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 Instead of using Viktor Petersson’s ESXi appliance (which I’ve used in the past but is outdated and no longer developed), I created a fresh, fully updated Zoneminder virtual machine template.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:  

149 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..

    • adam says:

      Get off your bloody highhorse. How much easier can we make it?.
      If you cannot follow simple directions go buy a pre-made setup

  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. Tim says:

    Kudos on a great appliance. Imported easy no issues. Used your guide to assign static IP etc, easy no issues. Upgraded per your guide, once again easy no issues. Awesome work!

    Now for the question, how can I redirect the default page to the /zm page. i.e.

    I’d like to be able to access it at not

    Thanks in advance.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

      • drc says:

        I’ll offer 15 dollars worth of bitcoin if someone follows through with this. Like Richard says, up to date Ubuntu VM (32 or 64 bit), DHCP networking, ZM 1.28. I need support for Linksys WVC 200 but I will try and manage that on my own if I can get the environment set up easily.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. Stéphane says:

    That’s great Thanks a lot for this VM !

  14. drc says:

    As I mentioned as a reply to a comment in this post-

    “I’ll offer 15 dollars worth of bitcoin if someone follows through with this. Similar to Richard’s request- an up to date Ubuntu VM (32 or 64 bit), DHCP networking, ZM 1.28.

    I need support for Linksys WVC 200 but I will try and manage that on my own if I can get the environment set up easily.”

    The last VM version is for two versions previous and a lot has changed in Ubuntu in the meantime. I still can’t get ZM to work with my cameras even after spending about 12 hours searching for solutions.

    The only alternative is Windows where there seems to be a lot of potential options.

  15. John Jensen says:

    Thank you for all the work to put together a VM machine that only works, great! Did get to look far for the web address to consol. Now I am looking for information on how to record video from their cameras, if possible.

  16. Jim says:

    Has anyone tried this appliance with VirtualBox? I have had some good luck using VMWare .OVA / .OVF files with VirtualBox, but also some not so good luck.

  17. […] }); Tengo un servidor con EXSI y le instale esta maquina virtual Zoneminder Virtual Machine Appliance for VMware ESXi, Workstation & Fusion el problema es que trae solo 20 de disco duro quiero o expandir ese disco para en otra particion […]

  18. Andy says:

    I’ve got it up and running like a champ but I can’t su to root/superuser. I know this has been asked here but does anyone have an answer? I’ve added storage and I just want to add a line to fstab to automount it.

  19. mn says:

    wow, what an excellent thing to do. Like other have said, you’ve saved a lot of head-banging against walls. Yes, things have moved on since it was written, but it still works and gives people a ready-made appliance. Setup on a phpVirtualbox for NAS4Free installation without a problem. Mike has even gone to the extent of providing the commands to update the zoneminder installation. What a guy. I can now test zoneminder with ipcameras.
    Many thanks.

  20. ciccio says:

    Great appliance been using it for one year and it’s rock solid!
    Someone had success integrating Licence Plate Recognition in it?
    I am not a linux guy…

  21. Francesco says:

    Hi Mike,

    I downloaded your great distribution and upgraded it to the latest available Ubuntu and ZoneMinder releases following all the steps reported above; however when I try to start ZoneMinder I get the error “Starting ZoneMinder DBD::mysql::st execute failed: Unknown column ‘IsActive’ in ‘field list’ at /usr/bin/ line 318. failure”

    Please, can you give me some hint on how to solve this problem?

    I would like to evaluate ZoneMinder for a home surveillance system.

    Thank you in advance for your support.

  22. Greg says:

    Thanks for this appliance. Installed it today and it works great but when I follow your instructions for upgrading ZM, I get the error “ 404 Not Found” After traversing your launchpad URL it appears the “precise” repository has been removed.

    How would I go about remedying this?

    Thanks again, Greg

  23. John says:


    +1 to Greg’s response above.

    I get – W: Failed to fetch 404 Not Found

    Hope you can help!



  24. filipe says:

    Obrigado live in Brasil , Thanks

  25. stef says:


    It doesn’t work to set a static ip-adress… After following all the steps, zoneminder’s network doesn’t come up. Even after changing everything back to original it doesn’t work anymore. After trying an immediate change with ifconfig, it doesn’t work. I have looked at some ubuntu forums – but it seems like i’ve done everything right.


    • Graham says:

      Stef check if the network adapter is binding to an old MAC. Linux has a ‘feature’ where it will define the MAC to bind the network address and if you copy a vm this breaks when a new MAC is assigned. Caught me a few times. Edit the network config file for eth0 or whatever adapter you are using and see if the MAC is defined and delete that line.

  26. […] Zoneminder Virtual Machine Appliance for VMware ESXi, Workstation & Fusion […]

Leave a Reply

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

Web Hosting