Amazon Free Tier – How To Get The Free 1 Year Linux VPS And Install Fedora Cloud & Ubuntu Cloud

Introduction

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide AWS Free Tier – nice chance to get some experience with Linux (Windows is also supported) and AWS in real life.

Requirements:

  • e-mail account
  • mobile phone and active SIM-card
  • human or emulated voice
  • active credit card with $1 (Amazon returns it in 1-2 weeks – this service is absolutely free)

Resources of Free Tier:

  • Amazon EC2 (Virtual Server) – 1 year (750 hours per every month) of Linux(), RHEL, or SLES t2.micro instance
  • Amazon S3 (Web-Storage) – 5 GB with 20,000 get requests and 2000 put requests
  • Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) – 30 GB SSD storage, 1 GB additional storage for snapshots
  • Amazon CloudFront (Content Delivery Web Service) – 50 GB of data, 2 millions http/https requests
  • Amazon DynamoDB (NoSQL database) – 25 GB standard storage
  • Elastic Load Balancing – 15 GB of data

This is only most general resources, complete list you can find here. The AWS terminology is horrible and non-intuitive for beginners, don’t worry about it – I’m trying to make it absolutely clear for all.

Small resume about resources: 35 GB Storage + 1 GB for backups, 1 GB RAM, 15 +15 GB up/down traffic (note: AWS <-> AWS traffic is free, for example, you can update your OS without pain), public IPv4. If you are interested in free and fun playing with Free Tier – welcome to the next chapter.

AWS Registration and Validation

First, you need to check requirements from the begin of the previous chapter. Then:

  1. Go to aws.amazon.com and push “Sign Up”
  2. Enter your personal data and credit card information.

  1. Mobile phone verification. You need to enter or say the pin-code from the webpage. Note from my personal experience: pin typing don’t work in my Android smartphone, just say the code – it’s easy, only four numbers. If your third attempt is failed – don’t worry and try again after 12 hours.
  2. After successful verification you can login to AWS console:

    Looks easy, right? 🙂 Now you can run your virtual machines (instances) – more about it in the next chapter. Don’t think about complex and strange interface.

Credentials

You need to create and save the two types of credentials:

  • Amazon login and password created during the registration process
  • AWS credentials:
    • access keys for AWS API – credentials page
    • X.509 certificates for command-line utility tool, you can generate it here
    • the standard SSH key pair for access from the terminal can be generated or imported (~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub) in EC2 Dashboard:

Ubuntu Cloud Installation

For a real example in this article I was publish the simple instructions for two popular Linux-based OS. Installation for other Linux distributions have minimum differences.

  1. Login into AWS dashboard
  2. Go to EC2
  3. Push the button “Launch Instance” and select image with a label “Free Tier only”

Alternative way – you can find the official Ubuntu cloud images t1.micro here. Free Tier EC2 can be hosted in North America.

  1. Firewall setup – 22th port need to open for ssh
  2. EBS storage setup – maximum 30 GB of SSD storage.

Fedora Cloud Installation

Fedora Cloud installations is similar to Ubuntu: you can find images on the AWS markerplace (remember about the label “Free Tier only”) or use the official website and select “Standard HVM AMI”

Post-intalled AWS Tips: API console tool, security group, SSH, billing alarm

After creating and running our EC2, server we can connect over ssh (you need to setup your ssh keys, read more in previous chapter):

Billing Alarm – very helpful tool for your money management.

Security Groups can help you to set up universal firewall rules for every machine or group of machines.

Console management tool for AWS may be more comfortable, it’s available in all Linux distributions:

// for deb-based:
# apt-get install awscli

Set the personal access keys here and add theyr to your ‘~/.bashrc’ file:

$ echo "export AWS_ACCESS_KEY=your-aws-access-key-id" >> ~/.bashrc
$ echo "export AWS_SECRET_KEY=your-aws-secret-key" >> ~/.bashrc
$ source ~/.bashrc

More information about awscli you can find here. If you have any question – feel free to ask it in the comments.

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