Microsoft and Red Hat have collaborated to offer free Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on Azure deployments to developers. Users with a Visual Studio subscription or Azure Free accounts will get free access, with a few caveats.

Currently, Azure free users get $250 credit for the first month and various free services for a year. As part of the offering, they’ll now be able to deploy RHEL. A similar deal is available to Visual Studio subscribers, who get up to $150 in monthly Azure credit, which can now be spent on RHEL.

Strings Attached

Essentially, it’s not the no strings attached deal some may be expecting, but it’s a great offer nonetheless. RHEL is the most deployed commercial Linux OS for public cloud, and this should make it easier for developers to get started.

“Red Hat solutions running on Microsoft Azure can help you develop and launch applications quickly without deploying and configuring additional hardware,” said Microsoft’s Jose Miguel Parella. “Developers can also seamlessly integrate traditional on-premises applications and cloud-native workloads with a consistent foundation for hybrid environments. And, Red Hat and Microsoft have worked together to fully support .NET in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, giving you more choice for your development platform.”

You can find RHEL 7.5 by searching the ‘Create a resource’ section in the Azure Portal. Afte reading the terms and choosing a deployment model, you’ll be ready to launch it in a B1S VM.

You can sign up for an Azure free account on the official website.