Using ownCloud 7 in the field

    owncloud imageAfter reading the article “ Making backup Google or paranoia about sanctions. Owncloud and other open solutions ”, I decided it was time to give my ownCloud a second chance after an extremely unsuccessful experience with version 5. As a result, it turned out that for this short period of time ownCloud has acquired a very solid look and is able to work as an everyday tool - the problems found are either not significant or have a solution. Those who are not familiar with ownCloud can learn about its key features, for example, on the official website or on . In this article I will not talk about how it is necessary to install ownCloud and then how to configure it from scratch, because there is already enough of it written - painted - rewritten, and installation is not a big deal, I’ll just briefly mention important details. Under the cut will be information about what ownCloud can do, which applications in seemed worthwhile to me, I’ll cover integration with KDE and Android, as well as a few words about pitfalls and interesting places, but in the end I’ll summarize results for those who are too lazy to read so much. I use ownCloud on my server alone, so user administration and everything related will be described very poorly. Caution: a lot of pictures.

    A few words about the software used

    The whole construction is based on ArchLinux x86_64 + Nginx 1.6.1 + MariaDB 10.0.13 + php-fpm 5.5.16 + ownCloud 7.0.2 (ejabberd 14.07 optional) from standard repositories. Settings practically do not differ from the recommended ones , I took certificates from StartSSL . For synchronization, we took: an empty ArchLinux + KDE, Sony Xperia S CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4.2) with many contacts without GAPPS, an empty Google Nexus PAC (Android 4.3.1) with GAPPS and a connected Google account. Most applications are installed from F-Droid . Under the spoiler are small nuances of the configuration, which may be useful to the administrator. It’s worth climbing under it only when installing ownCloud, for a general understanding of the platform’s value, this information is not needed.
    Trivia configurations
    Some of the points may be relevant only for ArchLinux, only when using Nginx. Some of the tips are dedicated to individual modules, so there is no need to apply everything at once.
    • Make a backup before any operations on applications, try not to close the window with the list of applications, otherwise you can stay with a white sheet instead of the ownCloud interface. If everything is still closed and only a white screen is displayed, then the application can be turned off directly from the database by correcting the entry in the configvalue field of the oc_appconfig table for the desired application (app_id).
    • In order for ownCloud to successfully connect to MySQL, when installing, instead of localhost, write, otherwise a connection error will occur
    • If you need Local MS Word support in Documents, you should check if libreoffice (openoffice) is launched from the command line at all. Also, this comment can help in customization . And check out 'preview_libreoffice_path' in config.php. If convtest.php started swearing on "Document is empty" - everything is fine, feel free to test on live * .docx.
    • If the folder / var / lib / mysql began to grow to unprecedented sizes, it is better to solve this problem as soon as possible. Innodb_file_per_table = 1 and expire_logs_days = 7 in my.cnf helped me. After restarting the service, the / var / lib / mysql folder decreased from 21 GB to 190 MB.
    • In the /apps/documents/ajax/download.php file on line 19, Filter_Office should be replaced with \ OCA \ Documents \ Filter \ Office, otherwise the files will not be downloaded. In git, this is already fixed.
    • For the correct operation of JavaScript XMPP Chat component should be taken not from , but from the build folder from GitHub , then it will definitely work. To access the bosh server (HTTP Binding, XEP-0124) I used
      location /http-bind/ {
      where at is located the HTTP binding from ejabberd, already included in the standard ejabberd package in ArchLinux.
    • When installing the Mail application, you need to remember to pull into your owncloud / apps / mail, and then run
      # curl -sS | php
      # php composer.phar install
    • If you just take and use fastcgi_param MOD_X_ACCEL_REDIRECT_ENABLED on;, then pdf.js. does not work because of 403 Most likely it is solved differently than deleting a parameter, but somehow later.
    • After everything is set up, it’s worth checking the logs of your ownCloud and the web server for warnings and errors, once again checking the correctness of the settings in the administrative, personal, as well as in the settings in the application itself.
    • I could not cope with php-fpm sticking during long-term operations (for example, opening the list of applications, setting up Mail, saving some parameters), but such operations are rare, so when setting up my ownCloud you can also restart the php-fpm service. I also did not understand why my pages open at different speeds - it can be instantaneous, or it can wait a long time for an answer. In the 5th version, hell was generally in this regard, now it is much better.
    • If the client requests a password in KDE every time it is turned on, then you need to enable KWallet, in which you can specify an empty password.

