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FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

  • 1.  FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 20, 2022 02:10 AM
    Hello all,

    I'm desperate need of help, I have purchased a FortiWLM virtual controller, downloaded the latest 8.6-4 versions and couple of previous ones as well. There is something missing in the deployment guide, because with those instructions, Virtual Controller ends up to a boot loop, no matter what is the virtualisation platform Hyper-V, Proxmox, KVM or Virtualbox. (Other option is that I'm stupid, not to get it myself.)

    If someone has any contribution of this FortiWLM virtual image play around, hint what needs to be done in order to get it run, I would appreciate if you would share it. Or would anyone of you have a MC4200 Virtual controller image?

    Picture just before boot ends and a new loop starts.

    Br Matti

    p.s. Couple of words of Fortinet Customer "service"; response from customer service was, that I haven't bought support service and they won't help. I'm really disappointed and furious of the way Fortinet is dealing with this, I really miss MERU times. (This Fortinet monetizing policy is repulsive, after spending 5 business days on a brand new controller, Fortinet doesn't involve if I don't pay more.)

  • 2.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 20, 2022 09:44 AM

    Hi Matti

    Speculating here a little, but maybe this might be due to lack of second hard disk?. Please check out the WLM admin guide from p504 onwards


  • 3.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 03:02 AM
    Hello Colin,

    thank you so much for your professional speculations, you are the man. Just adding this second disk solved it. This is a day of joy, but APs are not showing up, in the very end of this story.

    Br Matti

    At least these settings work in Proxmox 7.2-3 with forti-8.6-4build-2-x86_64.img.KVM, without need to install another virtualisation like KVM on it.

    0) download controller image for KVM, eg forti-8.6-4build-2-x86_64.img.KVM.zip to your machine, copy that eg with winscp to Proxmox
    1) open Proxmox terminal, unzip it there, forti-wlm-8.6-4build-6-x86_64.img should be now in directory
    2) create a VM without any disks or CD's in Proxmox (settings below), ID for example not used number 212 (needed in importdisk command)
    3) go to Proxmox terminal and directory where image is downloaded
    qm importdisk 212 forti-wlm-8.6-4build-6-x86_64.img your-storage-name-that-supports-images --format qcow2​
    4) go to Proxmox GUI, and see if disk is showing up as "unused" under VM 212, double click it and make it ide0
    5) in Proxmox GUI again, under VM 212, add --> hard disk --> and add as Colin pointed out SCSI disk, size 200Gb or such
    6) check from Proxmox GUI --> VM 212 --> Options that in the boot order the first is IDE0
    7) under VM 212, top right select "Console" and power on, see what happens
    8) rest is configuring FortiWLM VM

    1) VM settings as below, as there is a VLAN tag 12 on the last line. Tagging or untagging VLAN works, if untagged here, also at the switch must be untagged naturally.

    2) this is how it looks at the node level, eno2 is connected to HP switch physically, and a linux brigde vmbr12 is created on it, VLAN aware enabled.
    3) HP switch looks like this, port number 8 is connected to VLAN 12

    The next issue is, that AP832e's are not showing up to controller, even if they are connected to the same VLAN 12 untagged. They get IP address (pingable also from controller's IP), DHCP option 43 is pointing to controller (not necessary because of same VLAN),  NTP is pointing to same source etc.

  • 4.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 03:48 AM

    Hi Matti

    Glad to see the VM is working.  If you need additional support with the MC4200 Controller and AP's please take this to the TAC support teams who can assist you.


  • 5.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 08:44 AM
    Hello Colin,

    Thank you for giving me that first tip, it was brilliant. I don't know if you work for Fortinet or not, so my question(s) might not be possible for you to answer.
    I well understand that only buying a hardware or software isn't making enough money for companies, I reformalise my next question(s), instead of asking directly more help.

    I have a brand new license for FortiWLM VM Virtual Controller with permanent 50 AP license, purchased in September 2022 and five (5) AP832e access points. I have been in belief, that this is my package for controller driven WLAN.

