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NetBox is a tool to combine functions like DataCenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and IP Address Management (IPAM) with powerful APIs into your infrastructure’s Source-of-Truth. NetBox is used by many organizations as their go-to tool for their infrastructure documentation. Today I am going to help you set this up on your Synology NAS. I’ll be using the Synology that I recently received.

I am assuming you don’t have anything installed on your Synology other than DSM. Skip the steps you have already done.

Aside from a Synology NAS, a GitHub account is required. If you do not already have one, you can create one on the GitHub Sign-up page.


To start, we need to install Docker. Docker is software to run containers. Containers contain self-contained pieces of software. This could be, for example, a database container, or a web service like NetBox.

Docker installation

Installing Docker on your Synology NAS is done using the Package Center.

  1. Open the Package Center
  2. Search for Docker (called Container Manager on DSM 7.2)
  3. Click Install

Depending on your network speed, installation should be fairly quick. Once installed, close the Package Center.


Once Docker is installed, the easiest way to continue is by using Portainer, a web interface to manage Docker Containers. While all of this can be done on the console, Portainer makes it easier to explain.

Portainer installation

To start, we need to create a folder for Portainer to store its data.

  1. Open File Station
  2. Select the docker folder on the left side
  3. Click Create -> Create folder
  4. Call the new folder portainer. All lowercase
Creating a portainer folder in File Station

After creating the folder, we are going to run a User-Defined script, this will run once and could be deleted afterward. This way you should not be required to enable SSH on your NAS. Which could be a security issue.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Click on Task Scheduler
  3. Click Create -> Scheduled Task -> User-defined script

A new dialog opens for creating a new task.

  • General Section
    1. Change Task to something meaningful, e.g. Install Portainer.
    2. Change the User to root.
    3. Uncheck the checkbox for Enabled.
  • Schedule Section
    1. Change the radio button to Run on the following date.
    2. Change the drop-down to Do not repeat.
  • Task Settings
    1. (optionally) Check the checkbox for Send run details by email.
    2. Enter your Email address in the Email field
    3. Add the code below in the User-defined script section.
  • Click OK
docker run -d --name=portainer \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
-v /volume1/docker/portainer:/data \
-p 8000:8000 \
-p 9000:9000 \
--restart=always \

Once you click on OK, you will get a warning message because you are running this command as root. In this case, it is required to run this command as root and it’s perfectly safe. Never run commands when you don’t feel comfortable or do not know what the command is doing. Click on the Red OK button

Warning message for modifying system configurations

Starting DSM 7.2, you will get a request to enter your password after this. Enter your password and click Submit

Select your task, click Run, and then Yes

Portainer Configuration

After running the task, go to http://ip-of-synology:9000 or use its hostname if it’s in your DNS. Portainer installation should pop up. Enter a username, password and (optionally) uncheck the Allow Collection checkbox and click on Create User

Create portainer user

After creating the user, you will be presented with a quick start. Just click on Get Started to continue

When that page is loaded, click on the pencil to edit the local configuration.

In the Public IP field, add the IP address of your NAS, for example,, and click on Update Environment.

Feel free to remove the scheduled task, if you want to.


To start, we need to fork the NetBox-Docker GitHub repository, make sure you are logged in, go to the webpage, and click on Fork on top.

On the newly opened page, click the Create Fork button to create a fork of the NetBox Docker Git Repository. There is no need to make any changes on this page.

Wait until GitHub has created the fork, this may take a couple of seconds.

Once the fork is created, a similar view is created of the original repository. We start with editing an existing file to ensure the superuser is created on the first start. This is required because from within Portainer you cannot start a shell within the NetBox containers. Whether this is an issue with Portainer or the way the NetBox containers are set up, I could not tell.

NOTE: The following steps can be done within the web interface or, if you are comfortable using Git yourself, feel free to do so.

Within the browser, click the env folder

Click on the netbox.env file.

Click the Pencil icon on top to edit the file

Scroll down to the SKIP_SUPERUSER=true line and change it to false. Then click on Commit changes…

On the newly created dialog, edit the Commit message and Extended description if you desire to do so, and click Commit changes

Once the changes are committed, you should see the value changed on the page. Click on the netbox-docker link on top to continue.

We are now creating a new file that includes our overrides. I prefer to use an override file in case NetBox would update the main file, merge conflicts will be a pain to resolve on updates. Click on Add file and then Create new file.

Name the file docker-compose.override.yml and paste the code below. Then click on Commit changes… again.

version: '3.4'
    - 8080:8080
    - /volume1/docker/netbox:/etc/netbox/config:z,ro
    - netbox-media-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/media:z,rw
    - netbox-reports-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/reports:z,rw
    - netbox-scripts-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/scripts:z,rw
      retries: 15
    - /volume1/docker/netbox:/etc/netbox/config:z,ro
    - netbox-media-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/media:z,rw
    - netbox-reports-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/reports:z,rw
    - netbox-scripts-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/scripts:z,rw
    - /volume1/docker/netbox:/etc/netbox/config:z,ro
    - netbox-media-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/media:z,rw
    - netbox-reports-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/reports:z,rw
    - netbox-scripts-files:/opt/netbox/netbox/scripts:z,rw
  • Ports is been changed to 8080, compared to the documentation. Port 8000 is already used by Portainer and therefore cannot be used again.
  • Volumes are changed to match the layout of the Synology NAS for all 3 NetBox Containers.
  • Retries is changed to 15 times (defaults 3), some Synology NAS models are slower and take more time for the database changes.

In the new dialog, click Commit changes.

Click on <> Code -> Download ZIP

Extract the file using your favorite ZIP extract utility.

Using Finder or Windows Explorer, connect to your NAS Docker folder.

  • (Mac): Switch to Finder, press Command + K and type smb://ip-of-synology/docker
  • (Windows): Open Windows Explorer and in the address bar type \\ip-of-synology\docker

Create a new folder netbox. In that folder, paste the content of the configuration folder found in the extracted file.

This is a macOS screenshot, it should be a similar view on Windows.

Now switch to the Portainer web interface. Should be http://ip-of-synology:9000. Log in if you have been logged out. Click on the local environment.

On the left side, click on Stacks

Click on the + Add stack button.

Give your stack a name in the Name field, e.g. netbox-docker. It can only contain lowercase letters. Change the Build method to Repository. In the Repository URL enter the URL for your GitHub Repository. This is different for every user and depends on your GitHub username. Click on + Add file below Additional paths. In the newly added field, enter docker-compose.override.yml. Scroll to the bottom and click Deploy the stack.

The deployment can take a while and might end up in an error. Please retry a couple of times before calling it a fail. The deployment does all the schema updates, depending on the speed of your NAS, these can take a while. Do NOT browse away from this page!

You will most likely receive an error message that the deployment failed. This is due to the fact that Portainer does not wait long enough for starting the container. Wait about 5 minutes before continuing.

Try to browse to http://ip-of-synology:8080 and see if NetBox starts. If not, try pressing the Deploy the stack button again.

If you see the start page of NetBox, the deployment is complete, and you should be able to Log in with the username admin and password admin.

NetBox is installed with default usernames, passwords, API keys, and secret keys. Changing the passwords is advised, but should be done on a PRIVATE repository and/or server.

If you have any questions or issues, head over to the NetDev Slack and join the #netbox-docker channel.