If your distribution does not provide packages, you should install diskimage-builder via pip, mostly likely in a virtualenv to keep it separate. For details, see the installation section in the Developer Installation.

Once installed, you will be able to build images using disk-image-create or diskimage-builder and the elements included in the main diskimage-builder repository.


Most image formats require the qemu-img tool which is provided by the qemu-utils package on Ubuntu/Debian or the qemu package on Fedora/RHEL/opensuse/Gentoo.

When generating images with partitions, the kpartx tool is needed, which is provided by the kpartx package.

Some image formats, such as VHD, may require additional tools. Please see the disk-image-create help output for more information.

Individual elements can also have additional dependencies for the build host. It is recommended you check the documentation for each element you are using to determine if there are any additional dependencies. Of particular note is the need for the dev-python/pyyaml package on Gentoo hosts.

Package Installation

On Gentoo you can emerge diskimage-builder directly.

emerge app-emulation/diskimage-builder