Free Amazon S3 and CloudFront Hosting for Students

If you're a student and apply for GitHub Education, you get a lot of cool stuff for free.

Part of this cool stuff apparently is "aws educate" access, I was told:

GitHub Student Developer Pack members receive up to $110 in bonus AWS credits for a total of $75-$150

This means you can host your indie app downloads on S3 and CloudFront for free for a very long time. I wrote a tutorial on how to set up CloudFront to host downloads and potentially static websites. It details the transition of an existing S3 bucket to the modern access rights management and a cached CloudFront endpoint.

If you're new to S3/CloudFront, you can start with these simple steps:

  1. Create S3 bucket: https://console.aws.amazon.com/s3/
    • Disable public access (all of it)
    • Create /public directory in the bucket
    • Upload a /public/index.html with a link back to your website
  2. Set up CloudFront cache: https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/

    You'll be creating a CloudFront user ("Origin Access Identity", with access to S3) and a distribution (public URL endpoint) Best create a new CloudFront Distribution and let the setup do all the work:

    • "Create Distribution", then select the "Web" target
    • Origin Domain Name: Select the S3 bucket target you created in step 1
    • Origin Path: /public
    • Restrict Bucket Access: (1) Yes, (2) Create a New Identity
    • Grant Read Permission: Yes
    • (Leave rest in between as is; ensure you use SSL certificate)
    • Default Root Object: index.html (path is relative to the origin path)

That's it. Wait a while until everything is set up, test the URL, and you should see the contents of your index.html.

Browse the blog archive