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Proxmox 4.0 Beta 1 is Now Available

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proxmox logo gradThe latest release of Proxmox VE has entered it’s first BETA today with the release of Proxmox VE 4.0 BETA 1.

It’s the first public release of version 4.0 and comes with some pretty big changes!

HA Clusters are now configured using the Proxmox Web GUI and don’t require separate fencing kit – it’s provided out of the box. It’s about time, in my opinion, as plenty of other software manages HA without 3rd party processes to tell you what’s up and what’s down. This is a very welcome addition to any small Proxmox Cluster.

Linux Containers will replace OpenVZ as the Proxmox VE container solution. As you’d expect, LXCs will work with the usual Storage plugins offered by Proxmox, although Sheepdog, Ceph, iSCSI, DRBD and GlusterFS will be in a future release.

There are some other updates, such as the latest DRBD9 packages are shipped, and the whole thing runs on the latest Debian release, Debian Jessie 8.1.

You can download the ISO from their download site and install it onto a new machine. Unfortunately, because it’s still a BETA product there is no upgrade path from 3.4. I’d expect this to change in the near future.

It’s worth noting, however, that the website states that any BETA version of release 4.0 will be upgradeable to the full 4.0 when it’s available.

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New features in Proxmox Test Repository

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proxmox logo gradProxmox uses two main repositories (if you exclude the Enterprise repository) to release updates to Proxmox servers around the world. The usual repository pve-no-subscription is used to release updates for the Proxmox VE platform that are usually stable and tested. The other repository is the pvetest repository that contains new code that has not yet been thoroughly tested by the community. Updates in the pvetest repository should never be used in production, but are a great way to give something back to the Proxmox community by testing the code in a development environment and to see what new features are up and coming.

Martin Maurer sent an email to the Proxmox mailing list stating that a rift of changes and new features have been released to the pvetest repository and are available for download.

If you would like to use the pvetest repository on your Proxmox installation you will need to add the test repository source to your configuration. Remember, this is not recommended for production servers.

The notable features include:

  • A new Proxmox VE Firewall for the host and guests.
  • A new non-Java Html5 Console
  • Two-factor authentication

Keep an eye out for the official release, but we can speculate that a new version of Proxmox is just on the horizon containing these new updates.

Proxmox 3.2 is now available with SPICE, Ceph and updated QEMU

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proxmox logo gradProxmox has today released a new version of Proxmox VE, Proxmox 3.2 which is available as either a downloadable ISO or from the Proxmox repository.

Hilights of this release include’;

  • Ceph has now been integrated to the Proxmox web GUI as well as a new CLI command created for creating Ceph clusters. See my post on Ceph storage in Proxmox for more information.
  • SPICE is now fully integrated as the console viewer however the original Java console is still the default. SPICE supports multiple monitors and all recent guest operating systems.
  • QEMU has been updated with better backups and a few new supported guest hardware devices, mostly for compatibility with VMWare.

You can download the ISO from Proxmox directly at the following link:

If you already have Proxmox installed, you can use the below commands to automatically update your Proxmox servers to the latest 3.2 version from the terminal. Before updating, make sure all your VM’s have been stopped. Run the below commands on each server in your cluster.

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Restart all Proxmox servers to complete the installation.

New Proxmox BETA – now with Ceph

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ceph-tab-proxmoxProxmox has just released a new feature to the Proxmox VE software – Ceph integration. It is currently in BETA and available to test from the pvetest repository.

Ceph is a distributed storage engine which is designed to work over many nodes to provide resilient, highly available storage.

You will need to add the pvetest repository to your Proxmox installation by adding the below line to your apt sources file.

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

You may only need to add pvetest if you already have an entry similar to below. If not, add the full line to the bottom of the file. debian wheezy pvetest

The set up and installation of Ceph is detailed on my Ceph storage on Proxmox blog post.

Updates to Proxmox 3.1 including signed console applet

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proxmox logo grad

New updates to Proxmox 3.1 have been released which can be applied using apt-get.

The main feature in this suite of updates is that the Java VNC console is now signed which should result in far fewer annoying messages when starting the console. There are a few other updates, including bug fixes and support for iSCSI targets (istgt) on ZFS.

Run the update and upgrade command to apply the recent updates. There is no need to shut down any running guests or restart your host with this update.

Run apt-get update to download the information on the latest available updates.

apt-get update

Run apt-get upgrade to download and install the latest update packages. Press y when prompted to download and install the displayed packages.

apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
 libpve-access-control libpve-common-perl libpve-storage-perl pve-manager vncterm
5 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,634 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1,024 B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y

OpenNode – the Proxmox alternative

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open-nodeOver the past few days I have been looking at alternative virtualisation servers to Proxmox VE, something which I have been using for the past few years. This has been prompted by Proxmox’ recent move to subscription based stable repositories and free test repositories. What this means is that unless I pay a subscription, I am no longer allowed to use the stable Proxmox binaries through apt-get and have to use potentially unsafe ‘test’ binaries. Of cause, I could build the latest stable binaries directly from git but then there is another problem – I don’t know what commit is marked as ‘stable’ to use as my build source.

The trouble is, Proxmox is very good and has been around for quite a while under constant development. This means that it is feature rich, supporting two virtualisation methods (OpenVZ and KVM), has native support for many storage backends and has a nice web-based GUI to control it all. Other offerings are plentiful but none do quite the same job as Proxmox.

OpenNode is the closest I can find which is an immature version of Proxmox based on CentOS. It has support for both OpenVZ and KVM as well as a web GUI to administer it. It is a much younger product so don’t expect the same functionality as Proxmox but it’s showing promise and has an active and growing user base.

OpenNode has a few extras, compared with Proxmox, such as a SSH based GUI for downloading and maintaining VM templates (OpenVZ and KVM), adding storage locations and creating new VMs. The command is called opennode and starts a shell based GUI which you can move through with TAB and arrow keys.

Opennode TUI

Main menu in the TUI, the shell based administration tool.

Opennode TUI download kvm template

The KVM template download screen above is quite limited, however the are more up-to-date options for OpenVZ templates.opennode-login-screen

The web based GUI is hosted on a running OpenVZ container which, using the TUI tool, is registered with the OpenNode system. You can download and register the web based GUI using the TUI utility from the command line.

After logging in with the following:

  • username = opennode
  • password = changeme

You will be presented with the home page – I have nothing running at the moment as you can see from the below screen.

opennode web gui

As I said previously, this is still a little immature compared with Proxmox – it’s not as feature rich or as polished. That said, it looks after OpenVZ and KVM VMs and makes it very easy to add new templates and edit and create your own. The most understated attribute is the web Terminal – it doesn’t require Java and works like a charm! Combine that with no annoying ‘No valid subscription’ popups and OpenNode is looking more and more appealing.

So… should you ditch Proxmox and make the switch? I’m not sure, but be damn sure to give it a trial.

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