Note: This is NOT a Raspberry Pi specific question. It is a Linux System Administration question. Please do not try to have it removed from Server Fault.

I see many "Hello, World" level demos that are specific to [insert cloud hosting platform here], but none that are geared to being used on a single local machine. I was encouraged to see that Raspbian has cloud-init in its repository. That is exactly what I want to do. However, I cannot find any information on how to do it without a AWS, OpenStack, etc.

So, I guess what I really want to know is after you apt-get install cloud-init, where do you put your config/userdata?

Update: I found some info on the NoCloud datasource, but I cannot add a volume labeled cidata. So, that is out for me. (The volume that will hold my user-data is labeled boot.)

  • Then you'll need to change the volume label. Or you could even put such a volume on your SD card. But, why is this not a Raspberry Pi question? Feb 16, 2018 at 21:14
  • It's not an RPi question because: 1. It's not exclusive to RPi. If I were doing this on my Lenovo laptop, it wouldn't be a Lenovo question. It'd still be a cloud-init question. 2. There are exactly zero people using cloud-init on an RPi as of today. Feb 17, 2018 at 3:59
  • Those are both possible directions. But I'm looking for others. Both of those options are going to have unwanted side effects. Feb 17, 2018 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


With the current version of cloud-init you can use smbios options to provide user-data and meta-data. There is also an example for the case you have a local HTTP Server providing these files:

-smbios type=1,serial=ds=nocloud-net;s=
  • Sadly, my distro has cloud-init 0.7.9 and I can't figure out how to build/install a more recent version. Also, having an external web server as a requirement is undesirable. One of the things I'd like to configure is wifi settings. Feb 17, 2018 at 18:49
  • Making progress! stackoverflow.com/a/48845732/117471 Feb 17, 2018 at 20:40

I have VMs in premisses configured pretty much like this article explains.

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