There's something about "web scale" cloud VM providers that encourage their developers to overengineer the hell out of everything, including web interfaces and command line tools. Thankfully Google lowered the bar by shipping gcutil, which is more or less a straight, simple Python script, unlike Amazon's previous effort (which, maddeningly, required _Java_).
Still gcutil didn't escape unscathed: one does not simply addinstance into Mordor! But at least it includes a defaults mechanism that absolves us from endlessly dealing with flags and confirm prompts.
My current ~/.gcutil.flags looks like:
Which is enough to make addinstance and deleteinstance just freaking do what I mean. For a barebones experience, killing off the default firewall might also be desirable:
gcutil deletefirewall default-ssh
gcutil addfirewall do-what-i-mean-tcp --allowed tcp:1-65535
gcutil addfirewall do-what-i-mean-udp --allowed udp:1-65535
Finally, creating and destroying an instance is as simple as:
gcutil addinstance test1
gcutil ssh test1
gcutil deleteinstance test1
Woah! It's as if this stuff was really trivial..