Proxmox virtualization software

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Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE is a complete open source solution for enterprise virtualization. The built-in web interface makes it easy to manage VMs and containers, software-defined storage and networking, high-availability clustering, and multiple out-of-the-box tools on a single solution.


Server virtualization with support for KVM and LXC

Proxmox VE is based on Debian GNU/Linux and uses a custom Linux kernel. The Proxmox VE source code is free and released under the GNU Affero General Public License, v3 (GNU AGPL, v3). This means that you are free to use the software, access the source code at any time, or contribute to the project yourself.

The use of open-source software guarantees full access to all functionalities at all times and a high degree of reliability and security. We encourage everyone to contribute to the Proxmox VE project, while Proxmox, the company behind it, ensures that the product meets consistent and enterprise-class quality criteria.

Read more about the Proxmox technology .

Linux Proxmox

Container Based Virtualization

Container-based virtualization technology is a lightweight alternative to full machine virtualization because it offers less overhead.

Linux Containers (LXC)

LXC is an operating system level virtualization environment for running multiple, isolated Linux systems on a single Linux operating host. LXC works as a userspace interface for the Linux kernel containment functions. Users can easily create and manage system or application containers with a powerful API and simple tools.

Read more about Linux Containers (LXC)

Management via web app

Central management

While many people start with a single node, Proxmox VE can grow into a large number of clustered nodes. The cluster stack is fully integrated and comes with the default installation. To manage all the tasks of your virtual data center, you can use the central web-based management interface.

Web-based management interface

Proxmox VE is easy to use. You can perform all management tasks with the integrated graphical user interface (GUI), no need to install a separate management tool. The central web interface is based on the ExtJS JavaScript framework and can be used with any modern browser. It helps you to manage all functionalities from the user interface and to oversee the history or syslogs of each individual node. This includes running backup jobs, live migration, software-defined storage, or HA-enabled activities. The multi-master tool allows you to manage your entire cluster from any node of your cluster; you don’t need a dedicated management node.

Unique multi-master design

The integrated web-based management interface gives you a clear overview of all your KVM guests and Linux containers and even your entire cluster. You can easily manage your VMs and containers, storage or cluster from the GUI. There is no need to install a separate, complex and expensive management server.

role-based administration

You can define granular access for all objects (such as VMs, storage, nodes, etc.) by using role-based user and permission management. This allows you to define privileges and control access to objects. This concept is also known as access control lists: each permission specifies a subject (a user or group) and a role (set of permissions) on a specific path.

Bridged Networking

Proxmox VE uses a bridged network model. Each host can have up to 4094 bridges.

Bridges are implemented as physical network switches in software on the Proxmox VE host. All VMs can share a single bridge as if each guest’s virtual network cables were all connected to the same switch. To connect VMs to the outside world, bridges are attached to physical network cards that are assigned a TCP/IP configuration.

For greater flexibility, VLANs (IEEE 802.1q) and network binding/aggregation are possible. In this way, it is possible to build complex, flexible virtual networks for the Proxmox VE hosts, leveraging the full power of the Linux networking stack.

Read more about the Proxmox VE network configuration .

Flexible storage

Flexible, software-defined storage

The Proxmox VE storage model is very flexible. Virtual machine images can be stored on one or more local storage spaces or on shared storage such as NFS and SAN.

There are no limits, you can configure as many storage definitions as you want. You can use all storage technologies available for Debian GNU / Linux.

The advantage of storing VMs on shared storage is the ability to migrate active machines live without any downtime.

You can add the following storage types in the Proxmox VE web interface:

Supported Network Storage Types

  • LVM Group (network backing with iSCSI targets)
  • iSCSI target
  • NFS Share
  • CIFS
  • Ceph RBD
  • Direct to iSCSI LUN
  • GlusterFS
  • CephFS

Supported local storage types

  • LVM Group
  • Directory (storage on existing filesystem)
  • ZFS

Read more about the Proxmox VE Storage Model


Proxmox VE Firewall

The built-in Proxmox VE Firewall provides an easy way to protect your IT infrastructure. The firewall is fully customizable, allowing for complex configurations via GUI or CLI.

You can set firewall rules for all hosts within a cluster, or define rules only for virtual machines and containers. Features such as firewall macros, security groups, IP sets, and aliases help make that task easier.

