Google Compute Engine

The GCE datasource gets its data from the internal compute metadata server. Metadata can be queried at the URL ‘’ from within an instance. For more information see the GCE metadata docs.

Currently the default project and instance level metadatakeys keys project/attributes/sshKeys and instance/attributes/ssh-keys are merged to provide public-keys.

user-data and user-data-encoding can be provided to cloud-init by setting those custom metadata keys for an instance.


The following configuration can be set for the datasource in system configuration (in /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg or /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg.d/).

The settings that may be configured are:

  • retries: The number of retries that should be done for an http request. This value is used only after metadata_url is selected. (default: 5)
  • sec_between_retries: The amount of wait time between the retries when crawling the metadata service. (default: 1)

An example configuration with the default values is provided below:

    retries: 5
    sec_between_retries: 1