Module creation

Much of cloud-init’s functionality is provided by modules. All modules follow a similar layout in order to provide consistent execution and documentation. Use the example provided here to create a new module.


# This file is part of cloud-init. See LICENSE file for license information.
"""Example Module: Shows how to create a module"""

import logging
from import Cloud
from cloudinit.config import Config
from cloudinit.config.schema import MetaSchema, get_meta_doc
from cloudinit.distros import ALL_DISTROS
from cloudinit.settings import PER_INSTANCE

Description that will be used in module documentation.

This will likely take multiple lines.

LOG = logging.getLogger(__name__)

meta: MetaSchema = {
    "id": "cc_example",
    "name": "Example Module",
    "title": "Shows how to create a module",
    "description": MODULE_DESCRIPTION,
    "distros": [ALL_DISTROS],
    "frequency": PER_INSTANCE,
    "activate_by_schema_keys": ["example_key, example_other_key"],
    "examples": [
        "example_key: example_value",
        "example_other_key: ['value', 2]",

__doc__ = get_meta_doc(meta)

def handle(
    name: str, cfg: Config, cloud: Cloud, args: list
) -> None:
    LOG.debug(f"Hi from module {name}")


  • Create a new module in the cloudinit/config directory with a cc_ prefix.

  • Your module must include a handle function. The arguments are:

    • name: The module name specified in the configuration.

    • cfg: A configuration object that is the result of the merging of cloud-config configuration with any datasource-provided configuration.

    • cloud: A cloud object that can be used to access various datasource and paths for the given distro and data provided by the various datasource instance types.

    • args: An argument list. This is usually empty and is only populated if the module is called independently from the command line or if the module definition in /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg[.d] has been modified to pass arguments to this module.

  • If your module introduces any new cloud-config keys, you must provide a schema definition in cloud-init-schema.json.

  • The meta variable must exist and be of type MetaSchema.

    • id: The module ID. In most cases this will be the filename without the .py extension.

    • distros: Defines the list of supported distros. It can contain any of the values (not keys) defined in the OSFAMILIES map or [ALL_DISTROS] if there is no distro restriction.

    • frequency: Defines how often module runs. It must be one of:

      • PER_ALWAYS: Runs on every boot.

      • ONCE: Runs only on first boot.

      • PER_INSTANCE: Runs once per instance. When exactly this happens is dependent on the datasource, but may triggered any time there would be a significant change to the instance metadata. An example could be an instance being moved to a different subnet.

    • activate_by_schema_keys: Optional list of cloud-config keys that will activate this module. When this list not empty, the config module will be skipped unless one of the activate_by_schema_keys are present in merged cloud-config instance-data.

    • examples: Lists examples of any cloud-config keys this module reacts to. These examples will be rendered in the module reference documentation and will automatically be tested against the defined schema during testing.

  • __doc__ = get_meta_doc(meta) is necessary to provide proper module documentation.

Module execution

In order for a module to be run, it must be defined in a module run section in /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg or /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg.d on the launched instance. The three module sections are cloud_init_modules, cloud_config_modules, and cloud_final_modules, corresponding to the Network, Config, and Final boot stages respectively.

Add your module to cloud.cfg.tmpl under the appropriate module section. Each module gets run in the order listed, so ensure your module is defined in the correct location based on dependencies. If your module has no particular dependencies or is not necessary for a later boot stage, it should be placed in the cloud_final_modules section before the final-message module.