New Proxmox Setup


Well-Known Member
May 19, 2019
Good day,

I want to set up a new Proxmox server and I am unsure what the best setup is.
I want a Samba File Server, with ZFS as the underlying file system to make use of the advanced ZFS features like snapshots and so on.
Besides that, I also need a couple of other virtual machines for other purposes, like Web Server and so on.

I see two possibilities to do my setup:

a) Set up the Web Server and the other services as proper virtual machines. And install Samba directly on the operating system that runs Proxmox. Probably this is the setup that offers the most performance. However, I don't like the idea of having to integrate all the Samba configuration (like Active Directory, Shares and so on) on the same machine as Proxmox.

b) I could set up a dedicated VM for the Samba file server, and to make use of ZFS, I could pass through some of the physical disks to that server. I believe this also will have good performance, but I am unsure if this is recommended to do.

c) neither of the two above, use a dedicated physical machine that has nothing to do with Proxmox and just runs the Samba file server.

Actually, I prefer very much to have all my different services on different VMs to have them sort of "isolated" from each other, this gives more flexibility. And I also like the idea of having my servers configured as virtual machines, because this greatly simplifies backups. So option c) is my least preferred one, because I need additional hardware. Option a) I dislike because I want to keep the Proxmox installation as clean as possible and prefer not to mix it with Samba and Active Directory and all this stuff. So b) would my choice, but I am not yet sure if it is wise to do it like so.

My use case currently is around ~1TB of storage, around ~50 users, Windows and Linux mixed, the Windows Clients will be joined to the Active Directory and users will make use of file shares and permissions on the Samba server.

I just had a 4th idea how I could do it. Just create a "normal" VM with a "normal" raw disk, and inside the VM, also use ZFS. Good or bad idea?
Last edited:
There are a lot of good guides available for how to install TrueNAS on Proxmox. (Option B from your list.) This is probably your best approach.
NOTE: Proxmox backups won't include the physical disks passed through to your TrueNAS VM, so you'll have to handle these separately.

I personally run option A from your list with zero issues. But my setup is for a home lab, so I'm OK with running Samba directly on Proxmox.
bad idea generally, but REALLY bad idea if the underlying OS is also zfs. using ext3/4 causes the least amount of write amplification.
yes, I did some more research about this topic and totally agree. It is bad.

What about using a container that imports a ZFS dataset?
for me the important thing is, I want to be able to use ZFS features like snapshots inside the file server. This is a must. :-D


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