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On this website there are several descriptions of how to create a virtual Synology DiskStation in VirtualBox. For every new release of DSM there was a new description. The reason to create these descriptions was that there was very little information about how to do this and the information was hard to find. Since then there became more and more sites that specialized them self in just this subject.

There are a couple of sites I use myself to figure out what to do to create a virtual DiskStation for testing purposes:

The descriptions there are more or less like those posted here. Making those descriptions is a couple of hours work and doesn’t bring any extras anymore. That’s why I decided not to create any new descriptions when a new release of DSM occurs. Instead of that you can visit the sources I use mentioned above.

The old descriptions will stay online and can be used for referential purposes. Most of the time the way to virtualize a new DSM more or less the same method of the previous version of DSM is being used. Feel free to use them to help you getting the newest version of DSM working.

Really soon after Synology’s release of DSM 5.2 the guys form XPEnology where able to release a DSM 5.2 that can be virtualized with VirtualBox. To obtain the bits to create a virtual DSM 5.2 you have to download the XPEnoboot boot image and the DSM 5.2 bits. Both can be found here at XPEnology.me

The installation description is the same as I wrote for the previous version: Synology Virtual DiskStation 5.1 with VirtualBox. You can start from the paragraph Preparing VirtualBox. Where in the article is being referred to the boot image by XPEnoboot_DS3615xs_5.1-5022.2.iso it must be replaced with the boot image you just downloaded. (XPEnoboot_DS3615xs_5.2-5565.2.iso).

In the paragraph Installing DSM 5.1 you are encouraged to use the installation method of DSM by downloading it from Synology by using the automatic installation. You also can choose for the Manual Installation. You are then able to use the DSM version downloaded from XPEnology.me.

When you also want to install updates for you virtual DSM then you have to restart your virtual DiskStation. In the boot menu of XPEnoboot you have to choose the option XPEnoboot 5.2-5565.1 Install/Upgrade at startup. After your virtual DIskStation is back online you can do a manual update through the Control Panel –> Update & Restore function of your virtual DiskStation. You can use the update file that also is available at the download location through XPEnology.me After the update is completed, you have to reboot to run your virtual DiskStation in normal mode again.

The description in this post leads to a working version of Synology DiskStation Manager 5.2. The intention of this post is to give you the opportunity to experiment with a DiskStation without risking your physical DiskStation. If you like DSM, consider buying one of their products http://www.synology.com/products/index.php?lang=enu

Source: XPEnology.me

A Virtual Synology DiskStation 5.2 is available. See here: Virtual Synology DiskStation 5.2 with VirtualBox

It took a while before the guys of XPEnology had figured out how to make version 5.1 of DSM working on other hardware than Synology’s. It must have been a tough job. Fortunately they announced a released of a new version of XPEnology witch is capable of running DSM 5.1. (Hurray)

Unfortunately, a couple of days later they felt that they have to withdraw the release because of major issues. It seems that the release looses it’s volumes, malfunctioning apps and widgets that does not work anymore after 12-24 hours of running. For the purpose of just testing something without jeopardizing your production DiskStation however this may not a big issue. I’ll keep monitoring the progress they make.

The description in this post leads to a working version of Synology DiskStation Manager 5.1. The intention of this post is to give you the opportunity to experiment with a DiskStation without risking your physical DiskStation. If you like DSM, consider buying one of their products http://www.synology.com/products/index.php?lang=enu


You have to have a working installation of VirtualBox. You can download VirtualBox at https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. Make sure you also install the VirtualBox Extension Pack.

You also need the latest ISO of XPEnology. Due to the issues they have. it’s currently withdrawn from the regular download location. For as long as it lasts, you can download the required image (XPEnoboot_DS3615xs_5.1-5022.0.iso) from DropBox here. When the people of XPEnology have fixed the issues and released a new version, the link here will be altered accordingly. There is a new XPEnology boot image (XPEnoboot_DS3615xs_5.1-5022.2.iso) available that fixes the serious issues in the previous version. You can download it form here.

