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This guide assumes you are using ESXI with passthrough for storage disks and a faster datastore drive.

  • Follow Passthrough
  • Follow the setup options in the guide below with the following changes:
    • Change DiskIdxMap=0C SataPortMap=1 to DiskIdxMap=0C0001 SataPortMap=11 in the set sata_args line in grub.cfg (This limits the two esxi sata controllers to one disk each)
    • Add another sata controller
    • Add a 20GB drive (size depending on which/how many packages one wants)
    • Add a USB3 controller
    • Add the UPS as a USB device
  • Create a Storage Pool for the small ESXI virtual drive
  • Create another Storage Pool for the storage drives
  • Create an ext4 volume on the first storage pool
  • Create a BTRFS volume on the second storage pool
  • (Install all packages to the ext4 NVMe volume for speed)
  • Install the open-vm-tools package
  • Control Panel:
    • Notifications:
      • FIXME: setup email
    • File Services:
      • SMB > Advanced Settings:
        • Allow symbolic links within shared folders
        • Allow symbolic links across shared folders
        • Disable Apply default UNIX permissions (It sets 744/755 instead of 777 for permissions)
        • FIXME
    • Shared Folder:
      • Always use the same compression setting for all the shares, preferably enabled (See Notes)
      • FIXME
    • Group:
      • Create the following groups:
        • people with access to the shares that all the non-Application user accounts should have access to, and the other options left as default
        • family with access to shares restricted to family and the other options left as default
        • limited with the options left as default, except denying access to all applications
    • User:
      • Create user for all the desired people and Applications/VMs that need access
      • People:
        • Enter their first name as the user name
        • Optionally Send a notification email and enter the user's email address
        • Enter a temporary password to be given to the user and will be required to be changed when the user first logs on
      • Add the user to people and any other desired groups
        • Assign any permissions to individual shares that aren't defined by the groups already
      • Applications:
        • Temporarily disable Force users to change password after the administrator resets the password under Advanced while making these accounts
          • Use the application/use name as the user name
          • Add a description describing the planned use of the account
          • Use a Password Generator to generate a random password, remember to save this temporarily until it has been entered into the app
          • Deselect Send a notification email
          • Enable Disallow the user to change account password
        • Add the user to the limited group
        • Assign any permissions required for the application
      • Re-enable Force users to change password after the administrator resets the password under Advanced
  • Enable and change SSH port to 50001
  • FIXME: Add other stuff…
  • Shut down and create a snapshot in ESXI then start the VM again
  • Set up symlinks (See Notes):
    • Connect to the VM using SSH on port 50001
    • Check which volume the shares are on
    • Create the symlinks to Video and Music in the Downloads share
    • ln -s /volume1/Video /volume1/Downloads/
    • ln -s /volume1/Music /volume1/Downloads/



  • The system will send an email when an update is found.
  • Check XPEnology Community Forum - Updates to see whether the update requires any extra work or causes issues, and to check the release notes.
  • Navigate to the Synology DSM
  • Shutdown the DSM
  • Navigate to ESXi and create a snapshot using the current DSM version as the name
  • Power on the VM again
  • Follow any extra instructions from the forum
  • If not otherwise instructed:
    • DSM > Control Panel > Update & Restore > DSM Update:
      • Download
      • Then Update Now when the download is finished


  • A notification will be sent to the web interface when a package needs an update (Optionally receive an email if desired)
  • Package Center > Installed > Attention Required:
    • Click on each of the packages if you want to check the changelogs
    • Either click Update All or Update each package individually


Moving/Copying between shares that have different file compression settings will not use the quick reflink move/copy, but instead will have to re-write the file even though it is on the same volume. Therefore, if shares are likely to have files copied between them it is recommended to ensure they both have compression enabled or disabled. Since the performance cost is minor, I would recommend keeping it enabled for all shares unless you know a share will almost entirely contain already compressed files and isn't likely to transfer between shares.

Transfers between shared folders even on the same server is slow because it transfers through the client over the network; this is an issue for things like video downloading and transferring to the video share automatically. SMB server-side-copy is only for within a share. NFS 4.2 and Linux kernel 5.5 support NFS server-side-copy between shares/severs, though even Debian 10 doesn't use kernel 5 yet. Even then, I'm unsure whether it supports reflink moves/copies.

The solution I am choosing is to use symlinks with SMB. This requires enabling Allow symbolic links within shared folders and Allow symbolic links across shared folders. And I'll only be using SMB until the NFS server-side-copy is widely supported.

esxi/xpenology.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/30 15:25 by derek