Share your XBMC library on a Synology DS (or other NAS)

UPDATE: I’ve written an new post based on XBMC 12.0 Frodo:

In a previous post I wrote about how you can install XBMC on an Apple TV 2. Because the ATV doesn’t support attached USB drives and has no internal storage for your media you probably want to store these on a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.  But only store your media files on shared storage may not be enough. XBMC creates a local media library by default, if you have more than 1 XBMC device you might consider to place the library also on you NAS to share the library, thumbnails and even settings and plugins.

When you using a shared library you unlock the following features;

  • Share watched and unwatched status for your media on all devices
  • Stop watching a movie or TV show in one room then finish watching it in another room automatically
  • Only one library to maintain for all devices
  • Consolidate thumbnails and fanart to save hard drive space (and reduce scraping time)

Since I own a Synology DiskStation 410 I’ll describe how you can accomplice this on an Syno DS, but most the options will also apply to a Windows or Linux based storage device (like a desktop computer or home server) or even other smart NAS solutions.

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Running XBMC on Apple TV2

I’m running XBMC Media Center ( for several years now on my Windows 7 based HTPC. This computer is getting a bit noisy so I’m looking for an upgrade. XBMC is since January 2011 ported to iOS which mean you can install it on your (jailbroken) iPhone or iPad. Steve Jobs’ hobby project at Apple was the Apple TV. A nice little appliance to play your iTunes content on you tv screen, but still limited to iTunes content…

Because I want to play more media formats (which the Apple TV doesn’t support) from my NAS instead of iTunes I will test a jailbroken Apple TV2 with XBMC. In this post I’ll describe how to jailbreak the ATV and install XBMC.

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Running Windows 8 on VMware vSphere 5 fails

Yesterday I posted about the general availability of the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview and how you can create a VMware workstation VM and install Windows 8 on to it. For those users who want to install the Win8 CP on a VMware vSphere 5 environment please check VMware KB article 2006859 ( You have to install a vSphere ESXi patch before you can create and install a Win8 VM.

Here it is; Windows 8 consumer preview

Well Microsoft promised us to release the Windows 8 Consumer preview in februari 2012, and they dit…. On the extra day…

So where do you get your copy?


Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

More info on

The Consumer Preview will have the following apps pre-installed;

  • Camera,
  • Messaging,
  • Mail,
  • Calendar,
  • SkyDrive,
  • People,
  • Photos,
  • Video and
  • Music

Also new in the Consumer Preview in addition to the Developer Preview (released on September 13, 2011) is the availability of the Windows Store. Microsoft has released several games for download from the Windows Store.

Using/testing Windows 8

You could install Windows 8 on your laptop or desktop computer but be aware that its still a Beta product and you might experience some bugs and problems. A quote from Microsoft;

Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software. If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.

The best way of testing Win8 is to install it into a Virtual Machine. I made a short video tutorial on how you create a Virtual Machine in VMware Workstation and install Windows 8 CP.

If you don’t own a VMware Workstation license you can use VMware Player (free download:


VMware ovf-tool

Last week a colleage asked me for a copy of a test VM i’m using in VMware Workstation 8. Because the VM is 6.20GB in size on disk (and contains 179 files) I wanted to export it as ovf. After searching the internet on how to do this I found the VMware ovf-tool. This commandline tool allows you to export a VM as ovf-file or directly into your vSphere host.

First tip, add a user variable so you can execute the executable from any location;

Covert VM to ovf;

ovftool.exe <path to vmx> <path to ovf>

After the covert you notice the difference in filesize and the number of files;

Import directly to vSphere;

ofvtool.exe <path to vmx> vi://<vSphere host>

Download the tool and userguide from

vSphere Auto Deploy GUI

With vSphere 5 VMware added ‘Auto Deploy’. VMware about Auto Deploy in the Whats New technical whitepaper (;

The vSphere Auto Deploy server simplifies the deployment of VMware ESXi hosts in your environment. Using the Auto Deploy server, you can provision hundreds of physical hosts with VMware ESXi software. You can specify the image to deploy and the host to provision with the image. Optionally, you can specify Host Profiles to apply to the host, and a location for each host.

VMware TV made a demo video about how to enable Auto Deploy in your environment.

As you can see in the video Auto Deploy is configured by using VMware PowerCLI, for those admins who finds it hard to use PowerCLI there is now a great VMware fling ( called ‘Auto Deploy GUI’. This 8mb download intergrates with the vSphere Client and allows you to setup Auto Deploy without any PowerCLI actions. Just follow the instructions in the Practical Guide to setup Auto Deploy in your environment.

And of course the link to this great fling;

Synology CloudStation (DSM 4.0)

UPDATE: I’ve written a new post in English based on the final release of Synology DSM 4.0 and Cloud Station. You can read it here; Synology CloudStation.

Op 16 januari heeft Synology de 1e beta versie van DSM 4.0 online beschikbaar gemaakt. In DSM 4.0 is waarschijnlijk CloudStation de meest gewilde toevoeging.

Allereerst, wat is CloudStation? Iedereen heeft denk ik weleens gehoord van DropBox, CloudStation is vergelijkbaar maar dan worden alle clients gesynchroniseerd met de DiskStation.

In deze post beschrijf ik stap voor stap de acties welke gevolgd moeten worden om CloudStation in te richten. De eerste voorwaarde is wel dat de DS de beta van DSM 4.0 draait, is dit nog niet het geval dan verwijs ik je naar mijn eerdere post; voor de stappen om de DSM 4.0 beta te installeren.

Continue reading “Synology CloudStation (DSM 4.0)”

Synology DSM 4.0 Beta installatie

UPDATE: Synology released the final of DSM 4.0, read in my new post how to upgrade;

De op CES aangekondigde Beta release van Synology DSM 4.0 is op 16 januari beschikbaar gekomen voor het grote publiek. Zelf bezit ik een DS 410 en het was wel eens tijd om de beta te gaan testen.

Allereerst moet het juiste update pakket gedownload worden van de Synology server; kies voor de juiste versie (voor mij dus de DSM_DS410_2166.pat)

Log nu in op de DS en ga naar ‘Configuratiescherm’, kies daar voor ‘DSM bijwerken’;

Klik op ‘Handmatig DSM bijwerken’ en kies in het venster wat vervolgens opent voor ‘Bestand kiezen’.

Kies voor ‘OK’ na het selecteren van het update bestand, vervolgens wordt de update naar de DS geupload.

Na het uploaden wordt automatisch het update proces gestart, na de update zal de DS herstarten.

Na de herstart is de DS met DSM 4.0 Beta klaar voor gebruik. In een volgende post zal ik de installatie en configuratie van ‘Synology Cloud Station’ beschrijven.