How Does DSM 6.0 Work On A Synology DS213J?

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.

The DSM 5.x login screen

The login screen of DSM version 5.x

The DSM 6.0 login screen

The login screen of DSM version 6.0

DSM 5.x homepage

The homepage of DSM 5.x, right after logging in.

DSM 6.0 homepage

The homepage of DSM 6.0. As you can see, when it comes to design, the two DSM versions look very much alike.

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.

Package updates after installing DSM 6.0

Several packages were updated during the main DSM update.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the wonderful article. If you do face issues, please update it.

  2. I have some issues since i’ve upgraded to DSM 6. I lose CIFS connectivity randomly, and DSM interface gets very slow. Uninstalling all unneeded packages didn’t help. Everyting worked fine before the update :(

    • Argh, that’s not good :( Is this on a DS213J yes? Thank you for reporting this by the way, I wonder if other users have experienced the same thing.

  3. I’ve acquired an old ds213j which I want to mess about with and see what it can do other than just ‘data store/media sever’. Noticed it’s on an early v5 DSM so went to update to 6. but have to do a 5.2 update first, and found this while googling to understand the benefits of each.

    You mention the 6.X adds new features not supported by the ds213j models – is there a chart or list anywhere that explains what is/isn’t supported? Wondering if sticking with 5.X might be a better plan if 6 will limit my options more.

    • Heya! I checked the available/unavailable features in the official Synology release notes:

      https://www.synology.com/en-global/releaseNote/DS213j

      If you scroll down a little you will find a section titled “What’s New in DSM 6.0”, and each new feature has an “Available on the following models” subsection. Sadly, the DS213J rarely comes up here (which again, it’s expected since it’s an entry-level model).

      So it’s not so much that you are going to be limited in your options, it’s just that you won’t get most of the new features in DSM 6.0. You still get all of the improvements in 6.0 though. Ever since I wrote this post, I have never had a single issue with the update, so I really can’t complain, everything is working fine for me.

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