In the past on EssayBoard, I’ve often mentioned about VirtualBox. In this post, I like to introduce you to another awesome virtualization software. OK, so we all know how cool VirtualBox is — it’s free and awesome at virtualizing such as creating a virtual machine. What VirtualBox doesn’t have, Proxmox VE probably has them. For instance, VirtualBox has a powerful graphical user interface which depends entirely on an operating system to control and manipulate each virtual machine, but with Proxmox VE you have to use a browser to do so. In fact, if your operating system has Java working correctly, Proxmox VE allows you to use Java to open up a console which is known as Open VNC so you can manipulate your virtual machines as if you’re physically sitting right in front of them. Besides Open VNC, Proxmox VE also allows you to use Qemu to manipulate the virtual machines using the browser (I’m not familiar with qemu yet). Simply put, Proxmox VE has a very powerful web interface that allows you to manipulate virtual machines.
Installing Proxmox VE is easy as pop in the CD/DVD which has Proxmox VE’s installation image, filling in necessary information that are self-explanatory, and just watch it installing everything without any further intervention. Before installing Proxmox VE, make sure you backup whatever you need on that hard drive or it will be wiped out by Proxmox VE! After Proxmox VE is done with the installation, make sure you execute the command [sudo aptitude update] and [sudo aptitude safe-upgrade]. Don’t forget to secure Proxmox VE by installing a firewall and antivirus and so on. If you’re installing firewall for Proxmox VE, make sure you open up ports 80 and 443 for incoming connection so you will be able to use your browser to manipulate Proxmox VE’s virtual machines.
Creating virtual machines with Proxmox VE is really easy! I prefer to go with KVM (full virtualized), but if your hardware isn’t capable of doing KVM, you can do OpenVZ. KVM allows you to upload any operating system image such as an ISO of Ubuntu from Ubuntu’s website; you can install that inside a virtual machine. OpenVZ requires you to use a ready to deploy images/virtual-machines such as an OpenVZ template, and these you can download inside the web interface of Proxmox VE. Unfortunately, OpenVZ templates are not up to date since I see many of them are packaged with older operating systems such as Ubuntu 8.04. We all know at this point in time Ubuntu is at version 10.10. This is why you should go for KVM when possible.
Promox VE also supports cluster, but I haven’t had a chance to mess around with this yet! Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for me to get some experience with Proxmox VE’s cluster, because someone else has already post a how-to cluster with Proxmox VE at here.
In summary, I’ve found Proxmox VE very stable for running virtual machines. The Open VNC console still needs some improvement in my opinion since when I used it to install my virtual machine, I couldn’t open it to full screen view. Luckily I’m an adept at installing Ubuntu, and so I was able to blindly installing Ubuntu with some of the instruction weren’t showing up on the console. The web interface is a nice touch since you can control your virtual machines anywhere as long you are near a computer with an Internet connection and without a terminal/shell/putty. In the end, Proxmox VE is awesome. I won’t compare Proxmox VE against VirtualBox, because in the end it comes down to personal taste and experience. Why don’t you try Proxmox VE out and let me know what you think about it in the comment section below this post.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that Proxmox VE is free to download and free to use! Get it here!