Google Compute Engine lets you create and run virtual machines on Google infrastructure. Compute Engine offers scale, performance, and value that allows you to easily launch large compute clusters on Google's infrastructure. There are no upfront investments and you can run thousands of virtual CPUs on a system that has been designed to be fast, and to offer strong consistency of performance.

You can create virtual machines running different operating systems, including multiple flavors of Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Red Hat, CoreOS) and Windows Server!

Follow along this lab to learn about how to create virtual machine instances of various machine types.

What you'll learn

What you'll need

How will you use this tutorial?

Read it through only Read it and complete the exercises

How would rate your experience with Google Cloud Platform?

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Codelab-at-a-conference setup

If you see a "request account button" at the top of the main Codelabs window, click it to obtain a temporary account. Otherwise ask one of the staff for a coupon with username/password.

These temporary accounts have existing projects that are set up with billing so that there are no costs associated for you with running this codelab.

Note that all these accounts will be disabled soon after the codelab is over.

Use these credentials to log into the machine or to open a new Google Cloud Console window Accept the new account Terms of Service and any updates to Terms of Service.

Here's what you should see once logged in:

When presented with this console landing page, please select the only project available. Alternatively, from the console home page, click on "Select a Project" :

Certain Compute Engine resources live in regions or zones. A region is a specific geographical location where you can run your resources. Each region has one or more zones. For example, the us-central1 region denotes a region in the Central United States that has zones us-central1-a, us-central1-b, us-central1-c, and us-central1-f.

Virtual machine Instances and persistent disks live in a zone, and these are referred to as zonal resources. For example, to attach a persistent disk to a virtual machine instance, both resources must be in the same zone.

In this section, you'll learn how to create a new Google Compute Engine virtual machine instance from the Cloud Console.

Login into Google Cloud Console

Navigate to the the Google Cloud Console from another browser tab/window, to Use the login credential given to you by the lab proctor.

Compute Engine

In the Google Developer Console, click the Menu icon on the top left of the screen:

Then navigate to Compute Engine > VM Instances

This may take a minute to initialize for the first time. Once initialized, you should see the following if the project has no virtual machine instances:

Create a new instance

To create a new instance, click Create instance

There are many parameters you can configure when creating a new instance. Let's use the following:





Learn more about zones in Regions & Zones documentation.

Note: remember the zone that you selected, you'll need it later.

Machine Type

1 vCPU (n1-standard-1)

This is a 1-CPU, 3.75GB RAM instance.

There are a number of machine types, ranging from micro instance types to 32-core/208GB RAM instance types. Learn more about this and custom machine types in the Machine Types documentation.

Note: A new project has a default resource quota, which may limit the number of CPU cores. You can request more when you work on projects outside of this lab.

Boot Disk

New 10 GB standard persistent disk

Image: Debian GNU/Linux ...

There are a number of images to choose from, including: Debian, Ubuntu, CoreOS as well as premium images such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server. See Operating System documentation for more detail.

Note: You may optionally choose SSD Persistent Disk as well.


Check Allow HTTP traffic

Check this option so that we can access a webserver that we will install later.

Note: This will automatically create firewall rule to allow HTTP traffic on port 80.

Click on Create to create the new virtual machine instance!

Once finished, you should see the new virtual machine in the VM Instances page. Note down the External IP of the machine on the VM instances page - you will need this later.

To SSH into the virtual machine, click on SSH on the right hand side.

Install a NGINX web server

Once ssh'ed, get root access using sudo

$ sudo su -

As the root user, install NGINX:

$ apt-get update
Get:1 jessie/updates InRelease [63.1 kB]
Ign jessie InRelease                                                          
Get:2 jessie/updates/main amd64 Packages [247 kB]
$ apt-get install nginx -y
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:

Check that NGINX is running:

$ ps auwx | grep nginx
root      1373  0.0  0.0  91180  2960 ?        Ss   03:59   0:00 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on
; master_process on;
www-data  1374  0.0  0.0  91544  3652 ?        S    03:59   0:00 nginx: worker process                           
www-data  1375  0.0  0.0  91544  3652 ?        S    03:59   0:00 nginx: worker process                           
www-data  1376  0.0  0.0  91544  3652 ?        S    03:59   0:00 nginx: worker process                           
www-data  1377  0.0  0.0  91544  3652 ?        S    03:59   0:00 nginx: worker process

Awesome! Let's see the web page! Use the External IP of the virtual machine instance that you noted down before, and in a new browser window/tab, browse to http://EXTERNAL_IP/, you should see the default page.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.03.28 PM.png

Rather than using the Google Cloud Console to create a virtual machine instance, you can also use the command line tool called gcloud.

We'll use Google Cloud Shell, a command line environment running in the Cloud. This Debian-based virtual machine is loaded with all the development tools you'll need (gcloud, git and others) and offers a persistent 5GB home directory.

Open the Google Cloud Shell by clicking on the Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.30.32 PM.pngicon on the top right of the screen:


Once opened, you can create a new virtual machine instance from the command line by using gcloud (feel free to use another zone closer to you) :

$ gcloud compute instances create gcelab2 --zone us-central1-c
Created [...gcelab2].
gcelab2  us-central1-c  n1-standard-1             10.240.X.X  X.X.X.X        RUNNING

The instance was created with some default values:

Run gcloud compute instances create --help to see all the defaults.

Finally, you can SSH into your instance using gcloud as well (make sure you adjust your zone if you've used something else when creating the instance, or omit the --zone flag if you've set the option globally):

$ gcloud compute ssh gcelab2 --zone us-central1-c
WARNING: The public SSH key file for gcloud does not exist.
WARNING: The private SSH key file for gcloud does not exist.
WARNING: You do not have an SSH key for gcloud.
WARNING: [/usr/bin/ssh-keygen] will be executed to generate a key.
This tool needs to create the directory 
[/home/gcpstaging306_student/.ssh] before being able to generate SSH 

Do you want to continue (Y/n)? Y

Disconnect from SSH by existing from the remote shell:

username@gcelab2:~$ exit

Google Compute Engine is the foundation to Google Cloud Platform's Infrastructure-as-a-Service. You can easily map your existing server infrastructure, load balancers, and network topology to Google Cloud Platform.

What we've covered

Next Steps