This guide will show you how to install Proxmox VE on a ZFS RAID1, version 6.3-3 at the time of writing.
This guide assumes that you have a motherboard and processor that supports
Virtualization/VT-d and has a
UEFI bios. It’s also strongly recommended that you have at least 4 CPU cores and
16GB of RAM.
It is strongly recommended that the OS is installed on at two (mirror) disks that are at least
128GB in size, but
500GB is much preferred. They don’t have to be the exact brand, but should be roughly the same size and speed. This guide also uses
ZFS filesystem because of it’s extreme reliability, ability to perform easy disk replacement as well as the integrity of the data.
Hardware used in this tutorial:
- Motherboard: Supermicro X9DRL-3F/iF
- CPU: 2 x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 v2 @ 2.60GHz (2 Sockets, 32 Cores)
- RAM: 32GB (8 x 4GB) DIMM DDR3 1333 MHz ECC Memory
- OS Disks: 2 x 500GB SSDs
- Data disks: 9 x 3TB SATA Disks
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 960 SSC
Let’s get started!
Create Installation Media
Make sure you have a USB drive that is at least 1GB in size.
Perform these steps:
PVEISO from here.
- Download and install Balena Etcher
- Use downloaded ISO and install to USB drive.
UEFI BIOS Settings
This part of the tutorial will likely vary in a significant way. Most Supermicro motherboards will look very similar to this. The big idea here is to make sure that these settings are set.
Navigate using the arrow keys to
CPU Configuration. Be sure that
Intel Virtualization Technology is set to
Escape, then navigate to
North Bridge, then
Integrated IO Configuration. Be sure that
Intel(R) VT-d is set to
Escape three times, then navigate to
PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration. Set
Launch Storage OpROM policy to
UEFI only, and
VGA Priority to
Onboard. (NOTE: The
Onboard setting is especially important for
PCI/GPU passthrough, but also makes using
IPMI better as it will allow for full remote troubleshooting as well)
Escape and use the arrow keys to navigate to
Boot menu. Set the
Boot Mode Select option to
UEFI. Also be sure that the
UEFI boot device priority to use the
USB installation media, then be sure that this
USB disk is set as the first boot device.
Exit and save changes and reboot.
Boot from Installation Media and Install
Follow the instructions in this guide: PVE Installation Guide
There’s no real need to go through all the instructions as they have already been documented in great detail in the link just above. However, this guide will show specific settings that will install
Proxmox VE on a
ZFS RAID 1.
Follow the steps until you hit the
Click on the
Options button and select
zfs (RAID1) from the
Filesystem dropdown. (NOTE: If you only have one disk, use the
zfs (RAID0) option instead, this is setting when only one disk will be used.) See this in the option below:
zfs (RAID1) has been selected, set
Harddisk 0 and
Harddisk 1 to the two disks you plan to use for the OS install. (Above you’ll see that I am using two
500GB SSDs). Be sure to select
-- do not use -- for any disk you do not want to use for the OS install. Any disk used in this setup will be erased. (NOTE: Be absolutely sure you select the correct disks, otherwise
PERMANENT DATA LOSS will occur.)
Advanced Options, the default settings below are just fine. I would just recommend verifying that
Once finished, click
OK. When that window dissappears, the screen will look like the below image. Take note that you should see the
Target: zfs (RAID1) at the bottom of the screen.
Continue filling out the rest of the installation steps and information until you hit the
Summary screen. Now this screen will likely be very different for you, however, this is the time to verify all your settings before proceed. After this step, there is no going back. Take note to verify that the
Filesystem: is set to
zfs (RAID1) and
Disks(s): should contain a maximum of two disks. (Optional) It’s up to you, but I’d recommend de-selecting
Automatically reboot after successful installation so that you have time to remove the
If everything looks good, go ahead and finish the install.
Once the install has finished, remove the installation media and reboot the machine.
If you’re lucky, you should see a black screen with white text on it. It should give you the option to login using your
root user and password. Feel free to login and check things out.
At this point, you’ll also be able to manage your new
Proxmox VE hypervisor using a web browser. Open up a browser and navigate to (https://youripaddress:8006). You might have to accept an SSL exception, go ahead and do that, it’s normal. Login using
root and the password you set during the install.
NOTE: If it didn’t boot correctly, double check your
BIOS settings and be sure that your newly installed OS is set as the 1st boot device. Be absolutely sure that it’s booting into the
Proxmox VE OS in
NOTE: If your OS boots into a prompt with
(initramfs), this means that your OS was not able to boot from
ZFS. This isn’t great, but is super easy to fix. Run the following commands:
# Manually import the ZFS root RAID1 array zpool import -R / rpool # Exit out and boot into the OS exit
At this point, it should boot into
Proxmox VE normally.
Congratulations! You have a fresh install of
I have a setup guide article that will help you turn this basic install into a powerful all-in-one hypervisor.
Take a look at that guide here.