Ubuntu Virtual Machine Running on a Synology NAS

July 30, 2019 posted by

Ubuntu running off a Synology NAS? You might think it’s virtually impossible but it’s not. It’s TechWizTime. Hey guys, Jonathan here with TechWizTime. This video is part of a series of Synology NAS videos about getting more from your NAS. For previous videos, click on the link above or the link in the description below. In this video I’m going to show you how to install a Ubuntu Virtual Machine on a compatible Synology NAS. So before we get started, you will need a few things. Firstly, you’ll need a compatible NAS. The ones listed here are the current models compatible with the Virtual Machine Manager package. Secondly, you will need 4 GB of RAM or more. This is extremely important as you will need to allocate a chunk of memory to each virtual machine you create. And finally, you will also need a BTRFS Volume setup. Previously, the Virtual Machine Manager package was known as the Virtual DSM Manager. If you’ve been using the Virtual DSM Manager package, the upgraded Virtual Machine Manager provides new features over the original. So be sure to upgrade if you haven’t already. So, why would you want to use the Virtual Machine Manager on a Synology NAS? Great question! You can setup and run Windows, Linux and DSM Virtual Machines in one physical location on a Synology NAS. Here you can safely test new versions of software, isolated from customer machines. All while increasing the flexibility of your server. With that said, let’s get into the tutorial. Just to let you guys know as well, this video is sponsored by Synology, they provided the NAS so I could do the necesary steps in order to make this tutorial reality So to get started, we will need to download the Ubuntu image. Once you have the ISO image on either your primary computer or Synology NAS, we can signup to the Beta Program via the Package Center. In the Synology Diskstation web interface, we need to click on the top left hand menu and select the Package Center icon. Across the top, we need to click on the SETTINGS button. Now we need to go to the Beta TAB and place a TICK beside the “Yes, I want to see beta versions” Check box. Click on okay and from here we need to choose the Utilities section on the left and scroll to the bottom until we see Virtual Machine Manager. Here we can click on the ICON to see more details or Click on the install button to do exactly that. Once the Virtual Machine Manager has installed, we can access it by going to the Diskstation Menu and clicking on the Virtual Machine Manager ICON. On the first launch, we will be presented with a wizard. This will be telling the package where we want to store the Virtual Machines we create. So click NEXT. And here we can put a check beside the BTRFS volume we want to use. Now when we click “Next”, you will need to select the secondary LAN connection. Clicking NEXT again will produce a message in regards to isolating network interfaces through different subnets. Now, clicking on YES will produce a WARNING that the network interfaces will be restarted, so click YES again. It should only take around 30 seconds or so to come back with a big green TICK. Then we just need to click on the Finish button. Now that we have setup the Virtual Machine Manager package, we can setup the Ubuntu ISO image. Inside the Virtual Machine Manager package, Select SYSTEM IMAGE down the left hand side. Here we just need to click the CREATE button along the top. Under NAME, we will give this a name we will recognise when we get to creating the virtual machine. Next we will choose the TYPE as an ISO File. And next we will choose where we downloaded the UBUNTU image from. In my case, I have the image located on the Diskstation so I select that and click on the Browse button. Select the image once you’ve located it and click the blue SELECT button. Now we can click NEXT. Here we place a tick next to the “Our NAS” and click on the blue APPLY button. And after a short wait, we will see we have created our first system image. Awesome!! So we’ve created a system image, which by the way can be done with other ISO files too. Now we are going to create our Ubuntu Virtual Machine. So, in the Diskstation Web interface inside the Virtual Machine Manager package, we need to choose Virtual Machine down the left side. Across the top, click on the “Create” button and choose create. The creation method we