It’s easy to build your own RancherOS ISO.

Create a clone of the main RancherOS repository to your local machine with a git clone.

$ git clone

In the root of the repository, the “General Configuration” section of Dockerfile.dapper can be updated to use custom kernels. After you’ve saved your edits, run make in the root directory. After the build has completed, a ./dist/artifacts directory will be created with the custom built RancherOS release files. Build Requirements: bash, make, docker (Docker version >= 1.10.3)

$ make
$ cd dist/artifacts
$ ls
initrd             rancheros.iso
iso-checksums.txt  vmlinuz

If you need a compressed ISO, you can run this command:

$ make release

The rancheros.iso is ready to be used to boot RancherOS from ISO or launch RancherOS using Docker Machine.

Creating a GCE Image Archive

Create a clone of the main RancherOS repository to your local machine with a git clone.

$ git clone

GCE supports KVM virtualization, and we use packer to build KVM images. Before building, you need to verify that the host can support KVM. If you want to build GCE image based on RancherOS v1.4.0, you can run this command:

RANCHEROS_VERSION=v1.4.0 make build-gce

Custom build cases

Reduce memory requirements

With the changes of the kernel and built docker, RancherOS booting requires more memory, please refer to Memory Requirements.

By customizing the ISO, you can reduce the memory usage on boot. The easiest way is to downgrade the built-in docker version, because docker takes up a lot of space. This can effectively reduce the memory required to decompress the initrd on boot, using docker 17.03 is a good choice:

# run make
$ USER_DOCKER_VERSION=17.03.2 make release

Building with a different console

Available as of v1.5.0

When building RancherOS, you have the ability to automatically start in a supported console instead of booting into the default console and switching to your desired one.

Here is an example of building RanchreOS and having the alpine console enabled:

$ OS_CONSOLE=alpine make release