How to Install Proxmox on an Intel NUC or x86 PC
Proxmox is an open-source server management platform that allows you to deploy, manage, and monitor virtual machines. With Proxmox, you can run multiple OS or services over a web interface using any web browser.
So whether you are a student, tech enthusiast, or business owner, you can install Proxmox on an Intel NUC hardware or x86-based mini-PC to create a DIY home lab and manage various services, including home automation software, media servers, NAS storage, etc. from the Proxmox web interface.
Prerequisites to Installing Proxmox
To install and run Proxmox on an Intel NUC or x86 alternative to an Intel NUC mini-PC, you will need an Intel NUC that meets the following system requirements:
- At least 4 CPU cores
- Minimum 4GB of RAM (8GB or more recommended)
- 64GB or more free disk space, preferably SSD
We are using Intel NUC10I3FNHN. It’s a barebones mini-PC powered by a 10th-generation Intel i3 processor. In addition, we installed:
- 16GB DDR4 RAM (two 8GB sticks)
- A 1TB M.2 PCIe4 SSD
- A 1TB SATA3 SSD
You will also need:
- A Windows, macOS, or Linux PC to create bootable USB installer media
- A USB media (8GB or larger)
Once you have the mini-PC that meets these hardware requirements and other required things, follow the steps given below to install Proxmox:
To create a Proxmox USB media installer:
- Visit the official Proxmox Downloads section and select the Proxmox version for your Intel NUC or x86 PC.
- Click on the Download button. This will download the ISO image on your system.
- Once the download is complete, launch Rufus and select the connected USB media. Browse and select the Proxmox ISO file and click Start.
- Make sure there is no important data in the USB media, then click Yes to confirm.
This will create the Proxmox USB media installer that you can use to install Proxmox on Intel NUC or any x86 PC. You may also use balenaEtcher to write the Proxmox ISO image file to a USB.
Step 2: Prepare Your Intel NUC or x86 Mini PC for Proxmox Installation
To prepare your Intel NUC or x86 PC for Proxmox installation, you need to power on the Intel NUC and open BIOS. Usually, you need to press the Del or F10 key continuously to enter the BIOS.
Once you are in the BIOS, make the following changes:
- Make sure the BIOS is up-to-date.
- Disable Secure Boot and enable Legacy Boot.
- Enable Virtualization Technology, such as Intel VT-x or AMD-V (in other mini x86 PC).
- Save these changes and then shut down/power off.
Once you have updated the BIOS and enabled virtualization technology, you can proceed with installing Proxmox on your Intel NUC or x86 PC.
Step 3: Install Proxmox on Your Intel NUC or x86 Mini PC
After creating the bootable USB drive, insert it into your Intel NUC or x86 PC and restart the system.
- Immediately start pressing the boot option/order menu key (usually F8) to see the USB drive.
- Use the arrow keys to select the USB drive and hit Enter.
- You will see the Proxmox welcome screen. Here, choose Install Proxmox VE (Graphical) and press Enter.
- Click I agree and choose the target disk. Then click Next.
- Select the location, time zone, and keyboard layout. Then click Next.
- Set up a password (note it down or remember it) and then type your email ID. Proceed by clicking Next.
- Then set up the FQDN name and leave everything else default. Click Next.
- Finally, click Install.
Step 4: Configure Proxmox Post Installation
Once you have successfully installed Proxmox on your Intel NUC or x86 PC, you can access the Proxmox web interface using your preferred web browser by entering the IP address of your Proxmox server at port 8006. For instance, https://192.168.0.144:8006.
- You will see an SSL warning. Click Advanced > Proceed.
- Enter root as the username and the password that you set during the installation. Click Login.
- After logging in, you’ll get a warning message. Click OK and ignore it as you don’t have an enterprise license.
- Click on the Proxmox default node. In our case, we named it Proxmox during the installation.
- Click on the Updates button in the left pane and then click Refresh.
- Next, click the cross icon to close the window.
- Click the Upgrade button at the top (beside the Refresh button). This opens a new terminal window.
- When prompted, type Y, and hit the Enter key to confirm and continue the upgrade. This may take a while to complete, so sit back and relax.
Step 5: Create VMs and Install OSes in Proxmox
With Proxmox, you can create and manage virtual machines from a web browser using the Proxmox web interface. You can install and manage a wide range of operating systems on these virtual machines, including Linux, Windows, and FreeBSD.
To create a VM and install OS using the Proxmox web interface, follow these steps:
- Once the upgrade is done, close the terminal window. Then, click Shell.
- Navigate to the following location. You can download and store the ISO/IMG files of operating systems at this location for VM setup and installation in Proxmox. For this tutorial, install Home Assistant on the Intel NUC Proxmox Server.
- Click the Create VM button in the top-right corner.
- Under General, type a name for your virtual machine.
- Then click Next, choose the Ubuntu ISO file in the ISO image option, and click Next again.
- Leave everything default in the System section. Under Disks, adjust the disk size (if required) and click Next.
- Under the CPU section, choose the processor cores to assign and then click Next. Increase the memory to the desired or required size and hit Next.
- Choose the network adapter. You can also keep the default settings by clicking Next > Finish.
- After the configuration, select the new VM and click Start.
- Click on Console to view, install, and manage the OS installation. After the installation, you can boot the Ubuntu VM and use the OS on the web browser from any device on your network.
Once you have created a virtual machine, you can start, stop, or migrate it to another Proxmox host.
Proxmox offers live migration capabilities that allow you to move virtual machines between hosts without any downtime. This feature is handy for load balancing or hardware maintenance purposes.
Harness the Power of Virtualization With Proxmox
Installing Proxmox on an Intel NUC or x86 mini PC is pretty straightforward. However, it opens up a world of possibilities for virtualization and server management.
Proxmox and Intel NUC are a perfect combination to harness the power of virtualization due to their lightweight nature and power efficiency. You may use Proxmox to run both small-scale and large-scale server deployments and manage them efficiently from any device, including a tablet or smartphone.