Windows in VM on Rockstor?

Hi. I’ve been testing a 40TB array with several NAS solutions. I’m really liking Rockstor.

This array is running on a dual processor Xeon server board with 64GB ECC RAM. I’d like to use the CPU power to do After Effects network rendering, but that only works on Windows AFAIK. Is there a way with VMWare (preferred) or even KVM to set up a VM and run windows? I can do it from the command line (don’t need the UI). Curious if anyone has tried this and got it working?

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I know this is a year old, but I’m looking into doing the same thing.

Since Rockstor is based on Cent OS and you can get a root shell, I’m fairly positive that is possible to do some how. But I’m not sure how much work it’s going to be.

I don’t think it will be easy to do in a Rockon :frowning:


I definately wouldn’t try and put a virtualization environment inside a docker container (Rockon).

For virtualization, I’d suggest manually installing the qemu and KVM packages and learning to use the command line effectively, however a couple of things should be noted:

  • Rockstor is intended to be a NAS appliance, it would be more appropriate to run a hypervisor (Like Proxmox) with Rockstor inside, rather than the other way around.
  • BTRFS (Rockstor’s filesystem) is not typically the best filesystem for storing VMs on, as fragmentation issues arise with the large files used for VM images. This can be alleviated somewhat using custom mount options to disable CoW and setup periodic defragmentation.

Also note that as you would be manually altering the root OS in order to get this running, it would not be a supported configuration and could potentially cause issues with no support path.

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run a hypervisor (Like Proxmox) with Rockstor

Aah, that makes sense. Does that have any significant impact on Rockstor’s performance?

Also, do you know if it’s very easy to take my existing rockstor install of Rockstor and run it in a VM, or would I just need to reinstall and reconfigure everything?

Honestly, I haven’t tried.
I dont foresee any particular impact on RS’ performance, aside from general virtualization overhead.

Regarding booting your existing Rockstor in a VM, I have no idea, however I can say that if you did get it running, making it work with your existing shares is also going to be difficult, as virtualization environments tend to not like exporting real physical disks to the guests. (Though it is possible!)


you could P2V convert a Physical Machine 2 a Virtual one
but since I imagine you will use the same machine the easiest will be to make a backup of your disk with clonezilla than restore it into a VM.

you could also do use dd to backup it :
dd if=/dev/sda bs=1M tar czOf rockstar.tar.gz

than to restore it you just have to boot on grml than scp your backup inside you VM, ideally you have to vHD (drive) or enough ram to contain you backup

than : tar xzOf rockstart.tar.gz | dd of=/dev/vda or sda


with dd I do it quite often without issue.
anyway in advance mode clonezilla use dd :wink:

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as a VM with proxmox or esxi
you loose around 2%-5% of CPU performance
and around 500mb to 2gb of RAM for the hypervisor.

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I used this manual to install kvm/qemu/virt-manager on my Rockstor server. You can open terminal on your desktop PC with X support by ssh -X root@server and launch virt-manager from it. Work like a charm.
Would be nice to add this to Rockstor interface as service, with respect to Rockstor shares etc.