Running Proxmox behind a single IP address | ameir dot net

Running Proxmox behind a single IP address | ameir dot net.


I ran into the battle of running all of my VMs and the host node under a single public IP address. Luckily, the host is just pure Debian, and ships with iptables.

What needs to be done is essentially to run all the VMs on a private internal network. Outbound internet access is done via NAT. Inbound access is via port forwarding.

Network configuration

Here’s how it’s done:

Create a virtual interface that serves as the gateway for your VMs:

My public interface (the one with the public IP assigned) is vmbr0. I will then create an alias interface called vmbr0:0 and give it a private IP address in /etc/network/interfaces. Note that this is needed for KVM and OpenVZ bridged interfaces; venet interfaces automagically work.

Create an iptables rule to allow outbound traffic:

There are a few ways to specify this, but the most straightforward is:

In one of your VMs, set the interface IP to something in, and set the default gateway to, with the subnet mask of Feel free to adjust this as you see fit. Test pinging your public IP address, and perhaps even an external address (like If this works, you’re on the right track.

At this point, you have internet access from your VMs, but how do you get to them? For your OpenVZ containers, sure, you could SSH into the host node and ‘vzctl enter’ into a CTID, but that’s probably not what you want. We will need to set iptables rules to dictate which ports point to which servers.

Assuming you want VM 100 to have SSH on port 10022, and let RDP of VM 101 ‘live’ on port 10189, we can do the following:

You can add as many of these as you’d like.

Once you have your configuration set up as you please, we will need to make it persistent. If you reboot at this point, all of your iptables rules will be cleared. To prevent this, we simply do:

This step saves the rules to an iptables-readable file. In order to apply them upon boot, you have several options. One of the easier ones is to modify /etc/network/interfaces as such (notice the third line):

At this point, you now have a functioning inbound/outbound setup on your own private LAN.

Assigning public ports to containers

With multiple containers potentially running the same types of services, you can’t easily just map -> and  Ports will collide, and you have to figure out the best way to work around that.  The section below details how to perform host-header switching/proxying for websites, but for other services, there aren’t such elaborate solutions.  SIP, for example, runs on port 5060.  If you have two SIP servers (perhaps one for testing, one production), you’ll have to map things.

A port-numbering algorithm I came up with is:

(CTID mod 100) x 100 + original port number + 1000

For example, with container 105 that needs SIP:

For FTP, port 22 on container 105:

Your weights and offsets might need tweaking for your particular purposes; this is just what works for me.

Supporting multiple websites

Now, what if you want to install multiple websites across multiple containers?  One easy way to do this is to do port forwarding so that, e.g., goes to container 101, goes to container 102, etc., but that’s ugly.  We can instead setup a proxy that takes ALL requests on port 80 and routes them to their appropriate destinations.  Let’s get started.

In this example, we’re going to have a dedicated container for nginx.  I also have a dedicated container for a MySQL instance that’s shared for all of my sites.  This allows the website containers to be very lightweight.

First, create a container using the OS of your choice, and enter it.  I recommend using one of the minimal templates provided by  View this post for information on how to install templates and create containers.

Here, we’ll be using the Ubuntu 14.04 template.  Once you’re in, you’re now ready to install nginx.

You’ll now have a default site, which you’ll probably want to change.  This site will be served for any requests NOT matching a site name of anything else nginx serves (e.g., if a request for comes in, but nginx only knows to serve, the default site would show up).  Either change the default site, or delete it so that another site (the first config file nginx loads, in alphabetical order), is the default.  You can prefix the config filename with something like 000- to ensure it’s the default.  Alternatively, you can specify it in the config file, like  listen 80 default_server; .

Now, for each site you want to proxy for, you’ll need a config file, as follows:

Once you’ve created all of the config files, as shown above, simply restart nginx with  service nginx restart .

Now, assuming your nginx container is container 101 with IP address,  we can allow worldwide access as such:

Now, once you point DNS, you should be good to go.  If you’d like to test this prior, you can update your hosts file, or simply use curl to see if things are looking as expected:

I hope that helps!