What are the services on Linux (CentOS) that communicate with the Google Compute Engine (GCE) infrastructure to configure and manage a VM (SSH keys, for example)? 

These don't seem to be updated with yum. How are security patches deployed?

1 Answer 1


Google has a page on building your own image which includes a section on the "Google Compute Engine image packages" and a link to the GitHub project.

This shows the two packages that are installed to manage SSH keys, update hostnames, and clock skew, among other things.

The stock images from Google include yum-cron which is a service and cron to automatically update packages, including these.

$ cat /etc/yum.repos.d/google-cloud.repo 
name=Google Cloud Compute

There is also a page that describes what is in the CentOS image provided by Google.

  • 1
    Thanks. The packages mentioned on GitHub are google-compute-engine, google-compute-engine-init, google-config. It doesn't look like in my CentOS 7 VM, the Google repo is even added to /etc/yum.repos.d/. A quick yum list installed only reveals google-compute-daemon.noarch, google-startup-scripts.noarch. What am I missing?
    – Anders
    Jul 8, 2016 at 6:29
  • Perhaps you have an older base image? When did you create your VM? I just launched a CentOS 7 VM and it has google-config and google-compute-engine installed and the yum repo configured.
    – Slashterix
    Jul 9, 2016 at 21:47
  • 1
    It's been about a year. This very risk of silently running into obsolescence was exactly the reason for my question in the first place ;-) Thanks for pointing out. Google should announce such changes!
    – Anders
    Jul 11, 2016 at 7:13
  • Checking github.com/googlecloudplatform/compute-image-packages/releases I see they just switched to v2 June 8th. So you aren't terribly out of date today. I can't seem to find any info about auto-updates in the old one, nor how to transition from it to the new version. Should the version of these scripts that came with your default image reach an end of life, Google will likely email you. They know exactly which image you based on and can notify you if its going to break and you need to recompose on a newer base.
    – Slashterix
    Jul 12, 2016 at 3:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .