Synology: Why You Need PHP 8.1

Synology Why You Need PHP 8.1

Today I want to talk to you about PHP 8.1 again. It was on November 30, 2021 that PHP 8.1 was officially released and, immediately following the release, so many of you have started sending feature inquiries to Synology about making PHP 8.1 available for your NAS devices. Despite thousands of inquiries having been sent by you (and these are just the ones that I know of), Synology systems still haven’t been upgraded to the new version. To add even more context to the situation, you may remember that PHP 8 was officially released on November 26, 2020, and it too is still not present among DSM 7 packages for NAS devices.

If you’ve been a Synology NAS user for some time, you probably already know that one of the biggest requests of users is to have the latest versions of essential packages available for download quicker, yesterday if possible. I’m sure Synology’s official inquiry contact page has been seeing a downpour of this type of requests over time. In this respect, I have some news: two days ago I was informed that PHP 8, the package, will be released. When? PHP 8 will be made available for download for Synology NAS devices at the same time as the official DSM 7.1 OS.

I for one think that it’s good PHP 8 can be implemented on Synology NAS devices soon, and downright happy that DSM 7.1 is coming out. But yes, I’d have been the happiest if it were PHP 8.1, the reasons for which I’ll delve into below:

  • Security Concerns – Although Synology has released the PHP 7.4.24 version on February 20, 2022, know that this version, and its previous ones, are all afflicted by a security issue called “Irony Alert” (CVE-2021-21708), and a Memory leak bug that has been fixed in the PHP 7.4.28 and PHP 8.1.3 versions. You can read the full article about the issue, with explanations, on the Security Sophos website. Right now, DSM 7.0.1 Update 3 is using PHP 7.3.3 (cli) (built: Dec 18 2020 10:30:19) (NTS). So not only is the PHP package affected, but so are DSM 7.0.1 and DSM 7.1 Beta that are using the affected PHP to run. PHP.net Official also released a message via Twitter to their PHP users urging them to “PLEASE UPGRADE“.

php.net upgrade

  • Unbelievable Page Speed Increase For Self-Hosted Applications via Web Station – People who use their NAS with Web Station for webhosting from home, whether it’s with WordPress, Joomla, Moodle, Nextcloud etc., need PHP 8.1 to boost their page speed and make their websites load faster. Here is an interesting article from Kinsta that benchmarks 5 different versions of PHP. The results show PHP 8.1 as the clear winner, proving 47.10% faster than PHP 8.0 when used with WordPress. Many of you likely know that mariushosting.com is also using WordPress as CMS, and that it’s self-hosted, at home, having been running on a Synology NAS since its genesis in 2019.
  • Many feature inquires sent since November 2020 – Thousands of feature inquiries have been sent to Synology since November 26, 2020 regarding the implementation and date of release of PHP 8. Now PHP 8.1 is out, and has been for quite some time, and PHP 8 hasn’t been implemented still. Does this mean we’ll have to wait 2 years for PHP 8.1 for Synology devices? I really hope not because that’s just too much! For this reason I am kindly asking my followers to continue to send requests for the implementation of PHP 8.1 to Synology so that it may be released as an .spk package via Package Center when DSM 7.1 is officially released. You can email the Synology Inquiry team and send them the link to this post at inquiries@synology.com

This post was updated on Saturday / April 9th, 2022 at 11:39 PM