Create a Windows VM in Azure and RDP from Linux.

Estimate Azure VM pricing

Open the Azure pricing calculator here

Select Virtual Machine and scroll down to see the calculator.

If you are using the VM only for Power BI then a 4GB of RAM might be good enough. However, if you use it for Power BI and one more program like Visual Studio, the applications will crash with only 4GB, then use 8GB RAM.

On the calculator, leave the defaults:

  • Region: Central US
  • OS: Windows
  • Type: OS Only
  • Tier: Basic
  • Instance: A2: 2 Cores, 3.5GB RAM, 60GB Temporary Storage, $0.085/hour
  • Virtual machine: 1
  • Number of hours:
    • Let’s say that you work on PowerBI 4 hours per day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks. Total hours 80
    • Monthly cost so far is $9.20/month
  • Compute (A2): Pay as you go
  • OS (Windows): License included

Changing the instance to A3 with 7GB gives $17.44/month

However, when creating a VM below, there aren’t A instances. The lowest letter is B.

Create a Virtual Machine in Azure with 8GB RAM

Go to your Azure dashboard. (Or open a free Azure account)

In the search, type virtual machine and select the service.

On the drop down, click Create and then Azure virtual machine

Project details

  • Choose a resource group or create one.

Instance details

  • Enter a name
  • Select the region closest to you.
  • Availability options: Leave default No infrastructure redundancy required
  • Security type: Leave default Trusted launch virtual machines
  • Image: Select Windows 10 Pro, version 21H2 - x64 Gen2 (free services available)
  • VM architecture: By default it should be x64
  • Size
    • The default is too expensive Standard_D2s_v3 - 2vcpus, 8GiB memory ($96.36/month)
    • Click See all sizes
      • Review the prices for B-Series (they are the cheapest)
        • B2s ($30.37/mo) has 2 vcpus, 4GB RAM, 8GB temp storage
        • B2ms ($60.74/mo) has 2 vcpus, 8GB RAM, 16GB temp storage
    • Select B2s

4GB is too low

A few weeks after I installed PowerBI on a VM with the B2s and installing Visual Studio. These two applications crash if you try to open them at the same time.

Either, only open one application at a time to save money. Or upgrade the instance to B2ms.

Size not available for a Region

I am in Central US so I usually pick that as a Region, however, sometimes the size I want is not available.

Follow these steps to check:

  • Select Region Central US
  • Image Windows 11 Pro, version 21H2, x64 Gen2
  • Size, see all sizes, search for B2ms, results in Size not available
  • Back to the VM settings
  • Select Region East US (changing the location will create a new resource group if the rg is in another region)
  • Same image Windows 11 Pro
  • Size, see all sizes, search for B2ms, it shows as available.

Admin account

  • Create a username
  • Create a password

Inbound port rules

  • Public inbound ports: Allow selected ports
    • Select RDP
    • (This will allow all IP addresses to access your VM. This is only recommended for testing. Use the Advanced controls in the Networking tab to create rules to limit inbound traffic to known IP addresses)


Check I confirm I have an eligible Windows 10/11 license with multi-tenant hosting rights

Click on Next: Disks

Disks/OS Disk

  • OS disk type: Change to Standard SSD

Click on Next: Networking


Leave defaults or assign the Vnet, subnet, and other settings.

Click on Review + create

Review + create

Review all details then click Create.

When ready click go to resource

Configure Networking after Deployment

Once the VM is created go to:

  • Networking
  • Select the inbound port rule for RDP
  • Select a Source to choose which IPs to connect from

The VM starts when created

Azure charges you when the VM is running. If you don’t want to get charged:

  • Go to the VM/Overview
  • Click on Stop

RDP on Linux

Follow my tutorial RDP from Linux to an Azure VM

Connect to the VM

Go to the VM, then Connect drop down, select RDP.

If you are on Windows or OSX. Click on Download RDP File to connect to the VM.

If you are on Linux, the IP number of the VM is on this screen, then follow above steps.

If it asks to accept the certificate, select Yes.

The Windows VM should start loading as if you just bought a new Windows laptop.

Choose privacy settings for your device. Set everything to No and Accept. Networks popup select No

Use choco to install programs with Powershell

See Use Chocolatey in Windows Powershell to Install Programs

Optionally install:

  • SSMS
  • Notepad++
  • Azure Data Studio
  • DAX Studio

Shut down the VM

When done working with the VM.

  • Shut down the machine in Windows
    • Go to the bottom bar, shut down.
    • The RDP connection should close.
  • Go to Azure
    • Find the VM and click Stop.
    • The status MUST appear as Stopped (deallocated) (it takes a few seconds)

As seen in this article, it is recommended to auto shutdown the VM in case you forget to do it.

  • Go to Azure
  • Find the VM
  • Left menu Operations
  • Enter a time to shutdown, then Save.