Nethserver - How do you backup and RESTORE

Good evening to the long time nethserver specialists.

Coming from SME and using over years affa, I’d like to know how are you backing up AND IN CASE RESTORE your production server to separate hardware, means a real hardware spare server?

thank’s for any reply

We need a bit more Infos abt your IT-Infra…


Use Proxmox virtualization…

Migration in 90 seconds to another hardware…

Even less for a snapshot rollback after a botched update…

My 2 cents

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Backed up Nethserver from Proxmox PVE to Proxmox PBS in 7 seconds when files on Nethserver are untouched and dirty bitmap of Proxmox is OK :grinning:

PBS is fantastic!
Using it at home, NS is 400 GB, 250 used.
Backup (incremental) takes 9 minutes - Proxmox and PBS are both 8 years old hardware… :slight_smile:


Thanks for jumping in.

IMO very simple. Firewall OPNSense --> NS-Server --> Backup-Server. All real hardware.

Hi Andy,

I understand that NS has two backups implemented. One for config and one for data. Why underlying another OS for virtualization? Is there a problem with the standard backup - restore way?

I like to have a machine dedicated for a server OS. Not a machine running proxmox and on top NS (or any other or even more different OSs). I don’t want start a flame war - personal only for me, I want to have a dedicated machine with exactly one OS.

I’m interested in the way you see it.

In one environment (firewall + FreePBX) I use hotsync, in some others environment where I have VMware ESXi I use VM replication on another SAN.

In all others situations I use backup and restore (night backup).

Just sooo much more flexible, faster and less risk.

You can’t “snapshot” a real server before an update - it takes too long using Backup (Any form).
Change CPU, RAM and Disks without any screwdriver… :slight_smile:
And much more features.

What’s 20 minutes to install a pristine Proxmox? I can do that on almost any hardware, maybe as requirement enough diskspace for Nethserver as VM (Or using shared storage on your NAS, that can be passed over) and enough RAM for the NS-VM (8 GB RAM?)

It’s so simple!

And yes, I do have clients running Proxmox just to run NethServer on top - because Nethserver has become important… !

Thank’s to all for the insights.

Question to the VE supporters - in case of a hardware fault, you need a second server, correct? Backing up (snapshots) the PVE on a running server includes for safety to move the snapshot to a running second physical machine with a running PVE. I understand basically two machines are needed. Both have to run 24/365 with a PVE. Snapshots have to be moved from the production server to the backup server. Am I wrong?



You need at least two servers, yes.

Depending on the Virtual Environment, and of course on what exactly goes defective on the server.

Proxmox for example can use:

  • Local Storage, when single server.
  • Shared Storage, eg in a Cluster.
  • ZFS synched Storage, eg in a Cluster
  • CEPH Storage

With Local Storage, you need to move the data of the VM - or you need to revert to Backup.

All other three you can think of a file on a file server. If one PC is not using it, an other can use the file. Migration only entails the RAM contents. Migration is extremly fast!
No need for snapshotting for this!

This means you can achieve true full High Availability. In this Version VMs can “Migrate” on their own, if the underlying hardware fails.

And it does NOT matter if one Proxmox has an Intel CPU, the other has an AMD - the VMs use a “KVM” CPU, which exists for AMD and Intel.

Migrating a VM on a Proxmox cluster means moving the RAM contents to another Server, as the “HD” of the VM is on shared storage, like an Excel file on a file Server, and can be opened by any other member of the cluster. This is all done automatically, you just choose “Migrate” and the target server, if more than one…

These functions provide for availability (Also through Abstraction) which a real hardware running system can’t ever achieve…

You’ve heard several people suggest using virtualization here… :slight_smile:

Also, as the underlying Proxmox has hardly any configuration, it’s installed in 20-30 minutes on any hardware.

You also have two Backups, one by the VM itself, and one by Proxmox. The second is very fast, especially for Disaster Recovery scenarios…

With more than 3-4 Servers, you can also “switch on” Servers as needed. Wake on LAN, scripts monitoring Server Load, etc…

Proxmox includes all tools needed to do live backups of all VMs. And complete Backup Versioning with deduplication and delta sync, if using the free PBS (Proxmox Backup Server). This is extremly fast!
For Windows, Proxmox even uses ShadowCopy technologies to make correct backups… :slight_smile:
All for free!

My 2 cents

I do two levels of backup - machine and guest. As a VMware user I tend to know and use Veeam for the daily machine level. I then run an RSync script to give me versions on a mounted NAS drive (/backup):

rm -rf /backup/bu.5
mv /backup/bu.4 /backup/bu.5
mv /backup/bu.3 /backup/bu.4
mv /backup/bu.2 /backup/bu.3
mv /backup/bu.1 /backup/bu.2
cp -al /backup/bu.0 /backup/bu.1
rsync -av --delete-delay /var/lib/nethserver /backup/bu.0/

The beauty of that one is the -l symlink option in the copy (cp). It saves on space by not literally copying all the files of course.

