Friday, December 19, 2008

Synology NAS tips

I recently had to setup 2 Synology 107+ NAS devices. Here a few tips that others may find useful. I didn't want to hack the devices with a different firmware, so I had to deal with Synology's own hacks and quirks. (the firmware I got on the boxes is DSM 2.0-0728)

Quick start for the impatient:

  • The DiskStation is probably accessible at Change the IP address manually to a fixed IP working on your network.
  • Set a password for the admin user. The same password will be used for root SSH.

IP address trouble

As detailed in this forum post, the 107+ grabbed my router's IP instead of getting one through DHCP. Once I had found out (which took me a while), it was easy to fix by connecting directly my machine without the rest of the network, and giving it a good fixed IP. (at this stage, it was not possible to set it up for DHCP. The device doesn't take the setting if it can't get an address straight away).

SSH access

You can login as root through SSH, but you must first define a password for the admin user through the web interface. root uses the same password. (and obviously, you have to also enable SSH in the web interface).


Like most small Linux devices, this one doesn't have Midnight Commander installed, so you don't have a file manager to make things easier. Worst of all, it doesn't even have a decent text editor (no, vi does not count as "decent"; that's just a nightmare left over from someone's bad trip during the sixties.) Instead of replacing the firmware so that one can install additional software, the quickest solution is to use NFS.
  • Login through SSH as root (the password is the same as for user "admin").
  • Configure /etc/exports: echo "/,no_root_squash)" >>/etc/exports
  • Run touch /var/lib/nfs/rmtab
  • (Update: this doesn't seem to be needed anymore with the latest firmware) Start the NFS server: /usr/syno/etc/rc.d/ start (and on the client, you need to start portmap and nfs-common)
  • Run exportfs -ra
  • Now you can use any Linux machine to go around the file system, edit files etc. mkdir /mnt/mynas; mount -t nfs /mnt/mynas
(BTW, many people seem to not know that the simplest and easiest console text editor is the one built into Midnight Commander; it can also be used directly by starting mcedit [filename])

File locations

Many files are not in /etc but in /usr/syno/etc. That's where you can find smb.conf for example.


It may be necessary to add unix charset = ISO-8859-1 to the global section of /usr/syno/etc/smb.conf, depending on your setup.


The worst bug I came across so far is that Synology hacked the ext3 filesystem to be case-insensitive. As of firmware DSM 2.0-0728 (December 2008), this makes it unusable for backups of Unix machines. Hopefully, though, it will be fixed soon. Search their forums for updates (one forum post about the problem here; another here; there are many others). Update: This seems to be fixed in the latest beta version as of January 2009: DSM 2.0-0803.

Update: Not sure yet, but there may be a problem related to HTREE (dir_index). One of the disk stations didn't boot, so I took the disk out and ran e2fsck on it. It returned many errors like "Inode 114689 has INDEX_FL flag set on filesystem without htree support". This old message makes me think that might be the reason it wouldn't boot.

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Blogger hari said...

Hi ,

I purchased a synology with two bay and setup synalogy hybrid raid.

Please let me know how i can mount this to a linux server.

I am planning to setup this as a backup drive for that linux server.

12 February, 2011 15:43  
Anonymous Nathaniel said...

Thanks for the guidance with this thing ;) Trying to figure out vm backups on this thing right now.

09 December, 2019 13:40  

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