Proxmox

Upgrade Proxmox Host to 8.1: Tutorial & Steps

Upgrade to Proxmox 8.1 with the new software-defined networking, secure boot, bulk actions, Linux kernel, and flexible notification system. Learn how to reconfigure your update repositories.

Highlights

  • After all the upgrade process is complete, you will see the note that a new kernel was installed and a reboot is required to instantiate the new kernel.
  • After the upgrade is successful from the command line, if you look at your Proxmox host summary, you will see it has upgraded to 8.
  • If you are running Proxmox in the home lab and aren’t running an enterprise subscription, which is how most home lab enthusiasts will be running, you need to reconfigure your update repositories.

With the release of Proxmox 8.1, you may be itching to update your Proxmox host in the home lab or production. Let’s look at the steps to upgrade your Proxmox host to Proxmox 8.1. In the example below, I will be upgrading an 8.0.3 host that I have running to 8.1.

New features

There are many new features to speak of in Proxmox 8.1. I just uploaded a post covering the new features. However, as a quick overview, the major new features include:

No enterprise subscription prerequisites

If you are running Proxmox in the home lab and aren’t running an enterprise subscription, which is how most home lab enthusiasts will be running, you need to reconfigure your update repositories. You may have already done this earlier for a lower-level Proxmox version. However, if you haven’t already updated it to the “bookworm” repo, we will need to make that change, and then also change to the Ceph “reef” repo.

Update the following files in the comment lines:

#/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-reef bookworm no-subscription

Proxmox 8.1 upgrade steps from the GUI

After you have reconfigured the files above, you will need to refresh your updates. The following are Proxmox 8.1 upgrade steps using the GUI web interface.

First, click your Proxmox host in the GUI. Navigate to System > Updates > Refresh. When you click Refresh, it runs an “apt-get update”.

Refresh updates after changing the repositories
Refresh updates after changing the repositories

You will see the Task viewer display the status of the apt-get update.

The status of the apt get update from the gui
The status of the apt get update from the GUI

After refreshing the updates, you can click the Upgrade button.

Kicking off the upgrade from the proxmox gui
Kicking off the upgrade from the proxmox GUI

It will launch another browser window displaying the prompt for you to enter Y to confirm you want to continue the upgrade process.

Press y to continue the upgrade process
Press y to continue the upgrade process

After all the upgrade process is complete, you will see the note that a new kernel was installed and a reboot is required to instantiate the new kernel. Here I am typing reboot from the window.

Reboot after the proxmox 8.1 upgrade and the kernel upgrade
Reboot after the proxmox 8.1 upgrade and the kernel upgrade

Proxmox 8.1 upgrade steps from the command line

The upgrade steps from the command line are very simple. We just run the commands the GUI runs for us from the command line.

First we refresh the updates after we have updated the repository URLs. To do that, run the following commands:

apt update
Running the apt update command to refresh the available updates
Running the apt update command to refresh the available updates

Next, we run the following command:

apt dist upgrade
Running the apt dist upgrade
Running the apt dist upgrade

After the upgrade is successful from the command line, if you look at your Proxmox host summary, you will see it has upgraded to 8.1.3, but the Linux kernel is still at version 6.2. So, we need to reboot.

Before we reboot the kernel still shows 6.2
Before we reboot the kernel still shows 6.2

From the command line issue the reboot command:

reboot
Running the reboot command to reboot proxmox and install the new kernel
Running the reboot command to reboot proxmox and install the new kernel

Now, we can check the kernel version again and we see the Linux 6.5 kernel has been installed.

After the reboot the new linux 6.5 kernel has been installed
After the reboot the new linux 6.5 kernel has been installed

Steps to upgrade from Proxmox 7.4 to Proxmox 8.1

The steps to upgrade from Proxmox 7.4 to Proxmox 8.1 are fairly straightforward. However, it does involve more steps if you are currently running Ceph Quincy.

