Microsoft Windows and UForge


UForge users must acquire Windows licenses in order to handle Windows OSes in UForge. When publishing Windows OS images or scanning a Windows server, you have to confirm usage conditions of cloud provider and virtualization software which you publish to or scan.

Within UForge, Microsoft Windows is treated differently from Linux/UNIX operating systems because Windows is not bundled with packages. Consequently, it is not possible to create standard (package based) OS Profile as for all the other supported distributions.

Instead, UForge uses a Golden Image as a profile. A Golden Image is an image that contains the basic installation of the Windows version and some extra files. You can generate Golden Images at any time.

A Golden Image can be between 5 to 10 Gb, depending on the selected version.

You will need Golden Images to create Windows appliance templates. If you want to incorporate a Windows update, then you need to create a new set of Golden Images. You can create Golden Images using two different methods:

Within UForge, the Golden Image used when you create appliances will be the last Golden Image created. In future releases, the different Golden Images will appear as Milestones.

Supported Microsoft Windows Versions

UForge supports Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (this distribution is only 64 bits), 2012, 2012R2, and 2016.

Microsoft delivers 4 versions:

  • DataCenter
  • Standard
  • WebServer
  • Enterprise

For each version, there is a Full release and a Core release (without a Desktop).

These versions are available in French, English and Japanese. Unfortunately, one version of Microsoft Windows can NOT support multiple languages.


The following UForge features are not supported with appliances based on Microsoft Windows:

  • Package selection at the OS level (however, users can add software via MySoftware or Projects)
  • Windows ISO format not supported

Using Microsoft Windows Key Mechanism

UForge generates images without a licence key. Microsoft Windows Server operating systems may be used without an activated licence for a certain period of time, with no functional limitation, but it is the responsibility of users to enter a licence key and to activate it if they want to keep using the server beyond this period.

First Installation of Microsoft Windows

To install Microsoft Windows, follow the instructions below. This example is for Microsoft Windows Server 2008R2. If you want to install for Microsoft Windows Server 2012, 2012R2 or 2016, replace the string Server2008R2 with the version you want to install in all commands below.

  1. First population of Windows:

    $ uforge org os add --name Windows --arch x86_64 --version Server2008R2
  2. Activate Windows Server2008R2 inside the UForge organization:

    $ uforge org os enable --name Windows --arch x86_64 --version Server2008R2
  3. Activate Windows Server2008R2 for root user (and potentially other preexisting users):

    $ uforge user os enable --name Windows --arch x86_64 --version Server2008R2 --account root
    $ uforge user os enable --name Windows --arch x86_64 --version Server2008R2 --account <OTHER_USER_NAME>


UForge does not manage Windows updates as it does for Linux. Each time you want to have an update for Windows, you will need to create and install a new set of Golden Images.

Windows Licences

When UForge AppCenter is installed, default license files for Windows Server are installed under /tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses/win_license.html. They are default licenses which are not the official legally binding licenses and should be replaced with the appropriate licenses:

  • for cloud service provider, their SPLA End User License Terms should be used;
  • for in-house enterprise installations of UForge AppCenter, the enterprise license agreement document with Microsoft should be used.

In order replace the licence agreement with the correct one, you will need to do the following for each of the Windows versions (Server2008R2, Server2012, Server2012R2 and Server2016):

  1. Create an html file containing the appropriate license agreement.
  2. Overwrite the file on the UForge server under the directory /tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses.

The following table lists the Windows Server version and the corresponding license file name:

Version Location
Server2008R2 file:/tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses/win_license.html
Server2012 file:/tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses/win_license2012.html
Server2012R2 file:/tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses/win_license2012R2.html
Server2016 file:/tmp/DISTROS/USS/licenses/win_license2016.html

Listing Existing Golden Images

In order to view a list of existing golden images installed on your UForge run:

$ uforge org golden list --arch x86_64 --version Server2008R2