Although they’ve recently changed the pricing structure, ArubaCloud still has a few less-desired areas where you can setup a 1GB RAM/20GB HD VPS for €1/mo.

First of all, get your account setup and topped off. If your primary phone contact is not a cell phone, they’ll still send you a text of your account password- so ensure you have a valid email address/secondary contact- this may take a few hours.

Now, after your account is setup, create a new Linux based host. I used Debian 7 64 bit, because I am familiar with it, and I know it gives proper virtual SCSI and ethernet interfaces. Install the QEMU package and all necessary updates to the system to ensure you don’t have issues while doing your installation (apt-get dist-upgrade, disable SSH root login). This can be easily accomplished with:

apt-get -y install qemu

Take note of your network configuration- this is NOT advertised via DHCP. You’ll need your IPv4 IP, gateway, and netmask. Usually you are on a full /24. Do an ifconfig/route/netstat -nr – however you usually get your network information should suffice. Of course, the standard way for Debian 7 is to read /etc/network/interfaces.

Download the latest OpenBSD 6 CD installation ISO. At the time of this writing, it’s ‘cd60.iso’. You have a full amd64 virtual host, so use that- or i386 if for some reason you don’t want the 64 bit release.

Now, you are ready to load QEMU w/ OpenBSD. You’ll want to pass it your CD and HD information. I prefer to load the ISO as the primary atapi drive, and the actual HD as secondary, so if I am not thinking it through- it’ll error out.

qemu-system-x86_64 -curses -drive file=cd60.iso -drive \
 file=/dev/sda -net nic -net user

This will load through the terminal curses interface, with an emulated NAT device for passthrough.

Let it boot, partition your disk, do your full installation (noting that the standard drive is wd1, with wd0 being our boot media), and the network interface is an internal DHCP setup. Ensure you update your /mnt/etc/hostname. (in most cases, this should be hostname.em0).

The format for IPv4 in OpenBSD is standardly:

inet MY_IP_ADDR MY_NETMASK MY_BROADCAST_ADDR

Put your gateway in /etc/mygate:
MY_GATEWAY_ADDR

Make sure you get this correct. Triple check, or you’ll end up having to use the rather archaic virtual terminal interface.

Edit /mnt/etc/resolv.conf – and set your proper nameservers, or use the stock Google ones, 8.8.8.8, and 8.8.4.4.

Halt the device from the command line, then press Escape, then the number 2- then blindly type quit to return to your Linux/Debian host.

Reboot the host. If reboot fails, you’re safe to stop and restart the system from the Aruba control panel, as you have safely written and closed your OpenBSD to the real drive.

Reboot the machine, and watch your virtual console session if so inclined. Within a few seconds, you’ll have your OpenBSD 6 VPS online. Make all of your usual changes (adding IPv6 if you wish, et al), and make use of your cheap ArubaCloud Puffy VPS!