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  • snapshot = an exact capture of what a volume looked like at a particular moment in time, including all it's data.
  • image = a total snapshot of a system (doesn't save the user data)

However, says

In OpenStack, an instance snapshot is an image. The only difference between an image that you upload directly to glance and an image you create by snapshot is that an image created by snapshot has additional properties in the glance database.

So why does OpenStack distinguish images from snapshots?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

There's no meaningful difference between the two, and it's only the OpenStack dashboard that makes a distinction between between images and snaphots. I submitted this issue as a UI bug a while back, and it has been fixed in the upcoming (havana) release of OpenStack.

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Thanks for this answer. Short of upgrading Openstack, is there any way to make a snapshot show up as an image in the UI? Or otherwise "convert" a snapshot to an image? – JDS Dec 15 '14 at 22:50

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