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/' /firstname.lastname@example.org > /email@example.com
mv /firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com
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.