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Day 0 - Creating Your Own Server - with Google Cloud Platform Free Tier

Refer to Day 0 - Get Your Own Server to review your options:

Signing up with GCP

Sign-up is fairly simple - just provide your email address and a password of your choosing - along with a phone number for a 2FA - a second method of authentication. You will need to also provide your VISA or other credit card information.

  • Choose “Compute Engine” and click “VM Instances”.
  • Create a new instance.
  • Select whichever regions you want.
  • For Machine Configuration select series and set to “E2” and Machine type to “e2-micro”.
  • Change boot disk to “Ubuntu LTS”

Now after we create our own server, we need to open all ports and protocols to access from anywhere. While this might be unwise for a production server, it is what we want for this course.

Navigate to your GCP home page and goto Networking > VPC Network > Firewall > Create Firewall

Set “Direction of Traffic” to “Ingress” Set “Target” to “All instances in the network” Set “Source Filter” to “IP Ranges” Set “Source IP Ranges” to “” Set “Protocols and Ports” to “Allow All” Create and repeat the steps by creating a new Firewall and setting “Direction of Traffic” to “Egress”

Logging in for the first time

Select your instance and click “ssh” it will open a new window console. To access the root, type “sudo -i passwd” in the command line then set your own password. Log in by typing “su” and “password”. Note that the password won’t show as you type or paste it.

Setting up SSH

You can also refer to if you intend to access your server via third-party tools (e.g. Putty).

You are now a sysadmin

Confirm that you can do administrative tasks by typing:

sudo apt update


sudo apt upgrade

Don’t worry too much about the output and messages from these commands, but it should be clear whether they succeeded or not. (Reply to any prompts by taking the default option). These commands are how you force the installation of updates on an Ubuntu Linux system, and only an administrator can do them.

To logout, type logout or exit.

Your server is now all set up and ready for the course!

Note that:

  • This server is now running, and completely exposed to the whole of the Internet
  • You alone are responsible for managing it
  • You have just installed the latest updates, so it should be secure for now

Now you are ready to start the challenge. Day 1, here we go!