    So my questions:
    1. Is this "HowTo configure a Fortinet FortiWLM VM Virtual Controller guide" available publicly or in the same place where the image itself was? yes/no
    2. Is that possible configuration guide including all the information that is needed to get the system up and running? yes/no
    If I get two "yes", then I can start to browse through Fortinet archives to find those correct documents.

    When I purchased the VM product, I got a deployment guide from support service which wasn't giving enough information to deploy. I asked from support service to give me that publicly available information that you pointed me, but customer service declined to say anything more.

    Thank you once more of your hint of the second harddrive.

    Br Matti

  • 6.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 09:37 AM

    Hi Matti

    Before i answer those questions, which are both "Yes" btw, can i ask if you have either an MC4200 or FortiWLC (either hardware or VM format)?  It appears (and sorry to assume again, but not clear) that you might be expecting FortiWLM VM to act as a wireless controller for those AP832e?



  • 7.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 10:12 AM
    Hello Colin,

    I have one MC4200 hardware, up and running, with some AP832e. That is fine and in use elsewhere, where this new one will be.

    I'm wrestling with this virtual version below, bought September 2022. Before purchasing this virtual image, I got this email answer from the Fortinet sales
    "Matti, I have confirmation that the AP-832's are supported and I will send you a quote from our international arm, ..." In my 832e APs, I have two Fortinet labeled ones PN 875-50059-G and three MERU labeled ones PN 875-50059-E.

    wlancont# show nms
    Server Parameters
    Description : NM Server
    Host Name : wlancont
    Uptime : up 5 minutes
    IP Address : xx.xx.xx.xx
    Netmask : xx.xx.xx.xx
    Default Gateway : xx.xx.xx.xx
    IPv6 Global Address : 0
    IPv6 Link Local Address :
    Default IPv6 Gateway : 0
    DHCP Server :
    Public IP Address :
    Software Version : 8.6-4build-6 (GA Release)
    Server Model : FWM-VM
    System's Architecture : 64-bit
    Manufacturing Serial : N/A​

    Thank you for your dedication and time for this.

    Br Matti

  • 8.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 10:20 AM


    FortiWLM is positioned to manage the FortiWLC/MC4200 - so like when you have many WLC controllers you have one central place to configure and manage them from.  FortiWLM has no management or control plane to the Access Points.

    I think there maybe some confusion here.

    Please check out these docs

    FortiWLC - https://docs.fortinet.com/product/wireless-controller/8.6

    FortiWLM - https://docs.fortinet.com/product/fortiwlm/8.6


  • 9.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 10:43 AM
    Hello Colin

    Well this is nice, just throw about 1500 eur out of the window, I was asking a virtual controller in the first place and I counted on Fortinet sales professionality when I got this message:  "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the FortiWLC-VM-50 is obsolete. It has since been replaced with the  FortiWLM-VM."

    And after buying and registering the FortiWLM-VM product, another person from Fortinet Support sent me  https://docs.fortinet.com/document/wireless-controller/8.6.3/fortiwlc-virtual-controller-deployment-guide/418401/about-fortiwlc-virtual-controllers

    The easiest way to correct this would be that someone from Fortinet would point a Virtual Controller image to me with some 5 or 10 AP licenses. Or any other ideas? For me any virtual controller image would be fine.

    Br Matti

  • 10.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 10:58 AM

    Hi Matti

    I am sorry for this.  I would recommend that you speak directly to your Sales rep and inform them you have been miss advised in this instance.   I would hope they can help put your situation right.



  • 11.  RE: FortiWLM / MERU Virtual controller image

    Posted Oct 21, 2022 11:10 AM
    Hello Colin,

    Thank you for your time.

    I doubt that this will ever be sorted out with Fortinet, selling is the most important thing, no matter what to sell or what is the customer experience. When I was asking from Fortinet Support about these issues, the answer was that "you need purchase a support".

    So I asked for a Virtual Controller and Fortinet insight of the correct solution: 1) wrong product, 2) give documentation to wrong product and then 3) purchase some "support" to this wrong product.

    If you didn't answer me, there wouldn't have anyone to take care of this.


    Br Matti