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Vaultwarden (Bitwarden) in Docker on a Synology NAS

Please note if you are using DSM7.2 or higher you should use the Container Manager version of this guide from the menu.
This guide has reached the end of its updates as most people are now on the latest DSM update - This guide is correct as of 08/12/2023 however no further updates will be added.
UpdateDate
Adjusted the Reverse Proxy for WebSockets28/08/2023
Historic updates now at the end of the guide.


What is Vaultwarden/Bitwarden?

Vaultwarden is a rewrite of the official Bitwarden server using the Rust language, it was created to reduce the need for the number of containers required for the official server.

It is compatible with all the official Bitwarden apps and Browser extensions. It is a great way to self-host a password manager it gives you complete control over your passwords and allows you to have automatic syncing across web, desktop and mobile apps.

Let’s Begin

This guide contains three parts:

  • Part 1 — Setting up the container via the DSM GUI
  • Part 2 — Setting up DDNS, Reverse Proxy and SSL
  • Part 3 — Setting up the Bitwarden Clients

Before we start head over to the short guide below to set up a Bridge Network

Part 1 — Container Set up (DSM GUI)

Downloading the Vaultwarden Image

Open up Docker within DSM and navigate to the ‘Registry’ section and search for ‘vaultwarden’ in the search box and download the ‘vaultwarden/server’ version

The pop-up box will ask which version you want to download, make sure you choose ‘Latest’ from the list of available versions.

Select ‘Latest’ from the tags

You can check the status of the download over on the ‘Image’ tab.

Setting up the container

In Docker click on the ‘Image’ tab, in the list of your containers select the ‘vaultwarden/server’ image and click on ‘Launch’

You will be greeted with the Network screen, we will be using the ‘synobridge’ network we created earlier select it from the list and click Next.

General Settings

Next you will be greeted with the General Settings screen, this is where you can start specifying some of your preferences.

You can change the name of the container to anything you like, and you may want to enable Auto Restart as this will ensure the container starts automatically if you reboot your NAS.

You will also notice a Configure capabilities button — don’t change anything in here!

Next up we are going to click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ button, this will take you to a new window with a number of tabs which we are going to work through.

Environment

We need to add two additional variables, the first disables any random person signing up for an account on your personal hosted version, the second enables the Admin panel which allows you to invite users.

Argon2 Hashing

As of version 1.28 of Vaultwarden it is recommended to create an Argon2 hashed admin token rather than using a plaintext one. We will be doing this via the Argon2 Hash Generator online if you wish to do this via SSH follow the instructions here.

Go to https://argon2.online/ and enter the following variables into the form and then press ‘Generate Hash’.

OptionVariable to Select or Enter
Plain Text InputEnter either a long string of characters or a secure long ‘password’ aka token, you will use this to log in to your admin panel, so it needs to be secure, and you must remember it!
SaltPress the Cog it will generate a random string of characters
Parallelism Factor4
Memory Cost65540
Iterations3
Hash Length64
Three Argon VersionsSelect Argon2id

As you can see above we have generated our hash.

We can now enter the amended hash into our Environment section.

VariableValue
SIGNUPS_ALLOWEDFALSE
ADMIN_TOKENYour hashed admin token from above
You must come and change this to false later

You do not need to set up anything on these tabs.

Press ‘Save’ to go back to the initial setup screen, then press ‘Next’

Port Settings

As Vaultwarden uses port 80 for its web interface by default we need to change this to ensure we don’t have any conflicts with DSM’s web functions.

You will see the Container Port section prefilled you must not change these ports. Change the ‘Local ports’ from ‘Auto’ to the values below.

Local PortContainer PortType
30123012TCP
812280TCP
Port Settings

Volume Settings

We will now be specifying the directories where Vaultwarden will store its configuration files and database.

Click on Add Folder, click on the ‘docker’ share and create a new sub-folder called ‘vaultwarden’ click on this folder and click ‘select’

In the Mount path section for this folder enter ‘/data’ it should now look like the screenshot below, click next.

Summary

You have now completed the setup of the container.

You will be shown an overall summary of the settings we have specified, this is a good time to double-check everything is correct. Finally, click on Done and the container should start to boot.

You should now be able to access the web interface via the IP of your NAS followed by the port 8122

e.g 192.168.0.40:8122

Successful start up

You will not be able to register an account yet, as you must have a valid SSL certificate in place.

