How to set up an Ict node on a free Google micro VPS

Join the Iota Ict test network using a free Google f1-micro VPS

This is a short add-on to the awesome Ict installation tutorial by Iota discord user lambtho that explains in detail how to get an Ict node running on a Raspberry Pi. It relies on the great all-in-one installer created and maintained by Phil (schaeff). If you want to get Ict running on a Google f1-micro VPS with Debian Linux 9 (stretch), this article here will show where you have to slightly deviate from that tutorial.

If you do not have an f1-micro VPS running yet, get one for free here: How to set up a free micro VPS on Google Cloud Platform. Be aware that although the micro VPS is marketed as “always free”, it is possible that you will be billed for network traffic (> 1GB per month) after the free trial period of one year.

Edit: Since mid of January (2019) the all-in-one installation script was furthermore adapted and expanded so that you can follow the linked tutorial right up to the end. You will have a running ict node then. 
Use the static external IP of your VPS when looking for neighbors.

The only thing that differs on a Google VPS is how to open ports on the firewall. Ict itself only uses one port, but depending on the add-ons (ixis) you want to use, you need to open multiple ports.

By default, the Google firewall blocks incoming connections on all ports. For Ict, we need to open the port 1337 (default).

Go back to Google Cloud Platform and open the Firewall rules page using the navigation menu.

Choose to create a new firewall rule.

A new dialog will appear that lets you define all settings of the new rule. Enter a name for the rule in the Name field, for example, ict.

Then, further down, choose All instances in the network for the Targets option. Enter into the Source IP ranges field to define that this rule applies to all external IP addresses.

Check the udp box and enter the port 1337, then hit Create. After a few seconds, the new rule will be active and allow communication to your Ict node. This is all you need to get your Ict running and communicating. However, if you want to access the web UI, run report.ixi or chat.ixi you will need to open ports for them as well. These are the default ports:

Edit: Previous versions of report.ixi required a dedicated port for their communication. Starting from version 0.6 this is not required anymore.

Ict: 1337 (udp)
R̶e̶p̶o̶r̶t̶.̶i̶x̶i̶:̶ ̶1̶3̶3̶8̶ ̶(̶u̶d̶p̶)̶
Ict web config: 2187 (tcp)
chat.ixi: 2019 (tcp)

While Ict communicates using the udp protocol, you will have to check the tcp box for the web UI and chat.ixi.

You can create separate rules or enter all ports in a single rule by entering multiple comma-separated values (1337 and 2019,2187).

The above screenshots are valid for creating a new rule. When editing a rule, Google switches to a single line for all ports and protocols that where the ports are still separated by commas, but the protocols (udp and tcp) are separated by a semicolon.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to see things changed in this article, come to the Iota Discord server and find me (HBMY289).