Stephen Ostermiller's Blog

Synology NAS Review

I recently upgraded my NAS from a 15 year old Infrant ReadyNAS to a new Synology DS218+. I give it five stars (★★★★★) with a few minor complaints from the perspective of a Linux power user.

Synology Pros:

  • Samba shares for Windows
  • NFS shares for Linux
  • SSH access
  • Mirrored drives
  • btrfs filesystem
  • Plenty of external ports (USB 3 and eSata)
  • auto-mounts external drives
  • Most Linux commands have recent versions installed


  • GUI doesn't allow you to set user ids when creating users
  • passwd, less, bc (calculator) , and man pages not installed
  • No external power port to go along with the eSata port
  • Synology has their own Linux distribution which appears not be to updated all that regularly

Btrfs is a awesome. The disks from the NAS can be mounted and read by Linux. My old NAS used a proprietary file system and I couldn't read the disks. This will make recovery from any NAS hardware failure much easier.

The command line on the NAS works pretty well. Most of the commands I need to do my backups are pre-installed: bash, rsync, grep, sed, mount, df, du, xargs, ps, readlink, sort, uniq, wc, tune2fs, fdisk, tail, and head. They all work like the versions installed on Ubuntu. I would exect less and bc to be installed. I would also like to have man pages available.

NFS requires that user ids match between the Linux computer and the NAS. Because the GUI doesn't support setting user ids, I needed to edit /etc/passwd to change them, and the recursively chown shares within /volume1/from the command line.

I don't know how to change the password for the root user. passwd isn't installed, so I can't change it on the command line like usual. Luckly sudo from the admin user works. I ended up setting up ssh keys so that I can ssh as root, without knowing the root password.

I'd like to be able to power external 3.5" hard drives without having use external plugs. It would be nice to expose a SATA power port extenally for that purpose.

The hardware

Here is the full hardware list that I recommend. Click any item to buy it on Amazon.

Synology NAS

2 NAS drives of the same size

Size (TB): 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

Size (TB:): 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16

External USB Drive Bay

read my review

Drives for External Backup

Size (TB): 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

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