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KIWI by openSUSE

KIWI -- OS Image and Appliance builder

The KIWI Image System provides a complete operating system image solution for Linux supported hardware platforms as well as for virtualisation systems like KVM (Qemu), Xen, or VMware. KIWI is a command line tool and is the backend of SUSE Studio. The project is sponsored by SUSE.

KIWI is designed to operate in 2 steps. During the first step of the image creation process, KIWI creates a so called unpacked image based on a user provided image specification. During this process software from specified repositories and/or other specified software sources is installed into the unpacked image directory. In the second step KIWI creates the compact image or image in the format specified.

The image behavior is determined by the image type and the image setup with respect to configuration/customization. Behavior may range from a self installing and self configuring image to a plug and play image where no configuration by the user or the image itself is necessary.

The image specification is stored in a configuration tree (directory) that contains the primary configuration file (config.xml) and optional shell scripts and overlay files.

Feature Highlights

Eager to start with your first appliance ?

With the SUSE Studio web application you can create an image in no time and you can even test the created image in your browser. Getting started KIWI on the command line is not quite as speedy. You can get going by following the examples in the KIWI Cookbook. The latest KIWI documentation can be found here. The latest kiwi XML schema documentation can be found here. The documentation also describes the build of the examples provided by KIWI in the examples directory as part of the documentation package.


RPM packages can be found in the Virtualization/Appliances project in the openSUSE Build Service at




Finding help is easy.

The kiwi-images group is an open group and anyone can subscribe, even if you do not have a Google account. Simply send mail to subscribe, kiwi-images "plus" subscribe at (replace "plus" with "+" no quotes and no spaces), or use the subscribe box below.
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Some more information about group permissions with and wthout a google account can be found here


You can clone the project with Git by running:

    git clone git://


Marcus Schäfer (ms at suse dot de)
Adrian Schröter (adrian at suse dot de)
Robert Schweikert (rjschwei at suse dot com)


Marcus Schäfer (ms at suse dot de)