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Requires a valid credit or debit card to create an Oracle account. BINs or virtual cards will not work.

Guide by cevoj35548. Based off this tutorial.

Creating the server

  1. Go to the Oracle Free Tier page.
  2. Scroll down under What are Always Free cloud services? and check the resources included in the always free offer: Arm-based Ampere A1 cores and 24 GB of memory usable as 1 VM or up to 4 VMs with 3,000 OCPU hours and 18,000 GB hours per month.
  3. Press the Start for Free button and complete the registration process. You can create a fake identity and disposable email, but the registration will require a credit card to complete.
  4. You will be taken to a webpage with a purple banner indicating that you are on the free plan. Unless you specifically upgrade to a paid account, you will not be charged.
  5. Under Launch Resources, select the Create a VM instance option. Give the instance a name.
  6. Move down tho the Image and Shape box, and click Edit. Click Change Image and select the checkbox by Canonical Ubuntu. Set the OS version to 20.04. Then click the blue Select image button.
  7. Scroll down and click Change shape. Change the Shape series to Ampere. Scroll down and check the VM.Standard.AI.Flex default size, and increase the Number of OCPUs slider to 4. A yellow Service limits status warning will appear, but you can proceed by pressing the blue Select shape button.
  8. Scroll down to Add SSH keys, and select Paste public keys. Download and install PuTTY, and open an application called PuTTYgen (PuTTY Key Generator). Click Generate and paste the Public key into the website's SSH keys input field.
  9. Scroll down to Boot volume and click Specify a custom boot volume size. Set the Boot volume size (GB) input field to 200. A yellow Service limits status warning will appear again, but you can proceed by pressing the Create button at the bottom.
  10. You may see a red banner, Out of capacity for shape VM.Standard.A1.Flex in availability domain. If this happens, scroll back up to the Placement box and click Edit. Click a different Avaliability domain and try to click Create again.
  11. Your server will now start provisioning. Return to PuTTY Key Generator and click Save private key; you will be using it to connect to the server via SSH. Save it to any file location.

For SSH setup ONLY, skip to Step 14.

  1. Now that the server has finished provisioning, you need to allow RDP connections on port 3389. Under Primary VNIC click your Subnet. Then, under Security Lists, click the Default Security List for vcn-.... Click Add Ingress Rules. This should now open a modal for Ingress Rule 1.
  2. In the Source CIDR field, type In the Destination Port Range - Optional field, type 3389. In the Description field, type RDP. Then, click Add Ingress Rules. You should now return to the Security List page. In your browser, click back twice to return to your instance dashboard.

Setting up the VPS

  1. Open PuTTY on your PC.
  2. Under the Host Name (or IP address) field, enter the Private IP address of your instance. This can be found under Primary VNIC in your instance dashboard.
  3. In the Category tree in PuTTY, navigate under Connection > SSH and click Auth, and click the Browse button under Private key file for authentication and select the .ppk file you saved earlier in PuTTYgen. Now scroll back up to Session in the Category tree. Enter a name under Saved Sessions and click Save. Now click Open. You may recieve a PuTTY Security Alert warning; click Accept.
  4. Oracle will reclaim your VM if your CPU, RAM, and Network usage is below 10%. To avoid this, please run the script below within a tmux session:
    bash <(curl -s -L https://gist.githubusercontent.com/Ansen/e45320205faf5786d3282ac880f20bab/raw/onekey-NeverIdle.sh)
    # leave tmux by pressing Ctrl+B D

Stop here if you want to use this server for terminal only. You can now connect to your VPS with PuTTY. Use tmux to keep programs running after closing SSH.

To use it as a portable desktop (install a DE), please continue:

  1. In the PuTTY window, enter the following commands. Click <Yes> (enter) on popups when nessecary.
    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop xrdp stacer -y   #  You can alternatively use kubuntu-desktop for KDE
    sudo cp /etc/iptables/rules.v4 /etc/iptables/rules.v4.bak && sudo truncate -s 0 /etc/iptables/rules.v4
    sudo rm /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.color.policy
  2. Type: sudo passwd ubuntu, and enter a new password for your RDP connection. Now type sudo reboot.

Setting up RDP

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection in Windows. Click Show Options. In the Computer field, enter the Private IP address of your instance. In the User name field, enter ubuntu. Check the Allow me to save credentials box.
  2. Go to the Local Resources tab. Under Local devices and resources, ensure only Clipboard is checked, and Printers is unchecked.
  3. Click Connect. You may get a The identity of the remote computer cannot be verified warning. Check Don't ask me again and click Yes. A Windows Security window will pop up. Enter the password you created earlier and click OK. You will now be in the Ubuntu desktop.
  4. If you are using GNOME (ubuntu-desktop), open Settings, Privacy > Screen Lock, and change Blank Screen Delay to Never, disable Automatic Screen Lock, disable Lock Screen on Suspend, and disable Show Notifications on Lock Screen.

    If you are using KDE (kubuntu-desktop), open System Settings, search Screen Locking, and and uncheck the boxes by Lock screen automatically.

  5. To optimize RDP, open a terminal window and paste the following commands:
  • Set animations in Ubuntu (GNOME only):
    • Disable animations:
      gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface enable-animations false
    • ↩ī¸ Undo (if nessecary):
      gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface enable-animations true
  • Change the number of colors that XRDP has to transmit:
    • Reduce colors:
      sudo sed -i 's/max_bpp=32/max_bpp=16/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini && sudo reboot
    • ↩ī¸ Undo (if nessecary):
      sudo sed -i 's/max_bpp=16/max_bpp=32/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini && sudo reboot
  • If your RDP is still slow: return to the Remote Desktop Connection Windows client, and go to the Experience tab. Set dropdown under Choose your connection speed to optimize performance to LAN (10Mbits or higher).
  1. Open Stacer to prove the CPU Cores (4), Memory (23.4 GiB), and Disk size (193.6 GiB).

You can now access your VPS from anywhere in the world using Remote Desktop Connection. You can optionally set up X11 Forwarding by following the tutorial here.

To monitor the performance of the Ubuntu instance, you can use a graphical performance monitor like Stacer, which will show you the number of CPUs, amount of memory, and disk storage available.

Pub: 19 Dec 2022 08:23 UTC
Edit: 21 Mar 2023 21:20 UTC
Views: 3933