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More official Nextcloud Apps

As promised in the first blog post about the Nextcloud App Ecosystem, here comes the second one about all the official Nextcloud Apps that are disabled by default.

To understand the different types of apps better, I would categorize them as following so far:

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First setup of my Nextcloud Box

Last Saturday at Nextcloud conference in Berlin the Nextcloud Box was announced. Frank said it’s a part of his promise/desire to make the world a better place by bringing your data home.

How can the world be a better place with Nextcloud Box?

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Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps …

So I installed Nextcloud Server and the Nextcloud iOS App and the OS X desktop client. I’m syncing my photos and other files and I’m so happy that everything works. I mean, not in the way “Yeah, it works somehow and I like it because it’s open source software and they are the good ones”. No, it’s more like

It works fine awesome, the data is were I need it! I don’t have to think about!

But the best thing is …

There is more to discover and there will be much more in the near future!

I discovered Nextcloud Apps! They are hidden behind the little + in this popup.

Nextcloud Apps
Nextcloud Apps

I didn’t know, that there is a whole ecosystem behind that little +. Beside the shipped apps there will be a whole new App Store created by Bernhard Posselt and many other contributors. As far as I know the Nextcloud App Store will be fully operational from the Nextcloud version 11 release (will be in 2016) on. The beta version is already online and it looks promising (https://apps.nextcloud.com/).

Nextcloud - App Store - Beta
Nextcloud – App Store – Beta

Shipped Apps

Before we talk about the future let’s have a look what is already available. The core nextcloud server package comes with official apps, which are developed by Nextcloud directly and with approved apps. Approved apps are developed and supported by the community and approved by Nextcloud as “so good” to ship them with the core package.

Official Apps – Enabled by Default

The following Apps are official and enabled. They are the real core package of your Nextcloud Server. Because they are necessary and simply working I didn’t pay a lot attention when I installed Nextcloud for the first time but it’s worth to have a look what the whole core system is about.

Activity

Activity is a kind of Facebook timeline. You can see, ordered by date, all your shares, comments, favourites, uploads and the activities of remote users who are connected to you via the federation system.

Nextcloud - Activity
Nextcloud – Activity

Auditing / Logging

Logging is necessary and in this case it’s about PHP. You can choose what to log and you can download the log file to look for the reason of the entries.

Nextcloud - Logging
Nextcloud – Logging

Collaborative tags

Every user can tag files. The tags are stored and offered to all the users. It’s a great feature for your personal cloud or for teams. If you run a bigger installation with plenty of users that didn’t know each other you should disable this app to avoid confusion.

Nextcloud - Collaborative Tags
Nextcloud – Collaborative Tags

Comments

Yeah, it’s possible to comment on files

Deleted files

This app enables users to restore files that were deleted from the system. Restoring a file also restores related file versions (versions app has to be enabled).

Nextcloud - Deleted Files
Nextcloud – Deleted Files

Federation

Federation allows you to connect with other trusted servers.

Nextcloud - Federation
Nextcloud – Federation

File sharing

The file sharing app implements the whole process of sharing files within Nextcloud server.

Nextcloud - File sharing
Nextcloud – File sharing

First run wizard

This app enables the popup that appears when a user logs in for the first time.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Notifications

The app send notifications for example when you receive a remote share.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

Password policy

Manages the password policy on your Nextcloud Server. Common passwords are taken from https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists/tree/master/Passwords

Nextcloud - Password Policy
Nextcloud – Password Policy

PDF viewer

I uploaded most of my books to have enough to read …

Nextcloud - PDF Viewer
Nextcloud – PDF Viewer

Provisioning API

Enables external systems to communicate via API with Nextcloud. For example the url http://admin:secret@example.com/ocs/v1.php/cloud/users -d userid="joecool"-d password="secret" creates the user joecool with the password secret.

Server info

Information about current CPU load, memory usage and active users.

Nextcloud - Server Info
Nextcloud – Server Info

Text editor

Create a new file online and write something! The screenshot is a gif animation including a problem that is solved by Nextcloud itself … have a look!

Nextcloud - Text Editor
Nextcloud – Text Editor

Theming

You are already wondering about the nice orange color on top of the screenshots?

Nextcloud - Theming
Nextcloud – Theming

Have a look at my login page (https://cloud.cocoate.com) and upload a nice log in image to your personal cloud!

Nextcloud - Individual Login Page
Nextcloud – Individual Login Page

Update notification

It displays update notifications. I saw it for the contacts app but I was to slow to take a screenshot (next time).

