Google Cloud is a public cloud computing platform.

As with most cloud service providers, Google Cloud offers a pay-as-you-use pricing policy , including a number of free services.

This section is to help you get started with Google Cloud Compute Engine compute services, using Arm-based Tau T2A Virtual Machines. This is a general-purpose compute platform, essentially your own personal computer in the cloud.

Detailed instructions are available in the Google Cloud documentation .

Create an account

Before you begin, create an account. For a personal account, click on Get started for free , and follow the on-screen instructions to register. You can use an existing Google account if you have one.

If using an organization’s account, you will likely need to consult with your internal administrator. See this guide for additional information.

Browse for an appropriate instance

Google Cloud offers a wide range of instance types, covering all performance (and pricing) points. For an overview of the Tau T2A instance types, see the General-purpose machine family overview.

Also note which regions these servers are available in.

Create your Compute Engine instance

The easiest way to launch your instance is via the Google Cloud Console . Activities can be separated by Project. By default, when you first login, you will be in My First Project. If you wish to rename this, navigate to IAM & Admin > Settings, and rename. You can also create new project(s) from the pull-down menu, or directly .

Select Compute Engine from the Quick access section, if shown. Else navigate to Compute Engine > VM instances. If it is your first time, you will be prompted to enable Compute Engine API. Go to the VM instances area of the console.

Click the CREATE INSTANCE button.

Image Alt Text:google1 Create a VM instance

Name your instance

Give your instance a meaningful, but arbitrary, name. This is particularly useful when creating multiple instances. You can optionally add labels as additional identifiers.

Image Alt Text:google2 Specify a name for the instance and optionally add labels

Select Region and Zone for your instance.

Select an appropriate region and zone that support Arm-based servers.

Image Alt Text:google3 Select an appropriate region and zone

To view the latest information on which available regions and zones support Arm-based servers, see the Compute Engine documentation . To filter for Arm-based machines, click on Select a machine type, then select T2A from the pull-down menu.

Image Alt Text:google4 Check which regions and zones support Arm-based machines

Machine configuration

Select T2A from the Series pull-down menu. Then select an appropriate Machine type configuration for your needs.

Image Alt Text:google5 Select an appropriate T2A machine type

Boot disk configuration

Click the CHANGE button if you wish to change the virtual disk size, or the operating system or version, for example to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Be sure to select Arm compatible image.

Image Alt Text:alt-text Edit boot disk configuration if necessary

Security and SSH key pair

By default, you can access your instance via the browser. If you wish to use an SSH terminal, you must create and add an appropriate SSH key pair.

Image Alt Text:alt-text Add or create an SSH key pair to access the VM

Other options

Other options, such as Confidential VM service, can optionally be enabled. For now, leave as default (disabled). See the Google Cloud documentation for an explanation of these configurations.

When satisfied, click CREATE. After a few moments the instance will be available and listed in your console .

Image Alt Text:google8 Create the VM instance

Connect to your instance

You can interact with your instance via the browser (SSH-in-browser) or via an SSH terminal application.

SSH-in-browser Connect

Once running, the IP address will be displayed, and you are able to connect to the instance.

Select Open in browser window from the SSH pull-down to open an SSH shell directly.

Image Alt Text:alt-text Open SSH-in-browser through the Google Cloud console

Once connected, you are now ready to use your instance.

SSH client Connect

If an SSH key pair was set, connect to the instance with your preferred SSH client. For example, if using ubuntu image:


            ssh -i <private_key> ubuntu@<public_ip_address>

Replace <private_key> with the private key on your local machine and <public_ip_address> with the public IP of the target VM.

Terminal applications such as PuTTY , MobaXterm and similar can be used.

Once connected, you are now ready to use your instance.

Explore your instance

Run uname

Use the uname utility to verify that you are using an Arm-based server. For example:


            uname -m

will identify the host machine as aarch64.

Run hello world

Install the gcc compiler. If you are using Ubuntu, use the following commands. If not, refer to the GNU compiler install guide :


            sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install -y gcc

Using a text editor of your choice, create a file named hello.c with the contents below:


            #include <stdio.h>
int main(){
    printf("hello world\n");
    return 0;

Build and run the application:


            gcc hello.c -o hello

The output is shown below:


        hello world


Automating Arm Based Infrastructure Deployment

Cloud infrastructure deployment is typically done via Infrastructure as code (IaC) automation tools. There are Cloud Service Provider specific tools like Google Cloud Deployment Manager .

There are also Cloud Service Provider agnostic tools like Terraform .There is a deploying Arm VMs on (GCP) using Terraform learning path that should be reviewed next.