Distributed Firewall

While all configuration is stored on the cluster file system, the iptables-based firewall runs on each cluster node, ensuring complete isolation between virtual machines. The distributed nature of this system also provides much greater bandwidth than a central firewall solution.


Live/Online Migration

The integrated live/online migration feature allows you to move running virtual machines from one Proxmox VE cluster node to another without any downtime or noticeable effect on the part of the end user.

Administrators can start this process with a script or with the web interface, making it a simple process. This allows you to easily take a VM offline for maintenance or upgrades.


Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

KVM is the leading Linux virtualization technology for full virtualization. It is a kernel module merged into the mainline Linux kernel and it runs with near native performance on any x86 hardware with virtualization support – either Intel VT-x or AMD-V.

With KVM, you can run both Windows and Linux on virtual machines (VMs) where each VM has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc. By running several applications in VMs on a single hardware, you can save power and reduce costs, while also giving you the flexibility to build a flexible and scalable software-defined data center that meets your business requirements.

Proxmox VE includes KVM support since the project’s inception in 2008 (that’s since version 0.9beta2).

Read more about KVM


Proxmox cluster file system (pmxcfs)

Proxmox VE uses the unique Proxmox Cluster File System (pmxcfs), a database-driven file system developed by Proxmox.

The pmxcfs allows you to save configuration files. By using corosync, these files are replicated to all cluster nodes in real time. The file system stores all data in a permanent database on disk, but a copy of the data resides in RAM. The maximum storage size is currently 30 MB – more than enough to store the configuration of several thousand VMs.

Proxmox VE is the only virtualization platform that uses this unique cluster file system pmxcfs.

Command line interface (CLI)

For advanced users accustomed to the comfort of the Unix shell or Windows Powershell, Proxmox VE provides a command line interface to manage all components of your virtual environment. This command-line interface has intelligent tab completion and full documentation in the form of UNIX man pages.


Proxmox VE uses a RESTful API. We choose JSON as primary data format and the whole API is formally defined using JSON schema. This allows for quick and easy integration for third-party management tools, such as custom hosting environments.


Authentication realms

Proxmox VE supports multiple authentication sources such as Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, Linux PAM standard authentication or the built-in Proxmox VE authentication server.

High Availability cluster

Proxmox VE High Availability Cluster

A multi-node Proxmox VE HA cluster enables the definition of highly available virtual servers. The Proxmox VE HA cluster is based on proven Linux HA technologies and provides stable and reliable HA service.

Proxmox VE HA Manager

The resource manager, called Proxmox VE HA Manager, monitors all VMs and containers in the entire cluster and automatically springs into action if any of them fail. The Proxmox VE HA Manager works out-of-the-box – zero configuration is required. In addition, the watchdog-based fence greatly simplifies implementation.

The complete settings of the Proxmox VE HA Cluster can be easily configured with the integrated web-based user interface.

Proxmox VE HA Simulator

Proxmox VE includes a HA simulator. Allows you to test the behavior of a real-world 3-node cluster with 6 VMs.

The Proxmox HA Simulator works out-of-the-box and helps you learn and understand the Proxmox VE HA functionality.

Read more about the Proxmox VE High Availability .


Backup and Restore

Backups are a basic requirement of any sensible IT environment. The Proxmox VE platform provides a fully integrated solution, leveraging the capabilities of any storage and guest system type.

The Proxmox VE backups are always full backups – with VM and container configuration and all data. Backups can be easily started with the GUI or with the vzdump backup tool (via the command line).

The integrated backup tool (vzdump) creates consistent snapshots of active containers and KVM guests. It basically creates an archive of the VM or container data and also contains the configuration files.

Scheduled backup

Backup jobs can be scheduled to run automatically on specific days and times for selectable nodes and guest systems.

backup storage

KVM live backup works for all storage types, including VM images on NFS, iSCSI LUN, Ceph RBD or Sheepdog. The Proxmox VE backup format is optimized for quickly and effectively storing VM backups (scarce files, non-working data, minimal I/O).

Proxmox Backup is available as a service. Read more about Proxmox VE Backup

IPv4 and IPv6

Both the firewall and the entire Proxmox stack have full support for IPv4 and IPv6. IPv6 support is completely transparent and we filter traffic for both protocols by default. So there is no need to maintain a different set of rules for IPv6.

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