Proxmox is an operating system that makes it easy to manage virtual machines and LXC containers. The server uses a web GUI for easy access and handles all of the resource management from within the GUI.

For the most part, installing Proxmox is as straightforward as installing any OS. I ran into some issues with the networking and screen configurations that took me a little time to troubleshoot. Both were easily fixed by making sure the correct hardware was plugged into my system before starting to install.

Setting up a USB for installing

The ISO for Proxmox can be found on their downloads page. There are a few different versions available and a couple different methods for downloading them.

This ISO can be written to a USB drive using the disks program included with most linux distros. Select the correct disk drive (carefully!) and Restore Disk Image from the dropdown menu. Specify the ISO image and then start restoring. This will delete any information on the USB drive so choose one without anything important. This could take a few minutes. Once the USB drive is finished, insert it into a USB port on the server.

Install Proxmox on the server

The initial installation will need a monitor attached to the server. This is where I ran into resolution issues and had to use a TV rather than one of my desktop monitors. You can start the Proxmox installation by starting the server and going to boot devices. Choose the inserted USB drive as the boot device.

Wrong resolution error window

Installation procedures

The first window for installing Proxmox asks what kind of installation you would like to do. Typically you will choose the first option to start the installation. The second option Install Proxmox VE (Debug mode) boots to the command line for fixing any issues that come up. Rescue Boot boots to an existing installation when there are issues with the boot block. Finally, Test Memory will check that your memory is functional and error free.

Installation greeting screen

Choosing an installation drive

The next window will ask what hard drive to use for installation. If there is more than one drive on the server, then make sure the desired drive is selected. There is also an options button for advanced configuration of the drive.

Disk setup screen

Location and Time Zone selection

This window is for information telling the server where it is located. These settings vary for everyone and should be easy to determine.

Location information screen

Password and Email

This window asks for a password and email for the admin. This will be used when logging into the web GUI. You will also receive alerts about issues through the provided email.

Authentication information screen

Network Configuration

This window asks for information about the server’s network. The Management Interface dropdown asks what networking interface should be used. If you only have one networking interface then the default value should be what you are looking for. The Hostname is the name that the server will display on the network. The IP Address is probably the most important option on this page because that is the address you will use to connect to the server.

I first installed Proxmox without my ethernet cable plugged in. This caused there to be no network once the installation was complete. While I’m sure this wouldn’t be terrible to fix, it’s easier to make sure the system has networking during the install process.

Network setup screen

Installing window

Finally, the last window will present you with a loading bar as it installs Proxmox. Nothing to be done here except wait for it to finish. Follow any prompts on the screen and wait for the server to reboot before continuing.

Loading screen

Accessing the GUI

Once the server has rebooted, it will start a webserver for the GUI. This can be accessed by going to the previously selected IP address at port 8006.

Proxmox web GUI

This GUI provides convenient methods of creating virtual machines or containers, managing the server’s memory usage, and other general tasks that will need to be done with the server.

Finishing up

The Proxmox server will now be ready to go and the monitor can be removed. The Proxmox system will automatically start whenever the server is rebooted. The next step is learning how to setup virtual machines and containers.