Installing NethServer on ProxMox

This Howto guides you through the creation process of a VM running NethServer 7.5 on a ProxMox 5.2 Host. ProxMox is a Debian based hypervisor. ProxMox is considered a bare metal hypervisor. Besides hosting Virtual Machines, ProxMox is capable of hosting Linux containers, which makes it a very versatile hypervisor solution. ProxMox can compete with commercial solutions like VMWare ESX, Citrix XenServer and MS HyperV. One of the great options of ProxMox is the built-in cluster solution which creates redundant hosting and live migration of VM's possible.

Prerequisites:

  • Server running ProxMox 5.2
  • Volume on ProxMox Server for ISO images.
  • Volume on ProxMox Server for VM's
  • Uploaded NethServer7.5 ISO image on ISO images volume.

Assumptions:

There is a single ProxMox Server for VM's and Containers.

Creating a VM in ProxMox

Atention!!! Don't do it with Internet Explorer, this may cause some problems. Firefox works.

Log into Proxmox webinterface and create your VM by clicking the “create VM” button

Name the VM to give it the desired name. This is by no means the name as it will be known on your network. This is only to distinguish the VM in the ProxMox web console.

Select the NethServer ISO image from the local storage where you have uploaded your ISO image files. Also select what OS the new VM will be. In our case, Linux with kernel version 4.X/3.X/2.6

Select what volume you want your new VM to be installed on. ProxMox supports several different types of volumes. For instance a ZFS pool. Choose the desired size of your vdisk. In ProxMox it is easily increased if you need more space at a later point.

Select How many processors and cores you want to assign to your VM. You can also choose what type of processor you want.

Choose how much RAM you want your VM to have. For decent speeds 2GB of RAM is recommended. If you notice your VM needs more or less, you can change the amount of RAM allocated for your VM later.

By default your VM has 1 network interface. If you need more network interfaces, for instance because you want to give it a Gateway role, you need to add more networking interfaces in the 'hardware' overview of your VM in ProxMox webinterface. Make sure you know what physical interface(s) the Virtual interface(s) is/are connected to.

The final step is the overview of the VM you are about to create. This only sets the parameters for your VM. The installation of NethServer is yet to begin.

After clicking Finish, you will be redirected to the ProxMox admin interface. After a few seconds the newly created VM will appear in the serverlist on the left. When you click on “Summary” you will see that the server is not yet started.

When you click on “Hardware” you see what components are added to the VM. If needed, you can change the amount of RAM, add a network interface and change the processor. When you look at the CD/DVD drive, you will see that the NethServer75 ISO is loaded as virtual CD/DVD drive.

Next step is click “start” in the upper right corner. This will initiate the install process for the new VM. The VM will boot from the (virtual) CD/DVD player wher the ISO image is mounted. To view the install process, click on “Console”

Installing NethServer

There are several ways of installing NethServer from the NethServer ISO. There is a fully unattended install available. For this Howto I will stick with the “Interactive install”

After the initial boot process, Anaconda, the CentOS install help is started. This is a graphical instrall environment. As you can see, several orange triangles with exclamation marks are shown. These are settings that need attention.

Click the “Date and Time” icon. You will see a worldmap. Select your part of the world, timezone and city of choice. Make sure Network Time is “on”. Then click “Done and you are back to Anaconda overview.

Now click the “Keyboard” section. Default is Engflish US. I am used to English US With Euro on 5 layout. If you need a different keyboard layout, you can change that here. Click “Done” to return to Anaconda overview.

Now all settings are as we want it, we can proceed by clicking “Begin Installation”. The installation starts. You are confronted with 2 more points of attention: Setting the root password and creating a user. We do set the root password, but don't bother creating a user, since NethServer will ultimately use either LDAP or Samba4 AD Account providers.

Choose a strong password that you can easily remember for your root account. You probably will use this password a LOT. Click “Done” when you have set the password. You will be redirected to the Anaconda installer. You can watch the progress of packages being installed.

When the install is finished, the ISO image will be unmounted and the VM will be restarted. You will be prompted with a console login prompt for CentOS 7. You will notice the IP address your server is reachable. The VM gets its IP address through DHCP by default

Next step is to start a browser and go to https://ipaddress:980 In this example it is https://192.168.10.69:980 You can ignore the warning because of the non-valid certificate. Trust the certificate and add it permanently. The NethServer web login will be shown

After loggin in to the admin webinterface, a welcome to the first time use wizard is started. Click Next to continue.

If you are reviving a server you have used before, you can import a NethServer configuration file by clicking the checkbox. The new server will be configured exactly as your old server was configured. If you are just installing a new server, you only need to click next.

In the next step you will set the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of your server. It consists at least out a name, a domain and a top level domain, separated by dots. Don't worry too much about this name now. As long you don't have an account provider installed, you can change this name any time. through the web interface.

Step 4 of the wizard is setting the timezone. We already set this during installation, and you will notice the pre-set timezone is the same. If you need to change the timezone, do so. Otherwise click next.

NethServer comes with SSH enabled by default. You can change the default port 22 to any (non used) port you like. If your server is directly connected to the internet it is strongly advised to use a non default port for SSH. Click next to continue.

Many consumer internet connections are not allowed to be used as a mailserver. Ports for sending mail are often blocked to avoid open relay mail servers. To be able to send mails, the ISP gives the opportunity to use their mailserver as a smarthost. If you need an SMTP server because you can not host your own SMTP server on your internet connection, you can configure the smarthost by clicking the checkbox. Click next.

Almost done. The next step is an option to contribute to some statistics. NethServer does have a phone-home module. You can activate this phone-home module in this step. There are just a few things that are being sent to NethServer: the IP address, the Location and the version of NethServer. These statistics are used to populate a map so we can see haw many (active) NethServer installs there are around the globe. You can find the map here. Click next for the final overview.

Last step is to overview the FQDN of your new server and confirm this with an “Apply”

Some magic is being done and after a minute or so, you will see the webinterface of your new NethServer 7.5 server. The installation of NethServer has been completed. Now the real part starts: configuring, finetuning and installing modules.

Have fun with your new server.