Problem creating a snapshot

I am trying to create a snapshot of my instance, and it fails and errors

Any ideas?

Any details? Please provide site and VM name.

Yes sorry (the message was the last task before the Xmas break :slight_smile: )
I’m on the Cardiff site and the VM and its called metagenomics


For some reason, which I haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of, GVL doesn’t image-snapshot very well.

You can get around this by taking a snapshot of the block device (virtual disk) that the operating system is on, then using this to launch new instances. The process is this (via Horizon):

Find the instance you want to snapshot, then click on its name. At the bottom of the page, find the boot volume of the instance:

Click this, then use the dropdown in the top-right to take a snapshot:

You will get a warning about forcing a snapshot here, but as long as your instance isn’t doing lots of IO operations, this shouldn’t be a problem.

The resulting volume snapshot is available from the Volumes menu in Horizon:

Find it in volume snapshots

You can then create a new instance from this snapshot by clicking the dropdown to the right of the volume snapshot and selecting “Launch as instance”

Make sure “Boot from volume snapshot, create a new volume” is selected in the launch instance dialog

Finally, make sure that you select an SSH key, so that you can access your new instance by SSH

Thanks for this, I’ve managed to launch the snapshot as an instance. It has an IP, however when I ssh onto the instance it requires a password. I have tried the original instance password and the group password wiht no luck. Is there a default password it would have set, or a way of creating a password for this instance?


The problem with launching GVL from a snapshot via Horizon is that it doesn’t do the clever stuff that does to inject passwords into instances, so you’ll have to specify an SSH key to inject when launching the new instance via Horizon.

If you don’t already have an SSH key attached to your Horizon account, please create one (Windows / Mac details here: Generating an SSH key on a Mac or on Windows), add it to horizon via Access and Security > Key Pairs > Import Key Pair. You can then launch the new instance from a snapshot, specifying the new SSH key in the Access & Security tab of the Launch Instance dialog.

Once you have SSH access to the new instance, you can create a new user with a password using the linux adduser command, specifying a secure password.

Alternatively, if you’re snapshotting and relaunching instances to share data to new instances, it might be easier to keep your data in an attached volume. Volumes are very easy to snapshot, duplicate and attach to a new instance (GVL launched from Bryn for example), and might save you the headache of SSH keys and volume snapshots for new instances.


I’m having a similar issue. Want to make a snapshot of my instance (sepsis) but I get an error and I tried to do it from the boot volume as well but I just get the same error: unable to create a snapshot.

Any suggestions?

I’m checking this out for you now

I’m afraid you’ve hit your 10Tb volume quota. You’ve enough quota left to snapshot the boot volume, but when you launch a new instance (creating a new volume) this takes you over your limit and fails. Apologies for the very uninformative error message!

Please check your volumes and volume snapshot lists and delete anything that you no longer need, then try again.