Synology DiskStation Manager 6 Released

After a long beta period (starting in October 2015) Synology released DiskStation Manager 6 (DSM 6) yesterday. This is two years after releasing DSM 5.0 and ten months after DSM 5.2.

Synology continues to focus on what it calls the “private cloud”, having your data available everywhere while keeping complete control by hosting it on your own hardware.

Synology highlights the following new features and enhancements:

  • Mail services on the Synology NAS through MailPlus and MailPlus server. These applications still have a beta status.
  • Collaboration using an updated Note Station and a new SpreadSheet package
  • Support of the Btrfs File System for enterprise class storage. (Migration of existing volumes is not supported, you must create Btrfs volumes from scratch.)
  • SSD Caching
  • Enhanced backup and data protection
  • Docker support
  • DSM Virtual Machine support
  • Cloud and file syncing has been further enhanced
  • Video Station and DS Video have ben redesigned and enhanced along with Synology’s other multimedia solutions.

After a long beta test period DSM 6 is very stable and ready for use. Of course, not every situation can be tested so due care must be taken before upgrading. (Backup!). I’ve been running the beta versions on my production NAS (not recommended – but I wanted to be familiar with it) and while not perfect, it has been very stable for the core services.

You will need to upgrade nearly every package after the DiskStation Manager upgrade, so allow plenty of time. Not all packages from DSM 5 will be supported, even if they were in the DSM 5 package manager. I listed the ones that I’ve encountered that couldn’t be upgraded here.

The full DSM 6 Release Notes are here. Some things to be aware of:

  • Some features are hardware specific.
  • Blank passwords for admin accounts are no longer allowed. If your password is blank, change it before the upgrade to avoid problems.
  • The Alias settings in the Application Portal will be lost and must be reconfigured after the upgrade.
  • If you install phpMyAdmin under DSM 6 beta 2 you must uninstall it before upgrading to the final DSM 6 release.
  • Several features have been redesigned and modularized into packages. This includes Web Station, Backup & Restore, and Text Editor along with others.

The upgrade is relatively straight-forward although this depends upon the complexity of your configuration. A home NAS using just the core Synology packages should be a problem free upgrade. (Of note to home users – Plex is not yet available through the DSM 6 Package Manager and will not run after the upgrade.) Businesses using basic file or web services should also have a problem free upgrade.

But as always, review the release notes for known problems or other issues that may affect you. Also allow plenty of time and have backups.

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