If your Synology NAS is available from the Internet you’ll want to keep Disk Station Manager (DSM) up to date so that any security vulnerabilities are immediately patched. Even if you only use the mobile apps your Synology is still “on the Internet.” This applies both to DSM itself and any packages you may have installed. In this article I look at keeping DSM itself up to date.
DSM gives you several options for how updates are handled. This is managed through the Update & Restore section of Control Panel. You can pick what updates to check for and what to do if there are any along with the time to do it. The screenshot below shows the options that are available and what I picked for my always running production NAS.
I have it check for any DSM update and if there are any, to download them at 4:30 every morning. I’ll also get a notification when any update is available.
I have it check for both major and minor updates because I only have them downloaded. While I don’t want to wake up in the morning to new features and other changes I do want to install updates quickly so that I can get familiar with any changes. Also, the updates only install automatically when a automatic shutdown is scheduled or the NAS is manually shutdown. On this particular NAS I don’t want any automatic shutdowns scheduled.
Selecting Important Updates Only will just check for security updates. If I am doing automatic installs this is the option I check.
I do find the security updates to be reliable and don’t cause problems so I don’t wait just to see if others have problems. Although there are times where automatic installations, even of just important updates, isn’t a good choice. In my case, I have an encrypted share that requires me to manually enter the password to mount the share, which an overnight reboot can’t do. (Automating this password entry is certainly possible, but would put a big hole in security.)
It’s worth noting that it’s possible to check for all updates yet only automatically install important ones. If it’s a business setup and a overnight reboot will not affect anything then I choose this option to make sure the NAS stays up to date with security patches but does not get unexpected changes that could affect operations.
Synology’s history with these important updates has been good and don’t cause any problems. Full DSM updates could change features or functionality so waiting on these until they can be reviewed is best in a business environment.
So to summarize, the following updates are available: – Do nothing (uncheck Check for DSM updates automatically) – never a good choice – Check for all updates but only install the important (security) updates. – Check for all updates but only download them. They need to be installed manually. – Check for all updates and automatically install them. – Check only for important updates and automatically install them. – Check only for important updates but only download them. They need to be installed manually.
Even if I don’t do automatic installation I want the updates downloaded ready to install so that when I do go to install them it takes less time because the update is ready to go. Plus I get notified when an update is downloaded and ready which means I don’t have to keep checking manually just to see if there are any updates.