    Briefly about the main thing

    In my opinion, the following list of applications deserves special attention. Some applications were included in the package, the rest were downloaded and installed separately. List of applications:
    Activity, Calendar, Contacts, Deleted files, Encryption, Full Text Search, PDF Viewer (pdfjs-based), Pictures, Share Files, Text Editor, Video Viewer (MediaElement.js), Files move , JavaScript XMPP Chat , Mail , Maps , News , Notes , Music , RainLoop Webmail , Passman , Roundcube , Grauphel , Tasks Enhanced , ocDashboard, Embedded Videostream , Old Menu , ATNotes .
    And now more about some of the components, usage and synchronization.

    Official desktop client


    ownCloud Desktop Client is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. It supports synchronization of individual folders, ignoring files and folders by template, pause synchronization, notifications on the desktop, logging actions (current session), work through HTTP-SOCKS proxies, limiting download / upload speed. The client supports only one account and does not have an adequate interface for adding synchronization of individual folders, I did not notice any more minuses, the functionality is enough for everyday tasks. I emphasize that this is the file synchronizer, and not remote access to them. For ordinary remote file access, you can use any program that works with WebDAV (Dolphin in KDE, Explorer in Windows).

    Official Android Client

    imageimageownCloud for Android ( F-Droid , Google Play ) version 1.5.8 can perform the following functions:
    1. Download, upload, delete and rename files, only delete and rename folders.
    2. Automatically sync manually specified files.
    3. Automatic loading of created photo and video files.
    4. Open sharing for files and folders.
    5. Support for multiple accounts.
    6. Password support to run the application.
    That, in fact, is all. Personally, I actively use file auto-synchronization, file autoload, shared access (took a picture - clicked on a notification - share a link - copy a link; ordinary files are rummaged around the same way), and just easy access to files in the cloud. With prolonged use of bugs, it was not noticed, however, it would be good to implement:
    1. Upload folders.
    2. Button “load current photos and videos”.
    3. Autosync specified folders, not just files.
    4. Integration of calendar synchronization, contacts and tasks.
    5. When automatically uploading photos and videos, the files are copied to the /sdcard/owncloud/ Immediate Download folder, then they get to the server from there, i.e. 2 copies are actually present. This can be quite resource intensive with prolonged use.
    6. Separation of autoload settings for photo and video files depending on the account. Now the footage is either not downloaded anywhere, or downloaded immediately to all accounts, for separation you will have to keep 2 applications on the device.
    7. Automatically photos and videos are uploaded to the “Instant Download” folder; there is not enough opportunity to change this name from the application settings.
    The first 3 points are leveled by the FolderSync program ( Google Play , free ), only without special convenience. There are also separate programs for synchronizing the calendar, contacts and tasks, but the last 2 points should be corrected in the application here and now. It seems to me that their correction will not be difficult, maybe even this article will prompt some kind person to issue a pull request.
    Alternative applications: ownCloud Client ( Google Play , free ) from BezKloboukuNos, many applications that work with files via WebDAV.
    In addition to Android, support for Windows Phone and iOS is also announced .

    The calendar


    The application can work with several calendars, hide / show the specified ones, fumble calendars between users of ownCloud, supports a flexible event replay system. I would very much like to see the possibility of a convenient sharing of the calendar to the outside world, but ownCloud can only give a listing with * .ics v2.0 files after successful basic authentication.
    To export the calendar from your phone / tablet to your ownCloud, you must use the manual methods provided by the appropriate calendar provider. As a means of synchronization, I use DAVdroid ( F-Droid , Google Play ), as an alternative, you can consider CalDAV-Sync ( Google Play), which has additional functions (changing the name and color of the calendar, the ability to synchronize only from the server, various synchronization ranges), but DAVdroid is enough for me. Marten Gajda (developer of CalDAV-Sync, CardDAV-Sync and several other applications below) promised about two years ago to lay out the source code of his applications when they are ready for version 1.0. We will wait, see, maybe he will do so soon.



    I had to tinker a bit with the contacts. As it turned out, it is impossible to send the current phone contacts to the server in a couple of clicks by any means by the forces of clients. In addition, if you export contacts to vCard and upload to your ownCloud, then nothing adequate will come out either. As a result, I exported all contacts from all devices to vCard using vCardIO ( , Google Play ) (because I swear on the built-in ownCloud), deleted all contacts from all devices, downloaded all vCard to ownCloud, started synchronization on all devices. It was after these actions that I received the correct synchronization.
    To synchronize contacts, I use the same DAVdroid, but as an alternative, you can use CardDAV-Sync beta( Google Play , free ), which also knows how to choose the focus and priority of synchronization, as well as periodic synchronization.


    Tasks enhancedIt provides an interface for creating tasks with slightly different functionality than a calendar: task progress, comments of various ownCloud users, grouping by importance / time / status of the event, reminder of the event at the specified time. It uses storage objects identical to the calendar for data storage, so be careful when deleting a list / calendar. Also, if you hide the calendar, the task list will also be hidden, and to share tasks you need to fully share the calendar. Tasks Enhanced skillfully supplements the calendar: if the calendar is convenient for storing schedules, long-distance and recurring events, meetings, reminders and holidays, then in Tasks Enhanced you can put information about the project with its dates, single events with a reminder of them at any convenient time, well, or just use it as a todo list.

