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Hi everyone :)

 

I may be dumb but I cannot find detailed instructions on how to actually install XPEnology on bare metal.

I found where to download the loader files (actually a .img file compressed into a .zip file) and I understood that this loader should be somehow placed onto a USB drive (why USB?), right?

 

Should I just "burn" the .img file onto a USB stick? What size should the USB key be?

 

After that I should proceed towards DSM installation just like I would on any Synology hardware, right?

 

Thanks for your help.

Best,

-a-

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This is the base install and "official" instruction set here:

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/7973-tutorial-installmigrate-dsm-52-to-61x-juns-loader/
 

It's written for 6.1, but the install for 6.2 is the same; just substitute the 6.2 loaders and DSM PAT files.  See this for more info:
https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/13333-tutorialreference-6x-loaders-and-platforms/

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Thanks a lot @smilenkovski and @flyride.

 

I am kind of struggling at the very beginning of the tutorial:

"Where to get sn and mac - is your headache, Google will help you, the system will be installed and will work with those that are initially registered in the bootloader, but with the restriction of the functioning of some services and modules, such as: QC, push notifications, activation of codecs for transcoding, installation of syno licenses..."

 

I'm not sure I understand what the limitations are if I don't edit this SN value.

I can read in the readme of the tool-set provided here:

"A notice for users who want to use QuickConnect and similar services: Do not use QuickConnect as this is a feature for owners of real Synology boxes."

It sounds like even with a SN some services/modules are not available for xpen users. Is that right? if yes, where can I find a complete list of what won't work?

 

Could I use the valid SN of my dead DS1812+? This xpen is meant to replace it. However, I guess the SN of a DS1812+ will not work for a xpen rig emulating a DS918+, right?

 

Currently my goal is to use this XPenology rig to replace a dead DS1812+ that was only used as a backup destination (HyperBackup) for another DS. My 8 drives already contain DSM6.2.x and TB of backup data. I would rather not lose these data since starting the backup from scratch would be very long but it wouldn't be so dramatic either...

 

Now about that comment in the how-to:

"8 ) If your mainboard has more than one S-ATA controller you can (4x Intel & 2x Marvell for example) change the value "SataPortMap=1" to "SataPortMap=42". In addition you can change the value of "set timeout" to a higher number. This gives you more time at the boot prompt to switch to another menu entry."

My mainboard has 1 Ethernet controller (RealTek GbE) with 6 sATA connectors but since I need to connect 8 disks I have a 2nd sATA controller (JMicron JMB585) with 5 ports (PCIe x4) on a PCIe2.0 x4 slot. I plan to connect 4 drives to each controller. What should I set SataPortMap to? 65? 56? 44?

Now, ingrub.cfg, I can find:

#for testing on VM
set sata_args='SataPortMap=4'

 

Does that mean that SataPortMap is related to VMs only? I guess not but I find the comment confusing.

I want to use xpen on bare metal.

 

 

Thank you very much in advance for your guidance.

Best,

-a-

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

Could I use the valid SN of my dead DS1812+? This xpen is meant to replace it. However, I guess the SN of a DS1812+ will not work for a xpen rig emulating a DS918+, right?

 

Well apparently others have done similar things. So it might work?

 

However, I still don't understand if and why SN and MAC are linked.

I thought I should use the real MAC of my NIC but maybe I should use the MAC of the NIC from my dead DS1812+?

 

Do I need to change the MAC address of my NIC using the one of my dead DS1812+? Is that even possible? Can one "flash" the firmware of a NIC to change the MAC address or something?

 

I'm kinda lost here...

Edited by asheenlevrai
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5 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

I am kind of struggling at the very beginning of the tutorial:

"Where to get sn and mac - is your headache, Google will help you, the system will be installed and will work with those that are initially registered in the bootloader, but with the restriction of the functioning of some services and modules, such as: QC, push notifications, activation of codecs for transcoding, installation of syno licenses..."

 

I'm not sure I understand what the limitations are if I don't edit this SN value.

I can read in the readme of the tool-set provided here:

"A notice for users who want to use QuickConnect and similar services: Do not use QuickConnect as this is a feature for owners of real Synology boxes."

It sounds like even with a SN some services/modules are not available for xpen users. Is that right? if yes, where can I find a complete list of what won't work?

 

Regarding QuickConnect:

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/9392-general-faq/?tab=comments#comment-82390

 

DSM heavily leverages GPL code, which essentially says that source code and use must be freely made available to all.  DSM is an "aggregate" program with GPL and a few non-GPL components - particularly those that rely on Synology's own cloud services such as QuickConnect.  Synology uses real serial numbers and registrations to determine valid connections to their cloud services.  In the interest of maintaining appropriate use of DSM under XPenology, trying to use QuickConnect (with or without a "real" serial number) is discouraged.  Mods, please edit if I have overstepped with my explanation here.