If you want to get your files out of the network, have a look at this:

For VMWare users, if you haven’t seen this one yet, it is also nice:


Any experiences with laptops? For testing purposes only… It understand that a guest OS is not able to access the ap. At least not out of the box, even if the host is in bridged mode.



Virtualization on Notebooks generally work, but some have issues passing thru the WLan.

On my Macbook using Parallels, I can access the WLan with my Windows VM.
But this seems to be an exception…

Mostly, what works is Host mode, where the Notebook becomes a “router” with NAT for the VMs.

I have set up Proxmox on Notebooks, mostly to “show” Proxmox. Here I let Proxmox provide a NAT “firewall” - or used wired LAN…

The problem is not with Proxmox, but how WLans and WLan-APs work. The MAC Address of the VM is not “allowed” when the underlying hosts registers…

My 2 cents

Thank’s to all for the insights.

After reading a lot about PVE I came to the conclusion, that for me the old fashioned way is the best. One machine - one software. A dedicated backup server, like affa or hotsync, will be in case of a hardware failout fast enough for me in production. Backups with rsync don’t take much time. I have no need running on an underlying OS (proxmox or whatever) different or multiple applications (NS). An underlying OS means additional dependencies/risks I don’t want to have or maintain on a server running on top.


For me, the maintening of a seperate hardware serving no special purpose in the meantime, but eating power 24/7 is too much work - for nothing.

Using Proxmox, on the other hand, has saved me and my clients countless hours.

One shoe does NOT have to fit all.
Your use case may be different from mine.

And I don’t use hardware servers (non hypervisors) now for a very long time!

My 2 cents


Good evening Andy,

I thought over your arguments and installed a machine with proxmox 6.3-3. I created two guests. One is a nethserver and the other is an SME 9.2 which is holding a few thousands emails in mailarchiva 1.9x. I came to the conclusion, that this is making sense.

Both guests are installed and running. Configured in the proxmox defaults, networking is set up as bridged. I want to have access from LAN to the servers, which is possible right now. The proxmox host has access to the internet, the guests are not able to access. I do have an OPNSense as firewall. What am I doing wrong?


Hi Stefan


I don’t think this is a big issue.

A few small questions first:

Is your OPNsense a seperate box from your Proxmox? Or is it running in Proxmox?
(I’m assuming not)

Please show a screenshot (A PM is also OK) of your Proxmox Network configuration.
How many NICs does your Proxmox have, and how are they connected?
(This bit is not “certain / confirmed” for me)…

There are a lot of ways this could work, one example below.

Proxmox Hardware with 2 NICs, one configured as LAN and connected to the home LAN switch.

The other NIC is NOT configured with an IP in Proxmox, and serves the purpose of a PPPoE Adapter, connecting with the DSL Modem in Bridged Mode.

OPNsense is running in Proxmox, and has 2 Virtual NICs, one connected to vmbr0 (LAN of Proxmox), the other to vmbr1. This is connected to the bridged Modem.

The whole Network:

The Proxmox side of things:

And the OPNsense side of things:

The reason for this setup is this is a friends home network, he works as programmer.
His hardware firewall died after a power outage, on a Friday evening, before the Monday deadline for his project… (Murphy has very good planing tools!).
An option for a fast remote replacement for me (He lives 2 hours away by car…) was to remotely transfer an OPNsense config and use OPNsense virtually as Firewall.

His iPhone (Private Hotspot) became the temporary Internet connection, his Notebook with Anydesk my “Remote Workstation”… And the LAN Connection of the Notebook gave me Proxmox… :slight_smile:

This has worked so stable we never changed it. If I reboot the Proxmox or OPNsense, and I’m connected with OpenVPN, it takes about 2-3 Minutes, and the network is available again!

My 2 cents


Good evening Andy, and thank you very much for helping. In the end it was a stupidity. I forgot to put the IP’s of the hosts and guests in my firewall to allow traffic to/from outside. Second I didn’t realize that the gateway for the guests is the host. Everything fine now and running.


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Good morning Andy,

I decided to give a complete vitualization a chance. Couple of questions are coming up:

Proxmox would run on a HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2, 32 GB RAM, two SAS 900 GB. Should I keep the RAID1 from HP (ilo)?

For the config of the VM NS - will the modem on ttyS0 work? For the filesystem, you suggested xfs. What about the RAID1?

For the VM is 16GB RAM and 2 cores sufficient?