A geek look into QNAP TS-453mini with 16GB RAM

I bought a QNAP TS-453mini in order to replace the good old Synology DS409slim. Not that it doesn’t work. It’s just that the 4x 1TB disks are nearly full. I was desperately waiting for bigger 2.5″ capacity but this doesn’t seem to happen. Also, since I moved into a new place, I planned to also reduce the number of plugged)in stuff. Hence, the fanless OpenBSD server would either go in the Cloud or… on the QNAP virtualization software.

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DSM 5.1 on Synology DS409slim

Since I turned my DS409slim into a DS411j, I have access to DSM updates. So tonight, I upgraded from DSM 5.0-4528 Update 1 to 5.1-5004 using the update wizard. So far, everything went OK. On first reboot, I was recommended to keep my DSM up-to-date using automatic upgrade. As I don’t want my NAS to reboot while I’m working on it, I choose to “Download DSM updates but let me choose whether to install them”.

That’s all about it 🙂

DSM 5 on Synology DS409slim

Looking at the DiskStation DS414slim, I discovered that DSM was now available in version 5. But it wasn’t available from the DSM 4.2 control panel on my DS409slim. After a few Internet diggings, I learned that it should be possible to install DSM5 on a DS409slim. The main trick is to fake another DS. Looking at CPUs in Synology’s NAS, you can see that DS409slim and DS411j share the same Marvell Kirkwood mv6281 CPU and 16-bit@DDR2 architecture. That’s the trick to be able to use DSM5 on DS409slim.

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Improve Synology DS409slim shell using ipkg

I own a Synology DS409slim on which I have enabled SSH. The primary idea was just to have a look behind the hoods. This is quite simple: browse to the configuration panel, select the terminal services section and active the SSH daemon.

But once there, you’re stuck with a basic shell and a few commands. No `less`, no `grep`, no `bzip2`, no `perl`… Synology provides an official packages repository that provides a few extra features ; like VPN, LDAP and such ; but not so much to get a “complete” UNIX environment. The savior here is called “ipkg”. Quoting Wikipedia: “(…) the Itsy Package Management System (ipkg), is a lightweight package management system designed for embedded devices that resembled Debian’s dpkg. (…)”. It provides a bunch a GNU-like tools and it runs on the Synology!

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