hands-on lab

Start Your First Azure Virtual Machine (Linux)

Up to 1h 30m
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
See resultsTrack your knowledge and monitor your progress.


Lab Overview

Microsoft Azure is comprised of compute infrastructure and cloud services that Information Technology (IT) professionals and developers use to build, deploy and manage their applications.  This is a beginner level Lab that focuses on the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) component of Azure. The legacy model of IT includes purchasing, shipping, receiving, configuring, and booting up your infrastructure. In this Lab, you will launch your first Linux Virtual Machine (VM) in Azure in minutes… not days or weeks!


  • SSH key generation and client software installed on your local machine. (For example, PuTTY and PuTTYgen for Windows users)
  • Basic understanding of Information Technology (IT)

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lab, you will be able to:

  • Log in and use the basics of the Microsoft Azure portal
  • Generate an RSA key pair for a secure shell (SSH) connection (uses PuTTYgen)
  • Configure a Linux VM
  • Launch a VM
  • Connect to the VM with SSH (via either ssh client (Linux) or PuTTY (Windows))
  • Perform basic VM controls (start, stop, restart, delete)

Lab Environment

Before completing the lab instructions, the environment will look as follows:

After completing the lab instructions, the environment should look similar to:


April 26th, 2024 - Updated lab to use CentOS 8.5 image

February 8th, 2023 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

September 7th, 2021 - Updated instructions and images to reflect the latest portal experience

April 16th, 2021 - Moved validation checks to the most relevant lab step for more immediate validation feedback

December 14th, 2018 - Added a validation Lab Step to check the work you perform in the Lab

July 13th, 2018 - Updated resource security policy to allow more regions and modified instructions to always use the East US region

June 29th, 2018 - Updated screenshots and virtual machine configuration to reflect Azure changes

October 1th, 2018 - Updared screenshots and instructions to reflect Azure changes

About the author


Greg has been a consistent high performer for pioneering technologies in the wireless web industries with an illustrious career that is a testament to his breadth of knowledge. Dabbling with MS Azure, at Cloud Academy, Greg really thrives on evangelizing the benefits of Amazon Web Services. A dedicated and passionate professional who learns new and emerging technologies quickly, Greg always ensures the highest quality and caliber of everything he produces.

Covered topics

Lab steps

Logging in to the Microsoft Azure Portal
Generating SSH Keys
Configuring and Launching a Linux VM
Connecting to the Virtual Machine (SSH)