 

Quote

Currently my goal is to use this XPenology rig to replace a dead DS1812+ that was only used as a backup destination (HyperBackup) for another DS. My 8 drives already contain DSM6.2.x and TB of backup data. I would rather not lose these data since starting the backup from scratch would be very long but it wouldn't be so dramatic either...

 

The drives can be incorporated into the new system, but you should use other drives to get everything tested and running first.

 

 

Quote

Now about that comment in the how-to:

"8 ) If your mainboard has more than one S-ATA controller you can (4x Intel & 2x Marvell for example) change the value "SataPortMap=1" to "SataPortMap=42". In addition you can change the value of "set timeout" to a higher number. This gives you more time at the boot prompt to switch to another menu entry."

My mainboard has 1 Ethernet controller (RealTek GbE) with 6 sATA connectors but since I need to connect 8 disks I have a 2nd sATA controller (JMicron JMB585) with 5 ports (PCIe x4) on a PCIe2.0 x4 slot. I plan to connect 4 drives to each controller. What should I set SataPortMap to? 65? 56? 44?

Now, ingrub.cfg, I can find:

#for testing on VM
set sata_args='SataPortMap=4'

 

Again, use spare drives to test out your configuration and make sure the drive layout is functional.  The challenge with multiple controllers is to be sure that you understand which controller is enumerated first, and how the ports on the controller get enumerated into the slot structure.

 

Odds are that the onboard controller will get recognized first.  If that is true, you should try set sata_args='SataPortMap=65'

(edit: DiskIdxMap probably not needed with baremetal unless testing indicates otherwise)

FMI: https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/35937-configuring-sataportmap

 

 

56 minutes ago, asheenlevrai said:

However, I still don't understand if and why SN and MAC are linked.

I thought I should use the real MAC of my NIC but maybe I should use the MAC of the NIC from my dead DS1812+?

 

Do I need to change the MAC address of my NIC using the one of my dead DS1812+? Is that even possible? Can one "flash" the firmware of a NIC to change the MAC address or something?

 

As previously mentioned, there are a very few cloud services that may try to identify the MAC as technically valid from Synology.  Otherwise the MAC is not important except for two issues:

  1. it must be unique in your network
  2. it must match your network hardware MAC IF you want to use wake-on-LAN features

If you only have one instance of XPe running in your network, and you don't plan to use WOL, there is no need to do anything with MAC.

Edited by flyride
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Thank you very much @flyride I'll read the threads you linked with attention.

 

I am currently testing with the USB dongle and 1 blank HDD.

My 1st trial was positive since my XPenology rig was found among all the other DSes on my LAN, no problem.

Then I went for the install but, rookie mistake, I forgot to chose manual install and went for the default install. I guess it installed the current version of DSM (which is probably not supported by xpen, yet). After the 10 minutes countdown, my rig was unreachable. I tried to start over (erased the HDD, booted on the USB dongle, ...) but since then nothing is found when I http://find.synology.com. Installed Synology assistant -> the same thing (no device found). I would expect at least that all the other working DSes on my LAN show up like they used to...

 

Anyways... I'll see what I can do.

I'll report here.

 

Thanks again :)

-a-

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Just now, flyride said:

 

Regarding QuickConnect:

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/9392-general-faq/?tab=comments#comment-82390

 

DSM heavily leverages GPL code, which essentially says that source code and use must be freely made available to all.  DSM is an "aggregate" program with GPL and a few non-GPL components - particularly those that rely on Synology's own cloud services such as QuickConnect.  Synology uses real serial numbers and registrations to determine valid connections to their cloud services.  In the interest of maintaining appropriate use of DSM under XPenology, trying to use QuickConnect (with or without a "real" serial number) is discouraged.  Mods, please edit if I have overstepped with my explanation here.

 

"What about using Synology QuickConnect and other Synology based services?"

 

Is there a list anywhere of what I should not use in order to stay within the guidelines?

I believe I can live without QC (although it would have bees convenient) since I can remotely access a PC on my LAN and then access to the XPenology rig from this PC.

Now I would definitely need to ability to receive email alerts and notifications from this rig (loss of connection, any problem with the RAID array, S.M.A.R.T. reports, ...). Is this something that also relies on proprietary IP from Synology?

 

Thanks a lot,

-a-

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15 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

I tried to start over (erased the HDD, booted on the USB dongle, ...) but since then nothing is found when I http://find.synology.com. Installed Synology assistant -> the same thing (no device found). I would expect at least that all the other working DSes on my LAN show up like they used to...

