Exercise - Create a VM to host your web application


Like most application frameworks, you can run your MEAN stack application in many different environments. You can run your application on a physical computer in your server room, on a virtual machine, or in containers.

Here you'll run your application on a VM running on Azure. MEAN supports many different operating systems. For learning purposes, here you'll use Ubuntu Linux.

Create an Ubuntu Linux VM

Normally, you create a resource group before you create other resources on Azure. A resource group is a container that holds the resources that are related for an Azure solution. For this exercise, the Azure sandbox provides a resource group for you. However, when working in your own Azure subscription, you would run the following command to create a resource group in a location near you.


The following az group create code sample is for you to run with your own account, not this sandbox!

az group create \
  --name <resource-group-name> \
  --location <resource-group-location>
  1. From Cloud Shell, run the az vm create command to create an Ubuntu VM.

    az vm create \
      --resource-group <rgn>[sandbox resource group name]</rgn> \
      --name MeanStack \
      --image Canonical:0001-com-ubuntu-server-focal:20_04-lts:latest \
      --admin-username azureuser \

    The command takes about two minutes to complete. When the command finishes, you'll see output similar to this.

    (Output Example)
      "fqdns": "",
      "id": "/subscriptions/00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000/resourceGroups/myResourceGroup/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/MeanStack",
      "location": "eastus",
      "macAddress": "00-0D-3A-1E-1B-3B",
      "powerState": "VM running",
      "privateIpAddress": "",
      "publicIpAddress": "",
      "resourceGroup": "<rgn>[sandbox resource group name]</rgn>",
      "zones": ""

    The VM's name is MeanStack. You'll use this name in future commands to identify the VM you want to work with.

  2. Open port 80 on the VM to allow incoming HTTP traffic to the web application you'll later create.

    az vm open-port \
      --port 80 \
      --resource-group <rgn>[sandbox resource group name]</rgn> \
      --name MeanStack
  3. Create an SSH connection to your VM.

    Although the output from the az vm create command displays your VM's public IP address, you may find it useful to store the address in a Bash variable.

    Start by running az vm show. This command saves the IP address in a Bash variable named ipaddress.

    ipaddress=$(az vm show \
      --name MeanStack \
      --resource-group <rgn>[sandbox resource group name]</rgn> \
      --show-details \
      --query [publicIps] \
      --output tsv)
  4. Connect to your VM like this.

    ssh azureuser@$ipaddress

    When prompted, enter yes to save the VM's identity locally so future connections are trusted.

    You'll use the SSH connection to configure software on the virtual machine in the next parts.


With your Ubuntu VM ready to go, you're ready to install each component of the MEAN stack. You'll start by installing MongoDB.