Quick start

Please take note of the information in our Pre-Install Best Practice (PBP) guide, though not strictly required it may help in avoiding problems encountered during install.

Minimum system requirements

Rockstor is a complete Linux distribution (iso) to be installed directly on hardware or as a VM with the following minimum system requirements and recommendations.

  • 64-bit Intel or AMD processor
  • 2GB RAM or more (recommended)
  • 8GB hard disk space for the OS
  • One or more additional hard drives for data (recommended)
  • Ethernet interface (with internet access – for updates)
  • a UPS (if desired) that is supported by NUT
  • DVD drive and a blank DVD, or a USB port and min 1 GB USB key (for the installation media)

Download Rockstor

Rockstor download options. Create a bootable CD or USB drive from the downloaded iso and proceed to the Installation section.

For convenience, you can also purchase a USB install disk from our shop. Thanks for your support!

Making a Rockstor USB install disk

The downloaded iso must first be restored to a physical device to create the install media for a physical machine install. Depending on you desktop/laptop OS(Linux, Windows or Mac), there are GUI as well as Command Line programs using which the install disk can be created.

GUI options

On a Linux Unity or Gnome Desktop see our Rockstor USB install disk using Gnome Disks.

On a Windows Desktop consider using Rawrite32.

Please note the following USB image writing programs have been found to produce NON working USB install disks when used with the Rockstor iso and their default settings.

Please also see the Install Rockstor from USB flash drive and the Boot order changes sections of the Small Office Fileserver with Rockstor document for more information on making and using the USB install disk.

Command line options

To create a USB install disk on Linux or Mac one can use the dd command. For example if your USB device is /dev/sdc then from within the directory containing your downloaded Rockstor iso file the command would be:-

dd if=Rockstor-3.8-9.iso of=/dev/sdc

Note that the .iso file name will vary depending on the Rockstor version.

Another option on linux systems is the ddrescue command which gives more reassuring feedback whilst the USB key is being written. On Debian and Ubuntu systems install via sudo apt-get install gddrescue and on Fedora systems install via sudo dnf install ddrescue. Use similarly to dd above only using the following command:-

sudo ddrescue -d -D –force Rockstor-3.8-9.iso /dev/sdc

Note that there are 2 “-” characters next to each other before the “force” switch.

Mac OS X

For Mac OS X (tested on El Capitan). You can also use dd and the diskutil program to create the USB stick.

Insert the USB stick and open a terminal window (Open LaunchPad and type terminal and click on the icon). Determine the device name below, make sure you specify the USB stick and not your OS X disk. If you are unsure which is which, don’t go any further.

diskutil list

Under the IDENTIFIER column, you should see a disk# (you may see a disk#s# but just note the disk# since we need to format the whole USB Stick). Unmount and burn the Rockstor ISO to the USB drive using the following commands, replacing disk# with your IDENTIFIER name (this will DESTROY all data on the USB drive).

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk# sudo dd if=~/Downloads/Rockstor-3.8.14.iso of=/dev/rdisk# bs=1m

Note the ‘r’ is placed in front of the disk# and ‘bs=1m’ is for blocksize. There is no progress bar, you will return to the command prompt once the command finishes. Once that happens, eject the disk and you are done.

diskutil eject /dev/disk#


There is also dd for Windows but this is untested, please see our GUI options.


Installing Rockstor is quick and straight forward as shown in this install video. Since Rockstor is based on CentOS and uses the same anaconda installer the installation looks similar to that of CentOS or Fedora. You can also read The Rockstor Install section of our Rockstor in Virtual Machine Manager guide for more information about installation.

Important! Installing Rockstor deletes existing data on the system drive(s) selected as installation destination.
If you need further assistance during or post install, you can post a topic on our Forum or send an e-mail to
  1. Boot your machine with the Rockstor CD or USB and the splash screen will appear. Press enter and the graphical installer will start momentarily and display the Installation Summary screen

  2. Installation Summary screen

    On this screen, multiple parameters can be configured together.

    1. Click on the Date & Time to change the default timezone.

    2. A network connection is required and the installation will not proceed otherwise. The default is DHCP which the installer automatically picks up. You can configure the network manually, but make sure your system has a working ip address for the installation to proceed.

    3. Under the Installation Destination there may be further action required if there are partitions on sda. By default the sda hard drive is selected and set to be auto partitioned but only if blank. If not then an exclamation icon indicates the need for attention. Please see our Wiping the system disk for more details.

      For the default automatic partitioning, just click DONE.

      If you are an advanced user, you can go with a custom partitioning scheme. However, note that Rockstor only supports BTRFS for its root filesystem.

    Important! Installing Rockstor deletes existing data on the system drive(s) selected as installation destination.
    1. Once the installation configuration is complete and there are no amber icons, click on Begin Installation button to start the package installation.
  3. Package Installation

    On the next screen, package installation begins in the background and you must set the root password. You can optionally create an additional user.

  4. Boot into Rockstor

    Package installation takes a few minutes and once it’s complete you can reboot, remove the install cd and boot into Rockstor. Once the system boots up, the url for web-ui is displayed above the login prompt. The url is simply https://<IP_ADDRESS_OF_THE_SYSTEM>

  5. Setup Rockstor

    Go to Rockstor’s web-ui from your web browser and complete the initial setup.