The Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) in VMware ESXi

Looking for a option to replace my DS409slim, I discovered that it is possible to run the Synology system, aka DSM, on a simple VMware virtual machine. You’ll need a special boot loader from XPEnology and the stock Synology firmware.
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Roll back from DSM 5 to 4

So it seems DS409slim, faked as DS411j, is a bit too slim for DSM v5. So let’s rollback to the official (nearly) supported version.

First thing to do is to decide which DSM v4 to go for. Looking at the Release Notes, 4.2-3211 is the last common firmware version (between 409slim and 411j). Previous version is 4.2-3202

Log in the DS409slim using SSH.

dharma> cp -p /etc.defaults/VERSION /etc.defaults/VERSION.orig
dharma> cp -p /etc/VERSION /etc/VERSION.orig
dharma> cat /etc.defaults/VERSION
majorversion="4"
minorversion="2"
buildphase="0"
buildnumber="3202"
smallfixnumber="0"
builddate="2013/03/04"
dharma> cp -p /etc.defaults/VERSION /etc/VERSION

Download 4.2-3211 firmware for DS411j (http://usdl.synology.com/download/DSM/4.2/3211/DSM_DS411j_3211.pat).
Now, log-in to the DSM Web interface. From the “Control Panel”, go to “Update and Restore”. Click the “Manual DSM Update”. Select the downloaded firmware and click “OK”. Validate the warning message and wait until downgrade is processed. Let the system reboot and get to the DSM 4.2 log-in screen.

In my case, the password was wrecked. So I had to reset the whole syno to be able to log back-in. Once done, you’ll see that the syno is back to DSM 4. From here, you can simply configure your syno back to DS409slim.

# vi /etc.defaults/synoinfo.conf /etc/synoinfo.conf
...
unique="synology_88f6281_409slim"

In my case, I wanted to get as high as possible in the DSM 4 release. So I manually upgraded to DSM 4.3-3827 Update 7. They I modified synoinfo.conf.
409slim_4.3

No data were lost. And 409slim runs fast again. Great!

Reset Synology with loosing data

My DS409slim is really slow since I faked it as a DS411j and installed DSM v5 on it. An option could be configuration issues. So I decided to reset the whole configuration. But I need to keep all that are stored on the SHR-RAID. It is quite straight forward. But here’s the no-so-short story.
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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 :)