FreeMach™ KVMs Are Back! Free servers in US and EU

freemach-2

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

What is FreeMach?

FreeMach was started a little over a year ago (original thread) as a way to give back to the community. The project provides free VPSes to members of the HostBalls and LowEndTalk communities. FreeMach intends to provide a home for community-oriented, development, and/or academic projects.

What’s New?

US Node Extended - Thanks to the generosity of VirMach, the project has been extended through all of 2019 into 2020. The project was initially set to deadpool in Jan 2019, but is now extended till at least 19 Jan 2020.

New EU Node - Alex from AlphaVPS has graciously extended an offer to provide a dedicated server in Sofia, Bulgaria to add to the FreeMach project. This server is being deployed in their new TP-East location.

New websites -

How To Get One?

  1. Review the main website linked above for requirements and VPS specs.
  2. Apply for a VPS using the form linked above.
  3. If approved, information will be received via email. Renewals occur on a monthly basis and are manual.

Additional Details

Application Requirements
  1. Must be an active user of LowEndTalk and/or HostBalls communities
  2. LET or HB account must be at least 3 months old at time of application
  3. Must pass a FraudRecord check ( Do not use a proxy to submit the application )
  4. Expected to have a purpose in mind to use the service (no idlers)
VPS Specifications

EU1.KVM
KVM
2 vCPU (1 dedicated core)
2GB RAM
25GB SSD
1TB @ 1 Gbps
1 IPv4
Sofia, BG

US1.KVM
KVM
2 vCPU
3GB RAM
120GB HDD
1TB @ 1 Gbps
1 IPv4
Buffalo, NY

Host Node Specifications

EU1.HOST
Dual L5630
24GB DDR3
500GB SSD
10TB @ 1 Gbps
Proxmox Virtual Environment
Sofia, BG
AlphaVPS (TP-East DC)
[TOS | AUP]

US1.HOST
E3-1240v3
32GB DDR3
2x1TB HDD (ZFS RAID0)
10TB @ 1 Gbps
5Gbps DDoS Mitigation
Proxmox Virtual Environment
Buffalo, NY
VirMach (ColoCrossing DC)
[TOS | AUP]

Sponsored By

The two FreeMach nodes are sponsored by:

&

Control Panel Sponsored By

The Proxmox-based control panel for the FreeMach project is sponsored by:

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Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind and I’ll be happy to answer. The service has been going strong for the past year with a few members of HB taking part.

The EU node is expected to go live this week, with EU VMs being provisioned towards the end of the month. The remaining US slots are available for provisioning right away.

Cheers!
-Mason

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Sir, you have my respect. I’m literally speechless. I remember your original thread from LET. From the very beginning of FreeMach you were so professional. I’m blown away by your dedication. I can barely imagine the amount of time you put into this project. I really appreciate what you are doing. I also love the transparency and way you choose participants, making sure the VMs are used in a proper way.

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It’s fantastic news that the project is continuing! For anyone that’s interested, I can speak from first-hand experience that this has been a great experience thus far. Obviously there’s no service guarantee, but it’s free, and I’ve encountered next-to-no issues over my extensive use. Thanks again @Mason :heart:

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@MrPsycho, @Wolveix - thanks guys!! :smiley: thank you both for the kind words. Glad to have had you guys as users :slight_smile:

@MrPsycho, if you wish to rejoin the project (if you have a use for such a VM again), then I’d be happy to have you back :slight_smile:

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I mayyy have, but nothing certain just yet. Theoretically I could use the VM to build up my portfolio cheat sheet section, but I also have another project in my mind. Tomorrow I’ll PM you the details to check if you are okay with them :slight_smile:

btw. does the EU VM come with dedicated IPv4? I can’t find any information on that.
Nevermind, I’m blind - it does :smiley:

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First time I am hearing about this. Really gratefull to VirMach and AlphaVPS for this great offer. Applied!

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Awesome. Lovely Virmach :smile:

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Applied, when i can get that?

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I’ll be reviewing applications this weekend. The remaining open US slots will likely be provisioned this weekend, and the EU slots next week/weekend. If approved, you’ll be notified via email.

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Okay, thank you

Hey, did you review?

Today and tomorrow is likely when I’ll review all apps. I’ve gotten 75+ applications to sort through and prioritize. The two open US slots will likely be deployed right away and details sent. I haven’t received info for the EU node, so I wont be able to provision the EU VMs for a bit anyways.

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Hey guys,

Just providing an update -

US VMs - All US VM slots are currently allocated. A few spots may open shortly since three users have yet to renew for March.

