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What is Photon OS?

Project Photon OS™ is an open source, minimal Linux container host that is optimized for cloud-native applications, cloud platforms, and VMware infrastructure. Photon OS 3.0 introduces ARM64 support, installer improvements and updated packages. We invite partners, customers, and community members to collaborate on using Photon OS to run high-performance virtual machines and containerized applications.

  • Optimized for VMware vSphere®: The Linux kernel is tuned for performance when Photon OS runs on vSphere.
  • Support for containers: Photon OS includes the Docker daemon and works with container orchestration frameworks, such as Mesos and Kubernetes.
  • Efficient lifecycle management: Photon OS is easy to manage, patch, and update.
  • Security hardened: The kernel and other aspects of the operating system are built with an emphasis on security.

For more information, see the datasheet.

Track our progress in earning the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative's Best Practices Badge.

Get Photon OS

The latest stable binary version is 3.0 Revision 2, which expands on the existing package support from 3.0. Photon OS 3.0 Revision 2 comes in a variety of pre-built images including ISO, cloud-ready images and a Raspberry Pi3 image:

For the complete catalog of binaries available for download, along with checksums and previous releases, see Downloading Photon OS.

Photon OS Documentation

For information about how to get started with and use Photon OS, see the user documentation. For additional information and resources, see the Photon OS wiki.

Photon OS 3.0 Documentation
Installation, administration, user guides, troubleshooting

Documentation Release Notes
Photon OS Wiki
Downloads, security advisories, beta docs, FAQ

Home FAQ Security
Photon OS 1.0 and 2.0 Documentation
Installation, administration, user guides, troubleshooting

Documentation Release Notes


The ISO and OVA images are distributed under the VMware Photon OS EULA. Open source license information may be found the in Photon OS Open Source License file.


The Photon project team welcomes contributions from the community. If you would like to contribute code and you have not signed our Contributor License Agreement (CLA), our CLA-bot will walk you through the process and update the issue when you open a Pull Request. For questions about the CLA process, see the FAQ or submit a question through the GitHub issue tracker.


Photon OS is released as open source software and provides community support through our GitHub project page. If you encounter an issue or have a question, feel free to reach out on the GitHub issues page for Photon OS.