How to Backup and Restore Virtual Machines in Proxmox

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This is our fourth guide of the Proxmox series, in this tutorial, we will explore how to backup and restore VMs in Promox. As a prerequisite, ensure that you already have a virtual machine running on your Proxmox instance.

Take a look at our earlier tutorials on Proxmox.

Without much further ado, let’s get started!

Step 1: Poweroff the VM in Proxmox

First off, you need to shut down your virtual machine before taking a backup of your VM. On the Proxmox dashboard, right-click on your virtual machine and select the ‘Shutdown‘ option.

Proxmox Shutdown VM
Proxmox Shutdown VM

Next, click ‘Yes‘ to poweroff the VM.

Proxmox Poweroff VM
Proxmox Poweroff VM

Your virtual machine will power off shortly.

Step 2: Create Proxmox VM Backup

The next step is to prepare the virtual machine backup. So click ‘Backup‘. Then head over and click the ‘Backup now‘ tab.

Proxmox VM Backup
Proxmox VM Backup

On the pop-up that appears, select your backup storage. In our case, we have a secondary hard drive labeled ‘backup‘ with a capacity of 52.52GB.

Choose Backup Storage
Choose Backup Storage

While you can still create the backup on the proxmox server itself, it’s recommended to save it in a different location so that in case something goes wrong with the server, the backup copy will still be recoverable.

Be sure to go with ZSTD compression which is preselected by default owing to its high performance and click ‘Backup‘.

Choose Backup Compression
Choose Backup Compression

The backup process of the virtual machine will start and this will be displayed on the task viewer pop-up as shown. Once complete you will see the ‘TASK OK‘ notification as indicated.

Proxmox VM Backup Completes
Proxmox VM Backup Completes

The backup will be displayed as a compressed file as shown. The backup file is saved in the destination you provided as the backup location.

View VM Backup
View VM Backup

At this point, you can safely remove the VM by clicking on its icon, then ‘More‘ and finally ‘Remove‘.

Proxmox Remove VM
Proxmox Remove VM

Provide the VM ID – In this case, 100 – and click ‘Remove‘.

Confirm to Remove VM
Confirm to Remove the VM

Step 3: Restore Proxmox Virtual Machine

With the backup file in place, you can restore the virtual machine to its original state using the following simple steps. Head over to the backup drive and click on the backup file, then click the ‘Restore‘ button as shown.

Proxmox VM Restore
Proxmox VM Restore

On the pop-up dialogue box, click ‘Restore‘ to commence the VM restoration process.

Restore Proxmox VM
Restore Proxmox VM

A task viewer will open detailing the restoration process as shown. This takes a few seconds to a minute, so be patient.

Proxmox VM Restore Process
Proxmox VM Restore Process

Once completed, you will see the ‘TASK OK‘ notification. Close the pop-up to exit.

Proxmox VM Restore Completes
Proxmox VM Restore Completes

On the Proxmox dashboard, you should now see your restored virtual machine. To start using your VM, right-click and select ‘Start‘.

Start VM in Proxmox
Start VM in Proxmox
Conclusion

We have successfully demonstrated how to backup and restore a VM in Proxmox VE. As you have observed, it’s a straightforward procedure and takes a short time to accomplish.

Remember that it’s recommended to have your backup on a different drive or remote location such that if anything bad happens to the Proxmox host, you can always rest assured that your VM data is safe.

That’s all for this tutorial. Your thoughts and views are welcome.



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