4-Learning DiskStation Manager

Before we prepare your DiskStation for its intended use, let’s have a look at what the DiskStation Manager or DSM interface offers. Once you are familiar with its basics, you will find it easier to navigate and perform the tasks at hand.

This is the forth part in a series on getting started with your NAS: learning DiskStation Manager or DSM.

Learning DiskStation Manager

To login into your DiskStation, and open the DSM, you open your browser and typically type in the IP address of your device. If you do not know its IP address yet, use Synology Web Assistant as you did before. Once the DiskStation is found, click on the Connect button. A login screen appears. I suggest you make a bookmark or favorite in your browser of this page. This makes accessing your DSM much easier the next time.
Fill in the name and password of the administrator you created during the initial installation.

DSM Desktop

Once logged in, you see the DSM desktop with a few icons, access to the Main Menu in the top left corner, and a few icons in the top right corner. Let us have a closer look.


The icons on the desktop are shortcuts. When you click on an icon, the application opens, and the application icon appears on the menu bar at the top, next to the Main Menu icon. You can open multiple applications, minimize and maximize them and switch between them from the menu bar. Close an application by clicking the X symbol in its top-right corner or right-clicking on the menu bar icon and choosing Close.

Main Menu

You can access the Main Menu from the icon in the top right corner of the screen. It is the icon of the four black squares. When you click on the Main Menu icon, you see all applications that you can open. Some of them have a shortcut on the desktop, and some do not. Click on an application that was not on your desktop but is in the Main Menu, for example, Log Center.

When you right-click on an icon in the Main Menu, you can either create a shortcut on the DSM desktop or open it in a new window. The latter option is not available for all applications, so you may not always see it.

If you like to remove an application shortcut from the DSM desktop, right-click on it and remove the shortcut.

Main Applications

There are a few applications that you will use soon, without a doubt. Unless you have somebody else doing it for you. The first is File Station. When you open this app and browse through folders, you will instantly recognize a similar tool on the computer, whether it is a Windows system or Mac.

The Package Center is like an application store. The good news is, most of the applications that you find here are free of charge. You can either view all packages that are available for your DiskStation or those that are installed. You might also notice that some packages, like OAuth Service, do not have an application icon in the Main Menu. That is because these packages are services that work in the background without user interaction.

The third and last application of the tour is Control Panel. This is an important application that you will use to create users and shared folders, among other things. When you see the rows with icons, you are at the home page of the application. At the top right, you can choose between Basic Mode and Advanced Mode. Try and toggle to see icons appear and disappear.

Once you click on an icon, all icons appear in a column at the left, with the pane at the right. With the Home button at the top of the left column, you are back where you started.
Close all applications and let us have a look at the top-right corner of the screen.

Top-right Corner

At the top-right corner, you find icons for Notifications, Options, Search, and Widgets. Notifications and Search are more or less self-explanatory.
When you click on the Options icon, you will name the logged-in account at the top of the list of menu items. The Personal options are settings for that user account. Here you can change the password, enable 2-step verification or change the desktop. If the logged-on user is an administrator, you will also see a Restart and a Shutdown option. These options shut down the DiskStation gracefully. And last but not least, the Logout option is your way out.

The Widgets give you a quick look at the DiskStation’s status. Some users find it useful, some not. The widgets System Health and Resource Monitor have a miniature version that sits permanently on the menu bar.

Log out now if you are done looking around, or continue with the next episode.

Thanks for reading

This post is donation-ware, and I made it to help you. Please consider leaving a comment or buying me a coffee if it did. I will be eternally grateful.

Paul Steunebrink / Storage Alchemist

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