Proxmox ve 2.x – Virtual Machines startup Shutdown options

Hello World,

It has been some time since my last post about Proxmox VE. So, I’ll start with an easy one.  Today, I’ll speak about Proxmox VE 2.1 startup/shutdown behavior.


The Proxmox VE 2.x release of the software has brought a lot of changes in the way of working although the concept are still the same.  A little nice improvement that has been introduced with a release or update of Proxmox VE 2.x is the startup/shutdown behavior of the virtual machines.

With this feature, you can control the status of the virtual machine when the Proxmox VE host starts or stop. You can also specify in which order virtual machines or container have to boot when the proxmox ve host is started.  This can be useful in scenarios where you have a Active Domain controller that needs to be started before other machines in order to be able to authenticate against the Active Directory.

Note that this feature is commonly found on other hypervisor such as Microsoft Hyper-v or Esxi vmware solution.  Proxmox VE added this feature later on in the product compared to other “vendors”.

Configuring the behavior on a KVM machine

Configuring the startup/shutdown behavior operation is simple and easy to perform for the KVM machines.  You can configure all the required settings through the web interface.   The following screenshot shows you the available options offered to you.


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Actually, the web console does not show you all the available options in order  to control the startup/shutdown behavior.   If you want to have the virtual machine to start when the Proxmox VE host starts, you will set the value start at boot to yes .  You can also specify the boot order. Howver, if you double-click on the boot order option, you will see that you have in fact 3 options on the screen

  • obviously, the start order for this virtual machine but also
  • a start-up delay and,
  • a shutdown delay
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As you can see, the options are quite straight forward and easy to configured via the web Interface.  To be complete, I have to mention that you can also perform such configuration using command line.   You can see some examples hereafter :

Example 1 – Set the “Start at boot” option to yes

    • qm set <vmid> -onboot yes

Example 2 – Set the “boot order” option to a specific value

    • qm set <vmid> -startup order=2

Example 3 – To configure startup delay for a virtual machine

    • qm set <vmid> -startup up=50

Note: Typing this command will override other settings. Only the startup value would be set 

Example 4 – To configure startup delay for a virtual machine and keep the boot order option

    • qm set <vmid> -startup order=2,up=50

Example 5 – To configure the startup order, start and stop timeout

    • qm set <vmid> -startup order=2,up=50,down=55

Example 6 – To revert back to the default configuration (boot order=any, no up or no dow delay)

    • qm set <vmid> -delete startup


If you are lazy like me, instead of reading the  proxmox ve command line documentation, you can also have a look at the syslog screen to find out which commands have been processed.  Have a look at my screenshot and you will see the commands that have been used in order to set the startup/shutdown options.

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Configuring the behavior on a CT machine

For the CT machine, you have also an option to configure the startup/shutdown behavior using the web interface but it’s limited.  Indeed, if you check the web interface, you will be able to simply set the option to startup the machine or not when the host is starting.

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You would expect that only this start at boot option exists for containers.  Actually, not.  You can configure the bootorder as well but you will need to use the command line.      The only option I’ve not found is the one related to the startup/shutdown settings.  So, I’m assuming that these settings are simply not available for containers.  So, If you need to perform some more granular configuration, you will need to go through the command line again….Here are some examples

  • vzctl set vmid –onboot yes/no –save
  • vzctl set vmid –bootorder <value>  –save

The following screenshot shows you the configuration that has been set for a bunch of containers.

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The next screenshot simply shows the information that you would see when starting up the Proxmox VE HOST based on the boot order configuration we have just set in the above screenshot.


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To conclude this topic, I would invite you to also have a look to the virtual machine/container configuration files and see how the file are modified when enabling/disabling these options.   If you look the configuration file of the container that has been configured to start at boot and where the boot order has been altered, you would edit the file located at /etc/vz/conf/vmid.conf

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By reviewing this file, you can see the 2 additonal lines ONBoot=”yes” and the “bootorder=xx”

Final Notes

That’s it for this post !

Proxmox VE has integrated the startup/shutdown feature within the web interface.  The change is not major but bring definitly an added value when it comes to control the virtual machine behavior when you start/Stop your Proxmox VE host.

Till Next Time

See ya





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