Proxmox setup

Today we are going to take a look at the setup of Proxmox. There are two ways to install it. The more common approach would be to use the iso file you can download from the internet. However it is also possible to install it on an existing system which is already running debian linux using the package manager. We are talking about both techniques.

Proxmox setup using the iso

This method is the preferred one since this one offers a simple installation wizard which does a lot of configuration beforehand.

But first of all lets talk about the requirements you need to satisfy before we start.
Of course you will need a USB-Drive you can format which will erase all you data on the USB-Drive. This Drive will needs at least 8GB of raw storage capacity.

To start of, we need to download the iso image from this website. Feel free to choose the newest version, since this will provide the best security and most features.
Next, you can use a program like Belena Etcher or Rufus to transfer the iso file onto the USB-Drive. If you are using Linux you can simply type dd bs=1M conv=fdatasync if=./proxmox-ve_*.iso of=/dev/XYZ in your terminal (Please correct the paths accordingly). If this is finished you can insert the USB-Drive into your Proxmox host machine and boot it up.
The trickiest part however is selecting the correct boot device. If you can’t see this

proxmox first boot from USB

you’ve done everything right. If not, try to enter your boot menu and manually selecting the USB-Drive. Entering the boot Menu is very computer model specific, so please reference your manufacturer.
Now we install Proxmox by selecting the corresponding entry. Afterwards just follow the wizard until this page shows up.

proxmox admin password

The password you choose here will be your root password. The Email-Address will be used to send you information about your system, like security vulnerabilities.
The next page is about network configuration

Proxmox network configuration
Management InterfaceIf you have multiple network interfaces connected to your machine, you have to choose your interface. Common practice would be to use a separate network for management.
HostnameThis hostname needs to be resolvable by your DNS-Server. Otherwise you will have issues with internal Proxmox services. Other than that you are free to choose
Ip AddressThis is currently the IP-Address assigned from your DHCP-Server. Using this is a valid option. However as soon as the DHCP-Server assigns this IP to a different host, your Proxmox installation would be unreachable. So I would recommend setting your IP-Adress manual or configuring the DHCP Server to only serve this IP to your Proxmox host.
GatewayThis will be your router.
DNS ServerThis will be your DNS Server. If you are using your home network typically your router is also your DNS-Server

And that’s it. After the networking is configured the wizard will install everything. During installation a reboot is common. As soon as the installation is finished you will be granted with this.

proxmox after installation

You can login using the user “root” and your password you entered earlier. Also by accessing this network address printed on the console with your browser, you can access the Web-UI. If you get a warning about an untrusted certificate, just add an explicit exception for this site. After that you should be able to login with the same credentials used on the command line.

And that’s all you need to know about the setup of Proxmox using the downloadable iso image.

Proxmox setup using a package manager

This Tutorials requires an already running instance of debian linux. We are using debian because this is also the base of the Proxmox iso we used earlier. For this part however we are going to deep-dive the command line interface. To start of, you should already be connected to a console on the host machine. This can be done using a ssh connection or via tty. A gui is not required for this setup.


First of all please make sure that your machine’s hostname is resolvable via /etc/hosts, i.e. you need an entry in /etc/hosts which assigns an address to its hostname.
Make sure that you have configured one of the following addresses in /etc/hosts for your hostname:

  • 1 IPv4 or
  • 1 IPv6 or
  • 1 IPv4 and 1 IPv6

Note: This also means editing or rather removing the address that might be present as default.
For instance, if your IP address is, and your hostname prox4m1, then your /etc/hosts file could look like:       localhost.localdomain localhost prox4m1

# 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 hostname command:

hostname --ip-address # should return your IP address here

Adapt your sources.list

The proxmox packages are not listed in the standard debian repositories. The solution is to add them to your sources.list. This can be done with the following command.

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

All repos must have a key to ensure the integrity of the hosted packages. It can be added with the following sequence:

wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/proxmox-ve-release-6.x.gpg
chmod +r /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/proxmox-ve-release-6.x.gpg  # optional, if you have a non-default umask

In the end the package manager need a upgrade. Also a full system-upgrade is helpfull.

apt update && apt full-upgrade

Install the Proxmox package

In the last step we are installing the package using this command:

apt install proxmox-ve

The installation is interactive, so you can configure your instance the way you like. I can also recommend to install postfix (as Mailing server when something isn’t right about your system) and open-iscsi for iscsi support.

Finally, reboot your system, the new Proxmox VE kernel should be automatically selected in the GRUB menu. After that you should be able to access the Proxmox Web-UI the way you know it.

And that’s it for today’s article. Hopefully I provide you a clear guide on how to install Proxmox.

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