My first NAS was a Synology DS218. It was amazing for me at the start, however, I quickly outgrew its functionality and went down the route of an unRaid server. Before doing this, I researched potential applications that could replace the services I used on the Synology. For example, JellyFin instead of VideoStation. One service I couldn’t find a good replacement for was Moments. This is a photo management app similar to Google Photos. To my knowledge there are no good FOSS alternatives to this.

Moments was one application I was not willing to lose and so I decided that I would try running Xpenology on a Proxmox host. Turns out this is slightly more complicated than you’d think.

The installed version of DSM will be 6.1.5-15254 for the specific model DS3615xs. The version of Proxmox that is installed is 6.0.4.

Before you start

Download the DSM iso (main OS) and the DSM pat file (used to setup the NAS)

Virtual Machine Setup

VM Setup General VM Setup OS VM Setup System VM Setup Har Disl VM Setup CPU VM Setup Memory VM Setup Network

Now wait for the VM to be created and then head over to the hardware tab on the VM page:

  • Set the ‘BIOS’ to ‘OVMF (UEFI)’
  • Set the ‘SCSI Controller’ to ‘Default (LSI 53C895A)’
  • Add an EFI disk
    • Storage should be local
VM Hardware Section

Create a mountable USB stick for the VM to boot from. This can only be done from the shell of the node as it will manuall edit the config file for the VM. Change the VM_ID before running these commands

# Run on the proxmox host
echo "args: -device 'ich9-usb-ehci1,id=usb-ctl-synoboot,addr=0x18' -drive 'id=usb-drv-synoboot,file=/var/lib/vz/images/VM_ID/synoboot.img,if=none,format=raw' -device 'usb-storage,id=usb-stor-synoboot,bootindex=1,removable=off,drive=usb-drv-synoboot'" >> /etc/pve/qemu-server/VM_ID.conf

# Run on your local machine
scp DS3615xs.img root@proxmox_host:/var/lib/vz/images/VM_ID/synoboot.img

Installing DSM

Before you start the VM you will need to enter the BIOS to ensure that the VM is set to boot from the USB drive. TO do this you need to mash F2 in the console once the VM starts.

Once in the BIOS go to

Boot Maintenance Manager > Boot Options > Change Boot Order

Then ensure that the USB device is top of the list.

BIOS Home BIOS Boot Order

DSM has now been configured to boot properly so next step is to configure it (actually setup the NAS). This step is done through the web interface of the NAS. You can find the IP address by either using the Synology Assistant (under the Desktop Utitlites section) or you can just log into the router and find the assigned IP there.

Once you type in the IP in your browser, you should see a landing page like this: DSM Set Up

Click on ‘Set Up’ and you should be taken to a page about installing DSM. You need to click ‘Manual Install’. This will give you the option to upload a file. This is the .pat file you should have downloaded from the top of this post.

At this point Xpenology will give you a large countdown as it installs and restarts etc. Give it some time. Afterwards, you can go back to the NAS in your browser and you should be presented with a page that allows you to create the administrator account.

DSM Updates

Now you should have a fully functioning Xpenology install.

Next Steps

  • Create a RAID array in storage manager
  • Create a volume on the newly created RAID array
  • Download and install apps you want