article header image

I moved all my photos over to my Synology NAS (which I really enjoy) just to discover that it would take months to index all photos. So I started to look for options and while most people managed to increase the speed a bit by reducing the quality of the thumbnails I figured why not utilize some of the CPU power I have at home?

So I ended up using my Linux box to do the thumbnailing for me instead which reduced the time to thumbnail 30.000 photos down to hours.

The process

The process is simple and straight forward and requires NFS as well as ImageMagic on the Linux box I also disabled the indexer on the Synology DS (using the pause feature) but I don’t think this is strictly required.

The first step is to mount the photo share:

[sourcecode language="bash" padlinenumbers="true"]
mkdir /mnt/photo sudo mount DS_IP:/volume1/photo /mnt/photo/ [/sourcecode]

Second step is to create a script to generate thumbnails.

This will for all *.jog create the required thumbnails for you if you have other files you might need to tweak this.

pushd "$1"
shopt -s nocaseglob
if [ ! -d @eaDir ] ; then mkdir @eaDir ; fi
for f in \*.jpg ; do
if [ "$f" == "\*.jpg" ] ; then break ; fi
echo "$1 - $f..."
if [ ! -d @eaDir/$f ] ; then mkdir @eaDir/$f ; fi
if [ ! -f @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_XL.jpg ] ; then convert $f -resize 1280x1280\\> -quality 90 -unsharp 0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0 @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_XL.jpg ; fi
if [ ! -f @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_L.jpg ] ; then convert @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_XL.jpg -resize 800x800\\> -quality 90 -unsharp 0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0 @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_L.jpg ; fi
if [ ! -f @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_M.jpg ] ; then convert @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_L.jpg -resize 320x320\\> -quality 90 -unsharp 0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0 @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_M.jpg ; fi
if [ ! -f @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_S.jpg ] ; then convert @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_M.jpg -resize 120x120\\> -quality 90 -unsharp 0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0 @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_S.jpg ; fi
if [ ! -f @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_B.jpg ] ; then convert @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_L.jpg -resize 640x640\\> -quality 90 -unsharp 0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0 @eaDir/$f/SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_B.jpg ; fi

Last step is to run the script in the folder you want to thumbnail (or the root if you want to thumbnail it all):

Replace ~/ with the location of the script you created before.

find . -type d -name @eaDir -prune -o ! -name @eaDir -type d -exec ~/ {} \\;

A big warning

Now this may void you warranty break your NAS and generally end the world as you know it. I tried it on my NAS and it works but there are no guarantees. But I hope that the people at Synology will listen to this and create a sanctioned way to remotely create thumbnails as it is much better (especially as upgrading photo station requires re-indexing) than the rather cheep re-upload photos using a tool solution they have today.

Some theory

So what does this do? And how do the thumbnails work?

Well that is pretty straight forward.

If you create a folder called folder 1 with two photos “photo 1.jpg” and “photo 2.jpg” the indexer will create the following folder structure:


In other words a folder called @eaDir with a subfolder for each photo. The subfolder representing a photo in turn contain the various thumbnails.

The thumbnail process is configured in the following file /usr/syno/etc/thumb.conf or /usr/syno/etc/thumb_high.conf depending on which setting you have. I use the normal one (low resolution thumbnails) which is defined like so:

size=120, quality=90, unsharp=0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0, filename=SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_S.jpg
size=320, quality=90, unsharp=0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0, filename=SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_M.jpg
size=640, quality=80, unsharp=0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0, filename=SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_B.jpg
size=800, quality=90, unsharp=0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0, filename=SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_L.jpg
size=1280,quality=90, unsharp=0.5x0.5+1.25+0.0, filename=SYNOPHOTO:THUMB_XL.jpg

Which is essentially just command line arguments for ImageMagicks convert command (which is what I call in my script above).

Samba anyone?

A quick note is that the reason this doesn’t work via samba (smb) I think is the colon character. A colon in a smb filename (at least in windows) is a stream A pretty cool but very neglected feature of NTFS. A stream is a file in a file meaning you can put more than one stream of data in each file. This was a cool way to “joke” with co-workers back in the Windows NT4 days as Explorer did not see streams. If you created a file somewhere with 0 bytes and then put megabytes of data in a stream the file would still be listed as 0 bytes yet take up all the space on the hard disk Ler