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This guide walks you through creating a Compute Instance (also frequently called a Linode) through the Cloud Manager. Whether this is your first time using Linode or if you’re a long time user, you should carefully consider each step in the process to make sure you’re getting the most of your Linode services.

  1. Open the Create Form in the Cloud Manager
  2. Choose a Distribution, App, or Image
  3. Select a Region
  4. Choose an Instance Type and Plan
  5. Set the Label and Add Tags
  6. Create a Password and Add SSH Keys
  7. Assign to a VPC
  8. Assign to a Cloud Firewall
  9. Assign to a VLAN
  10. Configure Additional Options
  11. Add User Data
  12. Deploy the Instance
  13. Getting Started After Deployment

Open the Create Form in the Cloud Manager

Log in to the Cloud Manager, click the Create dropdown menu on the top bar, and select Linode. This opens the Create Linode form.

Choose a Distribution, App, or Image

One of the first steps to deploy a Compute Instance is to decide what you actually wish to deploy. You’re able to select a Linux distribution for a barebones install, a Marketplace App with your desired software, and a few other options.

  • Distributions: Select from any supported Linux distribution. This option allows you to start with a stable Linux operating system and build your own software stack from scratch. Popular distributions include the latest LTS releases of Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS Stream, RHEL-derivitates (such AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux), and more. Each distribution comes with its own set of preinstalled software and commands. See Choosing a Linux Distribution for a full list of distributions.

  • Marketplace: Select from the many Apps currently featured in the Linode Marketplace. This installs and configures your desired software, allowing you to start using your applications right away. Popular apps include Wordpress, WooCommerce, LEMP, cPanel, Plesk, and Nextcloud. See How to Use Linode’s Marketplace Apps.

  • StackScripts: Select from any StackScripts previously created on your account or from a community StackScript. StackScripts automate the deployment of software and configuration by executing commands within your system after the first boot. See How to Deploy a New Linode Using a StackScript.

  • Images: Select from any Custom Image or Recovery Image stored on your account. Recovery Images are generated after a Compute Instance has been deleted and Custom Images can be created based on existing instances or image files. See Images - Get Started.

  • Backups: If you have the Backups service enabled on an existing Compute Instance, you can select any available backup snapshot to deploy from. See Restore a Backup to a New Linode.

  • Clone Linode: Creates a new Compute Instance from the disks and configuration on an existing instance. See Cloning a Linode.

This guide assumes you are creating a Compute Instance from a Distribution. If you select a different option, you may wish to follow the specific instructions within their own corresponding guides.

Select a Region

Next, you must select the region where the Compute Instance will reside. Regions correspond with individual data centers, each located in a different geographical area. You should likely select the region closest to you and/or your customers. This helps reduce latency and can make a significant impact in connection speeds and quality. If you wish to make use of a particular Linode product or service, you may also wish to verify that the product is available within your desired data center.

You need to select a region before selecting your plan type. Pricing may vary between data centers.

Choose an Instance Type and Plan

Linode offers a few different instance types and plan sizes, each with a preset amount of hardware resources (such as vCPU cores, memory, and storage space). The table below displays a list of instance types along with their plan sizes and use cases.

Since every workload is different, you may wish to review the Choosing a Compute Instance Type and Plan guide for advice on selecting the best plan for your needs, application’s requirements, and pricing considerations. Note that pricing and plan options may vary between data centers.

You can resize to a different plan size or instance type at any time. This means your aren’t locked in to whichever plan you select here. See Resizing a Compute Instance for instructions.

Instance Type
Shared CPUShared1 GB - 192 GB Memory, 1 - 32 vCPUs, 25 GB - 3840 GB Storage
Starting at $5/mo ($0.0075/hour)

Offers a balanced array of resources coupled with shared CPUs, which keeps costs down while still supporting a wide variety of cloud applications.

Best for development servers, staging servers, and low traffic web applications.
Dedicated CPUDedicated4 GB - 512 GB* Memory, 2 - 64 vCPUs, 80 GB - 7200 GB Storage
Starting at $36/mo ($0.05/hour)

Equipped with Dedicated CPUs, which provide competition-free guaranteed CPU resources. Perfectly balanced for most production applications.