Now Synology Assistant can find all the DSes on my LAN except the XPEnology rig I am currently trying to install...

 

Thoughts?

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Burn a new, clean loader each time you start an install.  A partial or failed install alters the loader so it won't behave the same the second time around.  If that loader copy tried to install 6.2.4 it also won't let you install 6.2.3, which obviously is needed.

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22 hours ago, flyride said:

Burn a new, clean loader each time you start an install.  A partial or failed install alters the loader so it won't behave the same the second time around.  If that loader copy tried to install 6.2.4 it also won't let you install 6.2.3, which obviously is needed.

Thanks a lot :)

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OK :)

 

I was able to install DSM 6.2.3-25426 Update 3 and play a little bit with it.

As recommended, I didn't set up QuickConnect. Could I use ExternalAccess (DDNS), though?

 

I noticed that in Security/Advanced I cannot activate Spectre and Meltdown Protection. I mean I can check the box and then I'm prompted to restart the rig but after rebooting and logging back in the checkbox is still unchecked. Is that normal?

 

Tx

-a-

 

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Posted (edited)

My next step would be now to remove the test HDD that I used for initial testing and replace it with the 8 HDDs that contain the system and data that were present on my previous DS1812+ (now dead). Now I have the following questions:

 

 - I don't know exactly what version of DSM in installed on these disks. I know it must be 6.2.3-something but I cannot guarantee its 6.2.3-25426 Update 3. Is this going to be a problem?

 

 - The SN specified on my loader (USB dongle) will not match the one currently present in DSM installed on these 8 disks. How much of an issue will that be? 

 

 - What if QC is enabled in DSM that is present on these drives? I believe it's not but if it is, would it cause problems or would QC just not work? I would then have the possibility to turn it off if I can reach DSM...

 

 - My 1812+ was using a bond connection (LAN1+LAN2) but this new rig uses a single NIC. Will it automatically adapt to the current hardware? Or would there be any problem actually reaching DSM because of this network settings?

 

Let me know if there are any further steps I should take before I swap the drives.

 

Thanks a lot for your help.

Best,

-a-

Edited by asheenlevrai
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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2021 at 4:52 PM, flyride said:

Again, use spare drives to test out your configuration and make sure the drive layout is functional.  The challenge with multiple controllers is to be sure that you understand which controller is enumerated first, and how the ports on the controller get enumerated into the slot structure.

 

Odds are that the onboard controller will get recognized first.  If that is true, you should try set sata_args='SataPortMap=65'

(edit: DiskIdxMap probably not needed with baremetal unless testing indicates otherwise)

FMI: https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/35937-configuring-sataportmap

Thanks @flyride.

I'm sorry but it seems that like @merve04 I am not savvy enough to understand what your post meant on the thread that you linked.

 

I don't know how to determine what controller is enumerated 1st nor how the ports get enumerated on the controllers.

AFAIU I should have only 2 options for SataPortMap, right? Either SataPortMap=65 or SataPortMap=56 ...

 

The onboard 6 sATAIII ports are labelled as SATA3-0 to SATA3-5. I guess they are enumerated in that order, right?

Now for the JMB585, ports are labelled as SATA1 to SATA5 but some ports are positioned of top of each-others and from the way the labels are written on the PCB I cannot determine which one is SATA2/3 nor which one is SATA4/5.

 

I was thinking I should connect my 8 drives on ports SATA3-2 to SATA3-5 on the MB (drives 1 to 4) and SATA2 to SATA5 on the JMB585 (drives 5 to 8). But apparently I should do a little more research first, right? On the other hand, there are some reports that the order in which the drives are connected is not that important. Is that true?

Edited by asheenlevrai
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4 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

I'm sorry but it seems that like @merve04 I am not savvy enough to understand what your post meant on the thread that you linked.

 

One characteristic of XPe is that because of the hacky nature of what it is, everyone learns by doing - by trial and error.  This is why testing is very important.

 

4 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

But apparently I should do a little more research first, right? On the other hand, there are some reports that the order in which the drives are connected is not that important. Is that true?

 

Install system as test.  Put test drive(s) on controller port(s).  See where drive shows up (if at all) in Storage Manager.  Make notes.  Move drive to another controller/port until you understand what is happening.  Make any adjustments necessary so that you know which controllers and ports go to which slots.  If it seems "wrong" (ports not available, ports skipped, etc), make adjustments and/or report back with details.

 

Once a system is up and running and an array is configured, and it is healthy, it's true that DSM will accomodate changes in the disk positions.  But you still need to know that the controller ports are all visible and functional in Storage Manager before you commit your production disks and data to the system.

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Posted (edited)

OK, I get it. Thanks for explaining how to proceed ;)

 

I had installed the system with only 1 drive as a test.

