Alibaba "free trial" questions


I guess if I need to jump the “get a free domain name to try the free trial” hoop, I can manage (as long as it doesn’t require having a credit card - else I’ll just see what I can do with only an IP address). I don’t understand why a business would not want to make things as easy as possible for potential customers and “show off” as much as they could in order to make the best first impression. My impression so far is the free trial is better suited for those that are for the most part already committed to using a Cloud Service and not someone only interested in seeing what’s possible. But what do I know, I’m not a businessman.

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Hi, John.

I’ve created ECS instances many times, I had 16.04LTS available every time, as I recall.



The “free domain” that you expect, and I’ve tried multiple providers, pretty much shouldn’t be an issue if you know what you’re doing.

Setting up an “A” record, or a redirect with any existing domain takes roughly five minutes. There are free domains, or $0.88 domains there.

When someone gives me $300 free credit, I usually dont complain that they didn’t also pay me a cappucino :slight_smile:

@John, yeah, the valid credit card is a requirement…


I have just tried again to create the following server:

Burstable Type t5
1 Core CPU
0.5 GB Memory
Perfect for building websites and blogs.

Selecting Data Center Region - based in China

Produced the following:

According to PRC laws and regulations, users who purchase servers in Mainland China regions must provide real name registration. Real name registration takes 2 to 4 days. In order to enjoy free trial, we suggest you start real name registration >now.

All other regions selected

produced the following:

Important note: At present, ECS instances in this region do not support interchange between Linux and Windows systems.

I do not understand the latter warning message. Does it mean I cannot have a simple server for the selected region?

In both cases only Ubuntu 14.04 or LAMP on Ubuntu 14.04 64bits by IGS was available.

Checking the “Yes I have read the instructions…” activates the Try Now button but produces the following message:

Sorry, you have already tried ECS.


The last note, about interchangeability, it isn’t relevant for this.

Maybe - I’m not sure - there is a cap to how much of the trial money you can spend on ECS.


I never opened server in China zone. Only US and EU.

So, I can’t tell you much about China regulations


I just checked regarding the Ubuntu version, and indeed in the trial screen the only option available is Ubuntu 14.04. However, if you go the console and create an ECS instance there it is possible to select Ubuntu 16.04, also for the t5 burstable instances that the trial offers.

It does however seem that when you create an instance that way you do need to pay for it, even though in the other screen it was free. I can’t know for sure because it refused to create my instance since it deemed my credit card suspicious for some reason :roll_eyes:

Ubuntu 18.04 isn’t available in either screen.


I have been using Linux VPSs for nearly twenty years. I changed VPS hosting a couple of years ago because double available memory cost the same price - a week later the previous host matched the memory, etc :frowning:

I am unable to set the “A” records because I cannot create a host. I am familiar with these settings and also multiple sub-domains, which some of the dozen sites already setup currently use.

The offered credit is appealing but only applies for the first month which as mentioned cannot be claimed because the Free Hosting is refused.

I expected the require credit card details, which is similar to other free hosting offers and noted the fact so any other user would be prepared.

I am not familiar with Cloud Hosting, was hoping to give it a try and monitor the possible benefits. Also to report back to this forum the experience.

Has any user managed to take advantage of the Free Hosting Offer?


I always use VPS - type of services, I don’t think I used managed hosting for like ten years.

For VPS - or SAS / ECS in Alibaba terminology, also, directing your - maybe externally managed - domains A records should be easy.

Provided you create one of those instances.

Pre made images / community images make it extremely easy even if you’re not a command line ninja.

And also free plesk image.


I am unable to set the “A” records because I cannot create a host IP Address.

Has any other SitePoint Forum user managed to create a Free Web Cloud Hosting service?


I’m struggling with the free trial page. It has serious issues but I’m making some progress. It’s slow going because so much is not explained or clear and it seems the page is cluttered with information irrelevant to the process, at least as best as I can make of it so far.

With luck I should be ready to dive into it tomorrow and post a topic on the adventure.


You don’t need to register a new domain name. Alibaba Cloud accounts created after June 1, 2018, 07:00 UTC are eligible for the free trial offers.
See more:

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Thanks for clearing that up for me. I’ve recently noticed the free “dot tech” domain name product.

It’s as simple as finding an unused name, and that will propagate to the trial IP?


This link might help with setting up a free account:

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Alibaba free trial - frustrations, fatal flaws and false starts

Thanks for posting the “new user” link, I did not see that on the “free trial” page. If I had it would have cleared up a lot of my confusion.

Perhaps the most important fact is that the “free trial” is not a free trial at all. It is a “$300 credit”.


I’d say "It is a $300 credit to be used for certain services only”.


Well, it certainly took a lot longer than I imagined it would take to post a topic. But finally


Did you find your way around?


Not as much as I would have preferred to, mainly because account creation is a non-starter for me. But enough to get a general idea about what kind of products are offered, and to put together a topic that will hopefully be of some help for others considering using the service.

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This is a good question. You don’t need to register or transfer a domain name to Alibaba Cloud to enjoy/test their free trial offer unless you are specifically deploying a website that demands for the same.

If you are starting out, you can try their service with the public IP address assigned to you(e.g. when you create an ECS instance)

Also, there are over 40 products that you can try on Alibaba Cloud without necessarily using a domain name for instance. you can provision an ApsaraDB and connect to it without requiring a domain name. They usually assign a free hostname for you to use.

Other products that you can try without a domain name include installing software applications like Apache, PHP, MySQL, WordPress e.t.c

So, you simply use the public IP address and only add a domain name when moving to production.

You can see how the Alibaba Cloud free credit is split among their products.