Virtualization by way of Proxmox

date: 2023-01-09

First install

I haven't been that much into virtualization of computers, but I did use VirtualBox early on (2008 or before) and I have occasionally used Gnome Boxes. I have known about Proxmox for a while now, but didn't have any experience with it until yesterday.

Proxmox Virtual Environment

I have the need to try out some software services and also possibly continue to run them. I have plenty of hardware and could easily have one physical machine per service. I am fine with doing that for services I plan on running for a long time, but for quickly trying things out, testing on hardware just takes a bit more time.

I've seen videos of people using proxmox, especially in demonstrations of software or Linux distro reviews. Thought I'd give it a try myself.

So far, I got it installed and installed LMDE 5 on a virtual machine. It worked alright. Graphics performance with Cinnamon was a bit laggy. I did change it to software rendered option on the login menu and that removed the error message. I tried a lighter weight window manager (jwm) and that was pretty quick.

The main purpose of Proxmox for me and most people is to run server type services that do not have graphical user interfaces... but I would like to use it to make some "how to" videos with different operating systems, both for my local clients and for projects.


The mini PCs are great for these small virtualization servers. I used an HP EliteDesk 800 G3 mini because I had one available. I put 16GB of memory in it. It can for sure be upgraded to 32GB and possibly 64GB. So memory is definitely a limitation of these mini PCs compared to server class machines like the Dell PowerEdge series servers, as those can be upgraded with much more memory. Servers a decade old can often be upgraded to 512GB memory or more.

The Mini PCs are much less expensive, quieter and use less power. So they are a good fit for people who want to use them at home.

Services I plan on testing

I have quite a few things I'd like to test. Here's a sampling:

Cloning servers

I haven't done a whole lot of research yet on how to use Proxmox, but I believe I can clone virtual machines. So I plan on creating a base Devuan server VM and then clone it each time I want to do some testing or deploy something.

Proxmox also has LXC containers. I do not know much about them yet, but there's a chance I may like them more than docker and if I did have the need to run a lot of things at once, containers would probably be less resource intensive than VMs.

It's a start

I do plan on trying out more virtualization managers in addition to proxmox. I am very interested in Bhyve on illumos based distros.

The bhyve hypervisor

Proxmox is a quick way to get started with the testing that I want to do, though. I noticed that it has a bridged network connection so the VMs are right on my local network with addresses like I expect them to be and I should be able to SSH into them from other machines on my local network and set up port forwarding rules from my router.

This is likely a tool that will help me get more done and learn faster than if I had to use a physical machine for everything I want to try.

tags: #virtualization #proxmox #bhyve