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1 - What is XPEnology?

XPEnology is a Linux based boot loader, developed to emulate the Synology boot loader, allowing the Synology Disk Station Manager (DSM) to run on non-Synology hardware and emulate specific Diskstation models. In the case of the latest loader the emulated models are: DS916, DS918, DS3615 and DS3617.

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2 - Is it legal to use?

Disk Station Manager (DSM) is based on Open Source code and XPE/DSM takes advantage of Open Source sharing and use. You should always use your own jugement and read before installing and using DSM with XPEnology. We cannot be held responsible for your actions.

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3 - What about using Synology QuickConnect and other Synology based services?

QuickConnect and services that use Synology servers require genuine Synology serial numbers and MAC addresses. Mis use of Synology services is discouraged by the XPE community.

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4 - Why does Resource Manager shows I have a dual core i3 processor or something else?

Because it is hard coded. Nontheless this is purely cosmetic. You can check with the following command the actually CPUs installed. 

cat /proc/cpuinfo


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5 - How do I access my NAS over the Internet?


There are several ways, but you will need to setup 'Port Forwarding' in all cases. The required ports are listed here, on the Synology Website;


It is recommended to setup DDNS either on your Router (refer to your Router manual) or NAS, as in this tutorial

It is also recommended to use a VPN solution for remote access for better security.



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  • 2 weeks later...

8 -What is the booltoader for and where is DSM saved when I install it on my machine? How much space does it take? 


The bootloader mimics an internal chip that is found in real Synology boxes. That internal flash chip contains the firmware (kernel) necessary to boot. When you install DSM thanks to the bootloader, DSM is installed on all drives present in the machine, NOT onto your USB key containing the bootloader.


Now let us say you installed DSM and you decided to update DSM. DSM will be updated on all hard drives. If the update also comes with an updated firmware (kernel) then it will also be updated on the USB key. That is basically the only part being copied in the bootloader. That is why in some instances, if you had a running XPEnology box that for some reason broke and you try to reinstall an earlier version of DSM you will not be able to because the kernel contained in the USB key is newer than the one in the .PAT file you are using to reinstall DSM.


Now, when you install DSM, two partitions are created. The system partition (~2.4GB) and the swap partition (~2GB) which are in RAID1 (always). Each time you add a new drive to your machine it is initialised and the two partitions are created and DSM installed on the drive. The purpose of all this being that as along as you have one working drive you will be able to boot DSM.

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9 - How do I reset DSM remotely without loosing my data?


Contrary to a real Synology box, on an XPEnology box, reseting DSM from the Control Panel > Update & Restore > Reset will not only reset settings but ERASE ALL USER DATA. Therefore this method should not be used if you intend to preserve your data. The only way your data would be safe is if you had a real Synology box. Then you would also need to press the reset button located at the back of the box twice within a determined time frame to have your data preserved. More info here: 


However there is a way to reset your XPEnology box without loosing data. DSM includes a tool to do so and it's called synodsdefault.

Access your machine via ssh and type de following:

sudo /usr/syno/sbin/synodsdefault

This will output the following options:

Synology DS Default Reset Util.
Usage: synodsdefault
  --reset-config      Reset DSM configs.
  --reinstall         Reset to reinstall DSM.
  --factory-default   Reset to brand new DSM. Include remove all data volumes.
  --help              Show this help.

Use the --reset-config or the --reinstall options to reset/reinstall DSM. The first one will only reset the settings while the second one will reinstall DSM. The third option --factory-default, you guessed it, will wipe clean you installation and all your data will also be erased so avoid that one if your point is to preserve your data.

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10 - What is the relation between DSM updates and the loader?


Synology delivers three types of updates to DSM:

- Major updates: x.x (e.i DSM 6.1)

- Intermediate updates: x.x.x (e.i DSM 6.1.4)

- Critical updates: x.x update x (e.i DSM 6.1.7 update 1 or DSM 6.1 update 1)


Whenever an update is released it is strongly advised to first make an update on a test machine prior updating your "production" machine. This goes for all types of updates but more so for major and intermediate updates where there tend to be enough changes to DSM's kernel for the loader not to work anymore. In fact it is safe to say that 100% of the time the loader will not work and an updated version of the loader will be required.


Critical updates have posed less issues with the current loader (jun's loader) BUT if memory serves me well, loaders pre-dsm 6.0 also required that they be updated for the critical updates to work.


In other words, whenever a DSM update is released you always need to keep in mind that it can potentially brick your machine because the loader might not be able to handle that update. Which means that the loader would first need to be updated prior you being able to apply the update that was released by Synology.


So before you start updating your machine always come to the forum first and have a read here: This is where users report whether DSM updates work with the current loader or not.


I strongly suggest you pay a visit to this topic. It shows the relation between loader versions and DSM versions:

Edited by Polanskiman
Added link to Flyride topic.
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11 - Why all the issues with recent versions of DSM (6.2.x), and what options are available to mitigate them?


Jun's loader attempts to fool the Synology code into thinking that the user hardware is actually Synology's platform hardware. How this is technically accomplished is a mystery to most everyone except Jun, but regardless of how it works, it has an impact on the DSM runtime environment. Some issues are fairly innocuous (spurious errors in the system logs, inability to leverage hardware features like CPU turbo and hibernation, etc.) but others may cause instability, driver and kernel crashes.


By far, the most stable combination (meaning, compatibility with the largest inventory of hardware) is Jun's loader 1.02b and DSM 6.1.x. Jun has stated that the target platform for 1.02b was DS3615, and DS3617 was incidentally compatible enough to use the same loader. However, there are kernel crashes with DS3617 on certain combinations of hardware. There is very little functional difference between DS3615 and DS3617, which is why DS3615 is recommended.


DSM 6.2 introduced new, more stringent Synology hardware checks and Jun came up with another approach to bypass them.  While the loaders do work with optimal hardware, on many systems the 6.2 loaders often result in kernel loadable module crashes and kernel panics. Many have also noted substantially poorer disk I/O performance compared with prior versions.


DSM's embedded NIC drivers have been inventoried and documented, but much of that catalogue is useless as the 1.03b loader crashes all but a select few drivers on DSM 6.2.1 and later. And, users with new hardware often find that those few functional network drivers don't support the newest revisions of their on-board silicon.  Similarly, the 1.04b loader explicitly adds support for the Intel Graphics (i915) driver, but upgrading to 6.2.2 causes it to crash on some revisions of the Intel Graphics hardware (such as Apollo Lake J-series systems). A very large number of forum posts can be attributed to users seeking to install DSM 6.2.1 or 6.2.2 and encountering one of these two significant problems.


ESXi or another virtualization platform is probably the most reliable way to mitigate hardware support limitations on XPEnology and DSM 6.2.x. However, this is an obstacle to those who want a baremetal solution for hardware accelerated video encoding support within DSM.


That said, recent progress has been made with compiled modules for DSM 6.2.2 that improve the hardware compatibility of the 1.03b and 1.04b loaders on baremetal systems. This takes some trial and error experimentation, so testing with a non-production system is strongly recommended.


It should be noted that many XPEnology super-users, forum admins and devs continue to use the stalwart combination of ESXi, Jun 1.02b and DS3615 DSM 6.1.7 for mission critical work, and have no intention of upgrading. That said, there really isn't much of a reason to stay current once you have a functioning system.  DSM 7.0 is imminent and the current loaders are virtually guaranteed not to work with it. 6.2.x releases are simply security/bugfixes at this point, and offer no functional/incremental benefits.

Edited by flyride
Added reference to recent developments with compiled modules
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