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ClearOS Installation Tutorial

ClearOS is an ideal IT solution for home and small/medium-sized business users who are looking for an affordable all-in-one solution for server, network, and internet gateway. You can easily install and configure ClearOS via an intuitive web interface. It provides you 135 applications, most of which are free. For more information about ClearOS, you can read our What is ClearOS? article.

In this ClearOS installation on the Proxmox VE tutorial, we will walk you through a basic installation of ClearOS 7.9 Community Edition to get you started by following the next steps given below.

  • Why you should install ClearOS
  • Checking hardware requirements of ClearOS
  • Downloading ClearOS image
  • Uploading ClearOS ISO File to Proxmox VE
  • Creating a Virtual Machine on Proxmox VE
  • Setting Network Configuration of the ClearOS Virtual Machine on Proxmox VE
    • Creating Linux Bridge
    • Adding Network Devices to ClearOS VM on Proxmox
  • Installing ClearOS
    • Network Device Assignments for ClearOS
    • IP Address Settings for ClearOS
    • Updating ClearOS Firewall on CLI
    • Accessing the ClearOS Web GUI
    • Initial Configuration of the ClearOS

Why You Should Install ClearOS#

By starting to use the ClearOS in your infrastructure, you will get the following benefits of ClearOS:

  • Easy to use, simple, and cheap or free
  • Reliability and dependability
  • MS Active Directory Integration
  • Reliable gateway and security solution
  • Intelligent integration
  • Automatic Updates
  • User-friendly Web GUI

Hardware Requirements of ClearOS#

Before installing the ClearOS, you should verify the hardware requirements for the installation. You can review the requirements located on the official website. the base requirements of ClearOS are as follows:

  • ClearOS is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
  • At least 1GB memory is recommended.
  • At least 10GB hard disk is recommended.
  • 2 network interface cards are necessary for LAN and WAN connections.
  • ClearOS is compatible with Intel CPUs beginning with the Pentium 6 and AMD architectures beginning with the Athlon.

You can use the following guide for estimating the right hardware for different system sizes.

RAM and CPU5 users5-10 users10-50 users50-200 users
Processor/CPU500 MHz1 GHz2 GHz3 GHz
Memory/RAM512 MB1 GB1.5 GB2 GB
Hard Disk
Hard DiskInstallation and logs require 1 GB
RAIDRecommended for mission-critical systems

Beware that the required hardware depends on the applications running on the ClearOS. For example, a heavily used web filtering requires more power than a system running a simple firewall. The following software modules consume a lot of processor and memory:

  • Antispam
  • Antivirus
  • Content Filtering
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention
  • Webmail
tip

When choosing hardware for your ClearOS, you may find some life-saving tips below:

  • Do not use the latest technologies and chipsets. This reduces the likelihood of compatibility issues as well as potential reliability issues that may arise with unproven hardware.
  • Do not use desktop systems. It is not recommended to use a desktop system as a server or gateway. Though you may save your money on a desktop system, they are more likely to fail when used as a server/gateway.
  • Do not forget to check the vendors' websites for Linux compatibility. If you purchase Server A with a version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux pre-installed, then the system is most probably compatible with ClearOS.

Downloading ClearOS image#

Now, you can go to the official ClearOS Download page. Installing ClearOS on a virtual machine can be done by using the DVD ISO image. So, Download the ClearOS 7.x Community Edition ISO image from the ClearOS mirror site which is closest to you.

Downloading ClearOS 7 Community Edition DVD ISO image

Figure 1. Downloading ClearOS 7 Community Edition DVD ISO image

Selecting mirror to download ClearOS DVD ISO image

Figure 2. Selecting mirror to download ClearOS DVD ISO image

Upload ClearOS ISO File to Proxmox VE#

To start the installation of the ClearOS on the Proxmox environment, you must upload the ClearOS ISO image from your local disk to the Proxmox node. You can easily upload the ISO file to your Proxmox VE system by following the next instructions.