will be using here is the ISO File method, so choose that one and click NEXT. Now we can configure all the specs for our Virtual Machine, the first thing we want to do is give it a Name. In my case Ubuntu is perfectly fine. Next in line is the amount of CPU core’s we want to use. It’s recommended to choose a minimum of 2 CPU cores for a Virtual Machine to run effectively. RAM is something that is dependant on your free RAM available. Generally though, 2GB is a good starting point for most systems to run. Under ISO file for bootup, we need to choose the SYSTEM IMAGE we created before. We can skip the next two, but for Virtual Disk, we need to allocate space for the Virtual Machine. 25GB is the recommended amount of space required so to be safe, I’m choosing 30GB here. Now we will click the blue NEXT button. Here’s where we assign permissions. Select accounts you want to have permission to use this virtual machine and click “Next”. We will get confirmation of our settings so just click Apply. The Ubuntu Virtual Machine is now configured. From here, we can now power on the newly created Virtual Machine. To start up the Virtual Machine, click on the “Action” button up top and choose “Power On”. With our Synology NAS selected, we can now hit the APPLY button. Now we just need to click the Connect button up top to open our Virtual Machine in a new Browser TAB. The Ubuntu system will start to boot and on the Welcome screen we just need to Select our Language and click the “INSTALL UBUNTU” button. To ensure everything is up to date, we can select these two options to install updates and third party software whilst Ubuntu is being setup. Then just click the continue button. Here we need to ensure “ERASE DISK AND INSTALL UBUNTU” is selected and my preference here is to “USE LVM” and click on “INSTALL NOW”. A message may come up confirming changes to the Virtual Disk so we will click on “CONTINUE”. After a short moment, we will be prompted to choose our location for system settings. I’ve chosen Sydney and then click on “CONTINUE”. Choose your Keyboard Layout and Language and click “CONTINUE”. Lastly, we need to setup the USER ACCOUNT details. Here you will need to input your Name or a pseudo name which will form your Computer Name. You can change this to whatever you want so don’t feel pressured to stick with the default. Choose your USERNAME and PASSWORD before pressing on the “CONTINUE” button. This process will take around 30 minutes or so. Make a coffee or watch an episode of Stranger Things on Netflix and come back to web browser. We should see a screen telling us that the installation is complete and we just need to click on the “Restart Now” button. Before we do that tho, we need to go back to the Diskstation Interface. Here we need to click on the “Edit” button up top and under ISO File for bootup, we need to change that to UNMOUNTED. Now we can go back to the Virtual Machine TAB and click on RESTART NOW. Once Ubuntu has fully rebooted, we will need to login with the USERNAME and PASSWORD you setup at the start. And look at that, we have launched UBUNTU, but before we get excited we need to do one last thing. On the left hand side up top, click on the SEARCH icon here and type in the word TERMINAL. You should see it come up in the list so let’s click on that now. Here we need to install the QEMU Guest Agent. This simply allows the HOST which is the SYNOLOGY NAS to communicate with the Virtual Machine properly. Allowing you to shutdown or restart the virtual machine without Connecting to it directly. To install QEMU Guest Agent, simply type in “sudo apt-get install qemu-guest-agent” and press “Enter”. When it asks for it, put in your password and the installtion will begin. After a few short moment the software will be installed and you are finished. So let’s recap. I showed you how to install the Virtual Machine Manager package, how to setup a system image for the Ubuntu ISO, Create the Virtual Machine and Virtual Disk, Setup Ubuntu and Install Qemu Disk Agent. Now you’ve got a Ubuntu Virtual Machine running on your Synology NAS. Awesome!!!! If linux isn’t your thing, I’ll have a Windows Virtual Machine tutorial coming up very soon, so make sure you are subscribed. And, if you have a NAS related video you would like to see, then leave me a comment down below and let me know. Like and share this video where ever you can And as always, Imagine, Learn, Create.


