Proxmox

Proxmox 8: New Features and Home Lab Upgrade Instructions

The launch of Proxmox VE 8.0 marks a significant milestone in the evolution of open-source virtualization software. The bedrock of this release is Debian Bookworm, a name that has become synonymous with reliability and quality. This new release propels Proxmox to unprecedented levels of stability, making it a trustworthy solution for your complex virtualization needs in the home lab and production environments. Let’s dive into Proxmox 8 new features and home lab upgrade instructions to forklift your Proxmox VE 7.4 server to 8.0.3.

What is Proxmox?

Proxmox VE (Proxmox Virtual Environment) is an open-source server virtualization management solution allowing users to manage virtual machines, such as Windows or Linux machines and Linux containers. It’s based on the Debian Linux distribution and combines two virtualization technologies, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and LXC (Linux Containers), managed through a web-based interface.

The Proxmox platform is used in virtual environments to improve efficiency and ease management tasks. It allows users to deploy, manage, and monitor virtual machines (VMs) and containers, network settings, storage systems, and more, all from a single, integrated platform.

Proxmox also provides high-level features like live migrations of VMs without downtime, high availability, or automated backups, making it a robust choice for managing virtual environments, whether for small businesses or larger enterprises. Its open-source nature allows for active community involvement and provides a cost-effective solution for virtualization needs.

Proxmox 8 – a short list of new features

  • Based on Debian 12 with an upgraded newer Linux kernel 6.2

  • Incorporates QEMU 8.0.2, LXC 5.0.2, and ZFS 2.1.12 in its virtualization stack

  • Ceph Server default is Ceph Quincy 17.2 with ongoing support

  • Enterprise repository for Ceph now available to all Proxmox VE subscribers for enhanced production system stability

  • Additional Text-based User Interface (TUI) integrated into the installer ISO

  • Host network bridge and VNet access are now integrated into the Proxmox VE ACL system for virtual guest configuration

  • Automated synchronization of users and groups from an LDAP/AD server with the new access realm sync jobs

  • New default CPU type for VMs set to x86-64-v2-AES

  • Resource mappings allow for a link between PCI(e) or USB devices and nodes within a Proxmox VE cluster

  • Numerous enhancements to both the GUI and API.

Enhanced Network Management with Proxmox 8

One of the key advancements in Proxmox 8.0 is in the realm of network management. The new version allows for efficient synchronization of users and groups from an LDAP/AD server. IT administrators can manage user access with higher precision, resulting in a more secure environment. Additionally, the integration of host network bridge and VNet access into the ACL system simplifies network resource management.

It also includes: Integrate host network bridge and VNet access when configuring virtual guests into the ACL system of Proxmox VE.

With the new SDN.Use privilege and the new /sdn/zones/<zone>/<bridge-or-vnet>/<vlan-tag> ACL object path, you can give out fine-grained usage permissions for specific networks to users.

Noteworthy Improvements in Proxmox 8’s Web Interface

Proxmox VE 8.0 brings a wave of improvements to the web interface. The GUI now considers the complete Proxmox VE cluster subscription status when selecting the Ceph repository. This intelligent design ensures optimal performance for your cluster. The dark color theme, introduced in Proxmox VE 7.4, has also been refined based on user feedback, offering a visually pleasing and intuitive user experience.

Exploring Proxmox 8’s New Features for Virtual Machines

In this release, Proxmox has also introduced substantial enhancements for virtual machines. The new QEMU Version 8.0 brings several improvements, including initial support for NetBSD and OpenBSD and a new implementation based on Rust for the virtiofsd codebase. Moreover, the Proxmox team has rectified various issues related to volume size information, Nvidia grid drivers, and SMBIOS UUID for Nvidia vGPU passthrough, ensuring a smooth operation of your virtual machines.

Container Improvements in Proxmox VE 8.0

Proxmox Virtual Environment 8.0 doesn’t stop at VMs; it also offers improvements for containers. The handling of /etc/machine-id on clone operations has been fine-tuned. The cgroup limit has also been set to 99.6% of configured memory, providing a safeguard against Out-of-Memory (OOM) conditions.

General Improvements for Virtual Guests in Proxmox 8

Proxmox 8.0 also features enhancements aimed at improving the experience for virtual guests. For instance, the validation of the provided name of the clone now occurs in the frontend, enhancing user experience. Moreover, config files in /etc/pve/mapping and Mapping.* privileges have been added, preparing for cluster-wide mapping of PCI/USB devices.

