Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
Getting right into it, there are basically two ways to ways to install Proxmox; from easy the Proxmox install ISO, to the slightly more complicated installing Proxmox on top of an existing Debian Linux. In this series we will focus on the first option.
At this point you should be asking yourself why? Basically, when installing Proxmox, one is installing Debian, as part of the Proxmox ISO. Installing Proxmox on top of an existing Debian system provides some interesting configuration options not available in the basic install. However this also adds some complexity to the install process, and we are trying to stay simple here. There are some valid reasons for taking the Debian then Proxmox, but again we are trying to limit complexity here.
Basically doing the Proxmox ISO install you will be installing Debian, but will have limited configuration options, at least initially. And you will get a functioning system out of the box without a lot of tinkering.
To get the Proxmox ISO, go to their web site and follow the links to the download section (https://www.proxmox.com/en/downloads/proxmox-virtual-environment). You want to download the ISO file. You will need to download this image and flash it to a USB drive. There are a couple of points I want to bring up here;
At this point I am assuming you have downloaded the Proxmox ISO file, flashed it to a USB Drive, know how to boot form a USB drive on the target computer, and don’t have anything you are worried about keeping on said computer.
Speaking of Target Computer, it will need to meet a few requirements. Because we are talking about a virtualization environment, a lot will depend on the number and type of VM’s being run.
When you are ready, boot from your USB drive. Once the installer boots up, your first choice will be between the graphical installer, terminal installer, and advanced options. Go ahead and select the graphical installer.
The installer will run a bunch of terminal stuff, don’t worry. You will eventually end up at the End User License Agreement (EULA). Read it and agree if you want to proceed with the install.
The next screen will let you chose your target hard disk. Remember this disk will be reformatted, so I hope you got any information you need off of it.
There is also an options button that will let you set some storage parameters. We are not going to tinker with any of these settings, so select Next.
At this point you will be able to select your Country, time zone and keyboard layout. Pick what is appropriate for your use case. The select Next.
Now you can set the root (administrator) password. Don’t forget this as you will need it latter. Note that Proxmox does violate several security principles by allowing root login, whether via the web interface or SSH.
You also need to provide an email address. Note I Have never received an email form Proxmox, so the address does not have to be a real one, just look like it. Click Next.
Now you will set up your network parameters. FQDN is Fully Qualified Domain Name, and needs to end in something like .com, .org, .net, etc. If you are strictly on a LAN, this it is not overly important what goes here. If you connect to the internet, it is definitely important.
Once you set your static IP address, gateway, and DNS click Next.
You will now be given a chance to review your settings. If you are satisfied, click Install.
Once the install is finished, you will be shown your IP address an port number to point a web browser at. Note this some place before removing the installer USB drive and selecting Reboot.
At this point you want to point a browser at your Proxmox installation and see if you can log into the web interface. You will need to use root as the user, and the password you set during installation.
Don’t worry to much if things look overly complicated or confusing. We will be discussing the various features of the interface in some detail in the next several posts. Right now we just want to make sure things are working after the install.
At this point we will assume that if you can log in and get a web GUI, things are working as they are supposed too.
Looking along the top edge, you should see on the left the Proxmox logo along with a version number. To the right of that is the search box. All the way to the right we see buttons for Documentation, Create VM (Virtual machine, and Create CT (Container).
Finally, all the way to the right, there is a drop down menu for you the user. This menu will allow changing of password, some theme elements, language, and of course to log out.
Left Tree Menus
On the left side of the window is a tree menu, with a top item of Datacenter. Little arrows to the left will allow you to open and expand the tree.
Under the Datacenter is the instance of Proxmox we just installed. And under our server there should be entries for our server local network a local drive and a local-LVM drive.
Selecting any of these items will change the content of the tree menu imminently to the right, as well as the big information window to the right of that.
At the bottom of the screen we can see a window displaying various events and their status. This is where we can monitor various functions, tasks, and the results.
You should have noticed we did not discuss anything terribly specific, other than where to log out. The main purpose of this post is to get Proxmox installed and become familial with the web GUI layout.
In future posts we will be doing a deeper dive into the various options and items available. The general process will to be to start at a high level, then go deeper into getting a specific task done. It is hoped that this will help explain not only how we do something, but why we do it, and how to it.
In tne next post we will be working with the Datacenter and its various related sub items.