Notes From The Field: Synology & El Capitan


I recently updated my desktop computer, a Mac Mini, to the OS X El Capitan public beta. This is an everyday PC for me and common sense says to install an OS beta on an external disk that I can boot to for testing or on a test computer, but never on a production computer. But for me, the only way I’ll get to know the new OS is to use it every day for my regular work. I did make a SuperDuper backup so it will be easy to roll back, plus I have a MacBook Pro that I can use for any critical work.

It has not been problem free. Most issues fall into the annoyance category and are unrelated to Synology. I have had one major issue related to Synology CloudStation. It arguably extends beyond annoying and potentially puts data at risk.

This problem existed since I first installed the El Capitan beta with the second release and continues through the current (fourth) release of the public beta. I’m using the latest version of CloudStation, version 3.2–3482, on both the Synology NAS and El Capitan.

The short version of the problem is: File changes and deletes do not sync up to the NAS, and therefore they don’t sync to other PCs.

  • Files newly added to the local CloudStation directory (on El Capitan) sync just fine.
  • Edited files didn’t sync the changed file up to the NAS. It would usually sync up if the CloudStation client was restarted. There were a couple files that didn’t sync when I restarted the client but there may have been something else going on with those as most files did sync on the client restart.
  • Deleted files didn’t get the sync deleted to the NAS. When the CloudStation client was restarted the files were copied down to the local directory so deleting the files locally was a waste of time as they would eventually come back.
  • Moving files would sync up in their new location (if it didn’t overwrite an existing file) but the old location would be treated like a deleted file and sync back down when the CloudStation client was restarted.

Since this was a desktop I could deal with the files directly on the NAS and avoid these issues. Changes would sync down to the Mac Mini running El Capitan so I did have the files there waiting for the day I could reliably use them. El Capitan is beta software so it’s no surprise there are problems. Synology also can’t be blamed for not releasing an update to fix the problem (assuming the fix is on their side) since beta software can change. So I won’t expect a fix until El Capitan’s official release.

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