Exploring the HA Manager in Proxmox VE 8.0

The HA Manager in Proxmox 8.0 has seen stability improvements, particularly in manual maintenance mode. The HA Manager in Proxmox 8.0 has seen stability improvements, particularly in manual maintenance mode. A fix has been implemented to prevent the loss of a maintenance mode request if the rebooted node is the current active Cluster Resource Manager (CRM). Further, a safeguard has been introduced to prevent a node in maintenance mode from exiting too early or fencing itself if a shutdown policy other than ‘migrate’ is in place. Lastly, the ha-rebalance-on-start has been improved to ignore services that are already running, preventing unnecessary shutdowns and migrations.

Proxmox VE 8.0: Improved Cluster Management

Managing Proxmox VE clusters has never been easier. The rsync invocation used when joining nodes via ssh, which was previously deprecated, has been adapted in line with changes in rsync CLI argument parsing in Bookworm. This adaptation ensures seamless node joining, providing a more efficient and effective management experience.

Backup and Restore Improvements in Proxmox VE 8.0

To top it all off, Proxmox VE 8.0 brings performance improvements to backups that use zstd on fast disks. Now, zstd is invoked without the –rsyncable flag, allowing faster backup operations and reducing the time needed for data protection activities.

  • Enhancements to backup and restore processes:

  • Performance of zstd backups on fast disks improved through the removal of the –rsyncable flag invocation

  • Suppression of the “storing login ticket failed” error message when backing up to Proxmox Backup Server to avoid unnecessary confusion

  • VM/CT name validation is now done on the client-side before API requests during web interface restores, helping to identify invalid names at an early stage

  • Backup sorting in the web UI is now by date, with the addition of VMID as an extra column for those who wish to restore the previous sorting by VMID and then by date

  • Fixed an issue where the backup job editor window did not always display the selected guests

  • The fs-freeze-on-backup option of the QEMU guest agent is now adjustable in the web UI, allowing for control over whether the filesystem should be frozen for backups

  • Improved permission model for backup jobs requiring the Datastore.Allocate privilege on the target storage for backup job edits, and root privileges for editing backup jobs with dumpdir

  • The description of the ionice setting has been clarified for better understanding

ACL system

Note Proxmox VE’s ACL system improvements:

  • ACL computation was refactored causing a significant performance improvement (up to a factor of 450) on setups with thousands of entries.

  • It is now possible to override the remove-vanished settings for a realm when actively syncing it in the GUI.

  • Allow quoted values in LDAP DN attributes when setting up an LDAP realm.

Guide to Upgrade from Proxmox 7 to 8

You can upgrade from 7 to 8, regardless of your Proxmox VE subscription status.

Prerequisites:

  1. Update to the latest version of Proxmox VE 7.4 on all nodes. You can do that with:

    apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y
  2. If you have a hyper-converged Ceph, upgrade it to Ceph 17.2 Quincy before starting the Proxmox VE upgrade to 8.0.

  3. Ensure reliable access to the node.

  4. Ensure you have a valid and tested backup of all VMs and CTs.

  5. Ensure at least 5 GB free disk space on the root mount point.

  6. Check known upgrade issues.

Step-by-Step Guide – Upgrade instructions:

Use the pve7to8 checklist script: Proxmox has provided a built-in check script. This script provides hints and warnings about potential issues before, during, and after the upgrade process. Run it by executing

pve7to8 --full
Running the PVE7to8 script to prepare for the upgrade
Running the PVE7to8 script to prepare for the upgrade

Make sure to Migrate important VMs and CTs: If any VMs and CTs need to keep running during the upgrade, migrate them away from the node being upgraded.

Update the configured APT repositories and update to the latest Proxmox VE 7.4 packages with:

apt update, apt dist-upgrade, pveversion

Getting Proxmox 8 loaded

Now, we begin the steps to start the upgrade to Proxmox 8. Update all Debian and Proxmox VE repository entries to Bookworm with the following command:

sed -i 's/bullseye/bookworm/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
Changing the sources list to Bookworm to prepare for Proxmox 8 upgrade
Changing the sources list to Bookworm to prepare for Proxmox 8 upgrade

Add the Proxmox VE 8 Package Repository in the enterprise repository with. ***Note*** For those without a subscription, you will want to comment this out. See my blog here: Proxmox Update No Subscription Repository Configuration.

echo "deb https://enterprise.proxmox.com/debian/pve bookworm pve-enterprise" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pve-enterprise.list
Adding the Proxmox 8 package repository
Adding the Proxmox 8 package repository

Update the Ceph Package Repository: replace any ceph.com repositories with proxmox.com ceph repositories.

