Running a basic IIS web server

You can control a virtual machine (VM) instance on Compute Engine like any standard Windows server. This tutorial shows you how to deploy a simple IIS web server so you can learn the basics of running a web server on a VM.

Before you begin

You'll need a new Windows instance with HTTP traffic allowed.

  • Follow the Quickstart instructions to create a new Windows instance and connect to it with RDP.

Install IIS

  1. On the Windows taskbar, in the search field, type PowerShell and then press Enter. If there is no search field on the taskbar, click the search icon, type PowerShell, and then press Enter. If neither the search field nor the search icon appear on the taskbar, see Hide and unhide your search box in Windows.

  2. In the search results, under Apps, right-click Windows PowerShell, and choose Run as administrator.

  3. Install IIS services with the following commands:

    import-module servermanager
    add-windowsfeature web-server -includeallsubfeature
  4. Overwrite the IIS web server default web page with the following command:

    echo '<!doctype html><html><body><h1>Hello World!</h1></body></html>' > C:\inetpub\wwwroot\index.html

Test your server

Test that your instance is serving traffic on its external IP:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM instances page.

    Go to VM instances

  2. View the Hello World! page by copying the IP address from the External IP column and pasting it into a new browser tab. If you do not see the Hello World! page, follow the Troubleshooting steps.

Clean up

When you're done experimenting, follow the clean up instructions in the Quickstart to avoid incurring charges for this instance.


Receiving a Connection Refused error

If you are seeing a Connection Refused error, it is possible that:

  • Your VM instance is not publicly accessible because your firewall rules or tags are misconfigured in one of the following ways:

    • The VM instance does not have the proper tag that allows Compute Engine to apply the appropriate firewall rules to your instance.
    • Your project does not have a firewall rule that allows traffic to the external IP address for your instance.
  • You are trying to access the VM using an https address. Check that your URL is http://[EXTERNAL_IP] rather than https://[EXTERNAL_IP].

To ensure that your VM instance has the correct tags:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM instances page.

    Go to VM instances

  2. Click the name of the instance that you are trying to connect to.
  3. Click Edit at the top of the page.
  4. Scroll down to Firewalls, and make sure the Allow HTTP traffic box is checked. If it is not checked, check it.
  5. Save your changes. This ensures that the correct tags are added to the VM instance.

To ensure that the correct firewall rule exists:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the Firewall rules page.

    Go to Firewall rules

  2. Look for a firewall rule that allows all IP ranges through tcp:80. Usually, this rule is named the default-allow-http rule.
  3. If a rule does not exist, create one.
    1. Click Create firewall rule.
    2. Enter a name for the rule, such as default-allow-http.
    3. Under Source IP ranges, enter to allow traffic from all sources.
    4. Under Protocols and ports, check Specified protocols and ports and enter tcp:80.
    5. Create your firewall rule.

Test your server again by going to the external IP address of the instance: