Introduction to Proxmox backup server

Proxmox backup server is a free and open source, enterprise-level backup solution. It is implemented as a dedicated Linux distribution based on Debian, and supports essential features like deduplication and encryption. We can use it as a solution to back up and restore virtual machines, containers and physical hosts.

In this first tutorial dedicated to Proxmox, we learn how to download and install the server distribution, and how to access its web interface. 

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to download and install the Proxmox server distribution
  • How to access the Proxmox backup server web interface
introduction to proxmox backup server
Introduction to Proxmox backup server – original image by vecstock on Freepik
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Proxmox backup server
Software None
Other Root privileges
Conventions # – requires given linux-commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux-commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Downloading the image and creating a bootable device

Proxmox backup server is distributed as an ad-hoc Linux distribution based on Debian, from which it inherits its stability, and ships with a series of extra features like the support for the renowned ZFS, which, due to licensing problems, is not usually available on Linux. The recommended requirements for the server installation are:

  • A modern 64-bit CPU with at least 4 cores
  • 4 GiB ram + 1 GiB for each TiB of storage
  • 32 GiB of storage
  • Redundant network interface cards (NIC)

To install Proxmox, we download the latest official ISO image (which is “3.1” at the moment of writing), we create a bootable device by writing it to a USB drive, and install the distribution via the dedicated installer. To download the image straight from the command line, we can use curl:

$ curl -O

Once the download is complete, we should find the ISO file in our current working directory. To write the image and create a bootable device, we can use dd. For the sake of this tutorial, we will target the /dev/sdb device:

$ sudo dd if=proxmox-backup-server_3.1-1.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

Installing the Proxmox backup server distribution

Once the image is written, we can boot the machine from it. We should visualize the Proxmox installer:

the proxmox backup server installer
The Proxmox backup server installer

To proceed with the graphical installation, we confirm the first menu entry, then, we accept the EULA (End User License Agreement):

proxmox backup server eula
Proxmox backup server EULA

The next step consists into choosing the disk which will be used as target for the installation. The installer will automatically partition the disk and install all the required packages. By clicking on the “options” button, we can change the filesystem (ext4 is the default), the swap, and the partition size:

proxmox backup server installer: disk selection
Proxmox backup server installer: disk selection

When ready, we click on the “Next” button. It is now time to “localize” our system, so we select a country, a time zone and a keyboard layout:

proxmox backup server: choosing country and timezone
Proxmox backup server: choosing country and timezone

By clicking on the “Next” button again, we will be prompted to choose and confirm a password for the root user, and the email address where to receive notifications:

proxmox installer: setting email and password
Proxmox installer: setting email and password

In the next section, we configure the network. The installer should automatically present a valid configuration based on the information returned from the DHCP server (if any). We are free to change it as we like it, of course:

proxmox backup server installer: network configuration
Proxmox backup server installer: network configuration

That’s it. In the next section, we will get an overview of our setup. The installation will begin as soon as we click on the “Install” button.

Accessing the web interface

Once the installation is complete, the server web interface will be available at the corresponding IP address and port “8007” (“” in this case). Since the installation creates a self-signed SSL certificate, the browser will warn us of a potential security risk the first time we access the page. We can safely ignore this warning, since we installed the server on our LAN (it is possible to obtain a valid Let’s encrypt certificate later, if the server is publicly accessible):

proxmox backup server login page
Proxmox backup server login page

Once we login, we are redirected to the Proxmox backup server dashboard:

proxmox backup server dashboard
Proxmox backup server dashboard

Closing thoughts

In this first article of the series dedicated to the Proxmox backup server, we saw how to download the distribution image, how to create a bootable device from it, and how to perform the installation using the Proxmox installer. In the next tutorial, we will take a tour of the web interface and see how to perform basic administrative tasks.

Comments and Discussions
Linux Forum