Xpenology DS6.2 - 918+ with NUC 5i5

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Hi I have had a rather ageing and battered Synology 412+ for many years which I picked up as a superficially damaged unit at a bargain price.  The unit has served me well and having realised at an early stage that the 1GB ram provided by Synology was grossly inadequate has been functioning satisfactorily as a file/media server for some 5 years now. Although I use the unit to host a very large Logitech library its media capabilities are, in my opinion, very limited and I primarily use it to feed an Asus based media player that I have built.   
I have 14TB of storage running in SHR under DSM 6.2.3 and I am very satisfied with Synology's system and support but appreciate the 412+ is getting long in the tooth and won't be able to be upgraded to DSM 7.  As such I had considered purchasing a 918+ or 920+ unit but I am totally unimpressed by the CPU of either unit - quite why Synology insist on using such low powered CPUs is beyond me but hey ho.
I have been drawn to Xpenology for some years and have available:
    a NUC 5i5, with 16GB of ram, 500GB SSD, an M2 SATA,  and a PCi M2 500GB NVMe card,
    plus two Western 8TB external USB drives.
The NUC is currently loaded with Windows 10 on the NVMe card  and I currently utilise a Startech Mini Display Adapter to provide an HDMI connection to a Sony tv with a Logitech USB wifi keyboard.


I am curious to know if I could utilise the NUC and the two USB hard drives to create an Xpenology based NAS, preferably with the DS 6.2 - 918+ operating system.

I am unsure how - in setting up Xpenology and booting from a USB drive - the HDMI connection and USB keyboard would function and whether the USB Western drives would provide an effective storage bank. I originally purchased the Western drives to shuck and use in the 412+ but never get around to it as I still have 2TB spare.

Would it be more practical to utilise ESXi 6? Ideally I would want to remount Windows on the NUC either as a VM within ESXi or Xpenology. Or is the proposal total bullshit and should I simply continue to use the NUC as a stand alone Windows pc.

Sorry to ramble on but any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Take Care Jak

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I am not sure why so few people appear to recommend using VMWares Workstation Player 15 for mounting Xpenology it is both free and ridiculously simple to set up compared to many other of the options promoted here.  I utilised the following file




which was posted under  'Appliance DS3615xs DSM v6.2.3-25426-Release-final by armazohairge', and I will take this opportunity to thank him and MarceldeJongNL, who uploaded it. 


Using it simply involved downloading and installing the freeware from VM Ware and uploading armazohairge's OVA file with very minor adjustments to the setup and within less than a minute the setup reistered on find.synology.com and was up and running within 10 minutes.


This followed too many hours faffing about with the bare bones lifetime download version of ESXI 7 which was educational but that was about all. Being a septuagenarian with critical health issues post Covid I have n't got the patience or time to squander on such matters - hence my initial request which not surprisingly was ignored.  If things improve I will probably return to ESXI 7 later but with the 60 day full trial as my impression is one definitely needs the additional tools to effect a satisfactory mount of Xpenology - at least on the NUC unit I am using.


If someone can advise or point me n the right direction of how I can utilise the 7-8Tb Western Elements USB drives with the NUC and Xpenology unit it would be appreciated.  Push comes to shove I suppose one can always shuck them.


Once again I would thank Armazoharge and MarceldeJong

Xpenology - DSM 6.2.3 - 25426 on NUC 5i5..JPG

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The non-trial ESXi free license is more than adequate for XPEnology.


I would not use VMWare Workstation or Proxmox etc simply because I don't want to waste system resources on an OS I am not using.

Also, some methods of presenting non-SATA drives (RDM in particular) differ between ESXi and Workstation.


The questions from your original post are a matter of preference and nothing to do with what is possible of best practice.

My personal opinion is that a NUC is an unsuitable device to run XPEnology.  Much better results are obtained when disks are physically available to DSM with no hardware abstraction (i.e. SATA ports). Use the NUC to run your media system and interface to your NAS...

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