Quickstart: Create a Linux virtual machine with the Azure CLI 2.0

The Azure CLI 2.0 is used to create and manage Azure resources from the command line or in scripts. This quickstart shows you how to use the Azure CLI 2.0 to deploy a Linux virtual machine (VM) in Azure that runs Ubuntu. To see your VM in action, you then SSH to the VM and install the NGINX web server.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Open Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell is a free, interactive shell that you can use to run the steps in this article. Common Azure tools are preinstalled and configured in Cloud Shell for you to use with your account. Just select the Copy button to copy the code, paste it in Cloud Shell, and then press Enter to run it. There are a few ways to open Cloud Shell:

Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Cloud Shell in this article
Open Cloud Shell in your browser. https://shell.azure.com/bash
Select the Cloud Shell button on the menu in the upper-right corner of the Azure portal. Cloud Shell in the portal

If you choose to install and use the CLI locally, this quickstart requires that you are running the Azure CLI version 2.0.30 or later. Run az --version to find the version. If you need to install or upgrade, see Install Azure CLI 2.0.

Create a resource group

Create a resource group with the az group create command. An Azure resource group is a logical container into which Azure resources are deployed and managed. The following example creates a resource group named myResourceGroup in the eastus location:

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Create virtual machine

Create a VM with the az vm create command.

The following example creates a VM named myVM, adds a user account named azureuser, and generates SSH keys if they do not already exist in the default key location (~/.ssh). To use a specific set of keys, use the --ssh-key-value option:

az vm create \
  --resource-group myResourceGroup \
  --name myVM \
  --image UbuntuLTS \
  --admin-username azureuser \

It takes a few minutes to create the VM and supporting resources. The following example output shows the VM create operation was successful.

  "fqdns": "",
  "id": "/subscriptions/<guid>/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/myVM",
  "location": "eastus",
  "macAddress": "00-0D-3A-23-9A-49",
  "powerState": "VM running",
  "privateIpAddress": "",
  "publicIpAddress": "",
  "resourceGroup": "myResourceGroup"

Note your own publicIpAddress in the output from your VM. This address is used to access the VM in the next steps.

Open port 80 for web traffic

By default, only SSH connections are opened when you create a Linux VM in Azure. Use az vm open-port to open TCP port 80 for use with the NGINX web server:

az vm open-port --port 80 --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myVM

Connect to virtual machine

SSH to your VM as normal. Replace publicIpAddress with the public IP address of your VM as noted in the previous output from your VM:

ssh azureuser@publicIpAddress

Install web server

To see your VM in action, install the NGINX web server. To update package sources and install the latest NGINX package, run the following commands from your SSH session:

# update packages
sudo apt-get -y update

# install NGINX
sudo apt-get -y install nginx

When done, exit the SSH session.

View the web server in action

With NGINX installed and port 80 now open on your VM from the Internet, use a web browser of your choice to view the default NGINX welcome page. Use the public IP address of your VM obtained in a previous step. The following example shows the default NGINX web site:

NGINX default site

Clean up resources

When no longer needed, you can use the az group delete command to remove the resource group, VM, and all related resources. Make sure that you have exited the SSH session to your VM, then delete the resources as follows:

az group delete --name myResourceGroup

Next steps

In this quickstart, you deployed a simple virtual machine, open a network port for web traffic, and installed a basic web server. To learn more about Azure virtual machines, continue to the tutorial for Linux VMs.