The Tiny Internet Project, Part II

Install Proxmox

1. Download the .iso and make a bootable USB. If you've ever downloaded a Linux .iso and used it to create a bootable USB or DVD, you can breeze through this step and go right to the installation. If you're new to the process, you'll need a couple tools. The Ubuntu website provides good instructions for Windows, Mac and Linux users. (See Resources to learn more about each.)

The DVD approach is doable, but it will take longer and it'll be a little less flexible. I recommend using USB thumbdrives for creating bootable OS installers, but sometimes an older system's BIOS may not support booting from USB. In those cases, rather than banging your head against a wall trying to get a raw system to start from USB, use a DVD. If you're using a Mac, this may be the only way to get started; support for USB booting on Apple hardware is a tutorial unto itself.

The .iso you want is the Proxmox Virtualization Environment (PVE). Using your administration PC, download the latest version. (It was 4.1 at the time of this writing.) The file is less than 1GB and easily fits on a 2GB thumbdrive. Burn the .iso to a USB.

Use your administration PC and go here and download the installer.

2. Boot the Proxmox PVE installer. Remove the USB from your administration PC and use it to boot your Proxmox machine.

The initial installation screen offers three choices. Select Install Proxmox VE.

Figure 3. Initial Proxmox Installation Screen

Next, choose the drive on which you want to install it. If your host machine has more than one drive, you'll get choices here. Otherwise, it will default to something like /dev/sda.

Figure 4. Choose the Installation Drive

As with any OS install, this will wipe out everything you have on the drive. Take your time and make sure to select the correct drive.

Set your location in the next screen before moving on to set up the network, which includes the hostname (the name of the machine as it will appear on your network and in DNS), the IP address, netmask, gateway and DNS server. These won't be random; you'll need to give some thought to your future network, your VMs and the address you're going to give your DNS server.

For your private network, you'll be deploying between five and seven machines that will need their own addresses and a domain name. I used "tiny.lab" to avoid using a .com, .net, .org or any other public domain extension that could cause problems. So, with this simple plan, you'll be creating the following:

  • The Proxmox host.

  • Two DNS servers.

  • One mail server.

  • One mirror.

  • Two or more web servers.

Given this schema, give the Proxmox host machine (pve in my example) the first non-gateway address, and address the others, like so:

  • pve — 10.128.1.2

  • dns01 — 10.128.1.3

  • dns02 — 10.128.1.4

  • mail — 10.128.1.5

  • mirror — 10.128.1.6

  • web01 — 10.128.1.7

Therefore, for the Proxmox host, set the Network Configuration settings to the following:

  • hostname — pve.tiny.lab

  • IP Address — 10.128.1.2

  • Netmask — 255.255.255.0

  • Gateway — 10.128.1.1

  • DNS Server — 10.128.1.3

Figure 5. Proxmox Network Configuration

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John S. Tonello is Director of IT for NYSERNet, Inc., in Syracuse, New York. He's been a Linux user and enthusiast since he installed his first Slackware system from diskette 20 years ago. You can follow him @johntonello.