Synology DSM 7 running Container Manager

How to install docker on Synology NAS

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Installing apps through the Synology Package Manager is simple and unlocks access to a vast catalog of software, but what if you wanted to install something not available through Synology’s channels? You could go down the manual route or use a docker container. This guide will help you understand what a container is and why you should use docker on Synology NAS.

What is docker and why should you use it?

Docker is an open platform for developing and running applications. Instead of downloading and installing NAS apps through Synology’s official catalog or manually from the web, it’s possible to run specific apps within a loosely isolated environment, called a container. This keeps it separate from the rest of the NAS and makes it possible to run multiple containers together.

What makes containers worth considering is the fact they’re isolated, contain everything required to run the app, and make it easy to customize your NAS with additional functionality. Each container can be assigned a volume, can be configured to use a set amount of system resources, and can be managed all through the web GUI.

Plenty of images are maintained by the developers themselves and not Synology, meaning you should be able to get updates faster and support through official channels. It’s not for everyone and you can easily use a Synology NAS without touching the Container Manager but I do recommend playing around with docker containers to see if they’re useful.

How to install docker on Synology NAS

Synology offers its own app to handle dockers, which I will be using for most of the Synology-related guides on NAS Master. Here’s how to install Container Manager and get up and running:

  1. Log into your Synology NAS.
  2. Open Package Manager.
  3. Search for “Container.”
  1. Install Container Manager.

With Container Manager installed, you’ll now be able to download and run images through containers and keep them separate from the rest of the system. This is a great way to run various services within their own bubble.

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