Will Rosner's picture


Ten days ago I signed up for the TurnKey Linux on EC2 - S3-backed Hobby Plan, and I'm still evaluating this service within the 14 day trial period. Last week (5/21) I set up my account and got everything running and up to speed. I was able to use the TKLBAM utility to backup to my account, then launch a new micro server from that backup. I did it multiple times to make sure I understood how everything works, and everything was working fine.

I took a couple of days off fom working with the account. Now when I try and create a new Micro Server form a backup, I receive an error message that says my account does not support the requested instance size. As that happens, I'm redirected to a page where I can see I have a 'Pay-per-Use' plan and that it's activated. So, if my 'Pay-per-Use' plan is activated and I'm still within the timeframe of my free trial period, why can't I create Micro Server Instances?

The TKL Hub will allow me to create a Small Server instance, however. My issue is that the Small Server Instance is not part of the AWS Free Usage Tier, and costs over $50/month. That's not accepable.

I know my AWS Free Tier is working properly because I can create a Micro Server Insance in my AWS Dashboard. I even tried using the AWS Command Line Tools to import my VM to my EC2 Account. Unfortunately, that is non-trivial and I was unsuccessful.

So, what's going on here? I was going to have a couple of my associates sign up for their own accounts so I could take advantage of the Free Micro Servers for Life offer (that I can't seem to find on this site anymore!). Unfortunately, with these issues I'm finding it difficult to recommend this to anyone. I'd also like to know if I'm automatically going to be charged $10/month +10% usage fees, even though I can't seem to get this to work properly for my needs (or even like it did last week!).

I'd appreciate it if you could let me know what the status of this issue is.




Alon Swartz's picture

We are in the process of finalizing a major Hub update, which adds support for TKL 12.1, both 32-bit and 64-bit servers, all the larger instance sizes, the new Sydney region, more reserved instance offerings which allow for up to 73% savings on usage fees, and more... We'll be sending out a detailed announcement soon.

I just fixed a bug that slipped through, so you should now be able to deploy unlimited Micro servers, sorry about that.

Will Rosner's picture

Hi Alon,

Thanks for gettng this taken care of. I'm especially impressed since you fixed it over the weekend.

There's still something I don't quite get though. I signed up for my fourteen day free trial on May 21. I just got my first invoice from Amazon yesterday. There were some charges on there that I don't understand. They were small (under a dime), but it makes me realize that I don't quite get how the billing for this works. I've read other posts in this forum, but it seems that things continually evolve and some of the information may not currently be relevant. Could you please help me understand how the current pricing model works?

Thanks again for the quick fix,


Liraz Siri's picture

Hi Will,

You're not the first to complain that the billing situation with TurnKey and AWS can get a bit complicated to grok. We redesigned the plans & pricing page on the TurnKey Hub last week to try and better explain how all of this works:


Anyhows, you should be able to see exactly what Amazon charged you that dime for in your AWS account's billing statement.

Will Rosner's picture

Hi Liraz,

Thanks for posting that link. I saw that information last week when I was trying to sort through things. The main source of my confusion was that I was looking at it in the middle of the changes you guys were making. When I signed up for the 'Hobbist' level I was looking at what has become the old interface, and just a couple days later was seeing the new one. That coupled with the sheer volume of information available on the AWS site kinda had my head spinning. I'd say that I was just a victim of circumstance as to the timing between my signing up and the changes you guys were making.

THe AWS billing statement does give a concise breakdown on what the expendatures are/were. Please don't think that I'm complaining about the dime either - I just didn't want to get myself into a situation where that dime suddenly turned into an extra hundred bucks/month.

So, has the 'Hobbist' level been completely depricated, or can I still have my associates sign up for an account where I'll still be eligible for the 'free micro servers for life' deal?



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