Custom Images Glossary

Custom images are Linux and Unix-like images you import to DigitalOcean. You can create Droplets based custom images, which lets you migrate and scale your workloads without spending time recreating your environment from scratch.

This glossary defines the core concepts behind custom images to help build your mental model of how custom images work and understand what the documentation is referring to when it uses certain terminology.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol that automates the assignment of IP addresses.
Disk images are software copies of physical disks. Disk images save the data of a physical disk, like a hard drive, to one or more files.
An ISO image, or ISO file, is an exact copy of an optical disk, in a single file.
qcow2 is a disk image file format.
A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a system of desktop virtualization that hosts desktop environments on a centralized server.
A virtual machine disk (VMDK) file is a virtual file format (.vmdk) for containers of virtual hard disk drives.