  1. Connect your Proxmox VE Web interface(such as https://192.168.0.100:8006) using your favorite browser and log in as root.
  2. Navigate to Datacenter -> pve/node -> local disk (pve) -> ISO Images.

Uploading ClearOS ISO image to Proxmox VE node

Figure 3. Uploading ClearOS ISO image to Proxmox VE node

  1. Click the Upload button.
  2. Select the ClearOS ISO image from your local disk to upload.

Selecting ClearOS ISO image from local disk to upload Proxmox

Figure 4. Selecting ClearOS ISO image from local disk to upload Proxmox VE

  1. Click the Upload button.
tip

You can also copy the ClearOS ISO image to your Proxmox environment by using an SCP/SFTP client application. You should upload the ISO file into the /var/lib/vz/template/iso directory on the Proxmox VE server.

Creating a Virtual Machine on Proxmox VE#

After uploading the ClearOS ISO image to the Proxmox VE, we will create a Virtual Machine for our ClearOS firewall. To create a virtual machine on Proxmox, you should follow the next steps given below.

  1. Click on the blue Create VM button in the upper right-hand corner of the Proxmox VE web UI.
  1. Enter a name for your virtual machine, such as ClearOS. Then, click Next.

Naming the ClearOS VM on Proxmox

Figure 5. Naming the ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

  1. Select the ClearOS ISO image under the OS tab, and then click Next.

Selecting ClearOS ISO to install on Proxmox VE as an OS

Figure 6. Selecting ClearOS ISO to install on Proxmox VE as an OS

  1. You may accept the default settings on the System tab by clicking Next.

System settings of the ClearOS VM on Proxmox

Figure 7. System settings of the ClearOS VM on Proxmox

  1. Set the Hard Disk size as you wish. We recommend enabling the IO thread which should improve IO performance by giving the disk its Datacenter worker thread.

Setting Hard disk size as 32 GB for ClearOS on Proxmox VE

Figure 8. Setting Hard disk size as 32 GB for ClearOS on Proxmox VE

  1. Set the CPU configuration as you wish.

CPU settings for ClearOS firewall on Proxmox VE

Figure 9. CPU settings for ClearOS firewall on Proxmox VE

  1. Set the Memory size as you wish.

Setting Memory size 8 GB for ClearOS firewall on Proxmox

Figure 10. Setting Memory size 8 GB for ClearOS firewall on Proxmox

  1. Set Multiqueue to 8 in the Network configuration.

Network configuration of ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

Figure 11. Network configuration of ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

  1. Confirm the ClearOS virtual machine configuration by clicking on the Finish button.

Confirming the ClearOS virtual machine configuration

Figure 12. Confirming the ClearOS virtual machine configuration

Setting Network Configuration of the ClearOS Virtual Machine on Proxmox VE#

In this tutorial, we will configure two physical NICs for our ClearOS system. These NICs will be used and configured for the following purposes

  • WAN Connection: Internet connection/Untrusted zone.
  • LAN Connection: Clients and servers are placed in this trusted zone.

Creating Linux Bridge#

To be able to define 2 network interfaces for the ClearOS virtual machine, firstly we must create Linux bridge devices on the Proxmox device.

To create a Network Bridge follow the next steps.

  1. Navigate to the Data center -> pve -> Network.

Viewing the network devices of the Proxmox VE

Figure 13. Viewing the network devices of the Proxmox VE

  1. Click on the Create button. This will pop up the Linux Bridgeconfiguration window.
  2. You may leave the name as default such as vmbr1. Enter IPv4/CIDR address and Bridge ports (Network devices name seen on Network configuration window, such as ens3f0). Then, click on the Create button.

Creating a Linux bridge on the Proxmox VE

Figure 14. Creating a Linux bridge on the Proxmox VE

  1. Click on the Apply Configuration button or Reboot the Proxmox device to start to use new Linux bridges.

Now, you have two Linux Bridges as seen in the Figure below.

Viewing the network devices of the Proxmox VE

Figure 15. Viewing the network devices of the Proxmox VE

Adding Network Devices to ClearOS VM on Proxmox#

It is time to add a network device that will be used for LAN connections.