I managed to install the Virtual DSM webbased (http://find.synology.com). During this installation it will download the DSM software and start installation. If you insist of using the Synology Assistant or want to do a custom installation, you’ll need to download the DSM software for the DS3615xs here.

Preparing VirtualBox

Before you can start installing DSM, you’ll need to have a VirtualBox session in place. The next steps explain how to do that. It assumes you have installed VirtualBox and the extension pack.

Create the virtual machine

Create a new Virtual Machine and make sure it’s type is Linux and has Linux 2.4 (64bit) as version. Click Next to continue.

Give the virtual machine enough memory to use. 1024 MB (1 GB) is a good start. Click Next to continue.

DO NOT add a virtual hard drive now. Click Create to create the new virtual Machine.

Configure the virtual machine

You have to configure the newly created virtual machine to make the virtual DiskStation work properly. The following steps describe how to do that.

Open the settings of your newly created virtual machine.

Select System and open the processor tab. Select the amount of CPU’s you want to use.

Select Storage and attach the downloaded XPEnology ISO image (XPEnoboot_DS3615xs_5.1-5022.2.iso) to the DVD/CD player attached tot the IDE controller.

Attach to the SATA controller the amount of ‘physical’ hard disks you want to use. A single disk will do if you just want to test some software. If you want to test stuff like SHR or RAID, then use multiple disks. Use disk sizes that suites your needs.

The picture above shows three virtual ‘physical’ disks attached to the virtual machine.

Select the Network section of the settings and select the first adapter. Set this adapter to Bridged Adapter. You can use more adapters if you want to by enabling Adapter 2 onwards.

Make sure you click the OK button to save the settings you just made.

You now are ready to start the virtual machine for the first time to install DSM 5.1.

For installation purposes you have to select XPEnoboot 5.1-5022.0 Install/Upgrade. When the startup is done, you will see a login prompt. You are now ready to start the installation of DSM 5.1

Installation of DSM 5.1

There are several ways to start the installation DSM. The most enhanced way is to use Synology Assistant. Synology Assistant can be downloaded from Synology’s website. It’s also possible to do the installation with Synology Web Assistant. To start the web assistant just enter http://find.synology.com in the address bar of your favorite browser.

Select the DiskStation you want to install (that is the one you just started in VirtualBox) if you have more DiskStations in your LAN. Click the Connect button.

Click the Set up button to start the installation.

You can do a manual installation if you want to. This gives you some options regarding the disk configuration. For simple testing you can use the common installation. Press the Install Now button.

You have to confirm that all data on your virtual disk(s) will be destroyed. Check the checkbox and click OK to confirm that you are OK with this.

Now the installation starts. During this installation the DSM software will be downloaded from Synology, the disks will be formatted and the DSM software will be installed. When the installation is done, it will reboot the virtual machine and returns with the screen below.

By clicking the Next button the configuration of your DiskStation starts. You can create an Admin account, set a password for it and some other mandatory stuff to start using the DiskStation. After that you are ready to start using your virtual DiskStation with DSM 5.1.

The next step is to start configuring your volumes and start installing additional software if you want to.

Source: XPEnology.nl

With the release of DSM 5.0 by Synology a while ago, I wondered how to get a virtual version of this in VirtualBox. The source for this is: http://xpenology.com. There are many articles about virtualizing Synology. There is also an article about gnoBoot. In the past they created all kinds of image to run DSM on. They now seem to have a generic platform to run Synology’s DSM on: gnoBoot. You can use a regular version of DSM that can be downloaded from the Download Center at Synology’s website.

The description in this post leads to a working version of Synology Disk Station Manager 5.0. The intention of this post is to give you the opportunity to experiment with a DiskStation without risking your physical DiskStation. If you like DSM, consider buying one of their products http://www.synology.com/products/index.php?lang=enu


You have to have a working installation of VirtualBox. You can download VirtualBox at https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. Make sure you also install the VirtualBox Extension Pack.