EU VPS Node - Deployment of the EU node has been slightly delayed. But the good news is that I’ve been asked for the IP to whitelist for IPMI, so I expect provisioning in the next few days with VMs being allocated at week’s end.

Queue/Deployment Questions - There’s really no transparent way to tell applicants where in the queue they are since it is a priority queue and not a FIFO queue. All I can say is be patient and avoid repetitively asking me if you’ll get a free server or not :stuck_out_tongue: (it’s not bad when one or two people do it, but when 10 people do it, it gets slightly irritating).

Cheers,
-Mason

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Hello all,

It’s been a couple months since I’ve made any public statements about updates to the FreeMach project, so here they are –

ProxCP Sponsorship - The FreeMach project has been generously granted sponsorship of a starter 5-node license to deploy and use the Proxmox-based control panel on our nodes. This awesome panel has been deployed in production on the EU1 node for over a month without any major issues arising. This partnership will ensure the longevity of the FreeMach project as it significantly cuts down on maintenance/support needs since it allows clients to better manage their VM (reinstalls, power operations, firewall rules, etc.). I’ll be posting an in-depth review of ProxCP probably after the three-month mark. Special thanks to @proxcp for making this possible.

EU1 (AlphaVPS BG) VPS Node - After deployment of the server (with the help of @AlexBarakov and Vesko) and installation of ProxCP, all available slots have been assigned (with one slot pending). I did a fair bit of testing on the node before adding VMs and everything is solid and snappy. Each VM effectively gets 1 dedicated core (2 threads) and 2GB of dedicated memory. Haven’t had any complaints or seen any performance issues, so it’s been smooth sailing there. Also, with ProxCP, everything has been a breeze.

US1 (VirMach NY) VPS Node - This host is slated for maintenance in the upcoming weeks to migrate the existing VMs into ProxCP. I’m also taking this opportunity to completely reinstall Proxmox and replace ZFS filesystem with ext4. The memory overhead of ZFS was causing a variety of issues as the node reached capacity, so it’s time to address that. As always, VirMach maintains a solid infrastructure, so there haven’t been any issues in that regard. I expect the reinstall and VPS migration to take place the sometime in the May 17th-19th window. Affected users have already been notified.

Additional Sponsorships/Nodes - I’m putting out some feelers to a few notable hosts to see if anyone may be interested in sponsoring a node for the FreeMach project. I welcome any interested hosts to reach out to me if this interests you. I do my best to make sure the users on your node know who the underlying sponsor is and, of course, add your company’s logo/link to the project’s landing page.

Feel free to post any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

Thanks everyone!,
-Mason

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US1 (VirMach NY) VPS Node is getting its reinstall and migration over to ProxCP tonight. Additionally, there will be 7 or 8 slots to fill on the US node in the next few days after the migration is complete. Accepted applicants will be messaged via HB/LET to make sure they still need a VM for their project.

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@Mason slightly off topic, but would you say ProxCP is only worth it if you ware running more than one node?

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Nah I wouldn’t say that. Even with just a single node, it makes everything easier to maintain and makes deployment/client-management a piece of cake. It’s probably overkill for just personal use, if that’s what you were getting at, though. But if you have clients and they need to manage their VMs, id highly recommend it, even if it’s just a single node. Hopefully that somewhat answers your question.

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ProxCP looked good when I tried, and looks good on Vapornode.

I remember I gave feedback but never received the free license period :frowning_face: I don’t have a use for it now anyway, but idling a license could be fun :smile:

@Michael try it or ask for a demo, it’s good.

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Just posting here rather than bogging everyone down with emails –

We had a (likely) power fault on our EU1 (Sofia, BG) node over the weekend (Saturday @ ~1740 UTC) that knocked the node out for just a few minutes. Everything recovered quickly so I didn’t look more into it. I did, however, notice this morning that most VMs were not flagged to start on boot, thus many were still offline. I’ve relaunched all of the VMs, toggled the start on boot flag, and will make sure this is enabled on future deployments.

Aside from this blip, things have been very stable with low load averages on both machines (~0.5-2 on average). We are still at capacity, with a backlog of applications for when slots eventually open up. Applications can still be submitted regardless to be entered into the queue. ProxCP is working great and has been a very welcomed addition to this project – I would like to write up a solid review once I have time to organize my thoughts.

I may try to canvas to try to find any additional sponsors for this project, but it seems Ne00n and Stefe are kicking ass with their free KVM projects, so there’s no pressing need as the world is already pretty covered with free machines.

Til next time!
Cheers,
-Mason

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