Apart from IT (dev)ops stuff, I also am a fan of home automation. While juggling arounf several youtube and discord channels I learned about Proxmox VE. VE stands for virtualization environment. In Distrowatch.com, Proxmox is described as:

Proxmox is a commercial company offering specialised products based on Debian GNU/Linux, notably Proxmox Virtual Environment and Proxmox Mail Gateway. Proxmox Virtual Environment is an open-source virtualisation platform for running virtual appliances and virtual machines. Proxmox Mail Gateway is a mail gateway with anti-spam and anti-virus features. The products are offered as free downloads with paid-for support and subscription options.

So Proxmox is the company that creates a virtualization hypervisor and a mail gateway. They offer the free version of their Debian based distro with GNU AGPL, v3 license. This is a hypervisor with lots of bells and whistles and a very good web GUI.

Proxmox VE 6

This version is the latest and was released on 22/7/2019. The underlying OS is Debian 10 Buster. This hypervisor apart from creating virtual machines, gives us the opportunities to work with LXC (linux containers). You can also create a docker host inside and have everything under one "roof". I will post an article on this in the future. One of the most import features is clustering, central management and live migration. It offers online backup, their own cluster file system. It also offers virtual appliances and templates.

 

Installation on a physical machine

This is my recommendation on installing and initially configuring.

 Let's break it down in steps as it is easier this way:

Before actual installation

Make sure you enabled VT-d and any other related virtualization technology that is capable from your motherboard.

  1. Download latest iso from here.
  2. Download and install Balena Etcher for your OS (so as to write the iso in a usb) here.
  3. Open balena Etcher and flash the newly downloaded iso, on a clean usb

Once finished you have a usb installer for your new OS.

Target Machine

Deciding on the target machine is a design process. Once understanding the use of it, you will figure out what machine you want.

WARNING: Before installing mind that everything installed on the target machine will be erased. Theoretically and if you have several hard disks you can keep stuff but the actual installation disk will be erased during the installation process.

The Setup

Once you pop the usb on your machine and boot from it, you will be welcomed by this:

 Proxmox01

Nice! Just select "Install Proxmox VE".

You will see the following if there is no virtualization support enabled on your machine, so make sure you have them enabled.

If you see the license agreement screen as below, you shouldn't have any problems with virtualization. Proceed and click "I agree"

 Proxmox02license

The following screen is the usual one in Linux OS installations, about target hard disk. Just put your details.

 Proxmox03 targethdd

Then you will see the following screen. Fill it in with the appropriate details.

 Proxmox04 locationtimezone

Then input your password and valid email.

Proxmox05 pwd

The following screen is about hostname and network details.

Proxmox06 network

Note: skip .local as hostname , better use .hom or .lan  or .loc or whatever you want.

 

The last screen will be a summary of your previous screens. Just push "install" so as to initiate the installation.

The following screens are related to the installation. Once it is installed press "Finish" and remove the usb disk.

 Proxmox08 startofinstallation

Log in to: https://YourServerIP:8006

 

Updates

Proxmox is preconfigured to get the updates from the enterprise(paid) version. That doesn't mean that it cannot be updated, on the contrary.

It's a Debian 10 Buster system and same things apply here.

 

For conveniency though you can ssh to the server using either putty, kitty or my recent favorite Solar-Putty.

Login with the Root details from the installation. These are also the credentials to be used when logging in to the web ui.

 

To be continued....