30 Replies to “Ubuntu Virtual Machine Running on a Synology NAS”

  1. FE59FE59 says:

    I'm waiting for that Windows video 🙂
    Great tutorial!

  2. Meth Methanoid says:

    Not of huge interest to me S I don't own or want a Syno NAS but the reminder at the end to install guest agent was useful for me on my unRAID vm. Thanks

  3. David Shields says:

    Awesome sir !!

  4. TechWizTime says:

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  5. Patrick O'Brien says:

    How about installing FreeNAS on a Synology NAS? Is that possible? It'd be nice to leverage XFS too. What about bypassing the Synology software (virtual machine manager package) and wiping it completely and replacing it with FreeNAS? Is that possible too? What are your thoughts on this?

  6. TechSquidTV says:

    First of all, great video. I am in love with this NAS and super happy about your new sponsorship. As a fellow creator, would you mind telling me where you got your background track from?

  7. Ho Wai Man says:

    Thanks for making these videos, I always wanted to push my Synology NAS to the limit and see what it can do.

  8. Pascal V. says:

    How to get these virtual machines full screen.. When you choose full screen – it keeps being small on the screen.. Any fix or ideas how to get it like fullscreen. – Tried different things like install a tool to go remote desktop to it instead of watching it thru a browser.. Couldn't get that working.. Anyone out there have good ideas how to fix this?

  9. Nataliya says:

    Do you need a fresh/empty disk to use VMM or is it posible to run it on already used disks?

  10. MegaManNeo says:

    I find this totally interesting to watch, both for Win10 and Ubuntu.
    Just what's the benefit of having the VMs running inside a browser?
    Or can the browser tabs be closed while running something else to connect to these VMs so for example I could use a small ARM board or some old laptop to use these devices as a thin client?

  11. Adi Papaianus says:

    Many thanks for the video! installing qemu agent is all that I was missing to get the VM report properly to VMM.

  12. Richard Menzer says:

    Great Video and Tutorial! maybe  it`s possible to do more?

  13. Greg Sawyer says:

    Great video. Will the Synology be able to run free pbx?

  14. Valentin Nicolae Georgescu says:

    Can you please create a tutorial on how to setup Synology NAS for hosting a website and linking a domain name to it?
    Thank you

  15. Valentin Nicolae Georgescu says:

    Can you please create a tutorial on how to setup Synology NAS for hosting a website and linking a domain name to it?
    Thank you

  16. JP says:

    Have you setup Pi-Hole on your Ubuntu VM?

  17. Mathankumar Kumar says:

    Informative video. Can we access VM via quickconnect or any other possible method ? Thanks.

  18. Darrin Reed says:

    qemu-guest-agent doesn't exist. Cant find it.

  19. TzzSmk says:

    thanks for the video, just one question,
    I cannot copy/paste text in clipboard, what do I need to install for the functionality? thx

  20. MAF USA says:

    Can you install LAMP stack?

  21. Tony Andres Perez says:

    whats function qemu guest agent?

  22. Tom Brush says:

    Is this the same if I want to use MACOS as a VM

  23. FerLuisxd says:

    access nas hdd from the vm? is it possible?

  24. Damien Ralentass says:


    I installed Linux Mint 19 which is based on Ubuntu on my DS918+ VM server and got it running fine. My problem is it doesn't seem to detect the video card, thus gving me a warning that it may use a much higher CPU usage then normal and it ask me to install the drivers? Would you happen to know how to fix that by any chance?


  25. Илья Константинович says:

    i install ubuntu xfce lxde and have very hard lag, ubuntu unity have very very big hard lag

  26. Ron H says:

    Nice video but old now(new NAS and new VMM ) but remember your audience, usually newbies like me and therefore the video very fast

  27. Shark Thomas says:

    Hello, I need help.. sorry my bad english… Shortly… I did the installation based on the video and windows 10 was successful. windows 10 works fine… BUT unfortunately it does not work with ubuntu… I did everything as it was on the video but not work… ubuntu 16.4.2, 18.1, linux 19, 18, . The reason of the mistake: [Errno5] Input Output error. virtual server will start only if I want to install this error message to install. please help me what can be wrong, just doing it with linux.. Thanks

  28. Lyu JH says:

    I want to build a calibre server on NAS. Windows or ubuntu, which one is better?

  29. Freddy H says:

    Pfsense would be great to see? And how to configure explicit adapters

  30. hiddenfromyourview says:

    FYI: The list shown at 0:30 is fairly out of date. Several products on there don't exist and others aren't there, but are fully capable of running the tutorial Ubuntu VM. Anyway, just wanted to give a heads up for those looking to do this. 🙂

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