Install Kimai on a Synology NAS

This HowTo does not explain every step for the installation of Kimai on a Synology NAS with DSM 6, but rather concentrates on the differences from the default installation.

Important to know

You need to prefix all PHP related commands with php73, for example:

php73 composer.phar install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

Or run a console command:

php73 bin/console kimai:version

The webserver user is called http and not www-data.

The database connection uses a socket instead of a port.

After creating the VirtualHost the DSM changes file ownership, so you might be forced to use sudo or switch to the root account for multiple commands.

Installation process

Clone Kimai as described in the main installation docs. If no git is installed, you can use the method described under the “updates” section.

This example uses the path /volume1/web/kimai2

Then download and install composer. Now install all dependencies:

php73 composer.phar install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

Create a database

Use phpMyAdmin or the console (if you are familiar with it) to create a new database and database user.

Do not add special characters to the password that needs to be url encoded, rather use a longer password. Synology seems to have strict password rules, use the minus - if you are forced to use a special character, otherwise stick with lower and uppercase character and numbers.

.env file and database connection

Synology ships a MariaDB which is configured to use a socket connection and runs on a different port, therefore the connection string in your .env file could look different from the one used in the default installation docs:


BTW: You find the MariaDB executable at /volume1/@appstore/MariaDB10/usr/local/mariadb10/bin.

After editing the .env file, install Kimai:

php73 bin/console kimai:install -n

Webserver (nginx) configuration

Start by opening the Web Station:

main menu

Check that you have a PHP 7.3 profile:

php settings

And then creating a VirtualHost (we use a port based in this example):

php settings

Settings choosen in the example:

  • Port: 7777 with HTTPS
  • Document root: /volume1/web/kimai2/public
  • HTTP backend server: nginx
  • PHP backend: PHP 7.3

Now switch to the console and find the directory where the config needs to be stored.

Either use ls -la /etc/nginx/conf.d/ and check which subdirectories exist or better: have a look at the file /etc/nginx/app.d/server.webstation-vhost.conf where all virtual hosts are listed.

Watch out for the line that starts with include:

server {

    listen      7777 ssl default_server;
    listen      [::]:7777 ssl default_server;

    server_name _;


    root    "/volume1/web/kimai2/public";


    include /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/1d16b269-904e-41c9-bd23-cbdf761e305e/user.conf*;


Ok, we found the directory /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/1d16b269-904e-41c9-bd23-cbdf761e305e/, go ahead and edit a new config file to store the webserver configuration for Kimai:

vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/conf.d/1d16b269-904e-41c9-bd23-cbdf761e305e/user.conf-kimai2

Add the following lines to it:

    index index.php;

    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;

    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny all;

    location / {
        try_files $uri /index.php$is_args$args;

    location ~ ^/index\.php(/|$) {
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.*)$;
        include fastcgi.conf;
        fastcgi_param PHP_ADMIN_VALUE "open_basedir=$document_root/..:/tmp/";

    location ~ \.php$ {
        return 404;

Check the nginx config with:

sudo nginx -t

If you see the following lines:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

you can tell nginx to reload the configuration with:

sudo nginx -s reload

That’s it, Kimai should now run.

Fixing file permissions

The following commands must be run in the Kimai directory, here in /volume1/web/kimai2/.

They must be run as root user (e.g. by prefixing each line with sudo). Be extremely careful, a wrong command can destroy your Synology … you know: with great power comes great responsibility!

cd /volume1/web/kimai2/

sudo chown -R :http .
sudo chmod -R g+r .
sudo chmod -R g+rw var/
sudo chmod -R g+rw public/avatars/

Updating Kimai

Please cross-check the normal upgrade guide for more steps:

cd /volume1/web/kimai2/
git fetch --tags
git checkout 1.20.4
php73 composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader -n
php73 bin/console kimai:update
chown -R :http .

Update without git

cd /volume1/web/
7z x 
cp kimai2/.env kimai2-1.20.4/
cp -R kimai2/var/invoices kimai2-1.20.4/var/
cd kimai2-1.20.4/

Then download and install composer, followed by the installation:

php74 composer.phar install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader
php74 bin/console kimai:update

Now a) switch your virtual host to the new directory or b) change the directory names:

cd /volume1/web/
mv kimai2 kimai2-backup
mv kimai2-1.20.4 kimai2


White page after changes to .env

If you are using a network share (or any Synology app) for downloading/editing/uploading the .env file, make sure that group permissions for the http group are preserved.

file permissions

You can change them using:

File station > change to kimai2 directory > Right click on .env > Properties.