Best practices for new NAS newbie

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Best practices for new NAS newbie

17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Hi

I have today set up DS120j (with 4TB) and wanted to make sure it's properly set up with folders/volumes, etc. but as a newbie and despite reading many articles and watching videos, I feel like I need a better understanding.

The NAS will mainly be used for backing up for myself and my partner (two Macs, two iPhones):
  • Copy/move files from our Macbooks to the NAS (not just to free up our harddrive space but also as backup for old photos and documents)
  • Photos on our iPhones to be backed up to the NAS (so we can free up space in our phones and iCloud!)
Under "Shared Folder", should I create 1 shared folder per user? I was confused about the "homes" folder.

Is Synology Photo app necessary for the iPhones? I did a quick test and while it nicely retained certain details like location, I don't see the option for face recognization so wonder if there's an approach to work around this limitation (tags, maybe?).

Any other tips or gotchas I should watch out for?

Many thanks in advance! :)
 
358
107
NAS
DS1819+, DS1815+
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
don't upgrade to DSM 7 - it is "supported" for DSM 7, but not recommended due to limited hardware resources.
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
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1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Under "Shared Folder", should I create 1 shared folder per user? I was confused about the "homes" folder.
homes folder is the default root folder that hold all the users "home" folder inside it. Admin has access to the homes as well as all the home folders, but a user class account only can see home/username structure.

That same structure will be used by Synology Photos app to house the Photos folder that will contain all the images and videos uploaded by that particular user.

No need to create manual homes folders if you plan on using the Synology Photos platform.

Is Synology Photo app necessary for the iPhones?
Not mandatory, but it is the platform that will allow for autobackup (if configured) of your iphone camera roll content, as well as allow access to all the content already hosted on the Synology Photos app.

I don't see the option for face recognization
Not all NAS models support this feature. J models are entry models and as such are not supporting it. This is expected, so you are not doing anything wrong. The process is a bit CPU intensive so only certain units are supported.

Any other tips or gotchas I should watch out for?
Keep in mind that J models as stated are entry models and while they do support most of the packages that doesn't mean that they will work well in any situation with any number of services/users. Try not to overload it with features or expect it to run well as a 400€+ one.
 
17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
homes folder is the default root folder that hold all the users "home" folder inside it. Admin has access to the homes as well as all the home folders, but a user class account only can see home/username structure.

That same structure will be used by Synology Photos app to house the Photos folder that will contain all the images and videos uploaded by that particular user.

No need to create manual homes folders if you plan on using the Synology Photos platform.
When I created two users, I didn't want the ability to navigate or see other contents of "homes" folder. When I connected via SMB from my Macbook, I could see other folders and my partner's folders and I could even copy files to her folder. I have tried a few workarounds (according to Google and this post) but haven't had a success.

What am I missing or overlooking?

Not mandatory, but it is the platform that will allow for autobackup (if configured) of your iphone camera roll content, as well as allow access to all the content already hosted on the Synology Photos app.
I see so if I do not enable auto backup, it's useless and Synology Drive should suffice, right?
Not all NAS models support this feature. J models are entry models and as such are not supporting it. This is expected, so you are not doing anything wrong. The process is a bit CPU intensive so only certain units are supported.


Keep in mind that J models as stated are entry models and while they do support most of the packages that doesn't mean that they will work well in any situation with any number of services/users. Try not to overload it with features or expect it to run well as a 400€+ one.
Good to know. I think I am ok with a 1-bay J-series - other NAS models are 2-bay which I think are maybe overkill for us just for a face recognization feature.

Thanks so much for your reply - this is all really helpful and I am so glad to have joined this forum! :)
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
What am I missing or overlooking?
You were obviously connecting with a "admin" class user. Those users have a complete control of all the content.

I see so if I do not enable auto backup, it's useless and Synology Drive should suffice, right?
I wouldn't call it useless but the fact is the images/videos will not transfer. Drive does not support mobile devices in that matter (even the mobile version), and you will have to them manually migrate the content via Drive app to your Photos folder in order to have them visible inside the Photos platform.

Thanks so much for your reply - this is all really helpful and I am so glad to have joined this forum
No worries. Just ask/search, as there are a number of users here with lots of experience and real-life practice.
 
17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
You were obviously connecting with a "admin" class user. Those users have a complete control of all the content.
Mmm, when creating a new user, I double checked that the user is in the "users" class (not "admin"). Do you see anything wrong with the following?
  • User Home Service enabled
  • Create user "jenny", ensure that this user is only in the "users" group
  • On the "Assign shared folder permissions" screen, for the "homes" row, I need to select RW (otherwise the user "jenny" cannot even access his folder in the "homes" volume).
  • Assign quota
  • On the "Assign application permissions", left as default although I made sure to select "Synology Photo" as allowed.
  • Repeat for "james"
And now, jenny's account can see her folder as well as james folder on her Macbook. :oops:

I'd be happy to factory reset the NAS (as there are only a couple of test files there) and start over again.

