On Apr 15, 2014 12:51 AM, "Lucas Nussbaum" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I have no experience with GCE images. My (limited) understanding, from
> the DC13 BOF, is that limitations of the GCE infrastructure
> unfortunately require us to make more changes than what we would like.
Since the full general availability of GCE in December, this is no longer true like it was at DebConf13. Most notably, we no longer inject a Google-supplied kernel, but rather use the normal boot process contained within the image, including the Debian GRUB 2 config, kernel, and initramfs.
The other changes are typically justified to take advantage of the environment, nothing about limitations per se - e.g. NTP-sync to the host machine so that a VM does not need to be externally reachable just to keep time, or integrating with GCE-managed SSH-key-based account access instead of the less secure "admin" account with a well-known password.
We documented all our deviations on the wiki last summer, and while that's slightly out of date, the few changes since then have been discussed on this list, in one case even implemented by a non-Googler (thanks Tomasz). You're right that it would be good to update that wiki page.
And yes, we're still planning to get our added software (already DFSG-free) into Debian proper. We consider that part of the status quo to be a bug, not a feature, and haven't forgotten about the need to fix it.