Best for production websites, high traffic databases, and any application that requires 100% sustained CPU usage.
PremiumDedicated4 GB - 512 GB* Memory, 2 - 64 vCPUs, 80 GB - 7200 GB Storage
Starting at $43/mo ($0.06/hour)

Provides the best available AMD EPYC™ CPUs on dedicated resources. Consistent performance for CPU-intensive workloads.

Best for enterprise-grade, business-critical, and latency-sensitive applications.
High MemoryDedicated24 GB - 300 GB Memory, 2 - 16 vCPUs, 20 GB - 340 GB Storage
Starting at $60/mo ($0.09/hour)

Optimized for memory-intensive applications and equipped with Dedicated CPUs, which provide competition free guaranteed CPU resources.

Best for in-memory databases, in-memory caching systems, big data processing, and any production application that requires a large amount of memory while keeping costs down.
GPU - NVIDIA RTX 4000 Ada (Beta)Dedicated1 - 8 cards, 20 - 160 GB Video Memory, 64 GB - 512 GB Memory, 20 - 60 vCPUs, 1.5 TB - 25 TB Storage
Starting at $600/mo ($0.83/hour)

The only Compute Instance type that’s equipped with NVIDIA RTX 4000 Ada GPUs (up to 8) for on demand execution of complex processing workloads.

Best for applications that require massive amounts of parallel processing power including machine learning, AI inferencing, graphics processing, and big data analysis.
GPU - NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000
(limited deployment availability)
Dedicated1 - 4 cards, 24 - 96 GB Video Memory, 32 GB - 128 GB Memory, 8 - 24 vCPUs, 640 GB - 2560 GB Storage
Starting at $1000/mo ($1.50/hour)

The only Compute Instance type that’s equipped with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 GPUs (up to 4) for on demand execution of complex processing workloads.

Best for applications that require massive amounts of parallel processing power, including machine learning, AI, graphics processing, and big data analysis.

*512 GB Dedicated CPU and Premium plans are in limited availability.

See Choosing a Compute Instance Type and Plan to compare plans.

Set the Label and Add Tags

  • Label: The label is the name of the Compute Instance, allowing you to easily identify it from other instances. A good label should provide some indication as to what the instance is used for. As an example, a label of acme-web-prod may indicate that the instance is the production website for the company Acme. If you have already implemented your own naming conventions for your cloud infrastructure, follow those conventions. Labels must only use letters, numbers, underscores, dashes, and periods.

  • Tags: Adding tags gives you the ability to categorize your Linode services however you wish. If you’re a web development agency, you could add a tag for each client you have. You could also add tags for which services are for development, staging, or production.

Create a Password and Add SSH Keys

  • Root Password: The password used to log in to the system as the root user. The root user is the main account and has access to the entire system, including files and commands. This password should be extremely strong to prevent attackers from gaining access to your system. By default, the root user can log in over Lish and SSH using this password, though we do recommend disabling this within the Setting Up and Securing a Compute Instance guide.

    Account passwords must be a minimum of 11 characters in length and be sufficiently complex. Each password is individually analyzed by an algorithmic tool to determine it’s strength. When creating a password, follow the recommendations listed below:

    • Password should be at least 11 characters in length (though longer passwords are considered stronger).
    • Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words.
    • Use a mixture of unpredictable uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
    • Avoid repeating characters (aaa), sequences (abcd), and keyboard patterns (qwerty).
  • SSH Keys: Add any SSH Keys to the root user account on the server. This enables you to log in through SSH without needing a password. SSH keys are created as a pair: a private key stored on your local computer and a public key that you can upload to remote systems and services. Since you only share your public key and your private key is kept safe and secure, this is a much more secure method for authentication than passwords. Learn more about uploading SSH keys through the Cloud Manager on the Manage SSH Keys guide.

Assign to a VPC (Optional)

Consider using a VPC (Virtual Private Network) to isolate your new Compute Instance from other systems on the Akamai cloud computing platform and the internet. This adds an additional layer of privacy and can be used alongside Cloud Firewalls. If you are not sure you need a VPC, you can skip this step. You can add this new Compute Instance to a VPC at any time in the future by following the steps within the Assign (and Remove) Services to a VPC guide.

