How to disable cloud-init

One may wish to disable cloud-init to ensure that it doesn’t do anything on subsequent boots. Some parts of cloud-init may run once per boot otherwise.

There are three cross-platform methods of disabling cloud-init.

Method 1: text file

To disable cloud-init, create the empty file /etc/cloud/cloud-init.disabled. During boot the operating system’s init system will check for the existence of this file. If it exists, cloud-init will not be started.


$ touch /etc/cloud/cloud-init.disabled

Method 2: kernel command line

To disable cloud-init, add cloud-init=disabled to the kernel command line.

Example (using GRUB2 with Ubuntu):

$ echo 'GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="cloud-init=disabled"' >> /etc/default/grub
$ grub-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu/grub.cfg

Method 3: environment variable

To disable cloud-init, pass the environment variable KERNEL_CMDLINE=cloud-init=disabled into each of cloud-init’s processes.

Example (using systemd):

$ echo "DefaultEnvironment=KERNEL_CMDLINE=cloud-init=disabled" >> /etc/systemd/system.conf