Another ‘tool’ that is needed is a live distribution CD (as iso) from any Linux distro that is able to act as a ftp-server. In this example Ubuntu desktop is being used.

To be able to transfer a file to the Live Ubuntu desktop virtual machine, you need a mechanism on your host machine to do so. If you haven’t any service in place, you can use the Baby FTP server. This can run as a single executable and can be downloaded from http://www.pablosoftwaresolutions.com/html/baby_ftp_server.html. Download this and extract the zip that contains the executable.

Next, you need a tool to extract a 7zip archive. You can download 7zip itself from http://www.7-zip.org/. After downloading 7zip, you have to install it to be able to extract the gnoboot-alpha10.5.7z archive you have to download next.

The main reason to do all this effort is gnoBoot itself. You have to download this via http://www.gnoboot.me. In the download section you can choose gnoboot-alpha-latest-mirror1 or gnoboot-alpha-latest-mirror2 to obtain the desired archive. After downloading the 58.5MB archive you have to extract it. It will ask for a password: 6n0boot-AlpHaTen.5

The final downloads (for now) you need are the DSM image for your virtual DiskStation and the Synology Assistant. This can be downloaded from the download center of Synology’s website. Select a 12-bay type and select RS3612xs as type.

Edit: Make sure you download the previous version (5.0.4458) of DSM. The current (5.0.4482) version does not work in gnoBoot. You can download the previous version here. Be aware that this version is vulnerable to SynoLocker ransomware. Do not use this in a production environment.

Putting the pieces together

This description is based on a Windows installation of VirtualBox. It assumes you have installed VirtualBox with the accompanying Extension Pack and you have extracted gnoBoot on a location you remembered.

Create a new virtual machine:


Give it a logical name, select Linux as type and select Linux 2.6/3.x (64-bit) as version.


Give the virtual machine sufficient memory.


Create a new virtual hard drive. Give it the size you intend to give all the virtual disk drives. In this example it will be 20GB. Click on Create to create the virtual machine. Right click on the just created virtual machine to add some more virtual hard disks. Select Settings… and go to the Storage menu. Select Controller: SATA and click the second icon with the +-symbol. Create a new disk of 20GB. Do this for each new virtual hard disk you want to add. Make sure you creatie at least two disks.

While you are still in the storage menu, you can attach the ISO file of Ubuntu desktop to the virtual CD/DVD player. Select the CD-icon with the text Empty next to it. Select the button next to IDE Secondary master and selct the ISO file. Click the OK button to save these settings.

This is the moment to start your new virtual machine. This will take a while. In the meantime we will setup the Baby FTP Server. Start the executable of the Baby FTP server on your physical machine. Click the Settings button and change the Home Directory to the folder you extracted the gnoBoot archive into and click OK to confirm the change. Click Start to start the ftp server on your host.

In your virtual machine start FireFox and browse to ftp://[ip_of_physical_machine]. Click on gnoboot-alpha10.5-ext2.img to start the file transfer to your virtual machine. (Save the file in the download folder.) When all this is done you can close FireFox in your virtual machine and you can stop the Baby FTP Server on your physical machine.

Open the terminal on your virtual machine and change to ~/Downloads to execute the following command:

sudo dd if=gnoboot-alpha10.5-ext2.img of=/dev/sda

When the command is executed successfully you can shutdown the virtual Ubuntu session. When the session has been turned of completely, you have to detach the ISO from the virtual machine. After that, you can start the virtual machine again.

The following image shows how your virtual machine looks like if your virtual DSM has been started:


Your virtual DiskStation now can be installed with the DSM software. Start the Synology Assistant.


Right click the discovered DS3612xs and click Install in the context menu.


