While I was setting up OpenBSD.amsterdam for IPv6 I wanted another IPv6 machine from where I could ping it etc. (I didn’t mention so in the post but I had some troubles initially as there were some routing table errors). I was away of ungleich and their ipv6onlyhosting service – the latter lets you provision VMs that have only IPv6 addresses.
I don’t particularly want a VM and I suppose if I was being serious I could have just done my testing some other way (spin up a VM in Azure perhaps?) but I noticed that they also have an IPv6 VPN wherein they give you a /48 block and that looked interesting (or to put it another way the geek in me who likes to try out new things found it interesting and a good excuse to try something new; it’s not like I really need IPv6, let’s be honest here). This costs 120 CHF per year but if you sign up for any of their VMs you get it for free along with that. Their cheapest VMs are IPv6 only and the lowest offering there is 6.5 CHF/month (78 CHF per year) so it looked like by going for a VM I could pay for the VPN monthly and get it cheaper too. Plus I get a VM to play with and I don’t mind that either. I don’t really need a new VM but am sure I’ll come up with excuses to put it to use.
So I signed up for one of their IPv6 only VMs. You then have to email customer support with a public WireGuard key you generate and they’ll send you the details to put in a WireGuard config file to connect to their endpoint. Basically they were doing the same thing I did with my OpenBSD.amsterdam VM, except that they take care of all the server side steps and I don’t have to muck about with that. This part went fine and I was able to connect to their VPN.
Unfortunately the VM side wasn’t that smooth. After signing up there’s a dashboard you can sign up to – very barebones – and what you can see there is your invoices and VM details. Very irritatingly there’s no way to connect to the console and after digging around their website I found a FAQ which had these details (there’s a different URL to connect to). While signing up for the VM I had to give an SSH public key, and when I tried to connect to the VM from my OpenBSD.amsterdam VM (coz remember I don’t have IPv6 at home and I hadn’t setup things on the OpenBSD.amsterdam side yet nor got the IPv6 details from ungleich) it didn’t work. It kept refusing my pubic key.
The web dashboard has an option to add a public key which gives you the impression you can inject a new one into an existing VM (or that’s the impression I took anyways) but looks like that’s not what it does. I tried adding additional public keys from there and they didn’t help either. Very frustratingly the console didn’t work either so I was stuck. I dropped emails to their customer suport and that was day 1 for me with ungleich.
The next day they got back saying the console should work now and that the VM looked fine. I could now connect via the console and verify that my original public key was added and funnily enough when I tried SSHing now that worked. So am guessing the VM hadn’t provisioned correctly initially… oh well.
At this point I thought it would be good to reinstall and encrypt the VM. My bad, I should have checked with them before signing up if that’s an option, but I kind of assumed I’d have console access and be able to reinstall the VM (at least I’ve been able to do that with most VPS providers and recently with OpenBSD.amsterdam). Turns out I can’t. It’s high in their feature list according to the support person but when I asked if there was some way they could just pop in the OS ISO and I can do the install he went silent. That was a bummer coz I guess I am not going to use this VM after all. I asked if there was some way of signing up on an email list where I could be informed when this feature is available, but didn’t hear back on that either.
I waited a few days to hear back and today decided to cancel the VM. I hope I have cancelled it coz I couldn’t find any info on how to cancel your subscription, but I did find a “Terminate VM” button in my dashboard that kills my VM and hopefully that will cancel my subscription too.
It’s a pity the experience wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be. I guess I was just unlucky in that the initial sign-in experience didn’t go well, and added to that there was no disk encryption… if the latter was available or they just let me install the OS myself and setup encryption such that I’d have to connect via the console each time to enter the passphrase I would have stuck on. And… this is nitpick I know but that dashboard was super barebones! Their websites are awesome with some amazing artwork and comics, coming from that you don’t expect a barebones dashboard. :) It does what it’s designed for of course, so just an expectations thing I suppose.
Anyhoo that was my brief experience with ipv6onlyhosting.com.