How to install Proxmox VE on Linux

Proxmox virtual environment, popularly known as Proxmox VE, is an open-source server virtualization software based on Debian Linux in conjunction with RHEL kernel, which is modified to permit you to generate and set up new virtual machines for private servers and containers with unified storage for improved efficiency.

This software offers two versions of virtualizations. The first is containers with LXC, and full virtualization with KVM comes as the second. Virtualization is the basis of cloud computing as it allows for more proficient usage of physical PC hardware.

Proxmox offers command-line tools and REST Application Programming Interface (API) for third-party apps. It also provides a simple method to install and run configurations on virtual machines from a web browser.

When it comes to features, it has a web-based administration interface, supports containers, has pre-installed apps that take a short while to be up and running; it also has full virtualization. Furthermore, Proxmox has live migration that moves running VM from one physical host to another without downtime. It also uses OVMF (Open Virtual Machine Firmware), a port of intel’s open-source TianoCore UEFI enactment to allow UEFI support for virtual machines.

Installing Proxmox VE on Linux

In this review, we will cover how to install the Proxmox VE server on a running instance of a Linux PC, and we will also stretch the article further to installing Proxmox on bare metal. So let’s get going.

Method 1: How to install Proxmox on a running instance of a Linux PC

This section will run down through a step-by-step installation of Proxmox VE software on your running Linux system. Typically, it is suggested to deploy a Proxmox VE server from a bare-metal_ISO_Installer, but it is sometimes unavoidable to set it up on a running instance of a Linux server.

Prerequisites:

For the installation of this software on Linux, you will need the following:

  • Sufficient hardware resources to be utilized in virtualizing other OSs.
  • The server requires internet access.
  • A running instance of Linux.
  • A 64-bit processor that supports Intel 64 or AMD64CPU extensions.
  • Access to Linux server terminal as root or standard user with sudo.

Having met all the requirements, let us proceed with the installation process in the next section.

Step 1: Update your OS

As usual, the first step is to check if your machine is up to date. To do this, copy the following command:

sudo apt -y update
update system
update system

If there are updates, proceed with this step to help upgrade packages. If that is not the case, skip this step:

sudo apt -y upgrade
upgrade system
upgrade system

Once the update and upgrade processes are over, go ahead and reboot your server using the following command:

sudo systemctl reboot
Step 2: Set Proxmox Server hostname

in this step, we will set a hostname on the server using the following syntax:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname fosslinux –static
create host name
create hostname

Note: Ensure you replace “fosslinux” with the correct hostname you set up on your system.

After that, get the Ip address of the primary interface using the following command:

ip ad
ip address
IP address

After that, update the data on /etc/hosts file with hostname and matching IP address for local resolution without DNS server.

sudo vim /etc/hosts

192.168.250.129 fosslinux.example.com fosslinux

Next, log out and back in to use your newly created hostname. To logout, use the following command:

logout

After logging out and back, we will test if the configured hostname is OK using the following hostname command:

 hostname –ip-address
hostname ip address
hostname IP address
Step 3: Adding the Proxmox VE repo

Here, we will be appending the Proxmox server packages distributed in an APT repository. To do this, paste the following command in your terminal:

echo "deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/pve bullseye pve-no-subscription" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-install-repo.list
add the proxmox ve repo
add the proxmox ve repo

Then go ahead and import the GPG signing key:

wget http://download.proxmox.com/debian/proxmox-release-bullseye.gpg

sudo mv proxmox-release-bullseye.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/proxmox-release-bullseye.gpg

chmod +r /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/proxmox-release-bullseye.gpg
import gpg key
import GPG key

Upon importing the GPG key, run the following command to update your APT sources list

sudo apt update
update
update

After that, it is recommended to check whether packages need an upgrade or not. If there are, run the following command to upgrade the named packages:

sudo apt full-upgrade
upgrade machine
upgrade machine

Add Proxmox VE ceph Repository

We will install the Proxmox VE’s key Ceph repo that possesses the ceph packages for production use. To add on, you can use this repo only to update the Ceph client:

echo "deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/ceph-pacific bullseye main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ceph.list
add ceph repo
add ceph repo
Step 4: Install Proxmox VE packages

We can now set up Proxmox VE packages with the repo already added to our Linux system. To attain this, copy the following commands to your PC:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install proxmox-ve postfix open-iscsi
install proxmox
install proxmox

The installation process will be faster or slower depending on several variables such as the internet connectivity and hard disk write speed. You should receive a postfix configuration window that asks the configuration method you want in your Proxmox ve while installing these packages.

Note: If you own a mail server on your web, you should consider configuring postfix as a “satellite system,” and your current mail server will be the “relay host,” which will route emails sent by the proxmox server to the end-user recipient. But if you are unaware of what to select here, select local only.”

select local only
select local only

Next, confirm the system mail name/update appropriately:

confirm system name
confirm system name

Upon clicking “OK,” the installation will proceed. So, ensure that the installation carries on to the end without encountering any issues

ensure the installation completes without any issue
ensure the installation completes without any issue

After installation, restart your Linux system to boot with the Proxmox VE kernel. you can alternatively use the following command to restart your machine:

sudo reboot

Next, you will check if port 8006 is bound to the Proxmox Proxy service using the following command:

ss -tunelp | grep 8006
check port
check port
Step 5: Web interface access of Proxmox VE

