Support for generation 2 VMs on Azure
Applies to: ✔️ Linux VMs ✔️ Windows VMs ✔️ Flexible scale sets ✔️ Uniform scale sets
Support for generation 2 virtual machines (VMs) is now available on Azure. You can't change a virtual machine's generation after you've created it, so review the considerations on this page before you choose a generation.
Generation 2 VMs support key features that aren't supported in generation 1 VMs. These features include increased memory, Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX), and virtualized persistent memory (vPMEM). Generation 2 VMs running on-premises, have some features that aren't supported in Azure yet. For more information, see the Features and capabilities section.
Generation 2 VMs use the new UEFI-based boot architecture rather than the BIOS-based architecture used by generation 1 VMs. Compared to generation 1 VMs, generation 2 VMs might have improved boot and installation times. For an overview of generation 2 VMs and some of the differences between generation 1 and generation 2, see Should I create a generation 1 or 2 virtual machine in Hyper-V?.
Generation 2 VM sizes
Azure now offers generation 2 support for the following selected VM series:
1 Mv2-series, DC-series, NDv2-series, Msv2 and Mdsv2-series Medium Memory do not support Generation 1 VM images and only support a subset of Generation 2 images. Please see Mv2-series documentation, DSv2-series, ND A100 v4-series, NDv2-series, and Msv2 and Mdsv2 Medium Memory Series for details.
Generation 2 VM images in Azure Marketplace
Generation 2 VMs support the following Marketplace images:
- Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, 2012
- Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP3, SP2
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4
- Ubuntu Server 21.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS
- RHEL 8.5, 8.4, 8.3, 8.2, 8.1, 8.0, 7.9, 7.8, 7.7, 7.6, 7.5, 7.4, 7.0
- Cent OS 8.4, 8.3, 8.2, 8.1, 8.0, 7.7, 7.6, 7.5, 7.4
- Oracle Linux 8.4 LVM, 8.3 LVM, 8.2 LVM, 8.1, 7.9 LVM, 7.9, 7.8, 7.7
Specific Virtual machine sizes like Mv2-Series, DC-series, ND A100 v4-series, NDv2-series, Msv2 and Mdsv2-series may only support a subset of these images - please look at the relevant virtual machine size documentation for complete details.
On-premises vs. Azure generation 2 VMs
Azure doesn't currently support some of the features that on-premises Hyper-V supports for generation 2 VMs.
|Generation 2 feature||On-premises Hyper-V||Azure|
|Secure boot||✔️||With trusted launch|
|vTPM||✔️||With trusted launch|
|Virtualization-based security (VBS)||✔️||✔️|
For more information, see Trusted launch.
Features and capabilities
Generation 1 vs. generation 2 features
|Feature||Generation 1||Generation 2|
|VM sizes||All VM sizes||See available sizes|
Generation 1 vs. generation 2 capabilities
|Capability||Generation 1||Generation 2|
|OS disk > 2 TB||❌||✔️|
|Custom disk/image/swap OS||✔️||✔️|
|Virtual machine scale set support||✔️||✔️|
|Azure Site Recovery||✔️||✔️|
|Azure Compute Gallery||✔️||✔️|
|Azure disk encryption||✔️||✔️|
Creating a generation 2 VM
Azure Resource Manager Template
To create a simple Windows Generation 2 VM, see Create a Windows virtual machine from a Resource Manager template To create a simple Linux Generation 2 VM, see How to create a Linux virtual machine with Azure Resource Manager templates
In the Azure portal or Azure CLI, you can create generation 2 VMs from a Marketplace image that supports UEFI boot.
Below are the steps to create a generation 2 (Gen2) VM in Azure portal.
- Sign in to the Azure portal at https://portal.azure.com.
- Search for Virtual Machines
- Under Services, select Virtual machines.
- In the Virtual machines page, select Add, and then select Virtual machine.
- Under Project details, make sure the correct subscription is selected.
- Under Resource group, select Create new and type a name for your resource group or select an existing resource group from the dropdown.
- Under Instance details, type a name for the virtual machine name and choose a region
- Under Image, select a Gen2 image from the Marketplace images to get started
If you don't see the Gen 2 version of the image you want in the drop-down, select See all images and then change the Image Type filter to Gen 2.
- Select a VM size that supports Gen2. See a list of supported sizes.
- Fill in the Administrator account information and then Inbound port rules
- At the bottom of the page, select Review + Create
- On the Create a virtual machine page, you can see the details about the VM you are about to deploy. Once validation shows as passed, select Create.
