Latest interface: 0.3.1
Latest system: 010
Originally created by a small German firm, later acquired by Sun Microsystems and now in the hands of Oracle Corporation, VirtualBox(ext) is a free Virtual Machine solution that allows you to test ZFSguru in a virtual environment.

Step 1: Download and Install VirtualBox
Head over to the VirtualBox website(ext) and download the proper package for your operating system (32-bit or 64-bit). Install per setup instructions. Note: on Windows, your network interfaces will be interrupted, so you will briefly lose your internet connection!

Step 2: Create a new Virtual Machine
Create a new Virtual Machine and give it a nice name (ZFSguru?) and set FreeBSD (64-bit) as operating system type. Next, assign at least 1536MiB of RAM to it, preferably 2GiB+. Create some virtual disks as well, like three disks, so you can test creating a RAID-Z, similar to RAID5.

Now head over to the network configuration, and make sure to select Bridged Networking. Otherwise you may not be able to connect to the Virtual Machine web-interface.

Step 3: Load the ZFSguru .iso and boot the Virtual Machine
So now is the time to assign a .iso image as virtual CD-ROM for the Virtual Machine. In the VM configuration, assign the cd-rom to your downloaded ZFSguru LiveCD .iso image. Now boot the Virtual Machine.

Step 4: Wait until you see the login menu appear
Once you see the menu, it should tell you at what IP-address the Web-Interface is running. Head over to your local web-browser and surf to this address. Now you should have access to the ZFSguru Web-Interface.

Now go ahead and play with the interface, see other documentation for more information.
Once you have the VirtualBox window opened, you can click the 'New' button to create a new virtual machine. If you just installed VirtualBox, you should get this screen automatically.

The first task will be to assign a name and select the Operating System type. Do not skip the latter, as choosing "FreeBSD (64-bit)" will automatically select some settings suitable to ZFSguru/FreeBSD!

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Important note: If you do not see (64-bit) entries but only the normal entires which are for 32-bit, then your processor does not have hardware virtualization extensions like vt-x. This means you can NOT run ZFSguru on that system when running virtualized! You can, however, run ZFSguru 'bare metal' without virtualization on that system, if you have a 64-bit processor but without vt-x extensions.

Next we choose the amount of RAM memory the Virtual Machine may consume. You need to give at least 2GiB (2048 MiB) to ZFSguru to allow for the memory filesystem to contain all data. The absolute minimum is 1.5 / 1.6GiB, but 2GiB+ is strongly recommended.

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Note: do not assign more memory than your system can take. Otherwise, heavy usage of the pagefile might bring your system to a crawl, or even crashes can occur.

Next we need to create a virtual harddrive. This device will act like a harddrive to the Virtual Machine, except that on your real system it is just one big file.

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Choose the default VDI structure.

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Choose the preferred allocation type. Dynamic does not require initializing the virtual harddrive and it only consumes space when written to. In most cases you want this. However, if you need more performance, the static allocation is recommended. We expect you just want to take a quick look so choose Dynamic for now.

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Defaults should be good, size should be 2GiB+.

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Next confirm the creation of both the virtual harddrive and the Virtual Machine itself. Now you should see it appearing in the main window. Click on it once, then click the Settings button.

Go to the Audio tab and disable audio support. We don't need audio support.

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Next, head over to the Network tab and change the default 'NAT' type to 'Bridged Networking'. This means the Virtual Machine will gain access to your local network so that your webbrowser can communicate with it. If you leave it on NAT, the Virtual Machine will have only internet access but cannot connect to the machines on your local network. So we choose Bridged here, but know that NAT is actually a very safe setting since it isolates your VM from the local network. In this case, however, we need to use Bridged networking:

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Now click OK and in the main window hit the Start button. This should popup the First Run Wizard, like this:

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Basically, it allows you to select a .iso file for the virtual CD-ROM drive.

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Once the Virtual Machine is running, it should give you this screen after a minute or two.

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Congratulations! You now have ZFSguru running inside VirtualBox. You should now be able to reach the web-interface by entering http://<IP ADDRESS> in your webbrowser. The IP address of the Virtual Machine should be displayed, like in the screenshot above.


If it displays, you may have forgotten certain steps. Check the Network settings to see if it uses the correct type and controller. It could also be that your local network does not have a DHCP server and you use static IP addresses assigned for each computer.

If your processor does not have vt-x hardware virtualization extensions, you can not run 64-bit operating systems like ZFSguru inside a VirtualBox window. But you can run it 'natively' on your system. Just burn the LiveCD to a cd-r and boot your real system with it. As long as you do not format any disks this should be safe, but please keep in mind that formatting your disks will destroy your data! So running inside VirtualBox is much safer to prevent user mistakes.

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