KIWI Documentation

Welcome to the documentation for KIWI 9.19.13- the command line utility to build Linux system appliances.

Appliance ?

An appliance is a ready to use image of an operating system including a pre-configured application for a specific use case. The appliance is provided as an image file and needs to be deployed to, or activated in the target system or service.

KIWI can create appliances in various forms: beside classical installation ISOs and images for virtual machines it can also build images that boot via PXE or Vagrant boxes.

In KIWI, the appliance is specified via a collection of human readable files in a directory, also called the image description. At least one XML file config.xml or .kiwi is required. In addition there may as well be other files like scripts or configuration data.

Use Cases

Not convinced yet? You can find a selection of the possible uses cases below:

  • You are a system administrator and wish to create a customized installer for your network that includes additional software and your organizations certificates? KIWI allows you to select which packages will be included in the final image. On top of that you can add files to arbitrary locations in the filesystem, for example to include SSL or SSH keys. You can also tell KIWI to create an image that can be booted via PXE, so that you don’t even have to leave your desk to reinstall a system.

  • You want to create a custom spin of your favorite Linux distribution with additional repositories and packages that are not present by default? With KIWI you can configure the repositories of your final image via the image description and tweak the list of packages that are going to be installed to match your target audience.

  • The Raspberry Pi that is coordinating your home’s Internet of Thing (IoT) devices got very popular among your friends and every single one of them wants a copy of that? KIWI will build you ready to deploy images for your Raspberry Pi, tweaked to your needs.


  • Mailing list

    The kiwi-images group is an open group and anyone can subscribe, even if you do not have a Google account.

  • Matrix

    An open network for secure, decentralized communication. Please find the kiwi room via Riot on the web or by using the supported clients.