Installation

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Proxmox VE is based on Debian and comes with an installation CD-ROM which includes a complete Debian ("jessie" for Proxmox VE 4.x) system as well as all necessary Proxmox VE packages. The installer just asks you a few questions, then partitions the local disk(s), installs all required packages, and configures the system including a basic network setup. You can get a fully functional system within a few minutes. This is the preferred and recommended installation method.

Alternatively, Proxmox VE can be installed on top of an existing Debian system. This option is only recommended for advanced users since detail knowledge about Proxmox VE is necessary.

Using the Proxmox VE Installation CD-ROM

Includes the following:

  • Complete operating system (Debian Linux, 64-bit)

  • Partitioning of the hard drive(s) containing the operating system with ext4, ext3, xfs or ZFS

  • Proxmox VE kernel with LXC and KVM support

  • Complete toolset for administering virtual machines, containers and all necessary resources

  • Web based management interface for using the toolset

Note By default, the complete server is used and all existing data is removed.

Please insert the installation CD-ROM, then boot from that drive. Immediately afterwards you can choose the following menu options:

Install Proxmox VE

Start normal installation.

Install Proxmox VE (Debug mode)

Start installation in debug mode. It opens a shell console at several installation steps, so that you can debug things if something goes wrong. Please press CTRL-D to exit those debug consoles and continue installation. This option is mostly for developers and not meant for general use.

Rescue Boot

This option allows you to boot an existing installation. It searches all attached hard disks and, if it finds an existing installation, boots directly into that disk using the existing Linux kernel. This can be useful if there are problems with the boot block (grub), or the BIOS is unable to read the boot block from the disk.

Test Memory

Runs memtest86+. This is useful to check if your memory is functional and error free.

You normally select Install Proxmox VE to start the installation. After that you get prompted to select the target hard disk(s). The Options button lets you select the target file system, which defaults to ext4. The installer uses LVM if you select ext3, ext4 or xfs as file system, and offers additional option to restrict LVM space (see below)

If you have more than one disk, you can also use ZFS as file system. ZFS supports several software RAID levels, so this is specially useful if you do not have a hardware RAID controller. The Options button lets you select the ZFS RAID level, and you can choose disks there.

The next pages just ask for basic configuration options like time zone and keyboard layout. You also need to specify your email address and superuser (root) password (must have at least 5 characters).

The last step is the network configuration. Please note that you can use either IPv4 or IPv6 here, but not both. If you want to configure a dual stack node, you can easily do that after installation.

If you press Next now, installation starts to format disks, and copies packages to the target. Please wait until that is finished, then reboot the server.

Further configuration is done via the Proxmox web interface. Just point your browser to the IP address given during installation (https://youripaddress:8006).

Note Default login is "root" (realm PAM) and the root password is defined during the installation process.

Advanced LVM Configuration Options

The installer creates a Volume Group (VG) called pve, and additional Logical Volumes (LVs) called root, data and swap. The size of those volumes can be controlled with:

hdsize

Defines the total HD size to be used. This way you can save free space on the HD for further partitioning (i.e. for an additional PV and VG on the same hard disk that can be used for LVM storage).

swapsize

To define the size of the swap volume. Default is the same size as installed RAM, with 4GB minimum and hdsize/8 as maximum.

maxroot

The root volume size. The root volume stores the whole operation system.

maxvz

Define the size of the data volume.

minfree

To define the amount of free space left in LVM volume group pve. 16GB is the default if storage available > 128GB, hdsize/8 otherwise.

Note LVM requires free space in the VG for snapshot creation (not required for lvmthin snapshots).

ZFS Performance Tips

ZFS uses a lot of memory, so it is best to add additional RAM if you want to use ZFS. A good calculation is 4GB plus 1GB RAM for each TB RAW disk space.

ZFS also provides the feature to use a fast SSD drive as write cache. The write cache is called the ZFS Intent Log (ZIL). You can add that after installation using the following command:

zpool add <pool-name> log </dev/path_to_fast_ssd>

Video Tutorials