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Proxmox vs Docker for a Home server.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have been a fan of Docker for a while now and run my current home server using Docker compose. At the moment I run Plex, qBittorent, an IRC client, Calibre-Web, and a few miscellaneous services. I have a new "server" arriving soon and being I have already build a home server with Docker (I make videos as well), I thought I might explore other options for home servers. That is when I landed on Proxmox, a free and open alternative to ESXI

The new server will likely run with RAID1-Z but other than that there are no major requirements, I mention this because it may add extra challenges to Proxmox.

Proxmox would allow me to create VMs which might be a handy feature but I want to determine if that is actually useful. I had considered moving Plex to a dedicated VM but the more I think about it, im not sure this offers any benefit, and in fact may be more of a hindrance. 

Being you can limit resources on Docker I am thinking of allowing plex to access more resources when required would be best. https://docs.docker.com/config/containers/resource_constraints/

So to be honest, I had mostly considered changing my setup simply to learn another system and create another video,  but the more I learn the more I think Docker was the best choice from the start. Can anyone here make an argument for switching to Proxmox? 

Pros of Docker:
 - Simple to update applications

 - Ability to migrate script

 - Compose scripts are easily manageable / edited

 - Resource sharing

Pros of Proxmox:
 - Web-based portal

 - KVM emulation (if this is actually a pro)

 - ???

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

why not run docker on proxmox? Make a vm to run docker on, then you can make other vms later if you need them.


What hardware are you running? what drives? doing root on zfs on promox is super easy.



But what are you expecting the VM benefit provides? To me it appears this can only Hinder plex's performance by only allowing it to access X cores at a time while more may be available overall.

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36 minutes ago, TechSquidTV said:

But what are you expecting the VM benefit provides? To me it appears this can only Hinder plex's performance by only allowing it to access X cores at a time while more may be available overall.

you can give the vm all of the host cores for very close to metal performance.


Using a vm give you snapshots, easy backups, live migration and easy swapping between server. And you can run other oses later on if you want too.

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If you have any "security" concerns, there's less chance of a breakout from a VM than from docker. It is also much easier to move between networks / vlans as a VM than a container.

You can over-allocate CPUs (as everyone does), you just have to be mindful. You can also delegate resources (called shares in vmware) to a VM, so even though you over-allocate - your essential VMs get cycles first.


I love docker-config, I'm using it at home too. Add traefik to your docker stack which will pul, auto-renew letsencrypt certs and place them in front of your services. Makes life great, just a few extra lines in your docker-config for each container (labels) and done. Easiest reverse-proxy for containers imo.


Since you're using docker config, if you do change to proxmox down the road it's dead-ass simple to move it to a VM at least. I would just say down the road it's easier if you already have proxmox in place. You can also look at xcp-ng, a branch from citrix. Lawrence technologies (youtube) is a huge advocate of it, combined with xen orch he's running his business off of it.


Plex by the way - no more pull requests to udpate it, if you run it as a VM. Just let it update itself. I've ran plex as a VM for over 2 years and only recently moved it out to my old desktop since I've been using h265. My upload is shit, so the best I can push out is 3 720p streams at once anyway, so I don't need a lot of cores.



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Also regarding RAID - what some have done is virtualize a storage solution and pass the controller/HBA directly to the VM. Then there they can create a file server, NFS shares, and use MDADM if they so chose. To give proxmox storage they just create a specific NFS share and connect proxmox to it.


This is done more often with ESXi which doesn't have any software RAID support outside of VSAN (license/$$). FreeNAS VM + ZFS + RaidZ.

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