How To Install Rockstor NAS On Ubuntu/Debian in Virtual Machine

A quick and easy way to get Open source NAS enables Cloud storage Server is Rockstor, a powerful alternative to public cloud storage. Build and manage your own Linux & BTRFS powered advanced NAS and Cloud storage with ease.

If you want to build a NAS server that can store the valuable data that stored on your Laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and external hard drives but also gives you cloud access for both personal and Small & Medium Business level. Rockstor is the best alternative to FreeNAS and provides two solutions one is Personal Cloud Server and another is SMB Cloud Server. With Rockstor as your Cloud Server, you can build your Private Cloud Storage to manage your storage with little to no IT experience. If you don’t want to install the Rockstor in the physical machine then you can quickly deploy it on Virtual Machine that not only minimize the hardware footprint but also saves resources. If you are using a Linux Desktop Machine then you can use the GNU/Linux KVM and its GUI Virtual Machine Manager to install a Virtual Rockstor NAS server.

Rockstor NAS/Cloud server Two Variants

Personal Cloud/NAS Server

Rockstor Personal Cloud Server is an alternative to a public cloud but for local or personal use. It helps you to save the cost of a public cloud and the risks of public cloud storage. You can access this NAS server from desktops, mobile, or anywhere outside or inside your local network using the Internet. Move data between public cloud, Rockstor, and your devices.

SMB Cloud/NAS Server

This Rockstor cloud server version is specially built for the Small and Midsize Business (SMB) organizations those needs hundred Terabytes of capacity requirement. You can use it with a public cloud to save money and bandwidth.

Step By Step Guide To Install Rockstor in Ubuntu/Debian Linux Virtual Machine

Note: In this guide, we are using the default KVM “NAT” network arrangement to minimize the configuration.

How To Check the Cpu support Linux KVM compatibility or not?

Step 1: The installation of the virtual machine directly depends upon the hardware, whether it supports or not the virtualization. So to find out this install the CPU-checker program on an ubuntu desktop using the following command:

sudo apt-get install cpu-checker

Step 2: Once the above command executes and installed the program, run the following command.


If the CPU is enabled, you should see something like:

INFO: /dev/kvm exists KVM acceleration can be used

Otherwise, you might see something like:

INFO: /dev/kvm does not exist
HINT: sudo modprobe kvm_intel
INFO: Your CPU supports KVM extensions
INFO: KVM (vmx) is disabled by your BIOS
HINT: Enter your BIOS setup and enable Virtualization Technology (VT),
 and then hard poweroff/poweron your system
KVM acceleration can NOT be used


You can also run a less friendly but a more portable way to establish KVM capability is:

egrep -c '(svm|vmx)' /proc/cpuinfo

A non-zero response from the above command should indicate KVM possibility.

How To Install KVM and its GUI on Ubuntu


The following command to install KVM virtual manager is an Ubuntu-specific but also work on most of Debian Linux Operating systems.


sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin bridge-utils virt-manager

Note: After the above installation the user might need to log out and then back again to acquire the new group privileges.

Rockstor Minimum Hardware system requirements

Rockstor is a complete Linux distribution and here is the minimum amount of resources you want to install and work it properly.

  • 64-bit Intel or AMD processor
  • 2GB RAM or more (recommended)
  • 8GB hard disk space for the OS
  • One or more additional hard drives for data (recommended)
  • Ethernet interface (with internet access – for updates)

How To Setup a KVM for Rockstor

To use the KVM virtual manager is just go to all programs and run the KVM GUI “Virtual Machine Manager” or virt-manager via command line. Some user might have some difficulty with the command line process if you are not an expert or familiar user of Linux command line. The GUI mode of KVM is like Vmware Player or Oracle Virtual box software which fairly intuitive and an average user can easily create a new virtual machine.

Step 1: Double click on the localhost (QEMU)

Rockstor On Ubuntu Virtual Machine 1

 Assigning or creating the storage volumes for virtual machine

Step 1: Select the storage tab at the bottom you will see an option called “New Volume” just hit that and create the system drive volume.

Rockstor add volumes


Step 2: Give some name to your volume, for example,  we named it a  volume “system-drive”.  We gave the 8GB size for the installation which is a minimum recommended amount to Rockstor.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine system drive

Step 3:  Repeat Step 2 to add additional volumes as data drives for Rockstor virtual machine.  You can see the screenshot for reference. Now close the box and return to the main windows of  Virtual Manager where you can see all the created virtual drives.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine volumes created

Creating the Virtual Machine

From the File menu select the “Create a new virtual machine” option and follow the steps

Step 1 – You can install the Rockstor by several methods but here we are going to use the first one that is “Local Install media” via iso file.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine iso

Step 2 – Select the downloaded Rockstor ISO file as shown in the screenshot. In the choose dialog box select the OS type Linux and Version Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (or later)

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine os


Step 3 – The minimum requirement of RAM to Rockstor is 2GB, so here we have set the RAM/Memory 2048MB you can assign more and CPU count 1 or 2 depending on system capability.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine ram

Step 4 –  As we already have created a system drive to install Rockstor. So, we are not going to do this again, just tick Select managed or other existing storage. Then click the Browse button.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine system disk

Step 5 – A new window will open, from where select the pre-prepared system-drive.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine installation

Step 6 – Give some name to your virtual machine and tick “Customise configuration before install”

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine vmm

Step 7 – Click on Advanced options and select the SATA Disk 1 option and change its “Disk bus” to SATA and click on Apply. If during Rockstor installation you receive a “Specified nonexistent disk sda in ignore disk command” then look for this last setting.

NAS rockstor details system drive cloud


Virtual Machine Creation Summary

We have assigned the virtual hardware requirements to Rockstor that necessary for its installation. Now move towards its installation process.

The Rockstor Install

Step 1- Click the top left button to Begin Installation and Select the Install Rockstor 3, and press Enter.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine vmm iso boot

Step 2 – A graphical screen will appear and follow the steps to complete the installation process.

Rockstor On Debian in Virtual Machine installation summary screen


Rockstor Initial “first boot configuration”

Step 1: After the successful installation simply points your browser to IP address indicated after the installation on the Virtual machine. A login page will appear to enter the username and password given to Rockstor during installation.

Note: You may first require adding an exception in the browser for the default self-signed the certificate.

rockstor first login page


Step 2: Once logged in a dashboard will finally appear showing that there are no disk drives.

rockstor dashboard no drives

Adding the data drives/disks to the Rockstor VM


Step 1- Shutdown your Rockstor virtual machine first and double click on the Rockstor VM listing within the main window of Virtual Machine Manager:

rockstor NAS

Step 2 – Click on Add Hardware and go through the same process as when we added the system-drive. Also, remember to select the “Disk Bus” type to SATA. Once both drives have been added our virtual machine details should look something like:

Rockstor added data drives sata

Step 3- Now boot the Rockstor virtual machine and you will see the added disk under the storage->disks.

rockstor storage data drives

The Rockstar is ready to serve as NAS server on your virtual machine. The installation process is almost same for physical machine too.

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