Set up a Virtual Machine running Synology DiskStation OS 6.x

The following acticle describes the process of installing Synology DiskStation OS 6.x on a VirtualBox or VMWare VM.

The Synology DiskStation is currently one of the best NAS on the market and provides a huge feature set. For this reason, it would be desirable to be able to test the functions in advance or simply to play around a little. One solution to this is virtualization, since the operating system of the DiskStation is freely available. As I have already demonstrated in one of my earlier articles, installing Synology DSM 5.2 operation system using a XPEnology loader isn't that complicated. But currently there's no XPEnology loader for DSM version 6 available. Fortunately there are other loaders around.

In contrast to the previous article, the following procedure describes the setup of a VirtualBox and a VMWare virtual machine and uses a special loader which supports DSM 6.1 on a virtual DS3517xs disk station.

Refer to the Links section to get pointers.

VirtualBox

Create a new VirtualBox virtual machine

  1. Download and install VirtualBox x.y.z platform packages and the VirtualBox x.y.z Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack (Support for USB 2.0/3.0 devices)
  2. Install VirtualBox, start VB Manager and go to File → Preferences → Extensions and install the Extension Pack
  3. In the VirtualBox Manager click New
  4. Name: "SynologyNAS", Typ: Linux, Version: Linux 2.6 / 3.x / 4.x (64-bit) → Next
  5. Memory size >= 2GB (2048MB) → Next
  6. Download DS3617xs 6.1 Jun's Mod V1.02-alpha and unzip the files to the newly created virtual machine folder
  7. Use an existing virtual hard disk file → Browse for synoboot.vmdkCreate

Configure the VirtualBox virtual machine

  1. Go back to VirtualBox Manager
  2. Settings → System → Motherboard → Uncheck "Floppy" and "Optical" → Move entry "Hard Disk" to the top position
  3. Next tab: Processor → Number of CPUs = 2
  4. Settings → Storage → Remove Controller: IDE
  5. Settings → Storage → Controller: SATA → Create new disk → Size >= 8GB → Create
  6. Settings → Network → Attached to: Bridged Adapter; Advanced → Promiscuous-Mode: Allow All → MAC Address: 0011322CA785 (The MAC address is set in grub.cfg in synoboot.img/Partition 0 near line 25, entry set mac1=0011322CA785. Refer to section Start the virtual machine to see how to open grub.cfg) → OK
  7. Continue with section Start the virtual machine

VMWare

Create a new VMWare virtual machine

  1. Download and install the latest VMWare Player or VMWare Workstation package. In my case, I use the older version no. 9 of VMWare Workstation.
  2. Download DS3617xs 6.1 Jun's Mod V1.02-alpha archive and unzip its contents.
  3. OPTIONAL (if you're using an older VMWare version like I do)
    • Open file ds3615.vmx in a text editor (e.g. Notepad++) and change the value of virtualHW.version to the appropriate value reflecting the major version number of your VMWare package. Additionally you might have to change the entry guestOS because an older VMWare version does not support newer OS versions it doesn't know of. Since I'm using VMWare Workstation 9, I had to change the values as follows:
                                              virtualHW.version = "9"
                                              guestOS = "debian6-64"
                                          
    • Open file synoboot.vmdk and edit ddb.virtualHWVersion accordingly

Configure the VMWare virtual machine

  1. Open VMWare and import the virtual machine: File → Open... → ds3615.vmx
  2. Edit virtual machine settings → Hardware → Add... → Hard Disk → Next > → Use an existing virtual disk → Browse... and select synoboot.vmdkFinish
  3. Create a new virtual disk (SCSI node 0:1, >= 8GB)
  4. Leave Virtual Machine Settings → OK

Start the virtual machine

  1. OPTIONAL: Edit file grub.cfg and increase the menu timeout of the loader
    Install and/or run OSFMount → Mount new... → Select image file synoboot.img → Select "Partition 0" → Uncheck "Read only drive" → OK → Open file /grub/grub.cfg in a text editor → Change the value of set timeout='1'(in seconds)
  2. Power on the virtual machine → Click in the VM window and select the first menu item "DS3617xs 6.1 Baremetal ..." by using or on your keyboard if it isn't already selected by default → Enter (If you don't have enough time to access the menu, shutdown the VM and increase the menu timeout as described above)
  3. Even if the command line output does not allow further conclusions on activity, wait approximately 60 seconds until the VM has booted completely
  4. Open a browser and try to find the IP-Address of your currently started VM-DiskStation. Here are some options:
    • Open the web interface of your router and check the list of network connections. There should be an entry named "DiskStation". Copy the IP-Address and open the page: http://<IP-Address-VM-DiskStation>:5000
    • Open http://find.synology.com in y browser. This page will help you to identify the VM-DiskStation within your network
    • Download Synology Assistant and start a network search
  5. You should see the DiskStation welcome screen

Install the DiskStation OS

  1. Click the set up button
  2. Choose manual install and pick the DiskStation file DSM_DS3617xs_15047.pat from your local PC that you've downloaded earlier → Click Install Now → Confirm message dialog → OK
  3. Wait for the installation procedure to terminate → Next
  4. Set up your DiskStation as you like (e.g. enable terminal, set static IP address, ...)

Links:

  1. VirtualBox
    https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
  2. VMWare Player Download
    https://my.vmware.com/de/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation_player/12_0
  3. DS3617xs 6.1 Jun's Mod V1.02-alpha.zip
    http://uploaded.net/file/vde6lns8
  4. Synology downloads for DS3617xs
    https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/download/DS3617xs
  5. [German] Grundlegende Befehle auf der Kommandozeile
    http://www.synology-wiki.de/index.php/Grundlegende_Befehle_auf_der_Kommandozeile
  6. DiskStation Administration Commands
    https://www.synology.com/en-global/support/developer#web_developer