VM Depot Site Walkthrough

VM Depot is of interest to those who wish to:

  • Discover useful Virtual Machine Images to be deployed on Windows Azure
  • Publish Virtual Machines for use by others

This document is for those who wish to use the site to discover images of interest. We'll show you the major parts of the site and how to use them.

VM Depot Home Page

You can visit VM Depot at http://vmdepot.msopentech.com, what you will see is something like this:

Vm Depot home page showing search box and two virtual machine images

There are a number of interesting sections on this page:

  • Image List
  • Search Bar and Sort Order selector
  • Actions bar
  • Navigation Pane

An overlay on the VM Depot home page showing (top to bottom, left to right) Action Bar, Navigation Page, Search Bar and Sort Order and Image List


Image List

close up view of the image list showing 4 imagesProbably the most important part of the home screen is the Image List. This is a list of Virtual Machine Images for deployment to Azure that match the current search criteria (if any). In this list you get a quick overview of each of the images.


Each listing provides:

  • An image Logo
  • The name of the publisher. Clicking on the publisher will take you to the publisher detail page. We'll look at that page later on.
  • The name of the platform the image is based on. That is the operating system used. Clicking on this will create a search that will show only images based on that platform.
  • The title of the image
  • A full text description of the image, provided by the publisher
  • A list of the major software packages included on the image. Clicking on one of these will create a search for other images that include that package.
  • A list of tags the publisher has assigned to the image. Clicking on one of these will create a search for other images that also have this tag.
  • An indication of the overall rating provided by users of the image.
  • A link to the Azure portal to deploy the image. This link goes via a page that provides instructions on how to deploy via the portal
  • A link to the deployment script used to deploy using the node.js Azure command line tools

Search Bar and Sort Order Selector

With so many great images available it is important to have a good search engine to help you find just the right one. Fortunately we have one.

Simply click the "Help" link to view the search documentation.


Actions Bar

The actions bar changes depending on what page you are viewing. On the home page enabled actions are to share with your social networks, start the publishing process and view the help files.

Deployment Script

Clicking on the "Deployment Script" action will display the script you need to use to deploy this image using the node.js command line tools. It's outside the scope of this document to describe the full process of deployment, but we have plenty of help available under the "Help" action.

Navigation Pane

The navigation pane provides quick access to specific parts of the site and will change to reflect the next pages you are likely to want to visit. The initial navigation links are to browse the initial list of images, this has the effect of clearing any search or sort options you have set. The second option allows you to configure your account. Note that there is no need to create an account to use the site (unless you want to publish or review images).

Image Details


The image details page provides much the same information as the image list on the home page, but in a little more detail, for example, it will tell you about the ports that need to be opened on the VM for it to operate correctly. It also adds complete user reviews rather than an average rating. Finally, of special note, is the link to any additional legal terms the publisher wishes to make users aware of.

This page is useful when evaluating a specific image before deploying.