Image Management

The VyOS image-based installation is implemented by creating a directory for each image on the storage device selected during the install process.

The directory structure of the boot device:


The image directory contains the system kernel, a compressed image of the root filesystem for the OS, and a directory for persistent storage, such as configuration. On boot, the system will extract the OS image into memory and mount the appropriate live-rw sub-directories to provide persistent storage system configuration.

This process allows for a system to always boot to a known working state, as the OS image is fixed and non-persistent. It also allows for multiple releases of VyOS to be installed on the same storage device. The image can be selected manually at boot if needed, but the system will otherwise boot the image configured to be the default.

show system image

List all available system images which can be bootet on the current system.

vyos@vyos:~$ show system image
The system currently has the following image(s) installed:

   1: 1.2.0-rolling+201810021347 (default boot)
   2: 1.2.0-rolling+201810021217
   3: 1.2.0-rolling+201809252218
delete system image [image-name]

Delete no longer needed images from the system. You can specify an optional image name to delete, the image name can be retrieved via a list of available images can be shown using the show system image.

vyos@vyos:~$ delete system image
The following image(s) can be deleted:

   1: 1.3-rolling-201912181733 (default boot) (running image)
   2: 1.3-rolling-201912180242
   3: 1.2.2
   4: 1.2.1

Select the image to delete: 2

Are you sure you want to delete the
"1.3-rolling-201912180242" image? (Yes/No) [No]: y
Deleting the "1.3-rolling-201912180242" image...
show version

Show current system image version.

vyos@vyos:~$ show version
Version:          VyOS 1.3-rolling-201912181733
Built by:
Built on:         Wed 18 Dec 2019 17:33 UTC
Build UUID:       bccde2c3-261c-49cc-b421-9b257204e06c
Build Commit ID:  f7ce0d8a692f2d

Architecture:     x86_64
Boot via:         installed image
System type:      bare metal

Hardware vendor:  VMware, Inc.
Hardware model:   VMware Virtual Platform
Hardware S/N:     VMware-42 1d 83 b9 fe c1 bd b2-7d 3d 49 db 94 18 f5 c9
Hardware UUID:    b9831d42-c1fe-b2bd-7d3d-49db9418f5c9

Copyright:        VyOS maintainers and contributors

Update VyOS

New system images can be added using the add system image command. The command will extract the chosen image and will prompt you to use the current system configuration and SSH security keys, allowing for the new image to boot using the current configuration.


Only LTS releases are PGP-signed.

add system image <url | path> [vrf name] [username user [password pass]]

Use this command to install a new system image. You can reach the image from the web (http://, https://) or from your local system, e.g. /tmp/vyos-1.2.3-amd64.iso.

The add system image command also supports installing new versions of VyOS through an optional given VRF. Also if URL in question requires authentication, you can specify an optional username and password via the commandline which will be passed as “Basic-Auth” to the server.

If there is not enough free disk space available, the installation will be canceled. To delete images use the delete system image command.

VyOS configuration is associated to each image, and each image has a unique copy of its configuration. This is different than a traditional network router where the configuration is shared across all images.


If you have any personal files, like some scripts you created, and you don’t want them to be lost during the upgrade, make sure those files are stored in /config as this directory is always copied to newer installed images.

You can access files from a previous installation and copy them to your current image if they were located in the /config directory. This can be done using the copy command. So, for instance, in order to copy /config/config.boot from VyOS 1.2.1 image, you would use the following command:

copy file 1.2.1://config/config.boot to /tmp/config.boot.1.2.1


vyos@vyos:~$ add system image
Trying to fetch ISO file from
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100  338M  100  338M    0     0  3837k      0  0:01:30  0:01:30 --:--:-- 3929k
ISO download succeeded.
Checking for digital signature file...
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0
curl: (22) The requested URL returned error: 404 Not Found

Unable to fetch digital signature file.
Do you want to continue without signature check? (yes/no) [yes]
Checking MD5 checksums of files on the ISO image...OK.

What would you like to name this image? [vyos-1.3-rolling-201912201452]:

OK.  This image will be named: vyos-1.3-rolling-201912201452


The most up-do-date Rolling Release for AMD64 can be accessed using the following URL:

After reboot you might want to verify the version you are running with the show version command.

System rollback

If you need to rollback to a previous image, you can easily do so. First check the available images through the show system image command and then select your image with the following command:

set system image default-boot [image-name]
Select the default boot image which will be started on the next boot of the system.

Then reboot the system.


VyOS automatically associates the configuration to the image, so you don’t need to worry about that. Each image has a unique copy of its configuration.

If you have access to the console, there is a another way to select your booting image: reboot and use the GRUB menu at startup.