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Backup and Restore Virtual Machines in Proxmox

Knowing how to backup a VM and restore it later is an essential part of your VM knowledge. Learn to do it with Proxmox.

We should all be doing these. Backing up ensures that if something happens to your virtual machine(s), you have a second unaffected copy that you can restore.

Proxmox happens to have a handy backup/restore feature built in, and in this tutorial I'll be showing you how simple it is to keep your virtual machines backed up and safe.

I'll also show you how to restore one of these backups should something go wrong.

Backing up a Virtual Machine

Begin by selecting your VM, and then select "Backup" on the next column over. Click on "Backup Now".

Select you VM and inside the "Backup" section on he sidebar, select "Backup Now" button appearing on the top bar.
Click on "Backup Now"

Storage is where you want the VM to be stored. If you don't have external storage attached to your server you will have the option of whatever internal storage is allocated to the server. "Mode" has several options - snapshot will take a literal snapshot of the VM while it's running, and make a copy of it using that. I recommend using this option for production virtual machines to avoid downtime.

On the Backup VM box, set th storage and mode options. After that, click on "Backup" button on the bottom-right to start backup process
Click on Backup button to start backup process

When you're ready click on "Backup" and watch it go. You'll know it's done when it displays TASK OK on the bottom of the window that appears:

The backup progress window. Once completed, you will get a "TASK OK" message
Backup Progress

You might wish to store your backup elsewhere for protection. To access the backup file, SSH into your Proxmox server as so :

ssh [email protected]

The backup is stored in the following directory and will be in .zst format. You can then scp the file to your desired location:

cd /var/lib/vz/dump
scp destination/dir

Restoring a Proxmox Backup

For example purposes, we'll just pretend that I completely trashed the virtual machine I have here as an example. But luckily, I took a backup and everything will be ok once I restore it. So to restore the backup, simply click on the backup, and click "Restore Now"

Select the backup and then click on "Restore" button
Select backup and click on Restore

Set your options according to the menu below, and then click the "Restore" button. The restore will proceed, and the virtual machine will be powered off unless you click the "Start after Restore" button.

Set the options according to the menu and then click on "Restore" button on bottom-right
Click on Restore button

And that's it! The next article in this series will be about making a template out of a virtual machine. Hope this helped you!

Doron is a long-time system mangler who got his first taste of Linux compiling and configuring ircd servers from source in the mid 90s. He then dwelled into web hosting operations through reseller accounts and dedicated servers. Offline he plays bass, and is an avid music lover. He co-owns an internet radio station called Genesis Radio which plays all kinds of music 24X7 and features events and live shows. If you need hosting services, you can check out his current business, Genesis Hosting
Doron Beit-Halahmi
New York, USA