Create a Cloud Workstations configuration

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Learn how to get started creating a workstation configuration with Cloud Workstations.

To follow step-by-step guidance for this task directly in the Google Cloud console, click Guide me:

Guide me

Before you begin

Before you begin using Cloud Workstations, be sure that you have the required permissions and that you complete these required setup steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Cloud account. If you're new to Google Cloud, create an account to evaluate how our products perform in real-world scenarios. New customers also get $300 in free credits to run, test, and deploy workloads.
  2. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  3. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Cloud project. Learn how to check if billing is enabled on a project.

  4. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  5. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Cloud project. Learn how to check if billing is enabled on a project.

  6. Enable the Cloud Workstations API.

    Enable the API

  7. Optional: If you don't have workstation configurations available in the Google Cloud console, reach out to your administrator to create a workstation configuration for you, or make sure that you have a Cloud Workstations Admin or Owner role on the project so that you can create these resources yourself.

    Go to the IAM page

Open Cloud Workstations in the console

  1. In the console, go to the Cloud Workstations page.

    Go to Cloud Workstations

    Console landing page

  2. Navigate to the Cloud Workstations > Configurations page.

    Go to Cloud Workstations Configurations

Provide basic configuration information

Workstation configurations provide templates for the creation of consistent workstations across multiple developers, and specify configuration settings such as machine type, disk size, tools, and preinstalled libraries. Any operations performed on a workstation configuration, such as changing the machine type or container image, reflect on each workstation the next time the workstation starts up.

The first step to create a workstation configuration is to select or create a workstation cluster. Workstation clusters manage workstations during their lifecycle and provide configurable network connectivity.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. From the page Cloud Workstations > Configurations page, click Create.

  2. In the Name field, enter the name of your configuration.

  3. Choose from the list of available workstation Clusters and click Continue.

  4. Optional: If no workstation cluster is available, click the expander arrow, select New Cluster, and follow these steps to create your new workstation cluster:

    1. In the Name field, enter test-cluster as the name of your workstation cluster.
    2. Select the Region that is closest to you.
    3. Optional: To create your workstations inside a VPC, expand the Advanced options section and select your custom network.

    4. To create the new workstation cluster, click Create.

  5. For Quick start workstations, select Enabled for faster workstation startup or Disabled for lower cost.

  6. In the console, note that the default Quick start pool size is 1.
    This value specifies the number of virtual machines kept in a pre-started state, which enables faster workstation start times. However, your project is billed for these virtual machines. Choose a pool size based on the number of new developers that you anticipate, your use cases, and your budget. If you choose Disabled, new workstations take longer to start.

  7. Click Continue to progress to the Machine configuration page.

Create a machine configuration

  1. Select a Machine type based on your needs. For example, you might choose e2-standard-4 (4 CPU, 16 GB memory).
  2. In the Cost savings section, set the amount of time to wait before auto-sleep. Leave the Auto-sleep field set to After 2 hours of inactivity (default) to automatically shut down workstations inactive for more than two hours.
  3. Optional: In the Advanced options section, click Expand More.

    1. To add network tags, enter text in the Network tags field.
      Network tags are metadata applied to the underlying Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs) that allow you to make firewall rules and routes applicable to specific VM instances. In Cloud Workstations, you can use network tags to make firewall rules or routes applicable to all the workstations under a workstation configuration.
    2. To disable private IP addresses, select the Disable private IP addresses checkbox.
      If you disable public IP addresses, you must set up Private Google Access for Artifact Registry and Container Registry by setting up DNS records for * and *, or set up Cloud NAT on your network.

    3. To encrypt your data while it is being processed on this VM, select the Confidential VM service checkbox. For details, see Create a Confidential VM instance.

    4. To set Shielded VM settings, select the corresponding feature checkbox. Shielded VM features include trusted UEFI firmware and provides options for secure boot, vTPM, and integrity monitoring.

    5. By default, Cloud Workstations encrypts resources created with this workstation configuration using a Google-managed encryption key. To use a customer-managed encryption key instead, select Use customer-managed encryption key (CMEK).

  4. Click Continue to progress to the Environment customization page.

Customize environment settings

  1. For the container image, select Managed workstation images with preinstalled code editors.
  2. In the Code editors menu, choose the Cloud Workstations base editor or one of the other preconfigured IDEs.
  3. Set the Disk type of your persistent directory to Balanced, which has higher performance (but is more economical than SSD).
  4. Set the Disk size of your persistent directory.
    The default is 200 GB but valid values are 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1000 GB. Choose the disk size that best fits your team's needs.
  5. Optional: Expand Advanced container options.
    If needed, specify additional parameters for the container image being used. For example, specify a working directory override, user override, command overrides, arguments to pass to the entrypoint command, and environment variables.

  6. Click Create to create your workstation configuration.

Add users permissions

To allow multiple users to create workstations using your workstation configuration, you can also add users.

  1. Your list of available configurations appears in the Cloud Workstations > Configurations page.

    Go to Cloud Workstations Configurations

  2. Click Add users.

    Edit permissions from the Configurations page

  3. Select Add principals and enter the email addresses of one or more users or Google groups to which you want to give access.

  4. Skip the Assign roles field if you're new to IAM permissions.

  5. Click Save.

What's next