- Proxmox Backup Server: Install and configure - Fri, May 19 2023
- Using Docker with NAS and NFS - Mon, May 15 2023
- Create a Proxmox cluster - Fri, May 5 2023
Download Proxmox Backup Server
You can download the ISO file of Proxmox Backup Server from the official website and then extract it to a USB flash drive using Rufus or balenaEtcher.
The process of creating a bootable USB flash drive is similar to that of Proxmox VE.
Install Proxmox Backup Server
Once you have the bootable USB ready, plug it in, and boot your server from the USB drive. Then follow these steps:
- On the welcome screen, select the Install Proxmox Backup Server option, and press Enter.
- Read the end user license agreement and click the I agree button to proceed.
The installer will automatically detect all the hard drives connected to the server.
- Select your preferred installation target (hard disk) for Proxmox Backup Server, and click Next.
- Now, select your country, time zone, and keyboard layout, and click Next.
- Set a strong password for the root account, enter your email address, and click Next.
Proxmox Backup Server will send important alert notifications to this email address, so make sure you enter a valid email address here.
- Now select a management network interface and configure a hostname, IP address, gateway, and DNS for Proxmox Backup Server.
- Finally, review all the settings, and click Install.
The server restarts automatically after installation.
The management URL for Proxmox Backup Server is displayed on the login screen.
- Open this URL in the web browser to start managing your Proxmox Backup Server.
If you have a private DNS server configured, you can also use the server's hostname, such as https://pbs1.testlab.local:8007/.
Proxmox Backup Server GUI
Let's discuss various options available in the Proxmox Backup Server management interface. The Administration menu option allows you to perform various administrative tasks. Here, you can manage services, updates, repositories, and syslog. You can also restart or shut down Proxmox Backup Server.
Manage your subscription and repository
When you log in to the Proxmox Backup Server GUI, you will see a notification about no valid subscription.
You can purchase a subscription if you're planning to use this server in a production environment. After purchasing a subscription, click Subscription in the navigation menu and then click the Upload Subscription Key button, as shown in the screenshot below.
You can upload the subscription key here, which gives you access to the enterprise repository to receive production-grade updates that are heavily tested.
If you do not want to pay, you can enable a no-subscription repository to receive updates that are not as heavily tested as those of the enterprise repository. To enable the no-subscription repository, you first need to disable the enterprise repository, which is enabled by default. To do so, select Administration > Repositories. Now select the pbs-enterprise.list repository, and click the Disable button. See the following screenshot for reference:
After disabling the enterprise repository, click the Add button, choose the No-Subscription repository from the dropdown list, and click Add as shown in the screenshot:
Once you have enabled a suitable repository as per your requirements (enterprise or no-subscription), click the Administration menu, select the Updates tab, and then click the Refresh button to check for updates.
If updates are available, click the Upgrade button. The process starts in a new popup window, as you can see in the image.
There is only a root user that is created by default during the installation of Proxmox Backup Server. You can create a new user by clicking the Access Control submenu under Configuration and then going to the Under Management tab.
As you can see in the screenshot, I just created a Backup Operator user. Note that the realm for this new user is pbs, whereas the default root user is created under the pam realm. Realms are authentication methods supported by Proxmox VE and Proxmox Backup Server. We don't need to give this user any permissions right now; we will do that later.
Create a datastore
Storage is the heart of any backup system. Proxmox Backup Server supports both block-level and file-level backups. Before you can start using Proxmox Backup Server, you first need to configure a datastore—a location where backups are stored. To do so, click the Storage / Disks menu option. You will see a list of all the hard drives connected to your Proxmox Backup Server. Now select an unused disk and click Initialize Disk with GPT.
Once the disk is initialized, click the Directory tab, and then click the Create: Directory button, as shown in the screenshot.
Now, create a backup directory, as shown in the screenshot below:
Make sure the Add as Datastore checkbox is selected and click the Create button. This adds the newly created directory as a datastore. If you have multiple unused hard disks, you can click the ZFS option and create a ZFS pool. ZFS makes your backups more resilient to single-disk failures.
As soon as the backup directory is created, a new datastore appears in the Proxmox Backup Server interface. See the screenshot below for reference:
At this point, our new Proxmox Backup Server is ready for use with Proxmox VE.
By default, the root user on Proxmox Backup Server gets full access to the datastore. However, we will use the Backup Operator user that we created earlier and give it the required permissions. To do so, click the Permissions tab, then click Add, and select the User Permission option.
Now, select the Backup Operator user and assign a role to it. For our use case, the DatastoreAdmin role is sufficient, as it will allow our Backup Operator user to create and manage backups in the datastore.
Integrate with Proxmox VE
We can now integrate our new Proxmox Backup Server with Proxmox VE. To do so, log in to your Proxmox VE GUI and make sure the Datacenter node is selected at the top. Now, click the Storage option, click the Add button, and then choose Proxmox Backup Server from the dropdown list, as shown in the screenshot below:
Now, fill in all the fields, as shown in the screenshot below:
Notice how the username is specified here. Just entering the username (e.g., root or backup) is not sufficient; you also need to specify the realm. To specify the root user, you need to type root@pam in the username field. The fingerprint can be obtained from the Proxmox Backup Server Dashboard, as shown in the screenshot below:
Backup encryption can be enabled under the Encryption tab.
If you enable encryption, don't forget to download your encryption key, and keep it safe. Without this key, you will not be able to restore your encrypted backups.
Once Proxmox Backup Server is added under the Proxmox VE datacenter, it is immediately attached to every server (node) in your Proxmox cluster, as shown in the screenshot below:
Configure backups in Proxmox VE
We are now ready to create a backup job in the Proxmox VE datacenter to save the backups in Proxmox Backup Server. To do so, make sure Datacenter is selected in Proxmox VE. Now click the Backup option, and then click the Add button.
Now specify the following settings:
- Under Node, select All to back up all Proxmox VE servers. If you want, you can exclude specific servers here.
- Under Storage, select Proxmox Backup Server ID (pbs, in our case).
- Under Schedule, select a backup schedule as required. I set the backup to happen at 11:59 p.m. every day.
- Under Selection mode, choose All to back up all VMs and containers in the selected Proxmox servers. You may choose a different option to include or exclude any VM or container, as required.
- Under the Send email to and Email fields, enter your email address and configure it to receive alerts as required. I set it to receive alerts about backup failures only.
- Under the Mode field, choose a backup mode. Snapshot mode is the fastest and requires no downtime, but it can cause backup inconsistencies. For highly reliable and consistent backups, you may want to change the backup mode to Stop; keep in mind that this could cause VM downtime.
- Finally, the Enable checkbox ensures that the backup job is enabled.
The backup pruning settings can be configured on the Retention tab.
Our new backup job is now visible under the Backup option.
I will now click the Run now button to manually run the backup job. You will see detailed information about backups under the datastore in the Proxmox Backup Server interface.
Restore from backup
To restore a VM or container from backup, all you need to do is select the Proxmox Backup Server ID, locate the appropriate backup, select it, and then click the Restore button, as shown in the screenshot below:
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If you want to restore a particular file or folder, you can do so by clicking the File Restore button. You can also perform an on-demand backup and restore an individual VM or container to Proxmox Backup Server. You just need to select pbs as the storage target for your on-demand backup. For more details on Proxmox VE backup and restore, check out my previous post.
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