400-per-month Gold cloud support package.

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