Part 2 – DDNS, SSL and Reverse Proxy

Before we start, make sure you have registered for a Synology Account as we are going to be using their DDNS service. https://account.synology.com/en-uk/register/

In order to successfully use the reverse proxy you will also need to forward port 443 to you NAS IP. (You will need to check how to do this on your own router) This port will be used for secure web traffic.

DDNS

A DDNS address allows you to get external access to Vaultwarden and other services via a subdomain provided by Synology, this is useful on home internet connections where your ISP may change your IP address on a regular basis.

Note: If you want to access DSM via this new address you will either need to create an additional Reverse Proxy for it or open port 5001 on your router.

In the DSM Control panel go to ‘External Access’ and then to the ‘DDNS’ tab

Click on ‘Add’, then fill out the following sections.

SectionValue
Service ProviderSynology
HostnameThis can be anything it will be used to access your NAS externally
Email:Log into your Synology account
External Address (IPv4)This should be filled in automatically
External Address (IPv6)This should be filled in automatically if your ISP is using IPv6
Get a Cert from Let’s EncryptTick this box
Enable HeartbeatTick this box

Now press OK, DSM will apply your settings. It can take a few moments to set up and the DSM interface will refresh. You will likely receive a certificate error which you will need to accept to get back into DSM.

Reverse Proxy

So you don’t have to open up additional ports on your router for Vaultwarden we are going to set up a reverse proxy subdomain. This means you can access Vaultwarden without using a port number as it will route all traffic through the secure 443 port.

This can be used for any service on your NAS, it will see the address asked for and internally redirect the request to the port number specified.

Go back into the Control Panel and access the ‘Login Portal’ then in the ‘Advanced’ tab click ‘Reverse Proxy’ and then click on ‘Create’.

We are now going to enter some rules, so when you access the URL specified you will automatically be sent to Vaultwarden web UI.

Use the settings below, you will need to amend the Hostname section in line with the hostname you registered earlier, and the IP of your NAS.

SettingValue
Reverse Proxy Name:bitwarden
Protocol:HTTPS
Hostname:bitwarden.xxx.synology.me (change the part after ‘bitwarden.’ to your own hostname you registered earlier.
Port:443
Protocol:HTTP
Hostname:Your NAS IP or ‘localhost’
Port:8122

Next click on the ‘Custom Header’ tab and click Create ‘WebSocket’ and then press Save.

You should now be able to access the Bitwarden (Vaultwarden) web UI by going to https://bitwarden.yourhostname it will be a secure connection, and you should have no SSL errors.

SSL Working

Setting up the Admin Settings

As we disabled sign-ups via the main log in screen you will need to invite yourself and any other users from the admin panel.

Go to bitwarden.yourhostname.me/admin

Enter the admin token which is the string of text or ‘password’ you used to create the Argon2 token (you don’t use the actual Argon2 string).

Admin Token

We need to change a few options to enable user sign up emails. (Please note that you will not be able to use Gmail SMTP in this step as they have disabled ‘unsecure’ 3rd party application login. Also, if you plan on using Yahoo you will need to set up an app specific password – as shown in this guide)

In General Settings. Amend the Domain URL to your own.

Domain URL

Next you will need to amend your own email settings in the SMTP Email Settings section.

This will need to be in line with your email provider, once you have entered the details click Save at the bottom of the screen, you can then send a test email to yourself to ensure its working.

The final step will be to send yourself an invitation email via the Users’ panel at the top of the page. This allows you to create an account by clicking the link in the email.

Users settings screen

You have now successfully set up Vaultwarden.

Part 3 — Setting Up the Bitwarden Clients.

Now you have set up Vaultwarden you can use the various Mobile, Desktop or Browser Add-ons.

It’s very easy to point these to your personal self-hosted version. In the main login screen click the ‘Logging in on:’ and select ‘Self-hosted’

In the pop-up screen enter your full address for the server e.g. https://vaultwarden.xyz.synology.me

You have now completed the guide.

FAQ

Q) I am receiving the notice “You are using a plain text ADMIN_TOKEN which is insecure.”

A) A recent update changed the Admin Token used to access the admin panel to make it more secure. You can follow the next steps to migrate over.