To add a new network interface to the ClearOS virtual machine on Proxmox you can follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the Data center -> pve -> ClearOSfw VM -> Hardware -> Add
  2. Click on Network Device.

Adding NIC to ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

Figure 16. Adding NIC to ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

  1. Select the Linux Bridge such as vmbr1.

Selecting Linux bridge for a NIC

Figure 17. Selecting Linux bridge for a NIC

  1. Select Model as VirtlO(paravirtualized).

Setting model for a network device of ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

Figure 18. Setting model for a network device of ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

  1. Uncheck Firewall option.
  2. Set Multiqueue to 8.
  3. Click the Add button.

After finishing the network configuration of the ClearOS virtual machine on Proxmox, you should see the Hardware configuration for the ClearOS VM similar to the following figure.

Hardware configuration of the ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

Figure 19. Hardware configuration of the ClearOS VM on Proxmox VE

Now, your ClearOS firewall has 2 different physical interfaces ready to connect to different networks, Internet and LAN respectively.

tip

It is recommended that you should note the MAC address of the network devices used by ClearOS VM. You will need them to complete the network settings of the firewall after installing the ClearOS software.

Installing ClearOS#

ClearOS installation is straightforward, but options are provided to allow the administrator to create highly customized solutions. To start the installation of the ClearOS on your Proxmox environment, first, you should start the ClearOS virtual machine. To start the machine,

  1. Click on the ClearOSfw virtual machine on the node list.
  2. Click on the Start button.

To continue the installation of the ClearOS, you should connect the virtual machine from the Proxmox console by clicking on the Console.

Connecting OPNsense VM console on Proxmox

Figure 20. Connecting ClearOS VM console on Proxmox VE

And then, you may follow the steps listed below.

  1. ClearOS Installation Boot Options. When you connect the ClearOS Virtual Machine console, you will see the ClearOS installation boot options menu. Select the first option Install ClearOS 7.9.1 -328147 by pressing the Enter. If you are having trouble with the graphical parts of the ClearOS installation, select the Troubleshooting option, which will give you a lower resolution install method.

ClearOS Installation Boot Options

Figure 21. ClearOS Installation Boot Options

  1. Language Selection. Select the language you wish to use during the installation process and click Continue. These options only apply to the installation process and the command line after the installation. The Webconfig interface uses its own language options.

Language Selection

Figure 22. Language Selection

  1. Installation Summary: In this window, sections that have a warning must be configured before proceeding with the installation. For our system we should click on the Installation Destination to select the hard disk.

Installation Summary window

Figure 23. Installation Summary window

The following options are available to fully customize the system before installing the ClearOS:

  • Date & Time: You may select the timezone and configure the ntp server for the system. This option is required in the Webconfig installation wizard later.

Timezone selection and NTP settings on ClearOS

Figure 24. Timezone selection and NTP settings on ClearOS

  • Language support: You may set the ClearOS installation language.
  • Keyboard Layout: You may add one or more additional keyboard layouts.
  • Origin of the installation: At this point, the origin is defined from where ClearOS 7 is being installed, in this case, the medium where we have recorded the ISO image.
  • Software selection: There shouldn't be anything for you to do with ClearOS here. The ClearOS installation is a minimal installation that will get you to the marketplace. Because the marketplace is a more efficient method of delivering apps and services, make sure to add apps later to make your ClearOS system work the way you want it to.
  • Network & Device Name: You may activate and configure the network interfaces. Also, you may set the device name.
  • Installation destination: You may define the disk where ClearOS 7 is to be installed and create partitions if you wish.
  1. Installation destination. At the very least, you must choose a disk on which to install ClearOS. Additionally, it is possible to create partitions and encrypt the data on the disk. After completing the selection, click Done.

Selecting Installation Destination for ClearOS 7.9.1

Figure 25. Selecting Installation Destination for ClearOS 7.9.1

  1. Network & Hostname: In the Installation Summary window, click Network & Hostname button to configure the network settings of the system.

