Ubuntu Virtual Machine in a Synology NAS

Introduction: Ubuntu Virtual Machine in a Synology NAS

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In this article, you are going to learn how to create your very own Ubuntu-based Virtual Machine with a Sinology NAS.

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Let’s get started!

Step 1: What You’ll Need

Step 2: Download the ISO Image

Start up your Sinology NAS and then go to https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop and download the ISO image file, save it wherever you wish.

Step 3: Install the Virtual Machine Manager

Signup to the Beta Program via the Package Center in the Synology Diskstation web interface by clicking on the top left hand menu and select the “Package Center” icon. Across the top, click on the “Settings” button.

Now 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 you see Virtual Machine Manager.

Click on the “Install” button to install.

Once the Virtual Machine Manager has been installed, we can access it by going to the Diskstation Menu and clicking on the “Virtual Machine Manager” Icon.

Step 4: Create the System Image

On the first launch, you will be presented with a wizard which will be telling the package where we want to store the Virtual Machines we create. Click “Next” and put a check beside the BTRFS volume you want to use, after clicking “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, click on yes and after the warning appears, click “Yes” again, after that it should only take around 30 seconds or so to come back with a big green tick, after it does, click on the “Finish” button.

Set up the Ubuntu ISO Image by selecting “System Image” down the left hand side.

Click “Create” along the top.

Under “Name” you can select the System Image’s name. Next select “ISO File” as “Type”. Now choose where you downloaded the Ubuntu image to and click “Browse”, select the image with the blue “Select” button once you’ve located it and then click “Next”, now place a tick next to the “Your NAS” and click on the blue “Apply” button. And after a short wait, our system image will be created.

Step 5: Create Virtual Machine

Back on the Diskstation interface inside the Virtual Machine Manager package, 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 is the ISO File method, 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, any name you want, next in line is the amount of CPU cores we want to use.

NOTE: It’s recommended to choose a minimum of 2 CPU cores for a Virtual Machine to run effectively.

Now you can choose how much RAM you want your Virtual Machine to have, it is reccomended that you allocate at least 2GB of RAM.

Under “ISO file for bootup” you need to choose the “System Image” you created before. You can skip the next two settings, under “Virtual Disk” you will need to allocate space for the Virtual Machine. 25GB is the recommended amount of space required so to be safe, choose something around 30GB and click the blue “Next” button. Now you will be able to select the accounts you want to have permission to use this virtual machine and click “Next”.

You will get confirmation of our settings so just click “Apply”.

Step 6: Install Ubuntu

Start up the Virtual Machine by clicking on the “Action” button up top and choose “Power On”.

With the Synology NAS selected, hit the “Apply” button.

Click the “Connect” button up top to open the Virtual Machine in a new Browser Tab.

The Ubuntu system will start to boot and land on the Welcome screen, here you just need to select your language and click the “Install Ubuntu” button. To ensure everything is up to date, select “Install Updates” and “Install Third Party Software Whilst Ubuntu is Being Setup” and click on the “Continue” button.

Now select “Erasse Disk and Install Ubuntu” and also check on “Use LVM” and click on “Install Now”. A message may come up confirming changes to the Virtual Disk so click on “Continue”. After a short moment, you will be prompted to choose a location for system settings, choose your country and then click on “Continue”. Choose your Keyboard Layout and Language and click “Continue”.

Set up the “User Account” details like your name or psudo name, the computer name, your username and password, when you finish with those, press the “Continue” button.

The installation process will take around 30 minutes or so, once it is finished go back to the Diskstation Interface and click on the “Edit” button up top and, under “ISO File for bootup”, change that to “Unmounted”. Now we can go back to the Virtual Machine Tab and click on “Restart Now”.

Step 7: Install QEMU Guest Agent

Once Ubuntu has fully rebooted, login with the USERNAME and PASSWORD and wait for it to launch, then click on the “Search” icon and type in the word “TERMINAL”. You should see it come up in the list.

Type “sudo apt-get install qemu-guest-agent” and press “Enter” to install 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. After a short moment the software will be instaled.

Enjoy your Virtual Machine to your heart’s content.

Congratulations, you’ve just installed Ubuntu in your very own Virtual Machine inside the Synology NAS.

Could you do everything by yourself? Did you had any problems during the tutorial? Have any suggestion? Then leave a comment below.

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    Question 1 year ago on Step 7

    Great article. Thanks for having put it together.
    It seems to work fine for me. However, the sound doesn't work. The output device is: Dummy Output.
    Have you any suggestions for getting the sound to work?


    Question 4 years ago on Step 7

    great article, finished it all the way through. Is their a way to provide access to synology's usb ports in ubuntu?


    5 years ago


    I did everything as in the tutorial, but at the end, it's impossible to install qemu-agent, or even access to the network. In terminal, after typing my password, it's written "impossible to find the package qemu-guest-agent". And when I launch firefox for instance, no network connection. In the network setting, no IPv4 is set, and even if I try to enter a new one manually, I've got an error. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong ?

    Thanks a lot.

    Capture d’écran 2018-01-20 à 22.42.16.png