This is how the builds.sr.ht tools currently work:
# spin up a VM with SSH on port 2222
./control archlinux boot 2222
# SSH into it
./control archlinux ssh 2222
# Destroy it
./control archlinux cleanup 2222
Works with not-Linux guests too
It'd be pretty easy to adapt the tools I've made for builds.sr.ht to make a generic tool for managing ephemeral VMs. Would anyone be interested in such a tool? Basically a command that spins up a VM on the fly that gets torn down when it's shut off (or rather, keps disk changes in RAM so there's nothing to tear down). Kind of like Docker but less complicated and with full virtualization.
I don't even understand why infra providers feel the need to provide a kernel at all. Why would any customer even want that?
Infra providers gotta stop fucking with distro images. Just install SSH and call it a day, I don't want your kernel, I don't want your motd, I don't want any of your shit