Select the DSM image you downloaded from Synology’s Download Center. Click Next > to continue.


Enter a strong password for the Admin account and enter a unique Server name in your network. Click Next > to continue.


Click the OK button to confirm that you are destroying the data on all the hard disks.


Choose either a DHCP or a manual network configuration. Finish the network configuration an click the Finish button to start. When the installation is done it will reboot the virtual machine and the the virtual Synology with DSM 5.0 is ready to use.

Installing update 2

Synology released updates for DSM 5.0. It is not possible to install these updates with the update menu in DSM. This will result in a failure. However it is possible to install Update 2 manually.

To do this you need SSH access to your DiskStation. Enable this (Control panel -> Terminal & SNMP) when not already done and download and extract Putty. Start Putty and make a SSH connection to your DiskStation as root with the DSM admin password.

Download Update 2 to perform an manual update from http://ukdl.synology.com/download/criticalupdate/update_pack/4458-2/synology_bromolow_3612xs.pat. Open the update section in the Control Panel and click the Manual update button. Select the synology_bromolow_3612xs.pat file and click the OK button. When you see the pop up as shown below, then you have to switch to the Putty session.


Execute the following commands in Putty:

sed 's/flashupdateDeb/flashupdateDeb1/' /autoupd@te.info > /autoupd@te.info1
mv /autoupd@te.info1 /autoupd@te.info

After that you can close your putty session and proceed the installation of Update 2 by clicking the Yes button of the popup in DSM as shown above. After the installation the virtual DiskStation will reboot and when it comes up again it has Update 2 installed.

Edit: There is a description for DSM 5.0: Synology Virtual DiskStation 5.0 with VirtualBox

I just discovered that the people at XPenology have released XPEnology DS3612xs DSM 4.3 build 3810. This implies that you can have your very own virtual Synology DiskStation with the current DSM version: 4.3.3810. It seems there has been changed a lot, because the installation didn’t went that smoothly as I’m used to with the previous versions. The current pack is version 1.0. There might be some fixes in updates they might release in the future, Keen an eye on their website: http://xpenology.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1700. This post describes how I managed to make it work in VirtualBox.

Please note, this is a fully working version of Synology Disk Station Manager for testing purpose. If you like DSM, consider buying one of their products http://www.synology.com/products/index.php?lang=enu

If you plan to update your current VirtualBox from 4.2 to 4.3 then do this before creating this Virtual DiskStation. I had some compatibility issues. A virtual DiskStation created on VirtualBox 4.2 was unable to run on VirtualBox 4.3. For more information read ‘The grub 22 story’ at the end of this post.


Before starting make sure you have Oracle’s VirtualBox (free, https://www.virtualbox.org/) and the Synology Assistant (http://www.synology.com/en-global/support/download) installed on your Windows computer. This description assumes you are using a Windows PC. The description also assumes you are able to extract 7z files. You can use 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/) or WinRar to do this.

Getting the sources

  1. Download the sources from http://xpenology.trantor.be/ (please click on ad to help them with this project)
  2. Extract the XPEnology_DS3612xs_3810-repack-trantor-v1.0.7z file you just downloaded. This file contains synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.img and XPEnology_trantor_v1.0_DSM_DS3612xs_3810.pat. Make sure you do this on an easy accessible location, because you have to browse to this location in a DOS-box.
  3. Open a DOS-box and changes the current directory to the location you just extracted the .img and the .pat file from the previous step.
  4. The following command will convert the .img file to a .vdi that can be read by VirtualBox:
"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" convertdd synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.img synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.vdi

This completes the initial steps before creating the virtual machine.

Creating the virtual machine

  1. Start VirtualBox and click the New button.
  2. Enter a good name for the virtual machine. Choose Linux as type and Linux 2.6 (64bit) (or ‘Linux 2.6/3.x (64 bit)’ on VirtualBox 4.3) as version

    Click Next to continue
  3. Assign a proper amount of memory to the machine. 512MB is a good start.

