Why Use Docker on Synology?

Why Use Docker on Synology?

Installing Docker and Portainer on Your Synology NAS

full course
  1. Why Use Docker on Synology?
  2. Installing Docker on Synology DSM
  3. Installing Portainer in Docker on Synology

There’s lots of reasons why docker is a good fit for your synology server. Among them are

  • Better maintained applications. Some synology packages are not maintained very well.
  • Better supported applications. Documentation for docker images is usually very good.
  • Isolation from the underlying OS. You don’t need to worry about dependency versioning because docker images are self contained.
  • You get to learn Docker. Its a pretty cool tool.

How does Docker Work?

Docker runs as a package inside your NAS. Docker manages containers which ‘contain’ your applications. You don’t have any access to what is inside a container by default (which enhances security), so you have to make ‘external’ mappings to the ‘internal’ resources (like ports and volumes on the filesystem). These let the container store data on the NAS which you can then access. Also these allow you to expose ports to the web UI that some containers provide which allows you to interact with them through your web browser.


The application and dependency isolation comes at a cost in that some containers will be running their entire stack (operating system, dependencies, applications, etc…) which could be considered inefficient. Additionally, the indirection between the container resources and interfaces (filesystem, ports, etc…) can be a little confusing in the beginning.

However, I feel that the costs are well overcome by the advantages of reducing the maintenance costs associated with running multiple packages.

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