Recently, I decided to buy a Synology NAS to backup my files and coding projects. The Synology NAS runs a GNU/Linux distro and has a very user friendly web portal to configure your folders and users. However, you can do much more with this NAS. Synology provides various apps which you can install, for example drupal, mariadb and java manager. With the Synology NAS web portal, you can select and install these apps and will be installed in the @appstore folder. In my opinion, the Synology NAS is very user friendly and works perfectly in a Windows or Mac environment.
One of the apps you can also install is called ‘PACS’, provided by dcm4che. Dcm4che is a collection of open source applications and utilities for the healthcare enterprise. In shortage, you can compare it to a content management system for healthcare images. It uses JBoss as application server and with the dicom protocol, programs like KPacs and Osirix are able to communicate with the application to receive, send and query for healthcare images. However, you are only able to get these images by using a dicom protocol or the given web portal.
I received the question if it is possible to access also the images using windows explorer. It seems to be straightforward, because Synology NAS supports file sharing with users. However in their case, the healthcare images are stored in the @appstore folder and the folder is hidden for the file explorer. Since the NAS is running a GNU/Linux distro, we could use linux functionality to share this folder by using a soft link. I am going to explain now how this works.
The first step is to login onto the NAS web portal and go to the menu ‘Terminal and SNMP’. Like the screenshot below, open the menu and assign ‘enable SSH-service’, leave port on the default (22) and press ‘Save’.
The next step is to acces the NAS via SSH. To acces servers (in our case the NAS) with command line, I always use the tool Putty. After downloading and installing Putty, put the IP address of the NAS in the textbox ‘Host name or IP address’, ’22’ in the textbox ‘Port’ and select the item ‘SSH’ like the screenshot below. Then press the button ‘Open’. After pressing the button ‘Open’, you receive a popup about a certificate. Press accept/yes.
After opening the connection, the server ask your credentials. Login with the username ‘root’, use the admin password of the web portal as password.
When login is succesfull, execute the following command: ln -s /volume1/@appstore /volume1/appstore and press enter. The command is creating a soft link in linux ‘appstore’ to the folder ‘@appstore’. The soft link is essentially a pointer to the original file. In linux, you can also create a hard link. A hard link acts more like a mirror of the original file. After executing this command, you can close putty.
Now that we got the soft link, we need to make it accesable for users. We can make it accessible for users by using the web portal. Go to the share folder menu, create a new folder called ‘appstore’ and give write and/or read rights to your users.
The final step is to disable the SSH service, because you don’t need it anymore. Go to the menu ‘Terminal and SNMP’, disable the SSH service and press ‘Save’ like the screenshot below.
After executing these steps, you should be able to acces the @appstore folder with windows explorer and mac finder menu. In this tutorial, I made a soft link to the @appstore folder. However, it is also possible and also recommended to create the soft link to the sub folder you want to share instead of the whole @appstore folder. I can imagine you might need some specific folders in the @appstore folder and don’t give users acces installation/program files of your apps on the NAS. But that’s all up to you! 🙂