How to Set Up Proxmox Backup Server

  • Post author:WunderTech
  • Post published:June 30, 2022
  • Post last modified:November 30, 2023
  • Post category:Proxmox
  • Reading time:17 mins read

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In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at how to set up Proxmox Backup Server.

Proxmox Backup Server is an enterprise backup solution that allows you to back up and restore virtual machines (VMs), containers, and physical hosts. Proxmox Backup Server supports incremental and deduplicated backups, which is a fancy way of saying that the storage space will be optimized and the same files won’t be stored twice. This helps to conserve hard drive space on the device running Proxmox Backup Server.

Proxmox Backup Server can be run in a Proxmox host, though it’s probably a good idea to install it on bare metal on a separate server (or at least a separate Proxmox server). This way, you have your Proxmox hypervisor backing up to your Proxmox Backup Server.

If you have a Synology NAS and would like to use a simple solution like NFS, please check out our tutorial!

How to Set Up Proxmox Backup Server

We’re going to walk through the process of installing Proxmox Backup Server, configuring it, backing up a VM, then restoring it.

Step 1: Installing Proxmox Backup Server

1. Download the latest Proxmox Backup Server ISO image and create a bootable Proxmox Backup Server USB stick using Etcher.

selecting the proxmox backup server and writing it to a USB stick with balena etcher.

2. 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.

3. After the installer boots, select Install Proxmox Backup Server.

how to set up proxmox backup server - install screen.

4. The installer will load and after a few seconds, bring you to the end-user license agreement. If you agree, select I agree.

accepting the eula for proxmox backup server.

5. Select the target hard disk you’d like to use and the filesystem type by selecting options. You can utilize RAID by using ZFS if you’d like. I’ll be using Ext4 in this tutorial. Select next after your hard disk settings are configured.

setting a hard drive size for proxmox backup server.

6. Select your country, time zone, and keyboard layout, then select next.

selecting a country and time zone in proxmox backup server.

7. Create a password and enter your email address, then select next.

setting an administrator password and email address.

8. Enter the hostname you’d like to use as well as an IP address, then select next.

setting the network configuration for proxmox backup server (hostname and IP address).

9. Confirm all the settings that you entered, then select install to install Proxmox Backup Server!

summary of proxmox backup server settings before install.

10. The process will take a little while, but the operating system will reboot when it’s finished installing! After it fully boots up, you can navigate to the web management interface by using the IP address selected and port 8007.

connecting to proxmox backup server by ip address and port.

11. Login with the username root and the password that you created earlier.

login page for proxmox backup server.

12. Proxmox Backup Server is now installed!

proxmox backup server dashboard.

Step 2: Adding the Proxmox Backup Server Storage to Proxmox VE

Now that Proxmox Backup Server is set up and configured, we have to configure our Virtual Machines in Proxmox to actually back up to them. However, before we do that, we need to set up a Datastore in Proxmox Backup Server.

1. Select Add Datastore in Proxmox Backup Server.

adding a datastore to proxmox.

2. Enter a name and a backing path. Please keep in mind that by default, the datastore will write to the operating system hard drive.

setting a name and backup path for the datastore.

3. In the Prune Options, enter the total number of backups that you’d like to keep. This will limit versions on the Proxmox Backup Server side, so it’s a good idea to manually specify the total number of versions you’d like to keep.

modifying the prune settings in proxmox.

4. If you’d like to use a secondary set of hard drives (not the OS disk), select Storage / Disks, ZFS, then select the disks and RAID level. Using this option will automatically create the datastore, so the prior step will not be necessary.

specify the disks that should be used for this datastore.

5. After the datastore has been created, we need to copy our Proxmox Backup Server fingerprint as we’ll need it for an upcoming step. Select Dashboard, then Show Fingerprint, and copy the fingerprint to your clipboard.

selecting to show the fingerprint for proxmox.

6. Now that our datastore has been created, we can head back to Proxmox VE and add our Proxmox Backup Server. Select Datacenter, Storage, then Add. Select Proxmox Backup Server from the dropdown menu.

adding proxmox backup server storage in proxmox.

7. Enter in the ID you’d like to use and set the server as the IP address of the Proxmox Backup Server instance. Enter the username as root@pam, the root user’s password, then enter the datastore name that we created earlier. Paste the fingerprint into the fingerprint section and then select Add.

NOTE: You can modify the Backup Retention or Encryption at this step as well if desired.

authenticating to the proxmox backup server with the username, password, and IP address.

8. After you add the Proxmox Backup Server instance, you can back up virtual machines to it!

Step 3: Configuring Backups and Restoring Data

The steps below will show how to back up and restore virtual machines (VMs).

How to Back Up an Individual Virtual Machine to Proxmox Backup Server

Now that we configured Proxmox and our Proxmox Backup Server, we can easily back up a virtual machine.

1. Select the virtual machine you’d like to back up, then select Backup.

selecting the backup tab in proxmox.

2. In the backup tab, select the Proxmox Backup Server storage location in the top right. This will ensure that we back up to the correct location.

selecting the proxmox backup server storage location.

3. Select Backup now in the top left corner.

selecting the backup now button.

4. Select your Storage and Mode, then select Backup and the backup will start!

selecting the proxmox backup server storage and mode, then backing up the server.

Step 4: Configuring Automatic Backups

You can easily configure automatic backups in Proxmox for all of your virtual machines to automatically back up to Proxmox Backup Server. This will automatically back up the virtual machines on a specific schedule.

1. Select Datacenter, Backup, then select Add.

selecting the backup server for the entire datacenter.

2. Select the Storage for Proxmox Backup Server, then specify the Schedule, Selection mode, and Mode.

setting a backup job for the entire proxmox server.

3. You can change the retention policy to only keep a certain number of versions by selecting the Retention tab.

setting a retention schedule for the entire proxmox server.

4. Your virtual machines will now back up to Proxmox Backup Server automatically after you select Create!

Step 5: Restoring a Virtual Machine

After backups have been created, you can easily restore your virtual machine to one of them if you ever need to.

1. Select the virtual machine, then Backup.

selecting the backup tab for a virtual machine.

2. Select the Proxmox Backup Server storage in the top right under Storage.

selecting proxmox backup server to view the backups.

3. Select the snapshot you’d like to restore to, then select Restore.

selecting a backup, then the restore button to restore from it.

4. If you’d like to proceed with the restore, select Restore.

select the restore button for vm 100 to restore it from backup.

5. You will receive a message that this will permanently erase the existing virtual machine. If you agree, select Yes. Your virtual machine will now be restored from the backup you selected!

agreeing to permanently erase the existing vm.

6. With Proxmox Backup Server, you’ll also have the ability to restore individual files if you’d like by selecting File Restore.

selecting file-level restore in proxmox.

8. Using this option, you’ll be able to navigate through the hard drive and restore individual files.

viewing individual files in proxmox.

Step 6: Monitoring Backups

Now that Proxmox Backup Server is set up and actually receiving backups, you can view the dashboard to see statistics as well as datastore usage. It’s a handy dashboard, especially as the data and backup totals grow.

viewing proxmox backup server dashboard.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

This tutorial looked at how to set up Proxmox Backup Server. Proxmox Backup Server is an awesome tool that works extremely well with Proxmox. It gives you granular controls and allows you to easily back up and restore virtual machines. As mentioned earlier, it’s in your best interest to set this up on a separate server, but you’ll be confident that your virtual machines and containers are backed up properly after you do.

Thanks for checking out the tutorial on how to set up Proxmox Backup Server. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!