I wouldn't call it useless but the fact is the images/videos will not transfer. Drive does not support mobile devices in that matter (even the mobile version), and you will have to them manually migrate the content via Drive app to your Photos folder in order to have them visible inside the Photos platform.

Oooh good to know! I will make sure to have this app installed on our iPhones as I want to make it as seamless as possible (not quite iCloud-level seamless but close enough!).
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
And now, jenny's account can see her folder as well as james folder on her Macbook.
But can it access the content as well? Not just see the actual root user folder?

By default, visibility of all folders is on by default, and you will have to reconfigure permissions in order to see only "your" folder. I would recommend not to mess about with it unless you know what you are doing. Reason is that the access to the content should be locked to that user alone (unless the admin class account is used), so it should be enough to configure them as a "user" class.
 
17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Sadly, jenny can not only see other folders within "homes" but can also access the files within james' folder (and vice versa). Jenny can also copy her own files to the james folder.
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Sadly, jenny can not only see other folders within "homes" but can also access the files within james' folder (and vice versa). Jenny can also copy her own files to the james folder.
Double-checked in the meantime and yes this is the default behavior, my mistake. You will need to configure custom permission (via File Station) to separate access to those folders and limit each user to its own folder.
 
171
48
NAS
DS920+, DS416slim
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
Double-checked in the meantime and yes this is the default behavior, my mistake. You will need to configure custom permission (via File Station) to separate access to those folders and limit each user to its own folder.

that seems like a massive oversight on synology's part. why should non-admins be able to see other peoples' files?

e: i just signed into dsm with a non-admin user, and that user cannot access /homes therefore it can only see it's own home folder.

I have never messed with permissions of the home(s) folder(s) therefore i can onily assume that DSM actually shares the home folders as expected!

not sure why the behaviour is different for different people. i think @new_nas must have done something wrong because it isn't the behaviour you would expect to see.
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
that seems like a massive oversight on synology's part. why should non-admins be able to see other peoples' files?

e: i just signed into dsm with a non-admin user, and that user cannot access /homes therefore it can only see it's own home folder.

I have never messed with permissions of the home(s) folder(s) therefore i can onily assume that DSM actually shares the home folders as expected!
By design. Not sure why but it is. Ofc there is no need to mess with the "homes" folder but customize the users "home" folder if you need separation. Still one needs to be careful doing so to not mess things up on a larger level.

 
171
48
NAS
DS920+, DS416slim
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
By design. Not sure why but it is. Ofc there is no need to mess with the "homes" folder but customize the users "home" folder if you need separation. Still one needs to be careful doing so to not mess things up on a larger level.


i'm not sure i agree with that. i have loads of normal user non-admin accounts, i have tried logging into DSM with a few of them now and they can only see their own home folder. they can neither see nor browse other user's home folders.
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
i'm not sure i agree with that. i have loads of normal user non-admin accounts, i have tried logging into DSM with a few of them now and they can only see their own home folder. they can neither see nor browse other user's home folders.
same applies via SMB access? As OP has mentioned SMB access.
 
171
48
NAS
DS920+, DS416slim
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
currently checking this out - but in the meantime, my guess is that at the creation of a new user the option to read/write the homes shared folder has been selected, however i don't think that is necessary in order to view your own home folder. it should be left as default, ie unticked.
 

Rusty

Moderator
NAS Support
5,854
1,726
www.blackvoid.club
NAS
DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+
Router
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
I agree. I am not atm able to test this as well as I am remote, and all "user" class users are limited on the application level, so no way to log with them into DSM UI as well as FS :D.

Also I have certain customization on the folder element so my modifications might be in effect over the default configuration.

Have no access via SMB allowed for other users, so again, not sure of the top of my head.
 
171
48
NAS
DS920+, DS416slim
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
i've just checked with a non-admin user on the lan and they cannot access \homes, only \home. so i expect my previous post is the culprit...
 
17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Thank you both - I now understand what the issue is! I think the DSM (and even the default description of the volume) threw me off - the folders were in "homes" so naturally thought that the SMB address is "smb//nas/homes/[username]".

Using a SMB path of "smb//nas/home" was enough and correctly (somehow!) links "homes/[username]".

I guess my next step is to factory-reset NAS and start afresh. :)

I'd like to rename/new QuickConnect ID - does factory-reset remove that?
 
17
2
NAS
DS120j
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
It will be connected to your synology account (public service) so you will be able to apply it again
I see it in my synology account - would clicking on the "Unlink" button suffice before doing a factory reset on the device?
 

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