    To work with Tasks Enhanced on Android, I found only one application - Tasks ( F-Droid , Google Play ), however it can synchronize tasks only if the aforementioned CalDAV-Sync is installed . The application can show tasks with various sorts (everything, deadline, start, priority, process), add / edit tasks, remind you of the beginning and end of a task. The appearance is minimalistic, the management is logical, it’s nice to use. An alternative is the CalDAV Tasksync beta free application ( Google Play), which has a slightly different set of skills, but still has a significant drawback - it does not know how to remind about events. The author promised to correct this misunderstanding in the next releases. It is worthwhile to install both applications and decide for yourself which is more convenient to use. Task Sync - To-Do List ( Google Play ) should also support its ownCloud, but I have not tested it.

    RSS aggregator

    RSS feed

    News is the simplest news collector that can perform only a few functions: add to the folder / rename / delete the feed, create / rename / delete the folder, feeds are moved using Drag & Drop, and the “Mark read” button is present near the feed, as well as the daw “ Keep unread ”near the record. I’m not a connoisseur of aggregators, the functionality is sufficient for convenient feed management. I don’t know how much and whose “feature” this is, but I did not add all my feeds via direct RSS links, but simply pasting the address of the home page into the field and clicking the Add button.

    RSS android

    For Android, there is the ownCloud News Reader application ( F-Droid , Google Play), which allows you to read the data collected by the aggregator. In addition to actually reading the data, the program allows you to add a feed and mark the specified record as unread. This is where the functionality ended, and adding the feed and moving it through the WEB GUI to the folder led to the fact that the client ceased to synchronize in any way, had to be reinstalled. Sometimes it happens that dulls during synchronization; I didn’t notice any more flaws. Despite the modest possibilities, it is convenient to use WEB and Android applications, there is no desire to switch back to Tiny Tiny RSS. I did not find alternative Android clients for the RSS aggregator.
    You can install the ownCloud News Checker extension in the Google Chrome app store, which should show (I have a significant delay) the number of unread entries and allows you to quickly go to the ownCloud News page. How useful this application is - judge for yourself.



    Bookmarks Android
    Well, everything is simple: fields for the name, address, description and tags. It is possible to drag a button into the browser’s bookmarks bar, which allows you to open the pop-up interface for adding bookmarks for the current page in 1 click. You can take the button (and drag it to the bookmarks bar) on the application’s start page in the ownCloud’s WEB GUI. It also supports import / export of bookmarks, I managed to export bookmarks from Chromium to ownCloud without any third-party tools using an HTML file.
    For Android, there is an application ownCloud Bookmarks ( Google Play), which allows you to browse by tags, add and remove bookmarks. You can add it not only by hand, but also through the "Submit" button in the browser (at least in the built-in). There is no export or import, and it doesn’t hurt and it is necessary, the main thing is that there is convenient access to bookmarks from mobile devices.

    Bookmarks Chrome

    There is an Owncloud Bookmarks application in the Google Chrome store , with which you can quickly get to your bookmarks, sorting by tags is present, there is also a button to add bookmarks, so you shouldn’t put a separate panel to the panel, except to save one click. If you use ownCloud bookmarks, be sure to put this extension.


    NotesNotes andr

    Notes is actually the WEB muzzle to /Notes/*.txt. The name of the note corresponds to the name of the text file and the first line of content, the contents of the note to the contents of the text file. Minimalism directly rolls over, even the margin for the title of the note does not exist. For Android, there is My Own Notes ( F-Droid , Google Play ), which allows you to add / modify / delete notes.
    You can also install the ATNotes application in your ownCloud , which already has the name of the notes, knows how to rummage the specified notes inside your ownCloud, supports simple text formatting elements and stores data not in the user's directory, but in the database. However, ATNotes cannot sync with anything.


    MusicJust player

    Music actually only knows how to work correctly with MP3 files. In theory, if the collection is correctly designed, then you can listen to music from a centralized location on the network using the built-in Ampache. In fact, not all applications cope with this task. On Android, only Just Player ( F-Droid , Google Play ) correctly worked for me , and that is probably because the Music code has “Dirty fix for JustPlayer”. On the desktop, neither Amarok nor Viridian mastered the connection, but Tomahawk started working on the fly . Sorry, we will wait for corrections.