Refresh the repositories’ package index with

apt update

Once you have the sources updated, upgrade the system to Debian Bookworm and Proxmox VE 8.0: Start the upgrade process with:

apt dist-upgrade

The upgrade process will begin. You will see a few screens pop up like the one below for selecting from various options.

Package configuration screen setting up Proxmox 8
Package configuration screen setting up Proxmox 8

Keyboard configuration.

Package configuration screen keyboard layout
Package configuration screen keyboard layout

Choice of keeping current installed versions, etc.

Keep currently installed versions of files
Keep currently installed versions of files

Package configuration screen – prompt to restart services.

Message about restarting services in Proxmox 8 upgrade
Message about restarting services in Proxmox 8 upgrade

After 2-3 minutes in the home lab, my Proxmox VE 7.4 server successfully upgraded to Proxmox VE 8.0.

Upgrade from Proxmox 7 to 8 is successful
Upgrade from Proxmox 7 to 8 is successful

After upgrade

  1. Check Result & Reboot Into Updated Kernel: If the dist-upgrade command exits successfully, re-check the pve7to8 checker script and reboot the system to use the new Proxmox VE kernel.

  2. After the Proxmox VE upgrade: Clear the browser cache and force-reload the Web UI.

  3. For Clusters: Check that all nodes are up and running on the latest package versions. If not, continue the upgrade on the next node.

  4. Troubleshoot checklist issues: If you face an issue such as “proxmox-ve package is too old”, check the configured package repository entries and run apt update and apt dist-upgrade to get the latest Proxmox VE 7.x packages before upgrading to PVE 8.x.

  5. Address known upgrade issues: To resolve any known issues, refer to the Proxmox VE 8.0 changelog and Debian Bookworm upgrade-specific issues.

Proxmox Container Monster!

Take a look at my recent experiment to see how many containers I could run on a Proxmox host.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significant improvement in backup performance with Proxmox VE 8.0?

Proxmox VE 8.0 brings enhancements to the backup process, particularly when using zstd on fast disks. This is achieved by invoking zstd without the –rsyncable flag.

How does the new Proxmox VE 8.0 enhance user and group synchronization?

Proxmox VE 8.0 introduces access realm sync jobs, which enable the automatic synchronization of users and groups from an LDAP/AD server at regular intervals, making user and group management more efficient.

What new features does Proxmox VE 8.0 bring to its web interface?

The Proxmox VE 8.0 update includes several enhancements to its web interface, such as improved dark color theme, refined Markdown parser, better alignment of privilege checks, and localization of size units and language selection.

How does the new version of Proxmox VE handle host network bridge and VNet access?

In Proxmox VE 8.0, host network bridge and VNet access are integrated into the Proxmox VE ACL system, enabling precise usage permissions for specific networks.

What improvements does Proxmox VE 8.0 bring to virtual machine (VM) management?

Proxmox VE 8.0 includes various VM improvements like the introduction of a new QEMU version, improved code for volume size information gathering for passed-through disks, and several enhancements in cloud-init options.

How does Proxmox VE 8.0 ensure the stability of Ceph Server?

Proxmox VE 8.0 introduces an enterprise repository for Ceph, accessible via any Proxmox VE subscription. This feature provides the most stable version of Ceph for production systems.

What are the improvements in Proxmox VE 8.0 regarding HA (High Availability) Manager?

Proxmox VE 8.0 brings stability improvements to the manual maintenance mode of HA Manager, fixing several issues that could occur under specific conditions, enhancing overall cluster stability.

What changes have been made in the LXC containers with Proxmox VE 8.0?

Proxmox VE 8.0 has improved the handling of /etc/machine-id on clone operations and set memory.high cgroup limit to 99.6% of configured memory. These changes optimize memory usage and offer better control over container operations.

Proxmox 8: A Step Forward

The Proxmox VE 8.0 release is a monumental step forward in virtualization technology. Proxmox continues refining the virtualization experience for IT administrators and users with many new features and improvements. Whether it’s the seamless upgrade process, enhanced network management, GUI improvements, or virtual machine and container enhancements, Proxmox VE 8.0 offers a comprehensive solution for all your virtualization needs.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the guide – this bit was the key for me!

    ***Note*** For those without a subscription, you will want to comment this out.

    I’d read the Proxmox guide and when adding that kept on having trouble running apt update!

    Now done without and all working well 👍

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