Usage report

Sends anonymized data to help to improve Nextcloud. You can disable it at any time.

Nextcloud - Usage Report
Nextcloud – Usage Report

Versions

This application automatically maintains older versions of files that are changed.

Video player

Yes, there is a video player in Nextcloud! Click the link (https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/By6txeI6Hws38B8) for my shared video of @maxilamps.

Nextcloud - Video Player

Nextcloud – Video Player

Have a short break …

My initial plan was to try out and describe the Nextcloud apps. What I described so far in this blog post is a short glimpse on the official apps which are enabled by default! There are more official apps you can enable at any time (Default encryption module, External sites, External storage support, External user support, File access control, Files automated tagging, Gallery, LDAP user and group backend, Mail template editor, Retention, SAML authentication) and there are also the approved apps which can be enabled by just one click (NewsBookmarksDocumentsTasksJavaScript XMPP ChatOwnBackupownNote – Notes ApplicationQOwnNotesAPI,Shorten).
May be now you get a better impression what the Nextcloud ecosystem is about and how interesting it already is!

Now I’ll start to play around with the “not enabled” official apps and will come back soon with a new blog post.


tl;dr: The Nextcloud ecosystem is an amazing collection of useful apps and it’s growing and improving every day. Have a look at it!

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English Nextcloud Open-Source-Software Planet

Syncing your Personal Cloud with Nextcloud Desktop Client

After installing Nextcloud Server und Nextcloud iOS app last week, I noticed that there was no Nextcloud desktop client for OS X available on their website. One of the most important things in my personal cloud is the synchronisation between my Nextcloud server and my desktop. The reason for the missing desktop client was simple. The existing OwnCloud client worked perfectly together with Nextcloud 9.x and it was not an easy for the Nextcloud team to fork the desktop client.

After the upgrade to Nextcloud 10 I noticed that Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X were available and I was quite happy.

In this blog post I’ll show the installation and configuration of the Nextcloud OS X client.

Installation

Download the desktop client from the Nextcloud website (https://nextcloud.com/install/#install-clients).

Nextcloud - Download page desktop clients
Nextcloud – Download page desktop clients

The downloaded file is called Nextcloud-2.2.3.4.pkg. With a double click on the name you start the installer.

Nextcloud - Client Installer
Nextcloud – Client Installer

Just click the Continue button and go through the Installation. You can accept the default values.

After the Installer finished the installation you can start the Nextcloud desktop client by searching the app in Spotlight Search,

Nextcloud - Spotlight search
Nextcloud – Spotlight search

or click on the Nextcloud icon in Launcher,

Nextcloud - Launcher
Nextcloud – Launcher

or click on the app in the Applications directory in a Finder window.

Nextcloud - Finder - Applications
Nextcloud – Finder – Applications

Nextcloud Connection Wizard

When you start the app for the first time Nextcloud Connection Wizard will help to setup the connection between your server and your desktop client. First insert your Nextcloud server address and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Server Address
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Server Address

Next question are user credentials. Insert your username and password and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - User Credentials
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – User Credentials

These values are enough to connect and the connection wizard asks what you want to synchronise and where your local folder should be. I want to synchronise everything and the folder name is ok.
Click the Connect button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Setup local folder options
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Setup local folder options

Everything is set up now and you are asked where to go now. Access your Nextcloud Server in a browser window or open a local Finder window with your synced data.

Nextcloud Connection Setup - Everything set up!
Nextcloud Connection Setup – Everything set up!

Depending on the amount of data you are syncing it might take some time until all files are downloaded. A good possibility to have a look at your desktop. You probably see your new Nextcloud folder with plenty of green sync symbols and the Nextcloud icon in your menu bar on top of the screen. If you click the blue Nextcloud icon, a menu opens and beside other options you see how long syncing will take and how much data is involved.

Nextcloud - Syncing
Nextcloud – Syncing

That’s it! My data will be synchronised between Nextcloud Server, the iOS app and my Desktop!

You can add as many user accounts as you wish. They will be all synchronised!

Nextcloud - OS X Desktop Client - Settings
Nextcloud – OS X Desktop Client – Settings

Summary

My personal cloud consists for now of the Nextcloud server, the iOS App and the OS X client. All my photos and other files are now synchronised.

Links


tl;dr: Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X are available – download, install and use them!

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How to update your Nextcloud from version 9.53 to 10.0

Et voila, the first upgrade to a new major version is necessary. Yesterday the Nextcloud team released Version 10 with plenty of new and shiny features. Everything will get better, faster and more secure. (Release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now!). Thank you for that!