Setting network and hostname for ClearOS

Figure 26. Setting network and hostname for ClearOS

  1. Activating and configuring the ethernet devices: After clicking on the ethernet device click on the toggle button to turn on/activate the device. Your first network interface card will be set up with DHCP by default. You can also configure your interfaces later. If there is a DHCP server in the network, the network interface gets an IP address automatically. Otherwise, you should click on the Configure button to set the IP address of the NIC.

In our example, eth0 is used for WAN connection and gets an IP address from the ISP automatically, while eth1 is used for LAN connection and is assigned a static IP address manually.

Activating WAN interface of ClearOS

Figure 27. Activating WAN interface of ClearOS

To assign a static IP address to LAN/eth1 interface,

  • Select the eth1 ethernet
  • Click on the Configure button
  • Click the IPv4 settings tab.
  • Select Manual in the Method dropdown list.
  • Enter IP address, netmask, gateway, and DNS server.
  • Click Save.

Activate the eth1 interface by clicking on the toggle button at the top right corner of the Network & Hostname window.

Assigning static IP address manually for LAN interface of ClearOS

Figure 28. Assigning static IP address manually for LAN interface of ClearOS

  1. Setting Hostname: Enter the hostname and domain name in the field at the bottom left corner of the Network & Hostname window. Then click the Apply button. If you intend to deploy ClearOS over a direct Internet connection, it is recommended that you use the actual Internet hostname, such as server.domain.com. If you intend to deploy ClearOS on a local network, you can substitute an internal hostname, such as server.domain.local.

Setting hostname in ClearOS

Figure 29. Setting hostname in ClearOS

  1. After completing the network configuration of your ClearOS system click on the Done button at the top left corner.
  2. Begin Installation. when all of the exclamation marks (!) have disappeared, you are ready to install the ClearOS. To start the installation of the ClearOS, click on the Begin Installation button.
  3. Setting Root Password. You should set the root password to proceed with the installation.

Setting root password for ClearOS

Figure 30. Setting root password for ClearOS

After setting a strong root password for your ClearOS system, click on Done button.

Setting a strong root password for ClearOS

Figure 31. Setting a strong root password for ClearOS

info

Your ClearOS password must follow these rules:

  • Must start with a letter or number
  • Must not contain the following characters: | ; *
  1. Installation. Setup will start partitioning and formatting your hard drive and install the ClearOS system on it. Depending on the size of the hard drive and the speed of your system, this will take a moment.
  2. Now, our ClearOS Server installation is completed. We can see our ClearOS Server is successfully installed. Click the Reboot System, and your system starts Rebooting.

ClearOS installation completed

Figure 32. ClearOS installation completed

  1. Boot menu. Select the first option in the ClearOS boot menu.

ClearOS boot menu

Figure 33. ClearOS boot menu

  1. After the installation is finished and ClearOS has rebooted, you will see the Network Console screen given below.

Your network may already be operational and accessible, depending on your installation environment. If this is the case, you will be presented with IP address information in order to access Webconfig which is a web-based administration tool for ClearOS. Follow the links on the screen to access the Network Console tool if you need to initialize or change your network settings.

Network console of ClearOS

Figure 34. Network console of ClearOS

Initial Configuration of ClearOS#

You can access the web-based interface on port 81 using the IP address you set using your favorite browser. For example, https://192.168.0.37:81.

After you install and reboot the ClearOS successfully, you must make essential configurations to connect your system to your network infrastructure. The initial configuration steps of the ClearOS system are as follows.

  1. Login as root by using the password you set during installation.

ClearOS Web GUI login page

Figure 35. ClearOS Web GUI login page

  1. To start the installation wizard click Next.

ClearOS installation wizard

Figure 36. ClearOS installation wizard

  1. Select network mode. ClearOS installation wizard provides 3 network modes as follows:
  • Public Server Mode (for standalone servers installed in a data center)
  • Gateway Mode (used to connect a network to the Internet)
  • Private Server Mode (for standalone servers installed on a protected network such as an office network)

We will select Gateway Mode.

