On March 24th I received an automated email from my Synology DS213J NAS telling me that a new update was ready to be installed. As usual, I didn’t give it much thought until the weekend, which is when I usually do all my system updates and sysadmin maintenance. Plus, this specific NAS gets quite a light usage and is not mission-critical, so I never act on notifications like this right away.
It was only until I read the email more carefully that I realized this wasn’t a typical update: this time, it wasn’t another one of those DSM 5.x updates, it was the new DSM 6.0.
To be honest, I was quite surprised as I was not expecting a major version update for the DS213J, being it at the lower end of the performance spectrum of the Synology product line, even among the 2-bay devices. And to be even more honest, I didn’t even know that a version 6 was in the works. I love DSM though, so I went ahead and updated my DS213J.
The process took just a few seconds and around 5 minutes to reboot after the installation completed to have my NAS operational again.
As far as the UI is concerned, from the login screen I was expecting some substantial changes, but it turns out that, once authenticated, Synology decided to remain true to the interface used in DSM 5.x even in its latest version.
You will notice a few notifications about installed packages but don’t worry if you like to keep your system clean: several things were already there before the upgrade, the notification only informs you that those packages have been updated together with the system.
Looking at the official release notes, there seem to be lots and lots of nice improvements and software additions to DSM, some of which look pretty interesting (mail server support with web and mobile interface, virtualization and Docker support, shared spreadsheets software and DHCP server, just to name a few). Unfortunately, pretty much nothing is supported on the DS213J.
So, if you are a Synology DS213J owner, feel free to go ahead and update your device to DSM 6.0, which brings several little improvements with no noticeable performance hit. Because you won’t get to enjoy most of the new features included in this release, due to the low power of the Synology J series of devices, your day-to-day use of this NAS won’t probably change much.