Recently had to roll out a new Zoneminder install for a client using ESXi 5.1. Instead of using Viktor Petersson’s ESXi appliance (which I’ve used in the past but is outdated and no longer developed), I created a fresh, fully updated Zoneminder virtual machine template. You can use this .OVA vm template with any flavor of VMware you wish, not just ESXi. This virtual machine is up to date as of the writing of this blog post (9/23/12). It includes Ubuntu 32-bit 12.04.1 LTS and Zoneminder 1.25.0 (see bottom of post for upgrade instructions to 1.26+). Additionally, it has version 9 of VMware tools preinstalled as well.  You can have a fully configured Zoneminder install in minutes using my virtual appliance.  In ESXi, simply load the vSphere client, go to File and select Deploy OVF Template and point it to the downloaded file. If using the .OVA with any VMware product other than vSphere/ESXi, you’ll need the OVF Tool located here. I’d recommend using at least 512MB of RAM, and at least 20GB of disk space if you plan on recording video.

Download the ZoneMinder VMware Appliance Template from Sourceforge

Template tested with the following versions/flavors of VMware: ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.0 Update 2, Fusion 4 for Macintosh

Config details:

Admin username is zmadmin, as is the password.
MySQL Root password is zmadmin as well.
The Zoneminder web interface username and password is admin.
There is no root password set for Ubuntu.

Access Zoneminder’s web interface at http://YOURIPADDRESS/zm 

The appliance, once deployed will get an IP and DNS via DHCP.  You can change the IP to static by altering /etc/network/interfaces:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Change the following lines: 

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

To (where x.x.x.x is your desired gateway and static IP):

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address x.x.x.x
gateway x.x.x.x

Add your fully qualified name to the /etc/hosts file:

sudo nano /etc/hosts zoneminder
x.x.x.x zoneminder

Optional: Add your DNS servers for name resolution (the defaults are Verizon’s DNS at and

sudo nano /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail

Changing “nameserver” entries to whatever your internal DNS servers are. The file defaults are:


Presto! You have a shiny new Zoneminder install!  Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Note: this VM template doesn’t include the Cambozola Java jar, which enables viewing of live streaming (montage) via Java.  To install it:

cd /tmp
sudo wget
tar xvfz cambozola-latest.tar.gz
sudo cp /tmp/cambozola-0.93/dist/* /usr/share/zoneminder
You may need to update the 0.93 portion of the above line if you download a newer version of Cambozola.

In the ZoneMinder web interface, under Options, Image, make sure to check the OPT_CAMBOZOLA box to enable it.


My disk is full and MySQL won’t start, how can I purge recordings to get ZM working again?

cd /usr/share/zoneminder/events
sudo rm -rf *
sudo reboot

How can I make the VM disk bigger?

Option 1 (recommended):
Run VMWare Converter to duplicate a deployed Zoneminder VM and increase the size during the conversion process.

Option 2: gParted
1. Remove any snapshots.
2. Increase the VM disk size in vSphere.
3. Use the gParted Live CD to resize the partition.

To fix “Shared Data Size Conflict in Shared_Data for monitor” in your logs, see this blog: to properly set the architecture to 32-bit.  This is a Zoneminder bug.

To install the latest version of the VMware tools: Right click host, Guest, Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.  Select “Automated Tools Upgrade” with the “–default” as the “Advanced Options”

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 10.03.36 AM

Upgrading to ZoneMinder 1.26+

Upgrading to the latest version of Zoneminder is a simple process of executing the following commands in the specified order:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:iconnor/zoneminder
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The last command above will prompt you several times for the ZoneMinder upgrade.  Answer in this order: Y,Y,Y, Enter, Enter, Y,Y
Ignore the warning about stopping Zoneminder as it will already be stopped.

If you’d like to see the Zoneminder upgrade process looks like and how I answered the interactive upgrade questions, click here.

