Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 months.

sofar
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Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 months.

by sofar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 04:33

WARNING: Amazon Web Services may bill you if you exceed their Free Tier limits in any way. If you expect to go over the use limits, be prepared for being billed the amounts.

Wait, what, AWS has Free hosting of servers?

Yes. Amazon Web Services EC2 has several instances that are Free Tier Eligible, which means that for the first 12 months after applying for an account and creating an instance, they will not bill you if your usage stays under certain limits.

Since a minetestserver doesn't need that much resources, especially if you're smart about resources, mods, and players, you can host your minetest server in AWS EC2 for free. However, there are some catches - AWS is a very professional hosting service and utilizing it well isn't easy.

AWS Free Tier includes 750 hours of Linux and Windows t2.micro instances each month for one year. To stay within the Free Tier, use only EC2 Micro instances.


Link to start: https://aws.amazon.com/free

You will require a credit card, and a phone number to confirm your identity. AWS isn't providing "anonymous" hosting.

You will need to know UNIX basics, account management, SSH, and learn how to navigate the AWS webpages.

My advice, if you want to try this, is to use an optimized Linux Distribution that minimizes the CPU time. If you run a standard Debian, Ubuntu or other distribution, you will exceed your Free Tier CPU allocation quickly. Therefore, you should pick ClearLinux (DISCLAIMER: I work, professionally, on ClearLinux) as the best and most efficient solution(* my opinion, not necessarily that of my employer) to run a minetest server. Fortunately, ClearLinux has built in packages for minetest.

You can find ClearLinux in the AWS MarketPlace and create instances without having to upload images, and these ClearLinux images are supported by the ClearLinux Project Team. (See: https://clearlinux.org/ for more info).

Make sure to pick the t2.micro instance type when creating an instance. The instance storage can be grown to suit your needs and a reboot of your instance will automatically add the required size to your partitions.

You will need to create SSH keys and provide them to AWS so they can be put into your EC2 instance. After creating the instance, you should be able to modify the security group and open ports, add more local users, and start building your minetest server.

After a year of usage, AWS will start billing you for usage. Their billing is flexible and not based on minimum amounts per month, so if your server is low population, AWS EC2 may be a cost effective alternative hosting solution.
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by sofar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 04:41

FYI, a t2.micro instance comes with 1 CPU and 1gb of RAM. This should be sufficient for reasonably normal servers that don't install resource intensive mods. The default storage is 1GB, but as said you can grow it as needed. The free tier comes with up to 30GB SSD backed storage, so you can grow your instance to that amount without incurring a cost for storage.
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by parasite » Tue Dec 26, 2017 09:04

Hi!
This post looks like commercial adveristment (at least to me).

I do not think that posting adveristment at open-source community forums are somehow wrong (in the end it's not the same as free software concept), but there have been some more posts advertising servers lately. I thought it should be better to tag those posts in some specific way, with some text in title or at the begining, flag or colours or whtever. That would be nice from the point of view of maintaining order and transparency, this would avoid misunderstanding and help finding faster what you search on forums. Clear rules for recommending, testing and reviewing commercial services would be more desirable here. I guess it would be nice to see some reviews, comparations, discussions, tutorials about proffesional and dedicated (and commercial of course) servers usage for minetest...

I think at least a few forums users are the target for such, and a few others could learn something new from such (for example, I never hear about Clear Linux to this day, so that is something interesting information for me), but the main recipient of advertising content here are just kids, which are primary forum users (which often want to create servers, although they do not understand anything about mods programming, bugs fixing, network security, computers and so on; they just want to feel like an admin, imitate the behavior of adults who run some popular servers and who are respected and popular on the forums).

Or maybe I am totally wrong? I do not have anything wrong in my mind anyway. (although somebody can considered my post here as probably rude, or some kind of impetuous intrusion into developer`s thread ? :/ I hope not!) We all are just talking.
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by BBmine » Tue Dec 26, 2017 16:02

parasite wrote:I do not think that posting adveristment at open-source community forums are somehow wrong (in the end it's not the same as free software concept), but there have been some more posts advertising servers lately. I thought it should be better to tag those posts in some specific way, with some text in title or at the begining, flag or colours or whtever. That would be nice from the point of view of maintaining order and transparency, this would avoid misunderstanding and help finding faster what you search on forums. Clear rules for recommending, testing and reviewing commercial services would be more desirable here. I guess it would be nice to see some reviews, comparations, discussions, tutorials about proffesional and dedicated (and commercial of course) servers usage for minetest...

Yeah, I think it would be really nice to have a server hosting subforum :D
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by sofar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 18:52

I have no association with Amazon, nor is any of the offered services paid, so, this isn't an advertisement for commercial purposes.

I am merely providing an alternative solution to people who are looking to host their own server without having to spend money on it. There are already plenty of threads that show you how to buildyour own server and how to administrate it, this one just shows you that you can do it in a professional hosting environment as well, and for free too.

And I am certainly not offering services - only my experience, and my knowledge.
 

sofar
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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by sofar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 18:54

Also, note, that without a physical phone number and a credit card, both of which minors don't posses, Amazon won't sign you up anyway, so, the offer they are extending is pretty much for adults only.
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by parasite » Tue Dec 26, 2017 19:52

Hi!
I'm sorry if I embarrassed and upset you sofar. Seems that I misunderstand your post. I am glad that you want to share your experience, and knowledge, and also I admire your hard work with developing minetest. I was surprised reading your post and I still have strong feeling that these words:

sofar wrote:WARNING: Amazon Web Services may bill you if you exceed their Free Tier limits in any way. If you expect to go over the use limits, be prepared for being billed the amounts.

Wait, what, AWS has Free hosting of servers?

Yes. Amazon Web Services EC2 has several instances that are Free Tier Eligible, which means that for the first 12 months after applying for an account and creating an instance, they will not bill you if your usage stays under certain limits.
(...)


looks like adveristment! I would not think that one can start any other kind of text in this way. That happenes maybe becouse I am not English language native and I am not reading many forums. Anyway, that seems to be very good idea to talk about available services and possibilities to host minetest servers. So thanks for this thread! And sorry for interrupting. Let`s back to main topic.
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by sofar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 20:57

parasite wrote:Hi!
I'm sorry if I embarrassed and upset you sofar.


huh? I'm not embarrassed, nor upset.

My post is essentially advise. Yeah, it may sound like an advertisement, but I'm neither selling anything nor getting any financial gain from giving this advice. If you don't like the way I formulated my advice, bummer. Maybe others will. If you feel like my post is a commercial advertisement, then why don't you report it?
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by hajo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 06:16

sofar wrote:optimized Linux Distribution that minimizes the CPU time... pick ClearLinux
I work, professionally, on ClearLinux

Maybe you can check if ClearLinux can be installed via YUMI,
and if that works, inform the author ?
 

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Re: Hosting a minetest server in AWS for free(*) for 12 mont

by sofar » Sat Dec 30, 2017 06:39

hajo wrote:
sofar wrote:optimized Linux Distribution that minimizes the CPU time... pick ClearLinux
I work, professionally, on ClearLinux

Maybe you can check if ClearLinux can be installed via YUMI,
and if that works, inform the author ?


Somewhat offtopic, but, toolage like YUMI are not in our use case matrix. ClearLinux can already boot from an USB stick (that's how the installer image works, and the live image as well). Having to test hundreds of USB stick writing software isn't part of our testing matrix, there's simply too many of them.

It's especially offtopic since in AWS if you make a clearlinux instance, you don't even need to install anything.
 


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