I’ve been using various Synology NAS devices for many years now, and they’re great. Well, almost. There are a few rough spots that don’t thrill me. These consumer-grade devices are designed to be difficult to break by people who know little about computers. This approach also annoys the living daylights out of people who do know a thing or two about network-attached storage.

Problem number one: manual configurations added via CLI disappear after reboot. I am talking about entries added to /etc/fstab, /etc/exports, and so on. The only viable option here is to recreate your changes after the system reboots. In other words, you need to create a script that runs at startup.

For example, I added the following line to /etc/fstab that disappears after every reboot:

nas07.jedi.local:/downloads  /mnt/nas07/downloads   nfs  defaults,bg,rsize=65536,wsize=16384   0 0

Very annoying. Yes, I can fiddle with the Web UI and mount this share the “right way,” but who has the time for this nonsense? A far better solution is to create a file called /etc/.fstab and put your additions there. Then you would need to create a startup script that will append these lines to the actual /etc/fstab every time the system boots.

cat << EOF > /usr/local/etc/rc.d/Sfstab.sh
cat /etc/fstab /etc/.fstab > /tmp/fstab_tmp
awk '/^ *$/ { delete x; }; !x[$0]++' /tmp/fstab_tmp > /etc/fstab
/bin/rm -f /tmp/fstab_tmp
mount -a
chmod 755 /usr/local/etc/rc.d/Sfstab.sh

You can use the startup script method to make any other change to your system that otherwise would not survive a reboot.

Problem number two: the Samba server refuses to follow symbolic links. This one is actually a “security feature.” There are reasons why disallowing soft links may be a good idea, but I don’t care.

The config file for Samba is /etc/samba/smb.conf and you would need to add a few lines to the [global] section of this file.

allow insecure wide links = yes
follow symlinks = yes
wide links = yes
unix extensions = no

Once this is done, you will need to restart the SMB service:

/usr/syno/etc.defaults/rc.sysv/S80samba.sh restart

The change to /etc/samba/smb.conf should still be there after you reboot the system. However, if that file somehow disappears or gets corrupted, the SMB service script will copy the default version from here: /etc.defaults/samba/smb.conf

I suggest you do not modify this default file, but instead do this:

/bin/cp -p /etc/samba/smb.conf /etc/samba/.smb.conf

Problem number three: standard Linux CLI utilities are missing. I should’ve started with this one, but here we are. The solution here is to add the Community Package Hub to your Synology Package Center:

  1. Open Synology Package CenterSettingsPackage Sources → Add
  2. Add the source name CPHub and location http://www.cphub.net
  3. Close Settings and click CommunityEasy Bootstrap InstallerInstall
  4. Now, if you log out and log back in, you should have the /opt/bin/ipkg utility.

I suggest you now go ahead and install these tools:

ipkg update; ipkg install lsof util-linux moreutils psmisc