  • Select VPC: To assign this instance to a VPC, select the VPC from the Assign VPC dropdown menu. If you do not yet have a VPC in the selected data center, click the Create a VPC button and follow the instructions on the Create a VPC guide.

  • Select Subnet: An instance can be assigned to a single subnet, which allows you to further segment traffic and services within a VPC. Select the desired subnet within the Subnet dropdown menu.

  • Auto-Assign IPv4 address: By default, an IPv4 address will be automatically generated for the instance on the subnet’s defined CIDR range. If you want to manually assign an IP address, uncheck the Auto-assign a VPC IPv4 address for this Linode option and enter your custom IPv4 address. This address must still be within the subnet’s IP range.

  • Public IPv4 address: If you wish to enable public internet access on this new instance, check the Assign a public IPv4 address for this Linode option. By default, this is unchecked and you will not be able to access the internet from this instance.

  • Additional IPv4 ranges: You can assign additional IPv4 ranges that can be used to reach this Compute Instance and/or the services running on it. For example, you may wish to assign additional IPv4 ranges to directly expose Docker containers to the VPC.

For additional information and considerations, review the Assign (and Remove) Services guide.

Assign to a Cloud Firewall (Optional)

To protect your new Compute Instance from unwanted traffic, consider using a Cloud Firewall. This allows you to cascade firewall rules across multiple services and manage those rules within the Cloud Manager, Linode CLI, and Linode API.

To assign your instance to a Cloud Firewall, select the firewall from the Assign Firewall dropdown menu. If you do not have a firewall or wish to create a new one, click the Create Firewall link and follow the instructions within the Create a Cloud Firewall guide. You can always skip this step and assign a firewall at a later time by following the instructions in the Apply Firewall Rules to a Service guide.

Assign to a VLAN (Optional)

Add this Compute Instance to a secure private network. VLANs are available at no additional cost, though not all data centers currently support this feature. See VLANs to learn more.

In most cases, it’s recommended to use a VPC over a VLAN. VPCs operate on a higher network layer and come with more IP addressing and IP routing functionality. Additionally, you can further segment out network traffic through subnets, each of which has its own CIDR range. Review these differences to learn more.

Configure Additional Options

The following features and services can be configured during the Compute Instance’s creation or at any point after.

  • Add the Backups service: Safeguard your data with Linode’s Backups service, enabling automatic backups of the disks on your Compute Instances. Up to four backups are stored as part of this service, including automated daily, weekly, and biweekly backups in addition to a manual backup snapshot. See Backups to learn more and view pricing.

  • Add a private IP: A private IP gives you access to the data center’s private network. This enables you to communicate with other Compute Instances with private IPs in the same region without using a public IPv4 address. Private IPs are needed to configure your instance as a NodeBalancer backend. The private IP feature requires a Public Internet network interface. As such, Compute Instances configured with both VPCs and a private IP address are configured with the VPC network interface on eth0 and the Public Internet interface on eth1.

    Private IP addresses are accessible by any other instance in the same data center, provided that instance also has a private IP. To further isolate your instance, consider using a VPC instead. Review these differences to learn more.

Add User Data

User data can be provided to the Metadata service, which is then consumed by cloud-init when your Compute Instance boots up for the first time. For information on the Metadata service, user data formats, and our cloud-init integration, review Overview of the Metadata Service.

Deploy the Instance

Confirm the details for this Compute Instance within the Linode Summary section. Once you are satisfied, click Create Linode to start the deployment process. This process can take anywhere from 3 minutes for Distribution Images to up to 30 minutes for some Marketplace Apps. After the creation process has started, you are automatically redirected to the detail page for this instance. From here, you can follow the status as the instance is deployed as well as see information about the new instance, such as the IP addresses.

Getting Started After Deployment

Once the Compute Instance has been created and is done initializing, you can start configuring and using it. The next recommendation is to follow the guide linked below, which assists you in connecting to your instance, performing any initial configuration steps on your Linux system, and securing your server.

Email restrictions on the Linode Platform
In an effort to fight spam originating from our platform, outbound connections on ports 25, 465, and 587 are blocked by default on Compute Instances for some new accounts. These restrictions prevent applications from sending email. If you intend to send email from a Compute Instance, review the Send Email on the Linode Platform guide to learn more about our email policies and to request the removal of these restrictions.

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