Here’s some good news for fans of Synology NAS servers. The NAS vendor just made available the release candidate version of its long-anticipated DiskStation Manager (DSM) 7.0.
Synology DSM 7.0 RC: Apps are now of the final versions
The release candidate (or RC) is generally known as the last pre-release version of a software product. It’s slated to be stable enough to be ready for the final release unless significant bugs are found.
This is a major step since Synology announced the open beta of DSM 7.0 more than six months ago. DSM 7.0 is the first significant upgrade of the NAS OS in some five years.
This new version comes with a long list of improvements, including a better-looking and much faster user interface. Underneath that, you’ll also find better storage management and more tools for both home and business users.
In return, it also sheds support for a long list of legacy devices and services. For example, DSM 7.0 no longer supports ext3 volumes or USB dongles (for Wi-Fi , Bluetooth, cellular, speaker, and DTV) are no longer supported. Some popular apps are also no longer (fully) supported, either.
The most noteworthy about the DSM 7.0 RC is that, unlike DSM 7.0 beta, you can now use the final versions of all supported apps instead of their beta versions. In other words, while the OS itself might be pre-release, the packages within it are those of the release versions.
Supported servers and apps
DSM 7.0 supports servers as old as those released back in 2013, and it’s a free upgrade — similar to Windows 10. Below is the full list of existing servers on which you can install DSM 7.0.
(Per Synology’s naming convention, the digits at the end of the model signify the release year.)
- 21-series: RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, and DS1621+.
- 20-series: RS820RP+, RS820+, DS1520+, DS920+, DS720+, DS620slim, DS420+, DS420j, DS220+, DS220j, and DS120j.
- 19-series: RS1219+, RS819, DS2419+II, DS2419+, DS1819+, DS1019+, DS419slim, and DS119j.
- 18-series: RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS1618+, DS918+, DS718+, DS418, DS418play, DS418j, DS218+, DS218, DS218play, DS218j, and DS118.
- 17-series: RS217, DS1817+, DS1817, DS1517+, and DS1517.
- 16-series: RS2416RP+, RS2416+, RS816, DS916+, DS716+II, DS716+, DS416, DS416play, DS416slim, DS416j, DS216+II, DS216+, DS216, DS216play, DS216j, DS216se, and DS116.
- 15-series: RS815RP+, RS815+, RS815, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, and DS115j.
- 14-series: RS2414RP+, RS2414+, RS814RP+, RS814+, RS814, RS214, DS414, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214+, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, and DS114.
- 13-series: DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, and DS213j.
Note that just because a server is on the support list doesn’t mean all its features are available. For example, video conversion to FLV and MPEG-4 Part 2 formats is no longer available in many models after upgrading to DSM 7.0.
On of that, according to Synology, here’s the list of apps (packages) that won’t work with DSM 7.0:
- Synology apps: Cloud Station Server (replaced by Synology Drive Server), Cloud Station ShareSync (replaced by Synology Drive Server), Photo Station (replaced by Synology Photos), Moments (replaced by Synology Photos)
- Third-party packages: Discourse, DokuWiki, Drupal, Drupal8, DVBLink, GitLab, GLPI, Hasplm, Java7, Java8, LimeSurvey, Logitech Media Server, LXQt, Magento, Magento2, MantisBT, Mono, Moodle, Node.js 0.10, Node.js 0.12, Node.js v4, Node.js v6, Node.js v8, Odoo 8, OpenERP 6.1, OpenERP 7.0, OrangeHRM, Orthanc, osCommerce, osTicket, PHP PEAR, phpBB, Piwik, Podcast Generator, PrestaShop, PrestaShop1.7, PythonModule, Redmine, Ruby, Spree, SugarCRM, SVN, Synology File Manager, Tomcat6, Tomcat7, TVMosaic, and Webalizer.
Should I upgrade now?
I upgraded to this latest version (7.0-41882) on a DS1618+ server, and the process took less than 20 minutes. During this time, I noted that the system also updated all existing apps to their final versions.
That said, if you’re running a beta version of DSM 7.0, you should definitely upgrade to this RC release. There’s no reason not to. You can do that via the update function within your server’s web interface or download the image and update manually.
However, if you’re still using DSM 6.2, it’s a good idea to keep waiting, even after the DSM 7.0 final version is out, to make sure your existing apps are fully compatible. And if they are not, you’ll need to find alternatives first.
(Generally, though, if you’re using popular apps, they are all going to be supported or replaced with a better alternative.)
Still, it’s important to note that once you’ve upgraded, it’s not possible to downgrade back to DSM 6.2. OK, it is possible, but very tough. I speak from experience.