    Click Next to continue
  4. Do NOT add virtual hard disks yet. This will be done later.

    Click Create to create the virtual Machine
  5. You will be warned that you haven’t created any virtual disks.

    Click Continue.
  6. In the beginning (Getting the sources, bullet 4) you have converted a .img to a .vdi file. Copy the synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.vdi to the folder containing the virtual machine.

Configure the virtual machine

In the previous part you have created a virtual machine to host the virtual Synology DiskStation. This virtual machine has to be configured a little more. Right click in VirtualBox on the just created virtual machine and select Settings…

  1. Select System on the left hand side and uncheck the Floppy and the CD/DVD-ROM.
  2. Select Storage and remove the empty CD/DVD by right clicking on it and selecting Remove Attachment.
  3. Confirm the removal by clicking on the Remove button.
  4. Click on the tiny + on the hard disk image behind Controller IDE
  5. Click the Choose existing disk button
  6. Browse to the synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.vdi file you copied into the virtual machines folder in step 6 in Creating the virtual machine.

    Select the file and click the Open button.
  7. Now we come to the part where the virtual Synology gets its virtual disks. Select the tiny + on the hard disk icon just behind Controller SATA. (NOT Controller:IDE!!!)
  8. Click the Create new disk button.
  9. Choose the VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) option.

    Click Next to continue.
  10. Choose Dynamically allocated.

    Click Next to continue.
  11. Give the disk an appropriate name and choose a workable disk size.

    Click Create to create the disk.
  12. Repeat step 7 until 11 to create more additional disks. You need some more when you want to experiment with RAID.
  13. Select Audio to disable the audio feature:
  14. This virtual DiskStation is provided with 4 MAC addresses. The virtual nic (or nics) you are using must match these MAC-addresses. If you use only one nic, then the first MAC address will do. This description is based on a single virtual nic. So I’ll only use the first one. To be complete the following MAC addresses are in use:
    MAC1: 00223208D63C
    MAC2: 00243308D63C
    MAC3: 00223204D83C
    MAC4: 00223205C63C
    (There is a nice article on how to change the MAC addresses in the virtual Synology: http://xpenology.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1353)
  15. Select Network. Make sure Adapter 1 is enabled. Make it a bridged adapter and select the physical nic you are connected with your LAN. This adapter has 00223208D63C as MAC address.

    Click on the OK button to save and confirm the configuration made above.

Setup the virtual DiskStation.

Now it is time to turn on your virtual Synology DiskStation and start to set it up. Due tot some flaws it might seem a little buggy, but on the end you’ll have a solid working virtual DiskStation.

  1. Start your virtual DiskStation in VirtualBox and give it some time to startup.
  2. Start the Synology Assistant and wait until it’s done scanning your LAN for Synology devices.
  3. Setup your virtual nas by right click on the virtual nas and choose Install. Make sure that you don’t get confused if your physical nas is listed here too. (Check the MAC address!) You don’t want to ruin your real life nas.
  4. Browse to the XPEnology_trantor_v1.0_DSM_DS3612xs_3810.pat file you extracted from the 7z archive in the beginning of this post.

    Click Next to continue.
  5. Enter and confirm an admin password and give the virtual DiskStation a host name. Uncheck ‘Create a Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) volume after installation’.

    Click Next to continue.
  6. The network setup should be done manually. Give an IP address and subnet mask within your LAN’s address range. Make sure it is outside the scope of your DHCP server. Enter the default gateway and DNS server accordingly your LAN’s requirements.

    Click Finish to let the Synology Assistant setting up your virtual DiskStation.
  7. When the Assistant is done configuring your virtual DiskStation, it will restart the virtual DiskStation. You will probably run into a grub 22 error.

