Free Dyno Hour FAQ
Last updated 07 July 2016
Table of Contents
- Why is Heroku changing how Free dynos work? What are the changes?
- How many Free dyno hours will I receive?
- How often is my quota updated?
- When do these changes take effect? Are these changes final?
- How will the Free dyno hour quota be enforced?
- How will I know what my current quota is, and how much of it I have used?
- How do I ensure that an important app runs all month even if other apps consume all my free dyno hours?
- Can I use Free dyno hours on other dyno types like Standard 1X, Standard 2X etc?
- What’s the difference between a Free dyno and a Hobby dyno?
- Do apps I am collaborated on use my Free dyno hours?
- Do Free dynos still sleep after 30 minutes of no web traffic?
- What if my app has a web and a worker dyno?
Why is Heroku changing how Free dynos work? What are the changes?
Heroku’s Free dynos give every developer the opportunity to learn, play, and experiment with the latest developer technologies completely free of charge.
Prior to June 1, Free dynos could run up to 18 hours per day. While this dyno has overall made the service easier to understand, the limitations of the Free dyno have been at times confusing and difficult to work with.
Beginning June 1, we introduced a new, more flexible model—free dyno hours are allocated and managed on a per account, instead of a per app, basis. Free dyno hours are applied across all apps running on free dynos in your account; this allows you to run a single app (like a chat bot) 24x7, or allow many apps to work on a more occasional basis.
Each account will receive a monthly quota of Free dyno hours to pull from—when any Free dyno is active, i.e. when an app is not sleeping, it uses hours from the quota. As long as there are dyno hours left in your monthly quota, your Free dynos can run.
How many Free dyno hours will I receive?
New Heroku accounts will receive one thousand (1000) Free dyno hours per month when verified with a credit card, and five hundred fifty (550) Free dyno hours if the account is unverified. Note that in order to limit abuse, accounts will need to verify with a credit card (you will not be charged) to get the full 1000 Free dyno hours per month.
If you are already using more than 1000 free hours today, we will automatically give you additional quota up to 2500 Free dyno hours / month, so that you can continue to run your free apps as you do today.
The amount of Free dyno hours you receive will be computed based on your usage of Free dynos in April.
How often is my quota updated?
The quota is updated once a day.
When do these changes take effect? Are these changes final?
Accounts will be automatically migrated on or after June 1, 2016; you will receive an email and dashboard notification when your account has been updated. After that migration date, all new Heroku accounts will use the Free dyno hour quota for running free dynos as well.
How will the Free dyno hour quota be enforced?
In order to smooth the transition to this model, we will run in warning-only mode from early June until early August. During this period, we’ll provide ‘soft’ notifications to give you the opportunity to adjust your Free dyno hour usage if it exceeds your monthly Free dyno hour quota. Customers will receive a maximum of two emails in a month, one when their account reaches 80% and another when their account reaches 100% of the monthly Free dyno hour quota.
After early August, if you go over your quota in a given month, all free dynos on your account will sleep for the remainder of that month. As a result, any apps using free dynos will not be accessible for the remainder of the month. This doesn’t affect any paid apps you may have, which will continue to run.
How will I know what my current quota is, and how much of it I have used?
Free dyno quota will be available in both the CLI and Dashboard billings tab. The command for viewing quota in the CLI is
heroku ps. You will also be able see how much of your monthly Free dyno hours you have used.
$ heroku ps -a <app name> 650 free dyno hours (65%) used 350 hours remaining
How do I ensure that an important app runs all month even if other apps consume all my free dyno hours?
Free dyno hours are meant to be used for your experiments. If you are running many apps and you risk running out of free dyno hours, you should upgrade your most important apps to Hobby dynos. By upgrading an important and “busy” app, you not only ensure that this app will continue running, you also make more free dyno hours available to the remaining experimental apps.
Can I use Free dyno hours on other dyno types like Standard 1X, Standard 2X etc?
No, Free dyno hours are what power Free dynos. All usage of Hobby, Standard 1X, Standard 2X, Performance-M and Performance-L dynos is paid based on the prices listed at www.heroku.com/pricing, prorated to the second.
What’s the difference between a Free dyno and a Hobby dyno?
Free dynos are intended for developers to learn, experiment and play with the latest developer technologies.
- With these changes, Free dynos run using an account-based pool of Free dyno hours.
- Free dynos may be able to run up to 24 hours a day, depending on how many Free dynos your apps use and how long they are active for.
- Free web dynos sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity
- Free dynos are always free to use.
- Apps running on free dynos may have 1 web, 1 worker and 1 one-off dyno only
- Free dynos can use custom domains
- Apps running Free dynos can have SSL terminated on *.herokuapp.com
With Hobby dynos, you can more affordably run your personal projects 24x7 with all the ease of the Heroku developer experience.
- Hobby dynos run 24x7 until you scale them down
- Hobby dynos never sleep
- Hobby dynos are $7/month, prorated to the second
- Hobby dynos let you build more complex apps, with up to 10 worker process types each with its own worker dyno
- Heroku Free SSL with support for custom domains is included with Hobby dynos
Do apps I am collaborated on use my Free dyno hours?
No. Only apps that you own that have an actively running Free dyno consume your Free dyno hours. Apps that you are collaborated on do not consume your Free dyno hour quota.
Do Free dynos still sleep after 30 minutes of no web traffic?
Yes. If an app has a web dyno that runs using a Free dyno, and that web dyno receives no traffic in a 30 minute period, the web dyno will sleep. In addition to the web dyno sleeping, the worker dyno (if present) will also sleep. Free dynos do not consume Free dyno hours while sleeping.
If a sleeping web dyno receives web traffic, it will become active again after a very short delay. If the app has a worker dyno that was scaled up before sleeping, it will be scaled up again too.
Apps that consist only of worker or scheduler dynos do not sleep, and so will continue to consume Free dyno hours for as long as they are running.
What if my app has a web and a worker dyno?
Free apps running Free dynos may have 1 web, 1 worker and 1 one-off dyno. Each dyno will consume Free dyno hours while active. For sleeping behavior of these dynos see the previous question.