Installation

Installation of Rockstor is a short and straight forward process. For all types of installations, see Quick start to get started. Please also note that we have a Pre-Install Best Practice (PBP).

Quick evaluation using a virtual environment

Rockstor can also be evaluated quickly using a virtual machine, see our Rockstor in Virtual Machine Manager guide.

See YouTube VirtualBox Rockstor install demo.

Before proceeding with a serious installation that may require hardware procurement, you can evaluate Rockstor on Amazon AWS.

See YouTube Rockstor on ec2.

Hardware recommendations

There is nothing about Rockstor that requires special hardware. It’s Linux, and specifically Rockstor 4 is “Built on openSUSE” while v3 used CentOS, so it can be installed on a wide range of commodity hardware, with 4 gaining ARM64 compatibility. See Minimum system requirements for basic requirements.

Over time, the Rockstor developers and community at large share hardware specs that are known to work with Rockstor. Below is a list of these recommendations. Please note, however, that the following examples are to be taken as illustrations of possible builds at the time of writing and will likely be rapidly outpaced by the rapidly evolving hardware market. We always recommend visiting our Forum for user stories, example builds, and request advice on hardware choice or recommendations.

Complete Builds for Home and small organizations

You can find user stories and example builds on our Forum, but some excerpts are listed below:

  1. A build used by Rockstor developers and at least some known community members uses ASRock C2550D4I with this memory. The motherboard provides 12 SATA ports, so this is a recommended tower case to hold up to 12 hard drives.

  2. Yet another recommendation used by some community members is HP Proliant Microserver Gen8.

  3. Raspberry Pi4 and RPi 400 have also both been reported as working as intended via our newer Rockstor 4 “Built on openSUSE” variant. N.B. RPi 400 requires at least a 15.3 profile for the internal keyboard to work.

Upgrading Rockstor

Rockstor is under continuous development and we generally release updates in small batches. These updates are easy to install. But we do roll-out major releases that require a complete re-install. Upgrading from Rockstor 3 (CentOS based) to Rockstor 4 “Built on openSUSE” is one such update. But such updates are very rare.

Non re-install Rockstor updates can be installed in two ways :

1. Install updates from the Web-UI (recommended): On the Rockstor Web-UI, far top-right, you will see an upward facing arrow next to the Rockstor version number if any Rockstor package updates are available.

../_images/update-arrow.png

All upstream packages except the ‘rockstor’ package can similarly be installed by clicking on a flashing wifi-like icon. Again, this is not shown if no update is available, but it does show, as per the up-arrow, if there is a rockstor package update available. But only the up-arrow will actually update the main rockstor package. These disparate but related mechanisms allow users to choose to only update what they want: all packages bar the rockstor package (wifi-like icon).

See the following section for details on upgrading the Rockstor package plus all pending upstream updates Software update.

2. Alternatively, for advanced users only, one can update from the Command Line Interface (CLI).

Just the main rockstor package:

[root@localhost ~]# zypper update rockstor

The entire Rockstor 4 system including all upstream updates. Our login message has a reminder of these commands:

[root@localhost ~]# zypper refresh
[root@localhost ~]# zypper up --no-recommends
  • And Rockstor 3 similarly via:

    [root@localhost ~]# yum update rockstor
    

and:

[root@localhost ~]# yum update

On both OS bases a reboot is recommended, but only after the update has completed. This can take some time, depending on how many updates have to be downloaded and established.

If an update is disruptive, the update process prompts for user action and provides the necessary information to choose to update or not. You can safely decide not to update if that makes sense for your environment.