New way to launch images other than cloud images from SimpleStreams


A recent feature has been introduced to allow launching images either located on the local disk or via a URL. This allows launching and starting new Multipass instances from Fedora cloud images or Ubuntu Core images for example.

High level overview of how this works:

$ multipass launch file:///path/to/local.img
$ multipass launch

Here are a couple of real world examples:

  1. A Fedora cloud image already exists on the local file system at /home/fred/Downloads/Fedora-Cloud-Base-28-1.1.x86_64.qcow2. To launch this:
    $ multipass launch file:///home/fred/Downloads/Fedora-Cloud-Base-28-1.1.x86_64.qcow2
    This will create a Fedora Multipass instance using all of the defaults and the auto-generated name. The standard options used for creating an instance apply to this as well.
    Also, Fedora cloud images can be found at

  2. To launch an Ubuntu Core image from
    $ multipass launch
    Again, the defaults are used and the standard options apply. One really cool feature here is that xz encoded images are automatically extracted by Multipass.
    One thing to note about Ubuntu Core images, the multipass mount command will always fail because sshfs cannot be installed in the instance.

The Multipass team has only tested Fedora cloud images and Ubuntu Core images, so any other types of images may or may not work. The team would be interested to know if they do or do not work.

As always, if you find any issues, please report them at Good luck!


FYI for anyone else seeing this, only multipass on Linux supports this feature. You cannot launch file:// or http:// custom images on MacOS (or presumably Windows).

Apologies for bumping this thread up, but need to help anyone who finds this via Google.

Here are the errors you might see:

launch failed: Unable to find an image matching ‘PATH’

launch failed: http and file based images are not supported

Cool feature.
However, I’ve opened a bug regarding this feature affecting Windows and MacOS users with a relation to what @pcgeek86 commented.

1 Like

When will this work on Mac or at least the documentation/help is fixed?
Are there any good alternatives to multipass where I can do same things on Mac (M1) and with other than Ubuntu images.
Thanks in advance.

1 Like