How to Read the Synology Messages Log

The other day my DS 916+ did a spontaneous reboot.  There was no obvious reason why it did that, so I trawled the system looking for a reason.  Neven Ćurić from the Synology Admins & Users Facebook group suggested looking in the message log files to see if there were any clues in there.  This is the procedure he walked me through. This is for Windows users.

Download and install WinSCP. 

In simple terms this is an explorer that lets you access the server folders through a Windows GUI.  As well as the use we’re going to put it to here, it’s a useful alternative to mapped drives for an admin who needs to copy files up and down to the server.

Download and install PuTTy.

This is an SSH client that will enable you to connect to the server with a command line interface (CLI) just like the Windows cmd prompt.

Enable SSH access in Control Panel

For security reasons you should disable this access when you are done – it’s an exploitable access route into your DiskStation.

Connect to DS with WinSCP and generate log file

This will bring you to the CLI:

Enter your password. Then type:

sudo cp /var/log/messages /var/log/messages.test

Enter your password again. Then type:

sudo chmod 666 /var/log/messages.test

Close PuttY by typing:


Now you can navigate in the WinSCP right-hand panel to the folder containing the log file:

Open the file from your local drive using a text editing program.  Notepad++ is the best on the market, and it’s free.

All you have to do now is interpret the file.  I was looking for events occurring at a given time so my task was easy but this log file isn’t written for the casual user.

Don’t forget to disable SSH in DSM Control Panel > Terminal & SNMP!



  1. The basic function is to create public and private key pairs. PuTTY stores keys in its own format in .ppk files. However, the tool can also convert keys to and from other formats. PuTTYgen.exe on Windows is a graphical tool. A command-line version is available for Linux.

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