Check out the other Google Hacking experiments in Apps Script

In a previous sequel to our Apps Script programming series, we teamed up with ConvertAPI and sent it a payslip in a password-protected PDF. ConvertAPI decrypted it, converted it into plain text and we could then process it further – for example, save the net salary data for the given month in the Google Docs table.

It worked great because even though it’s a paid service, every newcomer gets a start free 1,500 seconds. At ConvertAPI, you pay for the time the servers spend processing your request. Decrypting a PDF and converting it to plain text took about 5 seconds, so the service can serve individuals for months and years without paying a single crown.

Today we are launching a free Linux server and a PDF decoder on it

Well, but what if we wanted to process the PDF on our own axis? After all, not everyone wants to share similar sensitive documents with a third party. Apps Script itself can’t do anything like that yet, and writing a raw PDF decoder in its Javascript would be extremely inefficient. Of course, this is possible in principle.

Instead, we will run our own Linux server today. A server that:

  • will have its own public IP address
  • will be under our full control
  • we will be able to run any applications on it
  • and we will not pay a crown for it

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Wait, wait, that’s not possible. But it is, free services – the so-called. free tier – some providers offer comprehensive cloud hosting. Years ago, the free tier connection was especially famous for Google, in whose ecosystem Cloud you can run for example a simple virtual server with performance comparable to an older Raspberry Pi.

But we will try it today on a competitive service Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Registration there may be a little easier.

Free tier DIY is plenty

Free tier takes many forms, but in practice it is usually a basic free quota. When you enter it, you pay nothing. For a variety of services offering APIs for developers, this requires 100 free calls per month, and if you need more, your credit card will be deducted.

With a classic virtual private server (VPS), this may be the simplest iron with limited connectivity to the Internet, on which you will not start a website the size of Živě.cz, even in the wildest dream, but the system resources will be rich enough to run on the Internet. a bunch of apps that only you, your smart boxes of the Internet of Things, and so on will access. You do not need an eight-core processor or higher gigabytes of RAM for this.

Mainly choose a good home

Enough talk, let’s go. As we said above, let’s try it on the Oracle Cloud infrastructure, which also offers its own own free tier program and a 30-day window during which you will get several thousand virtual crownsthat you can cheerfully spend on paid services. Maybe a more powerful virtual processor.

As it is written in the book of Genesis, God created the first day registration form and on that, our journey begins in the case of Oracle Cloud. After verifying the email, you need to select home area – a data center in a specific geographical location where we will run all our services.

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Attractive military virtual machine tariffs are only available in Oracle’s less busy data centers

Some Oracle data centers are busier than others and cannot run free virtual army computers from the package on them Ampere A1 Compute (about them later), according to the help, so in the end I chose Amsterdam as my homeland – one of the key European network nodes.

It will not work without a credit card

Even if you do not pay a penny for the use of cloud services and in compliance with the free tier, you must fill in the details of your payment card, which will be temporary and roughly twenty-crown blockwhich serves both to verify the identity and for a possible later transition to paid services.

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In order to use cloud hosting from Oracle, you need at least basic credit card authentication, even if you don’t pay for anything later. Verification will create a $ 20 credit block

It makes sense, if everyone could use free tier and completely anonymously, it would soon become a hub for various botnets and malware in general (but this happens anyway).

Hello, I would like a few virtual machines and I don’t want to pay a penny

Once you have completed the registration, the Oracle Cloud portal will appear in front of you, where you are already in samošce you select the goods you are interested in. Services that are compatible with the free tier program are clearly labeled, so you can be sure that they offer a free quota. They can be various APIs, database services, etc.

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What is labeled Always Free Eligible is free when the free tier quota is met

We want to start a virtual machine with a public IP address and Linux, so we aim at the card Create a VM instance.

Ubuntu, CentOS, Oracle Linux …

In the form, we first choose the name of our instance. Maybe virtualnipc. Item Placement (geographical location / data center) we will leave in the initial state, because we are much more interested Image and shape.

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Choosing an operating system for our virtual machine. Linux systems are always free-eligibleOracle does not charge a fee for them and we will fit into the free tier

Image represents an image of a virtual operating system and shape virtual hardware configuration. By default, Oracle, of course, prefers its own Oracle Linux (based on Red Hat), but you can also choose CentOS, Ubuntu and there is also Windows Server, which no longer belongs to the free tier program. I finally chose Ubuntu 20.04 with extended support.

Free AMD processor and 1 GB RAM

And now the one shape. Oracle Cloud will offer a free iron tariff by default VM.Standard.E2.1.Micro. In practice, these will be:

  • 1 strongly aggregated CPU core AMD EPYC 7551 (Naples)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Network throughput 0.48 Gb / s
  • 45 GB root partition (Ubuntu takes up about 2.7 GB)
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Free virtual iron

To make matters worse, you can run two virtual machines with these parameters in the free tier.

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And this is already a view of the machine through a remote SSH terminal. The / root directory is mounted on a 45 GB partition, so storage will not be a problem
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And a look at RAM. There is 995 MB available and the OS will only get part of it

Flexible and armored Ampere A1 Compute

When registering, I mentioned that it is good to choose some of the less busy data centers, which Oracle points out, in which there will be a higher probability of availability of a virtual machine from the tariff VM.Standard.A1.Flex. It can also be free and offers much more.

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Flexible Ampere works differently. In free tier, you have a certain number of GB-hours and CPU-hours per month for free with this tariff, and it depends on you how you compose them.

It only has one hook. Because Ampere A1 Compute instances are really hot, they are often unavailable. But if you try it every day, you will succeed once.

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Take it while they are free …

It’s really something to happen when you start with a document Always Free Resourcesyou will find that in addition to the two Micro machines with AMD processors, you can, in the case of the flexible Ampere A1 tariff draw free monthly:

  • 3,000 hours of aggregated CPU core
  • 18,000 hours of RAM
  • And all this on a 2.8GHz ARM Ampere Altra 80C processor

If we convert it into something more tangible, it corresponds to 4 virtual cores of an arm CPU and 24 GB of memorywhich you can use for the flexible tariff VM.Standard.A1.Flex for one supermachine, or several machines. Only one will then communicate with the Internet via public IP, while the others will only communicate with each other in the internal virtual network.

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We also have 45GB of storage on the Ampere tariff
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This time I increased the RAM capacity a bit …

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