How to install Proxmox in 2023

Proxmox can help you virtualize many machines into single or multiple servers, and in this guide, you will learn how to install the hypervisor.

Proxmox install from USB

The installation of Proxmox from a USB on a server is a straightforward process, and this guide will teach you how. Proxmox is an open-source virtualization hypervisor based on the Debian flavor of Linux that provides the necessary elements to create and run virtual machines and containers.

This is not an operating system like Windows Server, Ubuntu Server, or TrueNAS. It’s simply a hypervisor to carve a single server into multiple machines that can provide different services in the network.

It’s similar to VMWare ESXi, but the biggest difference is that Proxmox is completely free and you have full access to every available feature, including server clustering, backup, virtual machine, storage management, and more. VMWare offers a free version of ESXi, but it has a lot of limitations.

This guide will teach you the easy steps to install Proxmox on a server or computer hardware.

Proxmox hardware requirements

You can install Proxmox on any hardware with virtualization support and these are some of the minimum requirements:

  • CPU: 64-bit Intel EMT64 or AMD64 with Intel VT/AMD-V.
  • Memory: 2GB or more for the OS installation and 1GB for every 1TB of storage.
  • Storage: 8GB or more for the OS installation.

You will also need a network card (10 Gbit and higher is also supported) for internet and local networking access. The process must have VT-d/AMD-d enabled for PCIe passthrough. If you plan to build fast and redundant storage, it’s a good idea to use Solid-State Drives (SSDs).

You can set up Proxmox without hardware RAID batteries-protected write cache (“BBU”) or non-RAID with ZFS and SSD cache.

Also, before proceeding with the installation, you have to make sure to access the server’s Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) to enable virtualization.

The process to access the BIOS is different per manufacturer and even per device model. However, you would usually turn on the server, and press the “ESC,” “Delete,” or one of the Function keys (F1, F2, F10, F12, etc.) to access the firmware as shown on the screen. Then you would open the Configuration, Security, or Advanced page and enable “Virtualization Technology,” “Intel Virtual Technology,” or “SVM Mode option.” 

Create Proxmox bootable USB media

To create a Ubuntu Server bootable USB installation media, use these steps:

  1. Open Proxmox ISO download page.

  2. Click the Proxmox VE 7.x ISO Installer download button.

    Proxmox ISO download

  3. Save the ISO file on your computer.

  4. Open Rufus website.

  5. Under the “Download” section, click the download link for the latest version of the tool.

  6. Double-click the file to launch Rufus.

  7. Select the USB flash drive option in the “Device” setting.

  8. Click the Select button.

    Rufus create Proxmox bootable USB

  9. Choose the Proxmox ISO file.

  10. Click the Open button.

  11. Click the Start button.

After you complete the steps, you can proceed to connect the USB flash drive on the server to perform the clean installation of the Linux distro.

Install Proxmox from USB

To install Proxmox on a server from USB, use these steps:

  1. Start the server with the Ubuntu Server USB flash drive.

  2. Choose the “Install Proxmox VE” option and press Enter to continue.

    Install Proxmox VE

  3. Click the “I agree” button.

  4. Select the hard drive to install Proxmox in the “Target Harddisk” setting.

    Drive target installation

  5. Click the Next button.

  6. Choose your geographical location, time zone, and keyboard layout.

    Keyboard layout

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Confirm an administrator password and email address.

    Proxmox root password

    Quick note: This will be your password to sign in from the web interface.
  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Select the network adapter for the server in the “Management Interface” setting.

  11. Confirm a name for the server in the “Hostname (FQDN)” setting – for example, Proxmox-Server.

  12. Assign a static IP address for the Proxmox server in the “IP Address (CIDR)” setting.

    Proxmox static IP configuration

    Quick note: It’s best to select a TCP/IP address outside the DHCP scope, but from the network range.
  13. Assign a default gateway address (usually the router address) in the “Gateway” setting.

  14. Assign a DNS server address (usually the router or another service like Google Public DNS) in the “DNS Server” setting.

  15. Click the Next button.

  16. Click the Install button.

    Proxmox install from USB

  17. Confirm the server web interface IP address and port.

  18. Click the Reboot button.

Once you complete the steps, the setup will complete the installation of Proxmox on the server. It’s important to remember to remove the USB flash drive from the server to prevent booting accidentally into the setup again.

After the installation, open the web browser with the server address and port and sign in using the “root” username and the password you created during the setup.

If you receive the “You do not have a valid subscription for this server. Please visit to get a list of available options” message, you can safely ignore it because you can use this platform without a subscription.