How to upgrade?

What has changed is the version of Nextcloud server. The iOS app works with both versions well (9.x and 10.0).

So how to upgrade the server?

A first look in the admin dashboard tells me, that there is no update available and my version is up to date.

Nextcloud 9.53 - Updater
Nextcloud 9.53 – Updater

I know it better because I read the release announcement and they say there is a new version! The sad truth is that the Updater in Nextcloud 9.53 doesn’t work. Unfortunately it is not possible to upgrade to the next version via a button click! The Updater will be fixed as soon as possible and I know it is a lot of work but for me and my personal cloud it will be a challenge.

Upgrade on shared hosting

As you know, I’m running my Nextcloud on a shared host and I installed it via the amazing web installer. Because of the broken Updater I have to do the Manual Nextcloud Upgrade as described in the documentation. The general workflow is the following:

  1. Backup files and the database is in general a very good idea!
  2. Move all Nextcloud files to a backup directory or simply rename the Nextcloud directory to [name]_old.
    [Update]
    Don’t forget to backup/save and copy back your data directory (see first comment from Luke).
  3. Download and unpack the new Nextcloud files in the [name] folder.
  4. Copy the /config/config.php file from your saved version to the new version

Depending on you hosting environment you can copy the files via command line, FTP or a tool like cPanel.

Now access your Nextcloud in a browser. The installer will show the database update screen. Click the Start Update button.

Nextcloud 10 - Database Update
Nextcloud 10 – Database Update

Plenty of update steps will be shown

Updating to 10
Updating to Version 10.0

and … your done! That’s it! You will be redirected to the login screen.

Have you noticed? The form fields are shaking if you try to login with wrong credentials

In the admin area you can check the Nextcloud version … and … it’s Nextcloud 10 – congrats!

Nextcloud Version 10
Nextcloud Version 10

Don’t forget to delete the old files and hopefully this was the last time that we have to do an upgrade like this :)

And now take a bit time to read the release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now! and play around.


tl;dr: The upgrade from Nextcloud version 9.53 to 10.x works well!

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Nextcloud Photo management and sharing

As promised in my last blog post I’m back with a few experiences concerning Nextcloud Server, the Nextcloud iOS App, managing photos and of course the whole sharing thing.

Nextcloud iOS App

Over the last days I took some photos with my mobile. The upload to my personal cloud (Nextcloud) works perfect. Inside the iOS app is an area for photos where you can see them ordered by date. You can touch, swipe through, favorite and do basically everything that you expect on a mobile.

Nextcloud iOS App - Photos
Nextcloud iOS App – Photos

If your iPhone is low on space it’s possible to optimise the situation by removing the photos after upload and store just optimised versions inside the iOS app. I can confirm, that it saves space (of course I have the “cheap” 16GB version).

Nextcloud iOS App - Optimizations
Nextcloud iOS App – Optimizations

Managing and sharing Photos in the Browser

So far I have no Nextcloud client on my MacBook. At the moment I only use Nextcloud in my browser. When the iOS app uploads the photos, they are all stored in one folder (photos). In Nextcloud core is an app called gallery and an app called gallery+. Gallery+ is a fork of gallery and seems to be more modern.

Gallerie+ provides a dedicated view of all images in a grid, adds image viewing capabilities to the files app and adds a gallery view to public links. Compatible with Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10+

To be honest I don’t understand why they are delivering two gallery apps in core. Just enabled gallery+!

[UPDATE 2016-08-28 – see first comment] The gallery app (without the +) is the way to go. In Nextcloud 10, the gallery+ app ist not anymore shipped!

 

Nextcloud - Enable Gallery+
Nextcloud – Enable Gallery+

Features of Gallery+

  • Upload and organise images and albums straight from the app
  • Large, zoomable previews which can be shown in fullscreen mode
  • Sort images by name or date
  • Per album design, description and copyright statement
  • Image download straight from the slideshow or the gallery
  • Switch to Gallery+ from any folder in files and vice-versa
  • Ignore folders containing a “.nomedia” file
  • Browser rendering of SVG images (disabled by default)
  • Mobile support

Meanwhile I have a few more photos and it’s easy to create additional folders and drag the photos into these folders.

Nextcloud - Move files
Nextcloud – Move files

You can switch at any time between the gallery and the file view.

Nextcloud - Switch to gallery
Nextcloud – Switch to gallery

Tags, Comments and Favorites

It’s possible to add tags and  comments to a photo and mark it as favorite. All favorites are behind the Favorites link.

