Proxmox Virtual Environment 6 (PVE) for Home Use

Prelim: Proxmox Virtual Environment (Proxmox VE; or PVE for Short) was original developed to add features such as backups and a web gui for OpenVZ and then KVM based virtual machines. It has now evolved into a commercial product for both KVM Full VMs and LXC Containers.

LXC containers (Linux Containers) are something that I describe as the middle ground between docker containers and full VMs. Persistent storage but also easily disposable. Full IP Network stack instead of the limitations of docker networks. No docker build or differencing disks but build scripts are easy enough to write.

Licencing: For commercial use as an alternative to say VMware ESXi id recommend it for small business installations. If you are using it for commercial purposes I’d highly recommend purchasing a licence to receive commercial support. Proxmox Subscription Pricing.

If you are using it for home use and are okay with no commercial support and a potential for upgrades to suddenly stop; the following information is for you.

Proxmox an overview:
Proxmox’s advantage over VMware for home use is multi-node support thru clustering and live migrations, integrated automatic backups without needing to go to vSphere and a free, non-supported option

Key Terms:

  • Datacenter (Cluster): A cluster of nodes with a distributed controller.
  • Node: A hypervisor server within the cluster where VMs and Containers can run.
  • Virtual Machine (VM): Standard VM
  • Container (LXC Container): Think docker container cross a full VM. Best of both worlds.
  • Storage: Use to define local storage (SSD/HDD) accessible to a single node and network storage that all nodes within the cluster have mounted.
  • HA (High Availability): HA is automatic fail overs and safe guards to keep all/critical VM’s and Containers running even with multiple node failures. HA requires a minimum of 3 nodes to achieve quorum. The more nodes the better the resiliency.

Install:
Proxmox VE 6.0 ISOs available at
https://www.proxmox.com/en/downloads/category/iso-images-pve

Install on bare hardware, wide variety of platforms supported, CPU must obviously support Virtualization(Intel VT or AMD-V), 4GB is technically required but id say 8GB memory recommended min per node.

After install connect to web interface on
https://ip-of-node:8006/

Non-Commercial Version updates:
Edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list
(You can access a shell prompt through the web interface under node settings)
Hash out the first line and replacing the file with the following:

# deb https://enterprise.proxmox.com/debian/pve buster pve-enterprise

# PVE pve-no-subscription repository provided by proxmox.com,
# NOT recommended for production use
deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/pve buster pve-no-subscription

Then run a apt clean all, update and dist-upgrade from the same prompt.

#!/bin/bash
apt clean all
apt update
apt dist-upgrade

Nag Messages:
Though I am all about supporting business that produce good products making money for there efforts; in non-commercial home use the nag message are relenting.
This script: https://gist.githubusercontent.com/natesubra/628178d92b26f62b0d9e6f7f34e6573c/raw/33584fcd9ff55f2ec14e570decbc737a0e9ae623/rem_proxmox_popup.sh
Can wget it to /root/bin and execute it after most proxmox updates to stop the nag messages.

SSL Certificate:
If you have an internal CA, like the one manageable through pfSense you can sign an install a certificate on proxmox through its own management interface. Node Settings > System > Certificates > Upload Custom Certificate.
Proxmox prefers certificate chains of host cert followed by CA cert.

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