Which method is preferred on Synology? spk or docker?

Hello there,

i started recently with OH2 and antil now i have a RPi3 running with the openhabian image.
Last week i exchanged my old Synology DS411 with a DS1517+ and i would like to have OH2 running on my synology.
I saw that there are two different options - a) install spk-Package b) install Docker and run OH2 inside Docker.

I am not sure which to use and if one method is preferred within the community over the other, so?
Are there any recommendations?

Thanks in advance,

There is a third option: a linux installation via Virtual Machine Manager. :slight_smile:

Im running openhab inside docker on DS415+ for about a year now.
Im using also toke-mosquitto, grafana and influxdb containers for mqtt-binding, visualization and persistence.
My experiences are really close to perfect: the system is fast, running stable and the maintenance is quite easy.
Except…dont know how to backup the recovered things in openhab, which is annoying in case of an upgrade.

All my items are defined in the items-files, same for the rules in rules-files, which are all located in the exported container-conf-volume,
so backup is easy. But i decided to discover the things using the paperui and therefore i dont have any thing-definitions in own things-files.
i dont know where to find the internal thing-definitions inside the docker and how to export them to the things-files, so after an upgrade i have to
use paperui to discover things again.

I personally like the docker approach. the latest-images are fresh and the stable-images are provided just in time.

1-day-runtime is due to dsm-update yesterday :slight_smile:

So many ways to run OpenHAB on Synology. :slight_smile:

To make it even more complex: I run OpenHAB on my Synology using Chroot. This allows me to manage OpenHAB as in a standard Linux (Debian) setup. Upgrading is easy with “apt-get update”. I’ve installed influxdb, grafana, mqtt in the same way.

A bit old, but thought I would give my personal perspective on the question of spk vs docker for future readers. I will now only use official Synology software, or Synology recommended software directly on my NAS. Anything else, like Openhab, goes into a virtual host like docker. And importantly, enforce resource limitations.

The reason is that I encountered a situation where my NAS became unresponsive during installation of an OpenHAB spk. The consequence was that, having waited a very long time, I had no alternative but to risk a NAS power down. Unsurprisingly, there was damage. Even after recovering access to data, it was clear that the NAS was still suffering and so I did a total rebuild from backups.

Prior to that, I had good experiences with the spk option, and I may have just been unlucky. Also, I am unable to say if it was the spk that caused the problem, or a failure with the Synology manual install mechanism.

YMMV of course.


Any update on this topic?

I’m quite curious what is the best option right now.

Docker seems the way to go … but how to manage the “versioning” you can have eg. with VMware image?

please share your thoughts


Hi all,
Now i’m running OH on a Raspberry Pi 4. But the weak point is always the SD-card. Sinds I have a Synology NAS i’m looking into the options to run OH op this NAS.
Which methode is nowaday (2020) preferred on the Synology NAS? SPK or Docker?


I’ve tried Docker, but it depends on what you need to do. I’ve had some issues with zwave and usb controller with docker. I’ve moved to Virtual Machine Manager, as I have a supported Synology platform, with openhabian … and it works like a charm.

My configuration at the moment is OH on virtual machine, and influxdb/grafana/other stuff on Docker.


where can i find the instructions to install openhab on a virtual machine on a Synology Nas?

quite easy :slight_smile: install the package “Virtual machine manager” then create a vm like with VMware o other VMware managers :slight_smile:

let me know

I’m new to VM and to VM on a Synology NAS. so I’m looking for guidance on this … where to start?

oke VM installed on the Synology NAS, Openhab installed and running.
but now i want to edit the files via VisualStudio on my windows10 laptop. but i get “access denied”. it seems that i can’t get access via my windows10 laptop.
how can i solve this?

open the service SMB on your NAS and mount the config directory in your laptop. Then mount that directory in VisualStudio. Don’t forget to create a “openhab” user.