  1. Follow the section of the guide to create the Argon2 token, you can use the existing ‘password’ aka admin token for this as it will still be used for the actual admin login screen, Important: when you get to the part that asks you to add the additional $ into the token skip that and come back here.
  2. Stop the Project and then edit the yaml and completely remove the existing ADMIN_TOKEN variable.
  3. Start the container again and login to the admin panel with your usual admin password. Scroll down to the bottom of the General Settings section and paste your Argon2 hash into the Admin token/Argon2 PHC option and save the settings.
  4. Restart the project again, and you will now be using the new hash and can log in with your usual password

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Historic UpdatesDate
New guide Published29/12/2021
Updated with Admin Panel Options30/12/2021
Changed the port number from 8112 to 8122 so it doesn’t conflict with Deluge01/01/2021
Updated screenshots and steps for DSM7.1 17/06/2022
Added new port settings and Docker Bridge Network23/07/2022
Note added about not using gmail/google/ email for setup and a note about a app specific password for yahoo05/12/2022
Compose version number removed and small wording amendments09/04/2023
Amended the path to save the compose file – this is for security, so the container has no access to the file contents.14/04/2023
Update to Admin_Token to use Argon2 Hash24/04/2023
Historic Updates
Published inDockerOther Tools 7.1Synology

118 Comments

  1. Ben Ben

    Great Manual, in the last weeks it works fine.

    But now I got a problem.

    If I try to connect vaultwarden in my local wifi-network (bitwarden.xxxxxx.synology), I can’t reach the web vault. I get the message in the web browser ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT.
    The same if I use the Client on any device. I can’t save any items or add new items.
    Port 443 is open, DDNS is the same.

    BUT If I use a mobile connection over my phone (bitwarden.xxxxxx.synology) or the mobile Bitwarden app I can add and change items.

    What’s the problem in my local network? Any idea?

    • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

      Hey, if you are struggling to connect internally have you set up or changed anything Firewall wise? Do you have any other DDNS addresses set up and are they working? Has anything changed Router wise as it could also relate to Hairpinning (Loopback) is there a setting on the Router in relation to this?

      • Ben Ben

        I have no other DDNS adresses.

        The only thing is that I want to rebuild my pi-hole on a raspberry. I delete the DNS configuration from my router, too. Everything works fine.

        Possible reason?

        • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

          Is the DDNS address reporting as ‘Normal’ in Control Panel > External Access > DDNS

          Also check the IP address it lists matches with https://whatismyipaddress.com/ if not click Update and see if it lines up..

          Also, to try to rule out DNS issues, in Control Panel > Network set a ‘Manually Configure DNS Server’ and set them to 9.9.9.9 and 8.8.8.8 (This is Quad9 and Google)

          • Ben Ben

            – Control Panel > External Access > DDNS = “normal”
            – IP Adresses checked = all right
            – Control Panel > Network set a ‘Manually Configure DNS Server’ set, but nothing change (ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT)

        • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

          Sorry I must have misread this the first time around, are you saying without the PiHole the address works fine internally

          If thats the case set a local DNS record in order to enable the loopback

          PiHole – admin – dns_records.php

          • Ben Ben

            WITH PI-Hole everythings works fine. PiHole was on a raspberrypi.

            I have to delete my raspberry (other reason) and now I don’t reinstall pi hole there.

            I delete the DNS configuration from my router.

    • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

      Would you mind pinging me an email via my Help Me! Page it will be a bit easier than via the comments 🙂

      Essentially we just need to get your domain pointing at your WAN IP using a DDNS script / use the NAS to do that, and then set up a subdomain…

  2. JG JG

    I’ve followed your instructions and still cant get my container to work.

    I tried using your ports. But I’ve had to delete everything and restart again. Docker is now telling me that those ports are already in use when I go back to setup the container again. I’ve checked and those ports are not in my router settings or anywhere else. The only place I can see 3012 is on my certificate settings.

    Any idea whats going on here? Thanks

    • Dr_Frankenstein Dr_Frankenstein

      If Container Manager / Docker is saying the port is in use, first make sure the Container has actually gone from the list. If it has and still saying the port is in use try restarting the whole NAS to flush the ports. (This assumes nothing else is using it!)

      • jg jg

        So I managed to get internal access to the container, but because it is not secure traffic, the container won’t let me move forward. My setup is a little different in that I don’t use synology’s hosted system; Ive registered my own domain and everything.

        But I still cant get external access even using the external ports. Still troubleshooting.

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