Nextcloud - Tags, Comments and Favorites
Nextcloud – Tags, Comments and Favorites

Of course you can also rename, download and delete photos.

Sharing photos

After organising my new photos I want to share them.

This is in general possible by creating a share link and send it to your friends. The interesting thing for me was the amount of possibilities to share in the share dialog.

Nextcloud - Share dialog

Sharing with other personal cloud users

It’s possible to share your photos with a user or a group in your Nextcloud installation. Depending on your environment this could be for example your family, your friends or a project group. We haven’t talked so far about a federation of clouds (a topic for another blog entry) so just accept the fact that it’s possible too to share your photos with a remote user. A remote user is a user in another personal cloud. There is a standard for that so it doesn’t have to be Nextcloud. In this case you have to insert the [username]@[domain] and Nextcloud sends a notification to the remote user.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

The remote user has the choice to accept or decline. If your share is accepted you get an email notification (if it’s configured in the admin area and if you provide your email address).

Nextcloud - Sharing - notification email
Nextcloud – Sharing – notification email

All shared items are visible behind the links Shared with you, Shared with others and Shared by link.

Nextcloud - Shared with you

I noticed that remote users cannot see comments, tags and favourites.

Share with the public via link

The other possibility to share photos is via a public link. You can create the link in the share dialog. If it is super secret, you can set up a password and if if it should be a temporary link you can setup an expiration date.

This is the link to the bicycle photo on top … try it!

https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/QfkHLzlrzKCruI4

 

Administrator Settings

It might be necessary to configure some settings in your admin dashboard to allow all those features.

Nextcloud - Sharing settings
Nextcloud – Sharing settings

Summary

Since a few days I use the Nextcloud iOS App, Nextcloud Server and the Gallery+ App to manage my photos. So far it works well. Next step will be to install a client on my MacBook to sync all the photos.


tl;dr: You can manage and share your photos via Nextcloud

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Nextcloud Open-Source-Software Planet

Nextcloud – Installation on shared hosting & first steps

back to A Personal Cloud – But How and Why

To run your own personal cloud you have to install the server component somewhere. After that you can access it from everywhere in the world with every suitable device. The best and most personal scenario would be to do that on your own machine in the place where you live. It is possible to do it on a PC or even a Raspberry Pi but unfortunately the upload speed of many internet connections is not high, so often this option isn’t an option. For example in the little village in France where I live the upload speed is 0.8 Mbps.

Internet connection speed
Internet connection speed in Fitou, France

The second best choice is a shared hosting environment. You have to pay for it (<10€ per month), it’s easy to handle and managed by the hosting company. Usually you can create databases, FTP users and more features.
You could also go for a cloud or a dedicated server but then you have to deal with server updates and configurations and it’s probably more expensive.

The easiest way to set up your personal cloud in a shared hosting environment is the Nextcloud web installer.

Installation

The Nextcloud web installer checks the dependencies, downloads the Nextcloud files from the official server, unpacks it with the right permissions and the right user account. Finally, you will be redirected to the Nextcloud installer.
You’ll find it in the download area (https://nextcloud.com/install/#instructions-server).

Nextcloud - Webinstaller
Nextcloud – Webinstaller

Download the file setup_nextcoud.php, upload it to your shared hosting environment and point your web browser to http://[your_domainname]/setup-nextcloud.php.

The Nextcloud Setup Wizard appears. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Setup Wizard
Nextcloud – Setup Wizard

Now you have to decide if you want to install Nextcloud in the current directory (enter a single “.” to install ), or in a subdirectory (default name is nextcloud).

I want to have my personal cloud in the current directory so I enter a dot.

Nextcloud Setup Wizard - Directory
Nextcloud Setup Wizard – Directory

Now the web installer loads all the necessary files from the Nextcloud servers and tells you that Nextcloud is installed. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Web Installer - Success
Nextcloud – Web Installer – Success

Next step is to decide whether you want to use SQLite as a database or MySQL/MariaDB. The advantage of SQLite is that it is inbuilt in PHP and if you have a shared hosting without a database SQLite would be the way to go. But for performance reasons, especially when using the desktop client for file syncing the use of SQLite is discouraged.

Because I want to do exactly this I decided to create a database and a database user in cPanel (administration tool of my provider) and use it for my personal cloud. Fill the fields with the db credentials and choose a username and a password for the admin account. Click the Finish setup button.