 

Now I need to see if I can find any other spare drives and if/how they show up if I add them to this test setup... right?

 

 

EDIT: HDD hot-swap (or hot-plug) isn't supported apparently on the MB sATA ports.

sATA ports on the JMB585 are hot-swap capable, though.

Edited by asheenlevrai
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I took a 2nd spare drive and connected it into each of the remaining 10 sATA ports in my rig (DSM is installed on the 1st drive connected to sATA3-0 on the MB).

 

Here is what I got after testing all 11 sATA ports:

 

All of them are detected in DSM.

The sATA ports on the JMB585 are hot-swap capable. The ones on the MB aren't.

 

In DSM, the xpen 918+ has 16 slots for drives.

The 1st drive was assigned to slot 1. That's the drive I initially installed DSM on.

Then, every time I added a drive it was assigned to the next slot. I ended up with the following:

(MB)

 - sATA3-0 -> slot1

 - sATA3-1 -> slot2

 - sATA3-2 -> slot3

 - sATA3-3 -> slot4

 - sATA3-4 -> slot5

 - sATA3-5 -> slot6

(JMB585)

 - sATA1 -> slot7

 - sATA2 -> slot9

 - sATA3 -> slot8

 - sATA4 -> slot10

 - sATA5 -> slot11

 

Again, this seems to be entirely dependent on the order in which I connected the drives. I bet if I had started with sATA1 from the JMB585, it would have been assigned to slot2. Then once this correspondence is established, it remains stable.

 

Obviously nothing corresponds to slots 12-16 since I have no other sATA ports available.

 

Now I must say that even if I know that all sATA ports are detected, I still don't know if I should modify SataPortMap at all (I haven't changed the default value yet), or if I should set it to =65 or to =56.

 

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6 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

My next step would be now to remove the test HDD that I used for initial testing and replace it with the 8 HDDs that contain the system and data that were present on my previous DS1812+ (now dead). Now I have the following questions:

 

 - I don't know exactly what version of DSM in installed on these disks. I know it must be 6.2.3-something but I cannot guarantee its 6.2.3-25426 Update 3. Is this going to be a problem?

 

 - The SN specified on my loader (USB dongle) will not match the one currently present in DSM installed on these 8 disks. How much of an issue will that be? 

 

 - What if QC is enabled in DSM that is present on these drives? I believe it's not but if it is, would it cause problems or would QC just not work? I would then have the possibility to turn it off if I can reach DSM...

 

 - My 1812+ was using a bond connection (LAN1+LAN2) but this new rig uses a single NIC. Will it automatically adapt to the current hardware? Or would there be any problem actually reaching DSM because of this network settings?

 

Per the previous post, you have some additional testing to do to make sure that all the drives will be seen.

 

It is very useful to have a backup of your data as the migration process is If you are absolutely sure that all the drives can be reached by the new system install, you can migrate the drives in one of two ways:

 

1) Leave the test disk installed as the first drive (controller #1, port #1), remove its Storage Pool (but working DSM will remain intact).  Then shut it down and install the 8 drives.  When you boot back up, your old Storage Pool and volume should be visible.  The drives will be flagged with "System Partition Error" which is essentially DSM being out of sync.  It is fixed with a single button press in Storage Manager, and DSM will be quickly copied to the old disks.

 

2) Install all 8 drives as you would expect and use a clean loader.  The system will recognize a "Migration Install" and offer to incorporate your data and update DSM (be careful you do not authorize it to erase your disks).

 

Either way, your previous DS1812+ version of DSM will be overwritten and the configuration (but not the data) abandoned. You'll need to reconfigure some of your preferences in DSM, possibly add users, etc.

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2 minutes ago, asheenlevrai said:

Again, this seems to be entirely dependent on the order in which I connected the drives. I bet if I had started with sATA1 from the JMB585, it would have been assigned to slot2. Then once this correspondence is established, it remains stable.

 

Obviously nothing corresponds to slots 12-16 since I have no other sATA ports available.

 

Now I must say that even if I know that all sATA ports are detected, I still don't know if I should modify SataPortMap at all (I haven't changed the default value yet), or if I should set it to =65 or to =56.

 

There are controllers that behave that way (assign slots based on drive connections) but most map port to slot in a consistent manner.  Either way, all your ports are addressable and you can have some confidence in how it will work.

 

I would not modify SataPortMap since all your ports are addressable by the default configuration.

 

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It worked all right apparently :)

 

I performed the migration and my settings were retained.

 

Thanks a lot @flyride. I hope I will enjoy stability for a long time on this rig ;)

 

I guess my next challenge will be when xpen will support a more recent version of DSM and upgrading will become possible/necessary.

 

Thanks again :)

-a-

 

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