Important: Sometimes Zoneminder upgrades will destroy your symlinks.  Perform the following commands to reestablish these symlinks:

sudo /etc/init.d/zoneminder stop
sudo ln -s /var/cache/zoneminder/events /usr/share/zoneminder/events
sudo ln -s /var/cache/zoneminder/images /usr/share/zoneminder/images
sudo /etc/init.d/zoneminder start

Lastly, after the upgrade your Zoneminder won’t automatically start.  To fix this:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/zoneminder

Add “sleep 15″ before the zmfix -a line as pictured below (see arrow) and reboot.


You can upgrade to future versions by simply typing the last command (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) as you have already added the repository for ZoneMinder.  Just make sure to add the sleep command above when upgrading.

Tagged with:  

123 Responses to Zoneminder Virtual Machine Appliance for VMware ESXi, Workstation & Fusion

  1. Steve says:

    WOW.. Thanks so much for saving me so much time.. Last time I installed ZM, It took me DAYS to get to where your directions got me in about 30 minutes..

  2. Greg Thompson says:

    I installed the virtual machine and it gives me a zonemineder login: but I cannot log in to make changes to the network settings
    I have tried root with a blank password
    I have tried root with zmadmin
    I have tried admin with zmadmin
    No luck.

  3. Username is zmadmin and the password is too.

  4. Marco says:

    WTF is this? if it is what i think it is HS! GOD!

  5. adrian says:

    you certainly know how to frustrate people…
    how do you start the damned thing?
    why is this appliance not having a graphical interface?
    the work may be commendable but the delivery to others sucks big time!
    do something man!

    • Mike says:

      Adrian – This is straightforward for anyone who knows how to run vm’s – If you don’t understand the method, you need to learn a bit more.. The vm appliance DOES have a web interface, just like ZM always does – it’s the same thing! If you run VMware then start this appliance from within vsphere or player, and off you go. You need to know the basics of vm’s before you download and mess with this..

  6. Andy says:

    Increased disk size in VMware and re-partitioned the 20gb partitions to be 200gb, but they’re still only 20gb in zoneminder. Is there another step once in ubuntu?

  7. Christian says:

    You will also need to resize the lvm and the file system. You can do this using the gparted live cd and go to the command line.

    From the zoneminder shell:
    sudo lvextend -L100G /dev/zoneminder/root # assuming you have grown it to 100GB

    Then with the gparted live CD (because the file system has to be unmounted!) go to the command line:
    e2fsck -f /dev/mapper/zoneminder-root
    resize2fs /dev/mapper/zoneminder-root

    That should do it.

  8. Chris says:

    I usually don’t bother commenting on these comment boxes but I _did_ want to take the time to sincerely thank you for this appliance _and_ the follow up notes. Not only had the appliance saved me and my colleagues countless hours but the simple and easy to follow notes for changing/setting up network and upgrading is exactly what the users of this appliance needed. Thanks _so_ much.

  9. Can I set a $100 bounty for an updated version of this VM?

    1) Current 32 bit Ubuntu
    2) ZoneMinder 1.28
    3) Control for Foscam fi9821w
    4) Control for Trendnet TV IP851WC

    • Gary says:

      Can meet half what your needing on the bounty – I’ve got VMware Player with upgraded Ubuntu (14.04.1 LTS 32bit – upgraded from the appliance on this page) and ZoneMinder V1.2.8 (empty config). Latest Cambozola. It is not OVA format but ready for VMware Player.

  10. Earl says:

    Thank you so much for this appliance! You saved a TON of people a TON of work. And you did it in ESXi! It seems nowadays, people only make VM`s in VirtualBox, so Kudos! I would like to help contribute. I would like to make an Ubuntu 14.04 64bit version to utilize more RAM. Any help you can send me, please do. I will get started on this in my freetime!

  11. Angelo says:

    After latest update, I get the following error: The requested URL /zm/ was not found on this server.

    I had noticed that during the update, none of the prompts came up on the last step… It seems something major may have changed.

    Also, I don’t know if this matters, but it appears that in new versions of zoneminder, is no longer part of zoneminder, and that reference in init.d is gone as well.

  12. Stéphane says:

    That’s great Thanks a lot for this VM !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>