From your workspace, connect to the Proxmox VE admin  web console using the following syntax:

https://youripaddress:8006

Next, select “PAM standard authentication” after that, use “root” as the username and the root user password you earlier created to log in.

select pam auth
select pam auth

After authorizing with the server’s root user password, you should be able to access the Proxmox VE dashboard as shown in the snapshot below:

dashboarrd
dashboard

Once you are logged in, create a Linux Bridge called vmbr0,

select bridge
select bridge

After that, add the first network interface created using the bridge.

vmbr0 selected
vmbr0 selected

Method 2: How to install Proxmox on bare metal

Prerequisites:

  • You must have a clean or empty hard disk to perform this process. This is so because Proxmox will wipe all the data present on the hard disk.
  • You may also need a dedicated server.
Step 1: Download Proxmox VE

First, visit Promox VE’s official website and download the latest ISO file. Immediately the page loads, click on the Download option as shown in the snapshot below:

select download
select download

Immediately you click on download, you should be redirected to the page containing the versions of the software to be downloaded. We suggest you go with the latest version for efficiency purposes. At the time of this writing, Promox VE  7.1 is the latest. So, to download this ISO version, click on the download button as marked in the snapshot below:

select iso installer
select iso installer

Upon clicking the button, your download should be underway, and it may take some time to complete depending on your internet speed.

download progress
download progress

When you are done downloading, go ahead and create a bootable USB using software like Etcher or Rufus. However, in cases where your dedicated server possesses a remote web-based management interface, the likes of IPMI, log in and insert the ISO file to the virtual drive.

Step 2: Creating Bootable USB of Proxmox VE

In this phase, you will create a bootable USB drive of Proxmox VE to facilitate the installation on your PC. Since we are using Linux, we will use the dd command to create a bootable USB drive easily. But if you are on Windows, kindly use Rufus.

To create the bootable drive, make use of the following syntax:

sudo dd if=~/Downloads/proxmox-ve_7.1-2.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M

Note: Ensure you replace the proxmox version “_7.1-2” with the one you downloaded. You should also note “sdX” almost at the end of the command, and you may wonder what its purpose is. sdX only refers to your USB drive. Alternatively, you can make use of the “lsblk” command to check out what it is in your case.

Step 3: Launch the Proxmox VE installer

We will restart our PC and use the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) interface to boot it from the Proxmox ISO. Once the ISO installer displays, press “Enter” to select the “Install Proxmox VE” option to initiate the installation process.

select install proxmox ve
select install proxmox ve
Step 4: License Agreement

In the next step, you will agree to the software’s license agreement

select agree
select agree
Step 5: Select Storage Location

Next, you will have to select the intended hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD) where you want Proxmox VE installed and click on “Next” to proceed.

target harddisk
target harddisk
Step 6: Location and Time Zone Selection

Then in this section, select your country, timezone, and keyboard, respectively, before hitting the “Next” button to continue.

select location
select location
Step 7: Credentials

Here, type in your Proxmox VE password and email address. Once you are done, click on “Next.”

credentials
credentials
Step 8: Network settings configuration

Next, go ahead and configure the management network interface for the software. Once you are through, click “Next.”

network configurations
network configurations

After that, you will be given an overview of the Proxmox to review before installing it. If you feel all is well, click the “Install” button, and the installation process should begin.

summary window
summary window

The installation process window:

installation underway
installation underway

Immediately the installation process is over, restart your PC.

Step 9: The Grub Menu

Once it restarts, a GRUB menu from the Proxmox will be displayed. Select the one written “Proxmox Virtual Environment GNU/Linux” and press “Enter.”

gnu, linux window
GNU, LINUX window
Step 10: Startup

At this point, the Proxmox VE should be up and running. What you do here is visit the management IP as marked in the snapshot below on any given browser.

ip address
IP address
Step 11: The Web-based Admin Interface

Since Proxmox VE uses self-signed SSL certificates by default, you may encounter the following cautionary message when visiting the management web User Interface from your browser. So, accept the SSL certificate. In case you are using Chrome, click on “Advanced,” then on the link at the bottom of the page written “Proceed to 192.168.x.x (unsafe)” as highlighted by this snapshot.

select proceed to unsafe
select proceed to unsafe
Step 12: Displayed interface

At this juncture, you should see the Proxmox VE web management interface. So, you will log in with the user as “root” and the password you generated when setting up the software.

login
login

Also, note that you can use this username and password for SSH login.

After that, you should see the next dialogue that will tell you that you don’t have a valid subscription. If you need a paid version, click on the blue highlighted “www.proxmox.com” link to get a list of available options; otherwise, click on “OK” to ignore this message.

no valid subscription allert
no valid subscription alert

At this point, you can use the Promox VE web-based management interface to create, delete, and a lot more functionalities on your KVM virtual machines and LXC containers.

use web interface to create virtual machines
use the web interface to create virtual machines

Alternatively, you can also have a glimpse of the summary of your total system usage from the Summary tab, as seen in the snapshot below.

the summary window
the summary window

Conclusion

Proxmox server is a virtualization fix based on Debian Linux with a modified  LTS kernel. Ideally, this software allows you to carry out the deployment and management of containers and virtual machines with unified storage for enhanced efficiency.

To this end, this article has diversely gone through the installation of a Proxmox server on a running instance of a Linux PC, where we configured the software successfully without any issue. After that, we went further to installing it on bare metal, which you should be well versed with as of now. Thanks for reading, and don’t fear to ask in case of anything.

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