Custom images and image catalogs

If necessary, you can use a custom Runtime or FreeIPA image for compliance or security reasons. You can then use the CDP CLI to register a custom image catalog and set the custom image within the custom image catalog. Later, you can use this custom image to create a Data Lake/Data Hub cluster or environment with a custom FreeIPA image.


A custom image should inherit most of its attributes from its source image, which is a default image that you select from the cdp-default image catalog.

The typical method of creating a Data Lake or Data Hub picks up the latest pre-warmed image from the cdp-default image catalog for the specified version of Runtime. These default images are pre-warmed VM images that contain a base URL to the default parcels in the Cloudera archive, amongst other configurations. If the default pre-warmed images do not suit your business needs, you can specify that the Data Lake/Data Hub or the environment (in the case of FreeIPA) uses a custom image instead.

What is a custom image?

A custom image is an entry in a custom image catalog that inherits most of its attributes from a source (default) image.

Custom image entries have:

  • An image type: Runtime [which includes Data Hub and Data Lake images] or FreeIPA
  • A source image ID that points to an image in the cdp-default image catalog
  • A timestamp of creation
  • An option to specify a VM region and image reference (such as an AMI ID) if you are overriding the source image with a custom VM image
  • An option to override the parcel base URL

Why use a custom image?

You might require a custom image for compliance or security reasons (a “hardened” image), or to have your own packages pre-installed on the image, for example monitoring tools or software. You might also want to specify a custom image if you need to use a default image with a specific Runtime maintenance version applied, rather than simply specifying the latest major Runtime version.

What can you customize?

In a custom image entry, you can override the VM images themselves with your own custom images that are sufficiently hardened. Importantly, you should only customize a default image from the cdp-default catalog as opposed to creating one from scratch. You can also override the default parcel base URL (at with your own host site.

What is a custom image catalog?

A custom image catalog is simply a catalog that holds custom images. A custom image catalog can contain a single or multiple custom image entries.

Custom image catalogs have:

  • A name. The name is a unique identifier and is used to refer to the catalog during environment, Data Lake, and Data Hub creation; as well as during catalog operations like creating an image.
  • A description.
  • An owner. The owner is the user who runs the command to create the catalog.

What is the process for creating a custom image and catalog?

  • If you are replacing the VM images in a custom image entry with a customized version, you should first prepare the image by modifying an official Cloudera default image, which you can find under Shared Resources > Image Catalogs > cdp-default.
  • Select a source image from the cdp-default image catalog to be the source of customization. When you run the CLI command to find a default image, you specify the Runtime version, provider, image type, or a combination of the three.
  • Create a custom image catalog, or identify an existing catalog where you want to save the custom image entry.
  • Apply the necessary changes to the custom image entry, like the override AMI IDs with the new, customized AMIs; or add a new parcel base URL using the --base-parcel-url command when you set the custom image.
  • You can then create an environment, Data Lake, or Data Hub, based on custom catalogs via the CDP CLI.