Install Proxmox VE on Debian Jessie

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The installation of a supported Proxmox VE server should be done via Bare-metal_ISO_Installer. In some case it makes sense to install Proxmox VE on top of a running Debian Jessie 64-bit, especially if you want a custom partition layout. For this HowTO the following Debian Jessie ISO was used: debian-8.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso.

Install a standard Debian Jessie (amd64)

Install a standard Debian Jessie, for details see Debian, and select a fixed IP. It is recommended to only install the "standard" package selection and nothing else, as Proxmox VE brings its own packages for qemu, lxc. During installation you have to manually partition the Hard Disk and use the choice "Configure the Logical Volume Manager" to create a volume group called "pve" and 3 logical volumes called "swap", "root" and "data". The mount point for "root" will be "/" and for "data" select the manual option and enter "/var/lib/vz". You can format with ext4.

You can also create empty partitions during installation and then create ZFS pool on them. The suggested partition layout with LVM is like that:

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         122      975872   83  Linux
/dev/sda2             122        5222    40965120   8e  Linux LVM

LVM: root@pvedebian:~# lvs

 LV   VG   Attr       LSize  Pool Origin Data%  Meta%  Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert
 data pve  -wi-ao---- 68.25g
 root pve  -wi-ao---- 29.75g
 swap pve  -wi-ao----  7.00g

Add an /etc/hosts entry for your IP address

Please make sure that your hostname is resolvable via /etc/hosts, i.e you need an entry in /etc/hosts which assigns an IPv4 address to that hostname.

Note: Make sure that no IPv6 address for your hostname is specified in `/etc/hosts`

For instance if your IP address is, and your hostname prox4m1, then your /etc/hosts file shoud look like:       localhost.localdomain localhost prox4m1 pvelocalhost

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

You can test if your setup is ok using the getent command:

#verify that your hostname is resolved
getent hosts $(hostname) prox4m1 pvelocalhost
# verify that your IP address is resolved 
getent hosts prox4m1 pvelocalhost

Install Proxmox VE

Adapt your sources.list

Add the Proxmox VE repository:

echo "deb jessie pve-no-subscription" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-install-repo.list

NOTE: Due to a bug in debian/apt(?) it may be required to alter the above sources.list entry to say the following, if apt-get complains about not being able to find /binary-i386: "Unable to find expected entry 'pve/binary-i386/Packages'" (despite it being a 64bit debian install!)

deb [arch=amd64] jessie pve-no-subscription

If it does not work for apt-get of some files, then replace http:// with ftp:// especially in the first two urls above.

Add the Proxmox VE repository key:

wget -O- "" | apt-key add -

Update your repository and system by running:

apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

Install Proxmox VE packages

Install the Proxmox VE packages:

apt-get install proxmox-ve ntp ssh postfix ksm-control-daemon open-iscsi

Accept the suggestion to remove Exim and configure postfix according to your network. If you have a mail server in your network, you should configure postfix as a satellite system, and your existing mail server will be the 'relay host' which will route the emails send by the proxmox server to the end recipient. If you don't know what to enter here, choose local only.

Finally, reboot your system, the new Proxmox VE kernel should be automatically selected in the GRUB menu.

Connect to the Proxmox VE web interface

Connect to the admin web interface (https://youripaddress:8006), create a bridge called vmbr0, and add your first network interface to it. If you have a fresh install and didn't add any users yet, you should use the root account with your linux root password, and select "PAM Authentication" to log in.

Adapt vmbr0 settings

Configure apt to use the new packages repositories

In order to get latest updates, you need to add one of the new package repositories, see Package repositories


resolv.conf gets overwritten

The PVE4 GUI expects to control DNS management and will no longer take its DNS settings from /etc/network/interfaces Any package that autogenerates (overwrites) /etc/resolv.conf will cause DNS to fail. e.g. packages 'resolvconf' for IPv4 and 'rdnssd' for IPv6.

Optional Steps

Optional: Remove the Debian kernel

apt-get remove linux-image-amd64 linux-image-3.16.0-4-amd64 linux-base

Check grub2 config by running:


Optional: Developer Workstations with Proxmox VE and X11

Proxmox VE is primarily used as virtualization platform with NO additional software installed. In some case it makes sense to have a full desktop running on Proxmox VE, for example for developers using Proxmox VE as their primary workstation/desktop.

For example, just install XFCE4 desktop and Firefox/Iceweasel browser:

apt-get install xfce4 iceweasel lightdm

If you prefer LXDE desktop instead just do:

apt-get install lxde iceweasel

Make sure network-manager is not used, else pve-cluster will not start in some cases

apt-get purge network-manager