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What You Need to Know About Buying A Hetzner Auction Server


Certainly there is a lot to like about Hetzner. One of the best known server providers, Hetzner has a great reputation for dependable cheap dedicated servers and inexpensive pricing.

Hetzner has extensive dedicated root server offerings in their Falkenstein, Germany and Helsinki, Finland data centers. Additionally, Hetzner Cloud servers are available very inexpensively in Falkenstein, in Helsinki, and in Ashburn, Virginia, USA.

I frequently visit Hetzner’s site and scan their server listings. Usually I gaze at their most powerful current offerings, such as the EX100.

Besides their current offers, Hetzner also has its Server Auction, The Hetzner auction lists dedicated root servers, usually those recently retired from the current offerings. The auction runs in the Dutch style, where the prices start higher and then gradually drop until someone buys.

More About The Server Auction

Significantly, Hetzner auction servers typically have no setup fees. Although many of Hetzner’s current (non-auction) offerings also have no setup fees, for their most desirable servers, Hetzner often charges an amount approximately equal to a month’s server rent as a setup fee. What’s happened to me twice already this year has been visiting the EX100 page, looking at the setup fee, and then buying something less expensive from the auction page.

The Server Auction FAQ

Hetzner’s Documentation includes their Server Auction FAQ. As I was researching this post, I heard that the most frequently asked of the Frequently Asked Questions might be whether auction servers come with free backup space.

Why I Like The Auction Servers

With Hetzner auction servers, I enjoy installing and configuring bare metal root servers with different operating systems and services. I thought some of you might be interested to see how it looked last night when I rented a Hetzner dedicated auction server.

Last Night’s Look At The Server Auction

When I look at the server auctions, I start by scanning at the least expensive servers. Then I look at the most expensive. The most expensive servers typically are more recent, and these often have extra drives. They cost too much for my Low End Taste. The least expensive servers typically don’t have features I want, such as ECC memory. Thus, I end up looking around somewhere above the bottom and below the middle of the auction spectrum.

Buying A Server From The Auction

Last night, though, my eyes fell upon this server a little more toward the high end than usual for me. It’s the one in the middle of this screenshot:

Screenshot of Hetzner Server Auction Listing

Hmm. Too expensive, I thought. But, wait! Look at all that memory! 256 GB! And, it’s ECC! And four drives. Not one, not two. Two sets of two! 20 TB of spinning rust plus 1 TB of SSD. Hmm. Let’s check the details:

Server Details Screenshot

Hmm. DDR4! Hmm. Registered! Oh! €94.70! That’s a lot! 💰 . . . Hit the Order Button! 💸

Screenshot of the Order Button

The order looked okay. I added an ssh public key:

Screenshot of ssh key

Next came the Shopping Cart checkout screen:

Shopping Cart Screenshot

Then the confirmation:

Order Confirmation Screenshot

4 Minute Delivery Of The Ordered Server

The above order confirmation screenshot’s creation timestamp is September 12, 2022 at 10:33:52 MST. Hetzner’s email with login instructions was timestamped 10:37:44. So Hetzner delivered the server approximately 4 minutes after the order was confirmed.


A moment later, I was in:

bash:~$ date -u; ssh root@188.re.dac.ted
Tue 13 Sep 2022 05:44:16 AM UTC
The authenticity of host '188.re.dac.ted (188.re.dac.ted)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:4cb73d87322be8cdc8ded75eb4619966212680191c7c64.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? yes
Warning: Permanently added '188.re.dac.ted' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
Linux rescue 5.19.5 #1 SMP Tue Aug 30 12:51:25 UTC 2022 x86_64

Welcome to the Hetzner Rescue System.

This Rescue System is based on Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye) with a custom kernel.
You can install software like you would in a normal system.

To install a new operating system from one of our prebuilt images, run 'installimage' and follow the instructions.

Important note: Any data that was not written to the disks will be lost during a reboot.

For additional information, check the following resources:


Rescue System up since 2022-09-13 07:37 +02:00

Hardware data:

CPU1: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1650 v3 @ 3.50GHz (Cores 12)
Memory: 257652 MB
Disk /dev/sda: 10000 GB (=> 9314 GiB) doesn't contain a valid partition table
Disk /dev/sdb: 480 GB (=> 447 GiB) doesn't contain a valid partition table
Disk /dev/sdc: 480 GB (=> 447 GiB) doesn't contain a valid partition table
Disk /dev/sdd: 10000 GB (=> 9314 GiB) doesn't contain a valid partition table
Total capacity 19 TiB with 4 Disks

Network data:
eth0 LINK: yes
MAC: ct:ed:re:da:ct:ed
IP: 188.re.dac.ted
IPv6: reda:cted:reda:cted::2/64
Intel(R) Gigabit Ethernet Network Driver

root@rescue ~ #

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