Advice for Homelab 'foundation'

Hello All,
I have an old PC :
Intel Core i7 3770K
SSD of 256G
HDD of 1T
Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS on it atm.
I need to learn databases, in particular Postgres, on VMs and Kubernetes (high availability, upgrades, backing up etc.). This isn’t for development work per se, since I’m not a dev (never have been), although I will also be learning to store Ansible playbooks in Git and hopefully figuring out some testing scenarios.
I’m thinking that I should wipe Ubuntu and install Proxmox to enable the creation of VMs, and just wanted to know what the experts/gurus think before doing it.

Welcome to the forum!

An actual home “lab,” you don’t see that often. If you’re not using this as a desktop, install Proxmox on it, it’ll make your life easier.

Not sure what exactly you want to learn from postgres, how to deploy it, how to define a DB with all the tables and stuff, how to back it up and restore it? If you want deployment, I’d look for software that requires postgres, like Zabbix and deploy that in a VM.

If you’re looking to deploy PG in VMs and k8s, Proxmox will come in handy as a hypervisor (makes things easy), but you can use virt-manager on ubuntu. You can launch 6 VMs, 3 as master nodes and 3 as worker nodes and deploy k8s on them, then deploy a postgres pod. If you use k3s, it’ll make life easier and it’s a bit easier on resources. You can also just use 1 master node and 3 worker nodes (so 4 VMs).

I have my bias against ubuntu in general, but running virt-manager on it shouldn’t be too bad. Still, proxmox makes things way easier if you’re going the headless server approach.

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Thank you very much for your reply. I think I’ll go the Proxmox route. I’ll also look at k3s, cheers.

Proxmox is a good choice for a single homelab node. You also have the option to use LXC containers instead of VM’s which will let you cram more onto your hardware than full blown VM’s.

LXC are system containers (more like normal VM’s) versus Docker/K8S aplication containers which have some different characteristics and use cases. I would recommend getting your head around docker before going to K8S which is quite bit more complicated.

Appreciate the feedback cheers. I actually tried installing Proxmox onto an old PC (that had Ubuntu installed before) and it didn’t work. I then tried installing minimal Debian then adding the Proxmox repos but after the install, it didn’t want to reboot. The PC is nearly 12 years old …
I’ve decided I’m going to do exactly what you suggest in terms of learning Docker first, then Kubernetes.
Once again, thanks for the feedback.

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