If you are delving into running Proxmox VE for your home lab or other use cases and are coming from other hypervisors you may have been playing around with, like me, you may struggle a bit with some of the basics when getting started learning the platform. One of those tasks is updating Proxmox to the latest Proxmox VE version. Let’s take a look at how to update repositories and perform a dist upgrade to the latest version without having a Proxmox subscription.
Learn how to install Proxmox VE in VMware vSphere:
What is Proxmox VE?
Proxmox VE is an enterprise hypervisor that I have seen really gaining popularity among the home usage community and elsewhere as it provides a readily available and Proxmox works with most hardware that other hypervisors work with.
Proxmox VE is a complete open-source virtualization platform for enterprise virtualization. With PVE you can run virtual machines and even containers with your Proxmox VE installation.
It also includes a free Proxmox Backup Server that provides an enterprise backup solution for backing up and recovering your virtual machines, containers, and physical hosts, all in one solution.
You can learn more about and download Proxmox VE from here:
Why upgrade Proxmox VE?
Like any good lifecycle management, upgrading ProxMox VE is best practice. The last thing you want to do is neglect to upgrade your hypervisor platform that you are running your critical virtual machines and containers on. Performing a dist upgrade ensures getting the latest security and other updates for your Proxmox VE solution.
There are a couple of ways you upgrade your Proxmox VE installation, using the Proxmox web interface, or using the apt get update proxmox ve and apt get upgrade commands from the command line, either at the console or from an SSH connection.
Proxmox VE no subscription upgrade challenges
One of the challenges when starting off with Proxmox VE you may run into is Proxmox VE asks for a valid subscription to upgrade the platform. If you have a PVE no subscription installation, how do you perform a run disk upgrade on the hypervisor for non-enterprise use?
The good news is even if you have a non-licensed version, non-PVE enterprise installation that is not a paid version, you can still retrieve software upgrades on your non-enterprise version to update Proxmox.
Like all other Linux distributions, upgrades and updates pull from a repository. Proxmox VE by default is geared towards production use, and the update and upgrade repositories are pointed to the enterprise repository locations accordingly.
Default Proxmox VE upgrade settings
The default Proxmox VE upgrade settings point to enterprise repositories. So, when you run software upgrades using the run dist upgrade command you may see the error that you are running PVE no subscription.
This is because, by default, Proxmox VE points to the enterprise repo to pull down package lists. So, when you download and install Proxmox VE, it is set up for PVE enterprise and the PVE no subscription configuration is something you can introduce. Let’s work on the PVE no subscription repository subscription repository.
Proxmox Update No Subscription Repository Configuration
What steps are needed to pivot from the enterprise repository to a no subscription configuration with Proxmox VE? The enterprise repository is defined in the etc apt sources.list.d configuration file. The PVE no subscription repository configuration is defined in the repository files.
Proxmox 8 and higher
The files changed a little with Proxmox 8 and higher. Note the following changes you need to make:
#/etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list From: deb https://enterprise.proxmox.com/debian/pve bookworm enterprise To: deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/pve bookworm pve-no-subscription #/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ceph.list From: deb https://enterprise.proxmox.com/debian/ceph-quincy bookworm enterprise To: deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/ceph-quincy bookworm no-subscription
Before Proxmox 8
The steps for setting up a PVE no subscription configuration is configured using the etc apt sources.list.d file found at:
Add the following line in the /etc/apt/sources.list file:
deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/pve bullseye pve-no-subscription
Now, we just need to comment out a line in another file located here:
After editing and saving both of the above files, we need to run an apt-get update proxmox VE command at the command line.
After updating the repository with the non enterprise repo, we can perform a non pve enterprise repository upgrade using the command:
As you can see below, I have an upgrade that is available for the Proxmox VE server ready to install after configuring the upgrade to bypass the subscription requirement.
Proxmox VE upgrade FAQs
What is Proxmox VE?
Proxmox VE is an open-source server management platform for enterprise virtualization. It provides integration with the KVM hypervisor and Linux Containers (LXC), software-defined storage and networking functionality, on a single platform. You can use the web-based user interface to manage virtual machines, LXC containers, Proxmox clusters, or integrate disaster recovery tools.
Why am I getting a Proxmox subscription error about updates?
By default, Proxmox VE is pointed to the enterprise repositories which requires a subscription to perform updates. However, this is a minor configuration change to bypass the enterprise repo and point to the non enterprise repo for pulling down updates.
How do I configure Proxmox for the non enterprise repository?
There are essentially two files that you need to edit, the /etc/apt/sources.list file and the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list file. After editing the files with the configuration listed above, you run an apt-get update and then the command apt dist-upgrade.
Is Proxmox free?
Yes, Proxmox is free to download and install in your environment. Additionally, as shown, you can change from the enterprise version of the update proxmox repository to the non enterprise version.
Proxmox VE is a great platform for the home lab or for enterprise use and provides many great capabilities to run virtual machines and containerized workloads in your environment. By editing just a few minor configuration files, you can easily bypass the requirement for the subscription when updating Proxmox VE installations with the latest upgrades. It allows keeping Proxmox installations up to date with the latest security patches and other upgrades from Proxmox.