Migrate virtual machines between different Proxmox VM clusters

cli, proxmox
pip install proxmove==1.1



The Proxmox VM migrator: migrates VMs between different Proxmox VE clusters.

Migrating a virtual machine (VM) on a PVE-cluster from one node to another is implemented in the Proxmox Virtual Environment (PVE). But migrating a VM from one PVE-cluster to another is not.

proxmove helps you move VMs between PVE-clusters with minimal hassle.

Example invocation:


But, to get it to work, you'll need to configure ~/.proxmoverc first. See Configuration.

Additional tips:

  • Use --debug; it doesn't flood your screen, but provides useful clues about what it's doing.
  • If your network bridge is different on the DEST_CLUSTER, use --skip-start; that way proxmove "completes" successfully when done with the move. (You'll still need to change the bridge before starting the VM obviously.)
  • If proxmove detects that a move was in progress, it will interactively attempt a resume.

Full invocation specification (--help):

usage: proxmove [-c FILENAME] [-n] [--bwlimit MBPS] [--no-verify-ssl]
                [--skip-disks] [--skip-start] [--ssh-ciphers CIPHERS]
                [--debug] [--ignore-exists] [-h] [--version]
                source destination nodeid storage vm [vm ...]

Migrate VMs from one Proxmox cluster to another.

positional arguments:
  source                alias of source cluster
  destination           alias of destination cluster
  nodeid                node on destination cluster
  storage               storage on destination node
  vm                    one or more VMs (guests) to move

optional arguments:
  -c FILENAME, --config FILENAME
                        use alternate configuration inifile
  -n, --dry-run         stop before doing any writes
  --bwlimit MBPS        limit bandwidth in Mbit/s
  --no-verify-ssl       skip ssl verification on the api hosts
  --skip-disks          do the move, but skip copying of the disks;
                        implies --skip-start
  --skip-start          do the move, but do not start the new instance
  --ssh-ciphers CIPHERS
                        comma separated list of ssh -c ciphers to
                        prefer, (aes128-gcm@openssh.com is supposed to
                        be fast if you have aes on your cpu); set to
                        "-" to use ssh defaults

debug arguments:
  --debug               enables extra debug logging
  --ignore-exists       continue when target VM already exists; allows
                        moving to same cluster

other actions:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --version             show program's version number and exit

Cluster aliases and storage locations should be defined in
~/.proxmoverc (or see -c option). See the example proxmoverc.sample.
It requires [pve:CLUSTER_ALIAS] sections for the proxmox "api" URL and
[storage:CLUSTER_ALIAS:STORAGE_NAME] sections with "ssh", "path" and
"temp" settings.

Example run

First you need to configure ~/.proxmoverc; see below.

When configured, you can do something like this:

