Get started with Compute Engine free features and trial offers

This page provides information, resources, and answers to common questions when using the Compute Engine free trial and free trial instances to evaluate Compute Engine.

About the Compute Free Tier

In addition to the Free Trial , the Google Cloud Free Program includes the Compute Engine Free Tier which provides limited access to Compute Engine resources including:

  • 1 non-preemptible e2-micro VM instance per month in one of the following US regions:
    • Oregon: us-west1
    • Iowa: us-central1
    • South Carolina: us-east1
  • 30 GB-months standard persistent disk
  • 1 GB of data transfer from North America to all region destinations (excluding China and Australia) per month

Your Free Tier e2-micro instance limit is by time, not by instance. Each month, eligible use of all of your e2-micro instances is free until you have used a number of hours equal to the total hours in the current month. Usage calculations are combined across the supported regions.

Compute Engine free tier does not charge for an external IP address.

GPUs and TPUs are not included in the Free Tier offer. You are always charged for GPUs and TPUs that you add to VM instances.

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Common questions using Compute Engine free trial

Is it possible to upgrade my VM's CPU?

Yes. If your existing machine type is not a good fit for the workloads that you want to run on your VM, then change the machine type of the VM. You can't upgrade your VM if the VM uses local SSD or is a member of a managed instance group (MIG).

For more information, see Edit the machine type of a VM instance You can also watch this video, which explains how to choose the right machine type.

How do I set up WordPress on Compute Engine?

You can deploy WordPress, a website creation and publishing platform, by running WordPress on Compute Engine Click to Deploy , which guides you through the WordPress installation process.

Can I resize my VM's bootdisk?

You can increase the size of your VM's default boot Persistent Disk. For more information, see Increase the size of a persistent disk.

To decrease the disk size, you must create a new disk with a smaller size. Until you delete the original, larger disk, you are charged for both disks.

For information about VM storage options, see Storage options.

If you're using a custom image, then you might need to resize the disk's file system and partitions.

How do I use RDP to connect to my VM?

You can connect to a Windows VM using RDP. For more information, see Connect to Windows VMs using RDP.

If you're unable to connect to your VM instance with RDP, see Troubleshooting RDP.

For information about connecting to Windows VMs using other methods, see the following:

How do I use SSH to connect to my VM?

For all Linux virtual machine (VM) instances, Compute Engine uses key-based SSH authentication to establish connections. For Windows VMs, you can optionally enable SSH. For more information about SSH connections, see About SSH connections.

For information about using SSH to connect applications between Linux VMs, see Configure apps to use SSH.

Can I ensure the availability of my VM?

You can ensure the availability of your VM's resources through autoscaling. Managed instance groups (MIGs) offer autoscaling capabilities that let you automatically add or delete virtual machine (VM) instances from a MIG based on increases or decreases in load. Autoscaling works by adding more VMs to your MIG when there is more load (scaling out), and deleting VMs when the need for VMs is lowered (scaling in).

For more information about autoscaling, see Autoscaling groups of instances.

For more information about creating or managing autoscalers, see the following:

Can I add firewall rules for traffic to my VM?

Cloud Firewall's VPC firewall rules let you allow or deny connections to or from VM instances in your VPC network. Enabled VPC firewall rules are always enforced, protecting your instances regardless of their configuration and operating system, even if they have not started up.

For more information about how VPC firewall rules are implemented in Google Cloud, see VPC firewall rules overview. For more information about the commands for working with VPC firewall rules and how to use them, see Use VPC firewall rules.

Can I attach a graphical processing unit (GPU) to my VM?

You can attach GPUs to your VM to accelerate specific workloads on Compute Engine. GPUs and TPUs are not included in the Free Tier offer. You are always charged for GPUs that you add to VM instances. For more information, see GPU pricing.

For more information about Compute Engine GPU support, including GPU regions and zone availability, see About GPUs.

For more information about using GPUs with your VM, see the following:

How do I increase my VM's storage size?

Compute Engine offers several storage options for your VM. Each option has unique price and performance characteristics. For more information, see Storage options.

For information about increasing the size of your VM's existing Persistent Disk, see Increase the size of a persistent disk.

For information about diagnosing and resolving issues related to full disks and disk resizing, see Troubleshooting full disks and disk resizing.

What does it mean if I see a "quota exceeded" error message?

A quota restricts how much of a particular shared Google Cloud resource your Google Cloud project can use, including hardware, software, and network components. Compute Engine enforces quotas on resource usage for various reasons. For example, quotas help to protect the community of Google Cloud users by preventing unforeseen spikes in usage. Google Cloud also offers free trial quotas that provide limited access for projects to help you explore Google Cloud on a free trial basis.

For more information about Compute Engine quotas, see Resource usage quotas and permission management .

How do I enable startup scripts in my VM?

A startup script is a file that contains commands that run when a virtual machine (VM) instance boots. Compute Engine provides support for running startup scripts on Linux VMs and Windows VMs.

For more information about using startup scripts, see Startup scripts overview.

How do I transfer files to my VM?

To transfer files to Compute Engine VM instances, different options are available depending on your workstation OS and the target VM instance OS.

For more information, see one of the following, depending on your OS:

How do I copy a VM from one project to another?

You can copy a VM from one project to another by creating a snapshot of the VM's bootdisk and then creating a custom image of the VM. For more information, see Copying VMs between projects.

How do I see logs for my instance?

Compute Engine collects audit logs to help you answer the questions, "Who did what, where, and when?" with your VMs as part of Cloud Audit Logs . For more information about Compute Engine audit logs, see View Audit Logs.

The VM instance's operating system, BIOS, and other system-level entities often write output to the serial ports, which makes serial port output useful for troubleshooting crashes, failed boots, startup issues, or shutdown issues. For information about enabling serial port output logging, see Viewing serial port output.

How do I request an increase in quota?

If you're using the Google Cloud free trial, you cannot request a change to your quota.

How do I use self-managed SSL certificates?

Self-managed SSL certificates are certificates that you obtain, provision, and renew yourself. You can use this resource to secure communication between clients and your load balancer. For more information, see Use self-managed SSL certificates.

How to set up an SSL certificate for my instance?

Google Cloud offers two methods to configure SSL certificates for HTTP(S) and SSL proxy load balancers: Compute Engine SSL certificate resource and Certificate Manager. Both methods support self-managed and Google-managed SSL certificates. For more information, see SSL certificates overview.

For information about resolving errors when connecting to your VM using SSH, see Troubleshooting SSH

Try it for yourself

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