Proxmox 8.1 New Features and Download with Software-Defined Network and Secure Boot

Learn about the Proxmox 8.1 release and new features like SDN, secure boot compatibility, and advanced notification system support

The Proxmox 8.1 hypervisor has been released with great new features. The official information and documentation show it is a worthy upgrade for Proxmox 8 systems. Highlights include new software-defined network (SDN) features, secure boot, flexible notifications, and other new improvements. Let’s dive into this release. 

Software-Defined Networking in Proxmox VE 8.1

One of the top new features of Proxmox VE 8.1 is its native support for software-defined networking (SDN). Changes in this release, by default, the core SDN packages are now integrated into the Proxmox setup. This adds a more flexible, scalable networking solution within virtual environments and installations.

SDN in Proxmox VE 8.1 enables you to create virtual zones and networks, enabling you to manage and control complex networking configurations efficiently, right from the web interface. With this new feature, you can handle complex overlay networks and enhance multi-tenancy setups.

Software defined networking in proxmox 8.1
Software defined networking in proxmox 8.1

Enhancing Security with Secure Boot Compatibility

Security is enhanced in Proxmox VE 8.1 with the addition of support for Secure Boot. Secure Boot makes sure that only software with a valid digital signature is allowed to boot. This more secure boot process helps reduce the risk of unauthorized or malicious code execution in virtual machines.

Proxmox VE 8.1 now includes a signed shim bootloader, making it compliant with most hardware UEFI implementations. This feature is a great step forward in safeguarding virtualized data centers.

Efi secure boot enabled in proxmox 8.1
Efi secure boot enabled in proxmox 8.1

Introducing a Flexible Notification System support

Another new enhancement that many will be excited about is Proxmox VE 8.1 introduces a new, flexible notification system that employs a rules matcher-based approach to route notifications. This system allows users to specify various target types for receiving notifications.

It supports diverse notification channels, including local Postfix MTA, Gotify servers, and authenticated SMTP servers. The new granular control over notifications enhances system monitoring and response capabilities to system events.

New notification system support
New notification system support

Kernel and Software Updates: Staying Ahead with Proxmox VE 8.1

The new release is based on Debian 12.2, codenamed “Bookworm,” and includes a newer Linux kernel 6.5. Keeping up with the latest kernel helps ensure stability and performance. Proxmox VE 8.1 also includes updates to open-source technologies, such as QEMU 8.1, Ceph 18.2, and Open ZFS 2.2.

This will help to further enhance virtualization performance and storage technologies for virtualization tasks.

New linux kernel update with proxmox 8.1
New linux kernel update with proxmox 8.1

Comprehensive Support for Ceph Versions

Proxmox VE 8.1 adds support for Ceph Reef 18.2.0 defaults and continues to provide compatibility with Ceph Quincy 17.2.7. This dual-version support provides flexibility in choosing the most appropriate Ceph version based on specific requirements and scenarios.

Installilng ceph in proxmox 8.1
Installilng ceph in proxmox 8.1

Simplifying Virtual Machine Management

Proxmox VE 8.1 includes new bulk management features that make managing virtual machines more intuitive and efficient. It improves upon the “Bulk Actions” feature. These now include an option to suspend multiple guests simultaneously, adding new capabilities in streamlining administrative tasks.

Also, it adds a VirtIO driver ISO image that is now more straightforward and directly integrated into the VM creation wizard taking the heavy lifting out of this process.

Download and Community Support

Proxmox VE 8.1 is available for download from the official Proxmox website, complete with all features and capable of installation on bare-metal. The Proxmox community, with over 130,000 active members, continues to be a vibrant and supportive space for sharing knowledge and experiences.

Proxmox is Open Source with Professional Support available

As an open-source platform, Proxmox VE is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License, v3, offering flexibility and freedom from vendor lock-in.

For enterprise users, Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH offers subscription-based support, ensuring access to tested updates and professional assistance.

Great for home labs

Many are already running Proxmox in their home lab environment. Proxmox is an excellent choice for home labbers who want a robust feature set for their lab VMs and self-hosted services and it is an open source virtualization platform. It makes use of kernel based virtual machine (KVM).

The new Proxmox 8.1 features make it an even more appealing choice for running your critical self-hosted services. I have been running Proxmox in the home lab for a few years now alongside other hypervisors like vSphere. It is a great solution that allows you to run VMs and LXC containers without issue.

Proxmox 8 cluster with Ceph storage

The web UI is fully-featured, and you can easily get to everything you need in the navigation links in the browser.

For me, I have had no major issues to report with great CPU performance and support for most project solutions I have installed. You can also passthrough your GPUs such as AMD and nVidia graphics cards. I you want to run a Docker container host, Proxmox makes for a great underlying hypervisor solution that you can also cluster with multiple hosts for HA, migration, and scalability purposes.

The Proxmox Backup server is also free to run and backup all your critical VM workloads. VM templates are available for quickly deploy various operating systems from the web-based console.

Wrapping up new Proxmox VE 8.1 features

Proxmox Virtual Environment 8.1 makes the Proxmox 8.x release even better with great new features and capabilities. The team at Proxmox is listening to what users and organizations need with Proxmox 8.1. Features like secure boot, SDWAN built-in, new kernel updates, better notification system and improved bulk operations, make this the best Proxmox VE release to date.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at 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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