Nextcloud - database configuration
Nextcloud – database configuration

Your database will be used and configured by the Nextcloud setup wizard and after that you see the big welcome screen.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Your Nextcloud server is now ready to use. You can use apps to sync your data from your mobile and your desktop.

But before we install clients, have a look around. Behind the link with you name in the right top corner are most options to configure your personal cloud. In the left top corner are the active apps. You can add more apps by clicking the +. In the middle of the screen are the default folders Documents and Photos with some example files. In the left bottom corner is a settings link which displays the possible settings depending on the page you are. Remember that you are now connected as the godfather of users with all possible administration rights.

Nextcloud - Dashboard
Nextcloud – Dashboard

It’s a good idea to create a user account for each “real” user in your cloud and leave the admin account for administration purpose.

Create a user

Creating a user is simple. Click on your user name -> users and add the desired person. You just need a name and a password. Then you can logout and login again as a “real” user. When you click the same menus as before you’ll notice that it’s not possible anymore to add apps or configure your personal cloud.

Nextcloud - Create User Account
Nextcloud – Create User Account

Even if we haven’t configured anything else, it’s possible to use your personal cloud. You can play around and upload a file via your browser.

iOS Client

I’m using an iPhone, so I install the Nextcloud App (0.99 Euro) to sync my files and automatically upload my photos from my mobile to my shiny new personal cloud. In the app you can just enable the camera upload.

Nextcloud iOS App
Nextcloud iOS App

BTW – this is the first photo I took after activating the photo upload and it simply worked.

Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud ;)
Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud 

What have I achieved so far?

I was able to setup the Nextcloud server on my shared hosting space. I installed the iOS app on my mobile and configured the automatic camera upload.

My photos are now in my personal cloud!

For today it’s enough, I’ll take a few photos in the next days and come back soon with my experiences.

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Nextcloud Planet

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 3 – GitHub, Playground, Mail App & the Forum

Today I created a playground on my github profile to become a bit more familiar with command line git commands. After my bad experiences from yesterday using visual tools and the browser I created my own repository and edited everything via command line. I started simple and created a file, edited it, created different branches, learned about the formatting stuff, how to cherry pick and so on.

Today was more like a normal business day here at Nextcloud office. Plenty of meetings, developing, and some interesting discussions about previews for shared files, how to structure and organise the documentation, the mail app (How to add email to your Nextcloud server), the music app and plenty of other topics.

One of the “not so easy discussions” appeared on the forum (Nc just a dirty deal?) already 13 days ago. Jos, the community manager, decided to close the thread but later on he reopened it. Because I’m quite close to the topic at the moment I wrote also something.

In the evening we went to Bonnie & Clyde. A Burger pub near the hotel. The pub played an important role in Nextcloud history. Directly behind the pub was the former office and in the same distance the hotel people were staying.

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Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 1- People, Cloud, Vision, Documentation, Pizza, Beer

Yesterday I started my trip to Germany for attending the hackweek at Nextcloud headquarters in Stuttgart. The photo on top is taken where I started from. As you can imagine one has to be really motivated and curious to leave a place like this ;)
I arrived on time today in the morning, my phone noticed the right SSID but I didn’t found the entrance to the office.

Where is the Nextcloud hackweek?

Luckily I was not the only one (@oparoz was lost too) and finally @nickvergessen picked us up.

Buero

The day started with a discussion about the agenda.
At 11am we had a kind of plan:

Schedule Stuttgart August 2016
Schedule Stuttgart August 2016

As often at events like this WiFi wasn’t working. Same here, if more than 10 people tried to connect. Finally we found a few cables and adapters to provide everyone with internet.

Bjoern and Lukas played around with the theming feature …

Frank talked about the vision, goals and idea of the Nextcloud company. That’s the vision:

Furthermore, the goal is to make the world a better place. It sounds initially maybe a bit old fashioned, but in my opinion it is a very nice goal!

I was then researching what I could do and joined Andreas, Philip and Daniel on a talk about Nextcloud Partner models. After that I decided to help out with missing documentation.

Unfortunately, I’m not perfect with git commands. Julius helped me and I actually managed to commit a small documentation for anonymous uploading of files created (File Upload via Public Link).

I missed the discussion about the new planned features in the contact and calendar app (have to ask tomorrow).

Did you know that Jos has a dog named popcorn who is attending the hackweek too?

In the evening we had Pizza …

Pizza

… and finally a beer at Palast der Republik.

Palast der Republik

On the way back to the hotel I learn a lot about PokemonGo :)