In this tutorial, we will look at how to install Proxmox VE. Proxmox VE is a type-1 hypervisor that can run different operating systems virtually. It’s Debian-based and allows you to set up different virtual machines or containers.
Overall, Proxmox is a great hypervisor that will allow you to get into virtualization quickly as it’s very user-friendly. There’s also tons of great information online about it so you’ll have a lot of support when trying to implement different solutions.
Proxmox VE is free, though they do offer a license that will give you paid support. There’s a popup that occurs when you install the free version of Proxmox, but you can simply click through it to use the OS.
Before we look at how to install Proxmox, let’s look at exactly what Proxmox is.
What is Proxmox?
Proxmox is an open-source server virtualization management solution. Proxmox allows you to manage virtual machines, containers, storage, virtualized networks, and HA (High Availability) clustering through a single, web-based platform.
One of the best aspects of Proxmox is its ability to host virtual machines (VMs) and containers. VMs are full systems that run inside your Proxmox server. Each VM has its own operating system and defined system resources.
Containers (LXC) are lightweight and share the host’s OS, but isolate the application processes. LXC containers give you the option to determine if its better to run the application or service in a VM or container.
Proxmox also has great storage and network options. It supports a variety of storage systems including LVM, iSCSI, NFS, and ZFS – the last of which offers great data protection features. From a network perspective, Proxmox provides advanced capabilities such as support for VLAN tagging and network bonding.
Finally, arguably the best feature of Proxmox is the user-friendly web interface that allows you to manage virtual machines and containers. It simplifies the entire process and is a great way for users to learn how to manage and interact with virtual machines and containers.
Prerequisites to Installing Proxmox
We will look at how to install Proxmox VE below. Please make sure that you download the latest Proxmox VE ISO installer. To write the ISO image to a USB stick, you can use a tool like Etcher for Windows, Mac, or Linux. You also need a way to connect to the Proxmox console, with one of my favorite ways being with a KVM Switch.
Creating a Bootable Proxmox VE USB Drive – Etcher Instructions
After you download and launch Etcher, select the Proxmox VE ISO image, select your USB stick, then Flash! This will write the ISO image to the USB stick.
After it’s done writing, you’ll have to boot your machine from this USB stick. Every machine will be different, but if you’re having trouble, enter the BIOS and make sure that you can boot from USB.
You must also confirm that the machine you’re using supports virtualization and that it’s enabled in the BIOS.
How to Install Proxmox VE
After you boot from the USB drive that we created in the last step, there are a few different settings that you’ll have to configure in order to finish setting up Proxmox.
1. At the first screen, select Install Proxmox VE.
2. If you agree with the terms, select I agree.
3. Select the target hard disk where you’d like to install Proxmox VE. When you’ve selected the correct hard drive, select Options.
4. These options will allow you to select the filesystem that you’d like to use. If you want to utilize software RAID, you can configure it as well. You also have the option of using other file systems (Ext4 for example) if you only plan on using one hard drive. Select OK and then proceed to the next step.
5. Select your Country, Timezone, and Keyboard Layout, then proceed.
6. Enter in the administrator password that you’d like to use, an email address, then proceed.
7. Select the correct Management Interface, enter in a hostname, then set the IP address that you’d like to use, as well as the gateway and DNS server.
NOTE: If you can set up DHCP leases on your DHCP server (most people’s router), set a DHCP lease for Proxmox so that the IP address never changes.
8. A summary page will appear – confirm all the settings are correct and proceed.
9. Proxmox will now install!
10. Give the installation process a little while to install and reboot. When it does, you should be able to access Proxmox by navigating to the IP address and port listed below.
11. Login with the username root and the password you set up above.
Proxmox Management Interface
The Proxmox web interface is where you can set up virtual machines and containers, access the console, add storage, and much, much more.
At this point, you’re prepared to set up your first virtual machine or container. Select Create VM or Create CT in the top right to create your first container. Since Proxmox is a hypervisor that runs on bare metal, you’ll be able to install a ton of different VMs/Containers!
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
The installation process for Proxmox is extremely straightforward, but you must ensure that the hardware you’re currently utilizing supports virtualization.
It’s also important to understand that this simply gets Proxmox installed. You’ll still need to configure it based on your requirements. Check out some of our other Proxmox tutorials to get it configured based on best practices!