Selecting network mode for ClearOS

Figure 37. Selecting network mode for ClearOS

tip

You can change the Network Mode of your ClearOS system at any time after ClearOS is registered by navigating to Network > Settings > IP Settings on Webconfig.

  1. Configuring network interfaces. You must configure at least 2 network interfaces to run the ClearOS in Gateway Mode. One of the interfaces should connect to the External network(WAN) and the other one should connect to the LAN. To configure the interfaces you can click the Edit button.

Configuring network interfaces for ClearOS

Figure 38. Configuring network interfaces for ClearOS

  1. Setting DNS servers. You may set the DNS servers for your system. To proceed, the DNS lookup must be successful. ClearOS will assign DNS addresses based on the information provided by its gateway. You can always use different DNS addresses. In our example, since our WAN interface is configured from a DHCP server by ISP, DNS servers are configured automatically too.

Setting DNS servers

Figure 39. Setting DNS servers for ClearOS

  1. Selecting ClearOS Edition. You may select the ClearOS edition as you wish. We will select the Community Edition which is free. Changing the edition changes the color of the theme.

Selecting ClearOS Edition

Figure 40. Selecting ClearOS Edition

  1. System registration. To be able to access the Marketplace and install the latest applications you need you must register your system. If you don�t have an account, you must create one by clicking on the Create Account button.

System Registration for ClearOS

Figure 41. System Registration for ClearOS

  1. Creating an Account. Creating an account for ClearOS is an easy process that you should provide a little information about yourself and select the mail list subscription options as you wish.

Creating an account for ClearOS

Figure 42. Creating an account for ClearOS

  1. Registering system. After creating a ClearCenter Portal account, you should register your system by maintaining the required information and clicking on the Register System button.

Registering ClearOS system

Figure 43. Registering ClearOS system

  1. System registration information. After your ClearOS system is registered, registration information such as External hostname, Hostkey, and Software EOL date will be displayed. Click on the Next button.

ClearOS System registration information

Figure 44. ClearOS System registration information

  1. Update. After completing the system registry. available updates will be displayed. To install the updates, click on the Update All button.

Available updates for ClearOS

Figure 45. Available updates for ClearOS

  1. When the software updates are installed successfully, click on the Next button.

Software updates installation for ClearOS

Figure 46. Software updates installation for ClearOS

  1. Setting Internet Domain. Set the internet domain name of your ClearOS system and then click Next.

Figure 47. Setting Internet Domain for ClearOS

  1. Setting Hostname and Internet Hostname. Set the hostname which is used to access the ClearOS system from the internal network(LAN) and the Internet hostname which is used to access the ClearOS system from the external network(WAN/Internet). Then click Next.

Setting Hostname and Internet Hostname for ClearOS

Figure 48. Setting Hostname and Internet Hostname for ClearOS

  1. Setting Date and Time. You may set or change the date and time configuration of your ClearOS system by clicking on the Update button. Click on the Next button to continue.

Setting Date and Time on ClearOS installation Wizard

Figure 49. Setting Date and Time on ClearOS Installation Wizard

  1. Marketplace. Congratulations. You are now ready to install the free or paid applications from ClearOS Marketplace. The installation wizard provides you four options to install the applications here. You may install applications
  • By function (for new users)
  • By category (for users who are familiar with ClearOS)
  • Quick file selection (pre-configured templates. You'll need a '.txt' file that contains the application names so you can quickly select and install apps).

Or you may skip this section and install the applications later by navigating to the Marketplace.

ClearOS Marketplace

Figure 50. ClearOS Marketplace 16. Dashboard. You can configure your Dashboard manually or use the default settings.

  1. Initial Configuration Completed. Congratulations, you have completed the installation wizard. You can now make changes to ClearOS from Webconfig.
tip

If you would like to access ClearOS via SSH from an external host, you'll need to open the corresponding port on the Incoming Firewall (Network > Firewall > Incoming Firewall) if the firewall is enabled.