Proxmox VE is an open source Virtual Machine hypervisor Operating System, built on top of Debian Linux. It has a fully programmable API, can operate as a cluster, and can behave as your own self-hosted mini cloud, for compute and storage. Proxmox excels as an agile research and development environment, making it easy to create new virtual machines, whenever you have new ideas to try, or to automate resources as part of a script. New VMs are auto-configured from cloud-init, pre-provisioning your SSH keys, making it really feel similar to creating a Droplet on DigitalOcean, except that it is all running on your own self-hosted hardware.

Proxmox is also a good choice for certain production roles: if you have a relatively small number of very large computers, Proxmox can help you to “carve out” the larger machines into smaller VMs. It should be stressed however, that if you do run all your docker/kubernetes nodes on the same physical host, you are not protected from hardware or network failures. Large scale production scenarios will likely be better served by installing a native Kubernetes distribution (K3s) onto multiple bare-metal machines, rather than using Proxmox. However, if you still need to use VMs, you can still achieve High Availability with Proxmox by installing several nodes, and forming a cluster.

Parts 1-3 of this series have recently been re-written. (There was an older series focusing on a virtual proxmox installation, but I have moved it to the virtual-proxmox tag, as it is not useful for the majority of bare-metal proxmox installs.)

In part one: Installation and Setup, we discuss the steps to install and configure Proxmox on your own hardware.

In part two: Networking, we discuss the difference between bridge networking and NAT, and when to use one over the other. A script to help you setup NAT is included.

In part three: Notifications, we configure the notification system to send us all server notifications as an email through our external SMTP server and/or Gotify client.

In part four: Containers we discuss Proxmox support for LXC containers, which are a lightweight shared-kernel alternative to virtualized machines. Containers offer quicker start up time and efficient resource utilization. Unlike Docker containers, LXC containers are stateful and run systemd inside, and offer the same lifecycle as if it were a VM.

In part five: KVM and Cloud-Init we use a shell script to generate several KVM virtual machine templates from various distributions, including Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and even FreeBSD (can’t do that one with a container!)

In part six: nftables home LAN router we build a network router for the home LAN inside a KVM virtual machine using PCI passthrough for a four port network interface, and install a nftables firewall, dnsmasq DHCP server, and dnscrypt-proxy DNS server.

In part seven: proxmox in proxmox we install a virtual proxmox inside of a native proxmox host. This is very useful for testing purposes, where you can add a bunch of virtual disks and play around with different ZFS pool configurations. Use the snapshot feature to create restore points, especially helpful when writing documentation about proxmox itself.

In part eight: TrueNAS Core we install TrueNAS Core as a Network Attached Storage service, useful for sharing files, and for remounting via NFS to provision other VM disks on the same proxmox host.

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This blog is copyright EnigmaCurry and dual-licensed CC-BY-SA and MIT. The source is on github: enigmacurry/ and PRs are welcome. ❤️

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