Start learning cloud with Oracle cloud free tier

Binabh Devkota
4 min readMar 3, 2022
Clear sky with clouds

Only difference between clouds in the sky and cloud of servers is that servers are not quite free. But if you really want to learn about cloud and get your hands dirty then oracle cloud might be the best place for you to start as it offers the best free forever tier.


According to oracle themselves

Anyone who has previously not signed up for Oracle Cloud Free Tier or Free Trial is eligible.

Also you should have a valid payment card that has not been previously used. Don’t worry you won’t be charged till you are in free tier.

How do I get going?

Here is the magic link that opens your door to the world of free cloud that you can get your hands on but wait you should know about the river before jumping into it. So, complete this article first for a smooth ride.

What do I actually get?

As some random meme on internet said

Cloud is just somebody else’s computer.

But is it really that? 🤔 Well, yes it is but there is more to that. Also, here we are talking about using someone else’s computer for free. So, what’s included in this free package? After you sign up you can get access to

  • 2 Autonomous Databases, 20 GB each
  • Up to 4 instances of Arm Compute
  • 200 GB block volume
  • 10 GB object storage

Also, all of this is on always free tier which means that you can use these services forever. But wait this sounds too good to be true. Yes, it is. According to oracle this will be available forever without spending a single penny.

What’s the catch?

Really, nothing! However, keep in mind that you are getting 4 instances of arm compute. Given that nowadays most of the programs are ported to arm based chips also (thanks to M1 macs and rise of arm platform) there should not be any problem in running most of the software and services in your system. If you bump into any program that has not been ported from x86 architecture then there might be some problem but most probably you should find some workaround solution. That said any of the code or program written by you should work fine.

Let’s Start !

Enough talking now let’s get going. Signing up is pretty straight forward and standard process of entering your email and card details, confirming it and accepting terms and conditions. Lets get to the good part then.

After you are all done you will be able to visit a dashboard like below where you can see all the services offered. But what we are interested in is the one’s with always free eligible tags.

Screenshot of oracle cloud dashboard

You can explore all the services and spin up your own instances easily. Now let’s start with a simple VM instance for this article. So, click on Create a VM instance card and it will take you to a interface to spin up your VM instance.

After giving name to your instance (or using the default provided) you will be asked to select image and shape of the instance. Here, image refers to the operating system and shape refers to the CPU and memory capacity.

Screenshot of selecting image and shape in oracle cloud

After the step above you will need to add your ssh public key if you want to access the instance over ssh (which you probably want to do).

Screen to enter ssh key

After you have successfully completed these steps just click on create. Let, it do its work and you should have a shiny new virtual machine instance up and running in the cloud.

All of your instances are available at just click on one and see their details like running status, public IP, metrics and much more. Here you can also edit, stop, terminate and reboot instances.

Now you may want to host your website or web app or some other service in this instance for that we will cover it in our next article where we setup a simple website using Nginx with along with SSL certificate.