How to configure Proxmox part 2

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How to configure Proxmox part 2

How-to written and screenshots taken on 2021 October 66 min read


What started as a project to run "some crypto applications" grew into something much bigger, but also more useful. I learned a tremendous amount about virtual machines, lxc containers and Proxmox. And although I'm just scratching the surface and I don't actually understand it, I know how to do some things. I'll write them down here, partly for myself, but also for you in hopes it will save one of us a lot of time and frustration.


Proxmox has a lot of configuration options. Obviously many of them are dependent on what you want to achieve. In How to install and configure Proxmox I described the most basic configuration options. Here I'll list some more specific ones.

Always make backups

Proxmox config is very delicate. Almost all settings can be configured through the GUI, but sometimes you might have to dig into config files with the CLI. ALWAYS make a backup before doing so! I learned the hard way that messing up only one file (especially related to the cluster) can mean a full reinstall of that cluster!

Add users and groups

  1. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" -> "Groups" and create group Admins

    Add admin group

  2. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" -> "Users" and create user.

    Add admin user

  3. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" click Add -> Group Permissions.

    Set admin group permissions

  4. Enter Path \, Group Admins and Role Administrator.

    Set admin group permissions

  5. Open a private browser window and login with your newly created user. Check if you have sufficient permissions (everything should be visible). Logout and close the private browser.

  6. Optional: In your "normal" browser screen logout the root user and login with your own user name. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" -> "Users" and disable the root user.

    This is optional, because some tasks can only be done by the root user. Although this is safer, you have to re-enable the root user each time you need to do one of these restricted/root tasks. I would suggest you disable the root user when you're confident everything is running smoothly.

Basic security

Two Factor Authentication

  1. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" -> "Users", select the root user and click "TFA". Scan the QR code with your authenticator app.

    Enable TFA for users

  2. Repeat for all users, obviously with their own authenticator.

  3. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Permissions" -> "Authentication" and enable TFA for both Realms.

    Enable TFA for realm

Private key console login

  1. Open a shell to the master node.

    • Get the private key:

      cat ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    • Copy the key to your machine: C:\users\<username>\.ssh\<hostname>, without file extension.

    • Open this file with PuTTYgen and save as C:\users\<username>\.ssh\<hostname>.ppk. The key can now be used with PuTTY.

    • Store this key somewhere safe.

  2. Disable user-password login (this needs to be done on each machine):

    • Open sshd_config:

      nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • Find and edit lines below:

      PasswordAuthentication no
      UsePAM no
    • Restart ssh service

      systemctl restart ssh


(Re)naming storage

The default file storage location in Proxmox is called local. VM storage is called local-zfs when using ZFS or local-lvm when using LVM. This is fine if you have a single node, but becomes confusing when multiple nodes in a cluster have storage that has the same name. Therefor I renamed it.

  1. Open a shellsession to the Proxmox node.

  2. Open file /etc/pve/storage.cfg and change the names. You cannot rename local!!! To change, create a new directory storage and disable local.

    nano /etc/pve/storage.cfg

    Remame storage

  3. If you already have VM's that use this storage (links to ISO on local and virtual disk on local-zfs) you have to change them manually.

    nano /etc/pve/qemu-server/<vmid>.conf

    Remame storage in VM

NFS storage

If you have a NAS than it's almost a must to store VM backups on it. After enabling NFS on the NAS (TrueNas example), you can add the share in Proxmox.

  1. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Storage" and add NFS storage.

    Add NFS storage

  2. Enter details of storage:

    • ID: nfs-<poolname>
    • Server: <ip address of NAS>
    • Export: /mnt/pool1/proxmox (this list will show automatically after you enter the server address is entered)
    • Content: ISO image, Container template, VZDump backup file, Snippets

    Enter NFS storage details

  3. The NFS store/pool is now available to Proxmox.

    NFS pool available in Proxmox

iSCSI storage

After creating an iSCSI target on your NAS/SAN (TrueNas example), you can add the target in Proxmox.

  1. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Storage" and add iSCSI storage.

    Add iSCSI storage

  2. Enter details of iSCSI target:

    • ID: iscsi-<poolname>
    • Portal: <ip address of NAS>:3260
    • Target: (this list will show automatically after you enter the server address is entered)
    • Uncheck "Use LUNs directly"

    Enter iSCSI storage details

  3. The iSCSI target is now available to Proxmox. Click "Add" and choose "LVM".

    iSCSI pool available in Proxmox

  4. Enter details of LVM storage:

    • ID: iscsi-<poolname>-lvm
    • Base storage: <poolname> (iSCSI)
    • Base volume: CH 00 ID 0 LUN 0 (in my case)
    • Volume group: iscsi-<poolname>-lvm
    • Content: Disk image, container

    Create iSCSI LVM storage in Proxmox

  5. You can now add a VM or LXC disk on iSCSI.

    Add a VM disk on iSCSI


  1. Go to "Datacenter" -> "Backup" and add a weekly backup job

    Weekly VM backups

  2. If you want to make a backup of TrueNas than you can't store it on a TrueNas network drive. So you have to create a separate backup job for the TrueNas VM that store the backup locally.

    Weekly VM backup TrueNas

Rsync cronjob

This local backup can then be transfered to either another node in the cluster or to the NAS. This can be automated with an rsync cronjob.

  1. Open a shell session to the Proxmox node.

  2. Open crontab:

    crontab -e
  3. Add lines:

    # Every saturday at 0:25 UTC: Copy local backup of TrueNas machine to NAS
    25 0 * * 6 rsync -avh /var/lib/vz/dump/vzdump-qemu-100* root@

    Weekly rsync job