First, you will need to upgrade Ceph from Pacific to Quincy. The next step involves upgrading Proxmox VE from version 7.4 to 8.1. In the last step, once you have Proxmox VE 8.1 running, you will upgrade your Ceph installation to Reef.

Here are the links to the official documentation on those specific steps:

Frequently Asked Questions About Upgrading to Proxmox VE 8.1

How do I upgrade to Proxmox VE 8.1 from an older version?

Upgrading to Proxmox VE 8.1 can be achieved through the ‘apt’ command line tool. It’s important to make sure that your current system is up to date before starting the upgrade. Detailed steps and guidance are available in the Proxmox VE documentation.

Is there support for migrating virtual machines in Proxmox VE 8.1?

Yes, Proxmox VE 8.1 supports migrating virtual machines. You can use Proxmox’s built-in tools to move VMs between hosts, even across different versions, with minimal downtime.

How does the new SDN feature in Proxmox VE 8.1 impact network configuration?

The software-defined network (SDN) feature in Proxmox VE 8.1 allows for more adaptable network infrastructure configurations. You can now manage complex networking configurations more effectively, including creating virtual zones for improved network isolation.

Can I manage Proxmox VE 8.1 using the web-based user interface?

Proxmox VE 8.1 continues to offer a great web UI that provides easy management of virtual machines, containers, and network settings.

Are there any special considerations for Proxmox VE 8.1 with Ceph storage solutions?

Proxmox VE 8.1 supports Ceph Reef 18.2.0 and Ceph Quincy 17.2.7.

Does Proxmox VE 8.1 offer any enhancements in managing Linux containers?

Proxmox VE 8.1 has an updated kernel and software stack and provides improved support for Linux containers (LXC). The new kernel offers enhanced performance and stability for containerized applications.

How does the newer Linux kernel in Proxmox VE 8.1 benefit users?

The newer Linux Kernel 6.5 in Proxmox VE 8.1 brings many new improvements. These include performance benefits, better hardware support, and enhanced security features. This helps to provide a more efficient and secure virtual environment.

What are the best practices for backup and recovery in Proxmox VE 8.1?

You can easily use Proxmox’s backup tools to schedule and manage backups effectively. Backups should be a regular part of your infrastructure, even in the home lab environment. Backups help make sure you can recover quickly if you have a hardware failure or accidental data deletion.

Mini PC running Proxmox

If you are looking for something to run Proxmox, you can easily install it on a Mini PC to get your feet wet in the home lab. Check out the video below:

Wrapping up the Proxmox 8.1 upgrade steps

As shown, the upgrade to Proxmox 8.1 can be accomplished using the Proxmox GUI and the command line. The steps involve changing the update repositories if you aren’t running with a Proxmox subscription. Once you have the repositories updated, you can refresh the updates and install the available updates, including the upgrade to Proxmox 8.1.

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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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4 Comments

  1. Excellent write up… one thing that appears to be missing, you need to consider the upgrade any zfs pools (if used) afterwards with the following:
    zpool upgrade -a
    See zpool-upgrade(8) to understand the ramifications and to decide if any of the new zfs features will be used.

  2. Good writeup, thanks! I have to upgrade my Proxmox cluster from 7.4.3 to 8.1 and I figured you’d have an article up on it. I wasn’t disappointed.

    I’m looking around to see if there are any “gotchas” when upgrading nodes in a clustered environment.

    Also, I noticed the link in this article to “Proxmox 8.1 upgrade steps” points to a pfSense article – you may want to fix that. Did you mean to point to this link? https://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Upgrade_from_7_to_8

    Cheers,
    Jason

    1. Jason,

      Great catch! Thanks for the heads up on the link. I have updated it to point to the correct official documentation from Proxmox. I really enjoyed your writeup on moving across from VMware to Proxmox. Let me know if you uncover anything missed here in your upgrade and how things go. Thanks again Jason!

      Brandon

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