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Some images on Azure are 'supported' via a 'plan' (see for example https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/cli-ps-findimage).

A problem with this is that any subsequent images or VMs you create from the original VM also carry the same plan options: E.g.

az vm create \
--location "westeurope" \
--resource-group blah \
--name myvm \
--plan-name centos-8-0 --plan-product centos-8-8 --plan-publisher skylarkcloud \
--attach-os-disk copyofacopyofacopy \
--os-type linux

Is there a way to remove the plan?

It is also not easy to manipulate such images as the portal does not support plans directly (see for example Azure - Move/Restore a VM from a backup - what is a plan?)

As an example, I have been given a VM based on CentOS 8 image originated by Skylarkcloud. Aside from uploading a CentOS 8 image I recieve no value from the fact that it is a skylarkcloud image rather than an untainted CentOS 8 image. In fact it has if anything had a negative effect to having to navigate around the --plan options.

This is emphatically not a matter of trying to get around paying for legitimate work.

Paying for commercial support if required is one of the key differences between CentOS and RedHat variants. It makes no sense to pay for a free version (CentOS) of a non-free/commerically supported version (RedHat) of a free OS (Linux). A one of fee for distribution media is arguably fair. It makes no sense to pay ongoing fees for any future copies made by the originator or anyone given a copy.

I guess the idea is that the distribution cost (which is virtually zero for digital media) is amortised over the lifetime of the VM. But what about all future derived VMs?

See also Is it a violation of the GPL (or any other license) for Linux images on Azure to have 'plans' associated with them in all future copies?

See for example:

https://azuremarketplace.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/apps/skylarkcloud.centos-7-7?tab=PlansAndPrice

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No, there is no way to remove the plan. If you could then people would just take the paid for images and do this to get them for free. The image created has added this fee for whatever reason, and Microsoft are just enforcing it.

Whoever created the VM in the first place made the choice (or made a mistake) to select the image with a fee. To switch to another image you are going to need to create a new VM with a different image and migrate to it.

I would agree that paying for a CentOS image, particularly where it does not seem to add any value, is pointless, but there isn't an easy solution to move to a different image.

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  • But how is the plan implemented? An image is (or can be converted to) a VHD file. The specification does not mention plans anywhere. You can download and upload VHD images to a local disk if you have one big enough. How could the plan be preserved this way? – Bruce Adams Aug 13 '20 at 23:11

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