    This can be fixed: Turn off the virtual machine. copy synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.vdi from the location you extracted the XPEnology_DS3612xs_3810-repack-trantor-v1.0.7z into the folder where the virtual machine resides. You have to overwrite the file in the destination folder.
  8. Start the virtual DiskStation again and give it some (extra) time to start up. (minutes!) During start up it does some recovery.
  9. Start the Synology Assistant again and you have to do the setup again. Right click your virtual DiskStation and select Setup.
  10. Click Next to start the setup:
  11. Enter the Admin password and the host name again and still don’t let the assistant create your SHR volume.
  12. The next screen you have also seen before in step 6. Re-enter the same information again:

    Click Finish to start setting up your virtual DiskStation.
  13. After the setup is done, you can click Close.
  14. Right click in the Synology Assistant again on your just created virtual DiskStation and select Connect.
  15. The web browser will open and you are asked for your Admin credentials. (Username: Admin, password: as given in step 12)

You are almost done. You have to create your volume(s) and you might have to deal with a grub 22 error after a reboot one more time. The next section will describe how to create a volume.

Creating a volume

You might wonder why I describe the creation process of a volume. This has to do with the grub 22 error mentioned before. Somehow the system disk is included in the available disks to create volumes on. Doing so will destroy the system disk and therefor a grub 22 error, because the system can’t be started anymore.

  1. In the last step of the previous section you are logged on in your virtual DiskStation. Open the Storage Manager. It will automatically start a wizard. Select the Quick option and click Next.
  2. Previously you have created one or more disks to use for storage. Normally you’ll only see these disks shown here. As you can see there is an extra disk. This disk must be excluded, because it is the system disk. Select all disks except the one with a disk size of 31.25MB. If you have done that, click Next to continue.
  3. Confirm the question for the warning with a click on the OK button.
  4. You can skip the disk check. Select No and click the Next button.
  5. Confirm the settings by clicking the Apply button.
  6. Your volume is now being created:
  7. When it is done the status of your volume is normal.
  8. You can close the Storage Manager.

Finalizing the virtual DiskStation

As mentioned before you can still run into a grub 22 error. (I did.). It can be fixed.

  1. Shut down the virtual DiskStation the appropriate way: Use the Shutdown in the menu.
  2. Wait until the virtual DiskStation is totally shut down. (The window from VirtualBox where it runs in, will close itself.)
  3. Start your virtual DiskStation again.
  4. If you run into a grub 22 error then turn the virtual machine off, copy synoboot-trantor-4.3-3810-v1.0.vdi from the location you extracted the XPEnology_DS3612xs_3810-repack-trantor-v1.0.7z into the folder where the virtual machine resides. You have to overwrite the file in the destination folder.
  5. Start the virtual DiskStation again. (Can take some time!)
  6. Login into the DiskStation again with a web browser. Your volume is still there. From here you can start using your virtual DiskStation, but:
  7. It’s a good idea to shut the virtual DiskStation down again to create a snapshot of the current state of the virtual DiskStation. Whatever you do on your virtual DiskStation, you always can go back to a working state. This saves you all the steps you have made before to come this far.

The ‘Grub 22’ story

When I created the virtual DiskStation, I used VirtualBox 4.2.18. This worked like a charm. However, when I took the virtual DiskStation to another machine with VirtualBox 4.3 the ‘grub 22’ error reoccurred again. I was a little confused, because everything looked fine. A day later I came back to the original machine with VirtualBox 4.2.18 and the virtual DiskStation still worked fine there. It seems a problem when I copy the virtual DiskStation guest from a VirtualBox 4.2 to a VirtualBox 4.3 on a different machine.

When I create a clean install from scratch described above, It works fine. Make sure you select ‘Linux 2.6/3.x (64 bit)’ in step 2 of ‘Creating the virtual machine’ when you use VirtualBox 4.3.

This issue also occur when you update to version 4.3 of VirtualBox after you created a virtual version of a Synology DiskStation DSM 4.3. You are warned!

Source: XPEnology