$ proxmove apple-cluster banana-cluster node2 node2-ssd the-vm-to-move
12:12:27: Attempt moving apple-cluster<e1400248> => banana-cluster<6669ad2c> (node 'node2'): the-vm-to-move
12:12:27: - source VM the-vm-to-move@node1<qemu/565/running>
12:12:27: - storage 'ide2': None,media=cdrom (host=<unknown>, guest=<unknown>)
12:12:27: - storage 'virtio0': sharedsan:565/vm-565-disk-1.qcow2,format=qcow2,iops_rd=4000,iops_wr=500,size=50G (host=37.7GiB, guest=50.0GiB)
12:12:27: Creating new VM 'the-vm-to-move' on 'banana-cluster', node 'node2'
12:12:27: - created new VM 'the-vm-to-move--CREATING' as UPID:node2:00005977:1F4D78F4:57C55C0B:qmcreate:126:user@pve:; waiting for it to show up
12:12:34: - created new VM 'the-vm-to-move--CREATING': the-vm-to-move--CREATING@node2<qemu/126/stopped>
12:12:34: Stopping VM the-vm-to-move@node1<qemu/565/running>
12:12:42: - stopped VM the-vm-to-move@node1<qemu/565/stopped>
12:12:42: Ejected (cdrom?) volume 'ide2' (none) added to the-vm-to-move--CREATING@node2<qemu/126/stopped>
12:12:42: Begin copy of 'virtio0' (sharedsan:565/vm-565-disk-1.qcow2,format=qcow2,iops_rd=4000,iops_wr=500,size=50G) to local-ssd
12:12:42: scp(1) copy from '/pool0/san/images/565/vm-565-disk-1.qcow2' (on sharedsan) to 'root@node2.banana-cluster.com:/node2-ssd/temp/temp-proxmove/vm-126-virtio0'
Warning: Permanently added 'node2.banana-cluster.com' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
vm-565-disk-1.qcow2   100%   50GB   90.5MB/s   09:26
Connection to san.apple-cluster.com closed.
12:22:08: Temp data '/node2-ssd/temp/temp-proxmove/vm-126-virtio0' on local-ssd
12:22:08: Writing data from temp '/node2-ssd/temp/temp-proxmove/vm-126-virtio0' to '/dev/zvol/node2-ssd/vm-126-virtio0' (on local-ssd)
Connection to node2.banana-cluster.com closed.
12:24:25: Removing temp '/node2-ssd/temp/temp-proxmove/vm-126-virtio0' (on local-ssd)
12:24:26: Starting VM the-vm-to-move@node2<qemu/126/stopped>
12:24:27: - started VM the-vm-to-move@node2<qemu/126/running>
12:24:27: Completed moving apple-cluster<e1400248> => banana-cluster<6669ad2c> (node 'node2'): the-vm-to-move

Before, the-vm-to-move was running on apple-cluster on node1.

Afterwards, the-vm-to-move is running on banana-cluster on node2. The the-vm-to-move on the apple-cluster has been stopped and renamed to the-vm-to-move--MIGRATED.


Set up the ~/.proxmoverc config file. First you need to define which clusters you have. For example apple-cluster and banana-cluster.

; Example cluster named "apple-cluster" with 3 storage devices, one
; shared, and two which exist on a single node only.
; The user requires various permissions found in the PVEVMAdmin role (VM
; allocate + audit) and PVEAuditor role (Datastore audit).

; Example cluster named "banana-cluster" with 2 storage devices; both
; storage devices exist on the respective nodes only.

Next, it needs configuration for the storage devices. They are expected to be reachable over SSH; both from the caller and from each other (using SSH-agent forwarding).

The following defines two storage devices for the apple-cluster, one shared and one local to node1 only.

If on sharedsan, the images are probably called something like /pool0/san/images/VMID/vm-VMID-disk1.qcow2, while in Proxmox, they are referred to as sharedsan:VMID/vm-VMID-disk1.qcow2.

[storage:apple-cluster:sharedsan] ; "sharedsan" is available on all nodes

[storage:apple-cluster:local@node1] ; local disk on node1 only

If you use ZFS storage on banana-cluster, the storage config could look like this. Disk volumes exist on the ZFS filesystem node1-ssd/images and node2-ssd/images on the nodes node1 and node2 respectively.

Note that the temp= path is always a regular path.



The config file looks better with indentation. The author suggests this layout:






If you run into a ResourceException, you may want to patch proxmoxer 1.0.3 to show the HTTP error reason as well.

--- proxmoxer/core.py       2019-04-04 09:13:16.832961589 +0200
+++ proxmoxer/core.py       2019-04-04 09:15:45.434175030 +0200
@@ -75,8 +75,10 @@ class ProxmoxResource(ProxmoxResourceBas
         logger.debug('Status code: %s, output: %s', resp.status_code, resp.content)

         if resp.status_code >= 400:
-            raise ResourceException("{0} {1}: {2}".format(resp.status_code, httplib.responses[resp.status_code],
-                                                          resp.content))
+            raise ResourceException('{0} {1} ("{2}"): {3}'.format(
+                resp.status_code, httplib.responses[resp.status_code],
+                resp.reason,  # reason = textual status_code
+                resp.content))
         elif 200 <= resp.status_code <= 299:
             return self._store["serializer"].loads(resp)

It might reveal a bug (or new feature), like:

  500 Internal Server Error ("only root can set 'vmgenid' config"):


proxmove is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 3 or any later version.