How to install OMV on a physical disk by using Virtualbox

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    • How to install OMV on a physical disk by using Virtualbox

      First of all I want to convey massive thanks to Volker and everyone else involved in this project; it has evolved into an amazing product and the volume of work behind it must be huge.
      So, hats off to all who helped and those who still help build this OS, its plugins and running this forum by donating for free their spare time...

      I'm the happy user of a new OMV 2.1.18 Stone Burner installation running on my NAS box (Fractal Node 304 & AsRock FM2-A88X-ITX+ & AMD A4-6300 & 6x WD Red 4TB) running in RAID6 mode.
      I had an atempt, about a year ago, to install version 0.6 of OMV but I ran into all kinds of troubles (more details here) because the mobo I had in my NAS used a integrated NIC chipset that was not recognized by the kernel of OMV 0.6.

      I ended up by installing an Ubuntu distro with Webmin as a temp workaround and kept using it until a couple of weeks ago when my hdds got filled up; so I ordered 6 new 4TB Reds and went on to attempt installing OMV again.

      Sure enough, my NIC was not supported even in the version 3.2 of the kernel which OMV ships with by default currently so I was facing the same "chicken - egg" problem as I needed a working network connection to install backports 3.16 which actually support natively my NIC, but this time I was determined to not give up so easy.

      For various logistic reasons, other solutions (like buying/borrowing another NIC that could be recognized by kernel 3.2) were not very appealing to me so I figured out in the end a way to install OMV by using Virtual Box as a "middle man".
      I don't know if this is explained already somewhere else on the forum, and probably for the Linux veterans it's something quite obvious but if there's another noob like me with a similar problem this might help, so I'll lay out the steps I followed:
      1. I installed Debian Jessie on my usual PC (an old Asus laptop actually); no problems here Debian installed fine and recognized all the hardware on my machine without extra work.
      2. I downloaded and installed Virtualbox on the Jessie installation from here:
      3. Set up a virtual machine (for Debian) in Virtualbox, with a SATA virtual drive (VDI type).
      4. Set up a virtual NIC on the virtual machine linked directly to my laptop's physical NIC (instead of the default NAT-type); this will allow the virtual NIC to be given an IP via DHCP directly from your home router in the same subnet as your PC which is important later once you installed the OS.
      5. Downloaded the last OMV ISO image from here:
      6. Downloaded OMV Extras plugin following instructions from here: Plugin
      7. Set the ISO image as a virtual CDROM unit in the Virtualbox virtual machine.
      8. Made sure that in the virtual machine settings CDROM came first in the boot order.
      9. Started up the VM, booted the ISO and installed OMV (everything went really smooth and fast here).
      10. Once done, I've opened a browser window on my laptop (in Jessie) and using the IP address that the VM got from my router I connected to the web interface of OMV.
      11. Once arrived in the web interface I've installed all the updates proposed in the Updates section of OMV.
      12. Installed the OMV.Extras plugin (see link in step 6 above for detailed instructions) by using the .deb file I had already downloaded earlier (Step 6).
      13. Installed backports kernel 3.16 (yay! this brought support for my NAS NIC in my OMV installation).
      14. Shutdown the VM.
      15. Plugged into my laptop, via an USB adapter, the 2.5" SATA physical hdd that my NAS normally uses as an OS drive.
      16. Converted the OMV VM virtual disk VDI file to a raw image file by running this command (by default it will write the image file in the same folder where your VDI file is):

        Source Code

        1. cd /path_to_the_folder_holding_the_vdi_file
        2. VBoxManage internalcommands converttoraw my-OMV-virtualbox-diskname.vdi OMV_disk.img
        you'll have to replace here my-OMV-virtualbox-diskname with the real name of your VDI file and OMV_disk with whatever name you want to give to the raw image file.
      17. Copied the raw image file to the physical disk that is to be used as OS drive for the NAS via:

        Source Code

        1. sudo dd if=/path_to_the_image_file of=/dev/sdx
        where sdx signifies the device file that points to the physical drive you connected at step 15 (e.g. sda or sdd or sde etc.)
      18. Removed the physical drive from the laptop, connected it back into my NAS and booted: Voila! I had a perfectly running last-version OMV with backports 3.16 already installed and network connectivity.

      The post was edited 8 times, last by atux ().