You can also use PowerShell to create a VM by directly referencing the generation 1 or generation 2 SKU.
For example, use the following PowerShell cmdlet to get a list of the SKUs in the
Get-AzVMImageSku -Location westus2 -PublisherName MicrosoftWindowsServer -Offer WindowsServer
If you're creating a VM with Windows Server 2019 as the OS, then you can select a generation 2 (UEFI) image which looks like this:
If you're creating a VM with Windows 10 as the OS, then you can select a generation 2 (UEFI) image which looks like this:
See the Features and capabilities section for a current list of supported Marketplace images.
Alternatively, you can use the Azure CLI to see any available generation 2 images, listed by Publisher.
az vm image list --publisher Canonical --sku gen2 --output table --all
Managed image or managed disk
You can create a generation 2 VM from a managed image or managed disk in the same way you would create a generation 1 VM.
Virtual machine scale sets
You can also create generation 2 VMs by using virtual machine scale sets. In the Azure CLI, use Azure scale sets to create generation 2 VMs.
Frequently asked questions
Are generation 2 VMs available in all Azure regions?
Yes. But not all generation 2 VM sizes are available in every region. The availability of the generation 2 VM depends on the availability of the VM size.
Is there a price difference between generation 1 and generation 2 VMs?
I have a .vhd file from my on-premises generation 2 VM. Can I use that .vhd file to create a generation 2 VM in Azure? Yes, you can bring your generation 2 .vhd file to Azure and use that to create a generation 2 VM. Use the following steps to do so:
Upload the .vhd to a storage account in the same region where you'd like to create your VM.
Create a managed disk from the .vhd file. Set the Hyper-V Generation property to V2. The following PowerShell commands set Hyper-V Generation property when creating managed disk.
$sourceUri = 'https://xyzstorage.blob.core.windows.net/vhd/abcd.vhd'. #<Provide location to your uploaded .vhd file> $osDiskName = 'gen2Diskfrmgenvhd' #<Provide a name for your disk> $diskconfig = New-AzDiskConfig -Location '<location>' -DiskSizeGB 127 -AccountType Standard_LRS -OsType Windows -HyperVGeneration "V2" -SourceUri $sourceUri -CreateOption 'Import' New-AzDisk -DiskName $osDiskName -ResourceGroupName '<Your Resource Group>' -Disk $diskconfig
Once the disk is available, create a VM by attaching this disk. The VM created will be a generation 2 VM. When the generation 2 VM is created, you can optionally generalize the image of this VM. By generalizing the image, you can use it to create multiple VMs.
How do I increase the OS disk size?
OS disks larger than 2 TiB are new to generation 2 VMs. By default, OS disks are smaller than 2 TiB for generation 2 VMs. You can increase the disk size up to a recommended maximum of 4 TiB. Use the Azure CLI or the Azure portal to increase the OS disk size. For information about how to expand disks programmatically, see Resize a disk for Windows or Linux.
To increase the OS disk size from the Azure portal:
- In the Azure portal, go to the VM properties page.
- To shut down and deallocate the VM, select the Stop button.
- In the Disks section, select the OS disk you want to increase.
- In the Disks section, select Configuration, and update the Size to the value you want.
- Go back to the VM properties page and Start the VM.
You might see a warning for OS disks larger than 2 TiB. The warning doesn't apply to generation 2 VMs. However, OS disk sizes larger than 4 TiB are not supported.
Do generation 2 VMs support accelerated networking?
Yes. For more information, see Create a VM with accelerated networking.
Do generation 2 VMs support Secure Boot or vTPM in Azure? Both vTPM and Secure Boot are features of trusted launch for generation 2 VMs. For more information, see Trusted launch.
Is VHDX supported on generation 2?
No, generation 2 VMs support only VHD.
Do generation 2 VMs support Azure Ultra Disk Storage?
Can I migrate a VM from generation 1 to generation 2?
No, you can't change the generation of a VM after you create it. If you need to switch between VM generations, create a new VM of a different generation.
Why is my VM size not enabled in the size selector when I try to create a Gen2 VM?
This may be solved by doing the following:
- Verify that the VM generation property is set to Gen 2.
- Verify you are searching for a VM size which supports Gen2 VMs.
Learn more about the trusted launch with gen 2 VMs.
Learn about generation 2 virtual machines in Hyper-V.
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