    The application parses folders and makes a grid of pictures with a tree corresponding to this tree. Pictures can be expanded to almost the entire screen, there is support for slideshows - auto-change pictures every ~ 4.5 seconds.
    For Android, there is the ownCloud Gallery application ( Google Play , free ), bugs directly jump to the user from the screen, but somehow the application copes with the generation of thumbnails, it is not able to open the original on the whole screen. The developer spits it out with the help of the "limitation of the ownCloud API", but I don’t understand why you can’t pick up the entire file using WebDAV, as the original application does, and then show it to the user normally.

    On this application, which can be synchronized with other devices, is over.

    Jabber client


    JavaScript XMPP Chat is a miniature Jabber-client for ownCloud, it does not know how to act as a standalone-client, therefore it requires HTTP Binding (XEP-0124) from the XMPP server. In addition to standard messages, support for OTR and video calls (WebRTC) is claimed, but I have not tested them. There is support for notifications on the desktop, everything is simple and simple, no frills. On the authentication page in ownCloud, an additional button will now appear - “Log in without chat”, the main button “Login” now, in addition to ownCloud itself, also authenticates the Jabber client. Of the minuses, it is worth noting problems with automatic authentication and, in general, not very stable operation, and the fact that the OJSXC folding bar overlaps the page scroll bar.

    Password manager


    Passman - password manager with encryption on the client side (AES). Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I still do not understand how to make entries there. In addition, the buttons in the lower left corner do not work for me, to see this application got quite crookedly. Anyway, personally, I don’t see any benefit in this application, it’s easier for me to synchronize my KeePass database and open it. So safer.

    post office


    Email clients are represented by three applications: Roundcube , RainLoop Webmail and Mail . The first 2 applications actually integrate the interface of the corresponding client into the window with their ownCloud, Roundcube turned out to have a working autologin, Rainloop does not. Roundcube has a plugin that allows you to do the reverse operation - to integrate the window with ownCloud in Roundcube, but it seemed to me not interesting. If you use Roundcube, I advise you to install the Roundcube-CardDAV plugin , which will allow you to synchronize contacts from your ownCloud for added convenience. Rainloop already has this feature built in, so nothing needs to be installed. Please note that the address should not be just, as in most programs working with CardDAV, namely the full one - .
    The last client - Mail - is being developed by the project itself, there has not yet been a release (and this should be taken into account if you want to use it in everyday work), but, in my opinion, the application is quite functional. If it is enough to check the mail and reply with a simple message, Mail will do just fine. This application still cannot be installed just like that, you will need to read README and follow the instructions there (or look under the spoiler at the beginning of the article).

    This is where the interesting applications requiring further explanation have ended. I will say a few words about less interesting applications, which can be found already on .

    Other applications

    Documents - collaboration with documents. It may not work to work on complex documents, mottling tables and formulas, but it is very convenient to make corrections to simple documents collectively.
    Maps - maps that use openlayers (OpenStreetMap) as a source of maps; they can search for nearby places.
    grauphel - Tomboy sync server - tomboy REST server, nothing else to say.
    ocDashboard - a page with widgets for quick access to information.
    Embedded Videostream is an application for playing multimedia files directly in the browser.
    Old menu - for those who do not like the new drop-down menu and want to return the old one on the left.
    Files move - an application that allows you to move files in folders directly in the WEB GUI ownCloud.
    mozilla_sync is its sync-server for Firefox. I do not use this browser, so I did not check for operability.
    In addition to these applications, you can find updates and other applications at . Many applications have not yet been ported from versions 5 and 6 of their ownCloud, but, I repeat, the project is developing very actively and most interesting applications are either already ported or will be ported soon. OwnCloud 8 is currently being developed, now in the application store you can find the Unstable channel, developed only for the 8th version of News . You can also browse for applications that did not hit the store.

    Additional Information

    KDE allows you to connect contacts and calendars using CardDAV and CalDAV (System Settings - Personal Information). You can also connect mailboxes there. Together with kontact (in ArchLinux I advise you to immediately install the kde-meta-kdepim package) these tools will allow you to get centralized access to calendars, tasks and contacts from ownCloud, mail, local feeds and notes. I recommend reading about Kontact features on the Internet.
    Before using your ownCloud, I strongly advise you to read the documentation at There you can find out about additional features of ownCloud: full encryption of user files, sharing data between two ownCloud-servers, synchronization, management of deleted files, versioning files and more. In addition to end-user information, provides useful information for administrators and developers.


    For those who are too lazy to read the full article, I will highlight the main pros and cons of the platform.

    Fully working basic services, the project is clearly ready for everyday use.
    Availability of applications for all occasions.
    Pleasant little things like sharing files and folders, automatic versioning of files, collaboration with documents, mounting external resources, etc.
    Data synchronization on the main desktop and mobile platforms.
    Active development.

    In some applications, only basic functions are presented, which may not be enough.
    Rare delays when connecting to the server.
    Rare errors may occur during installation and configuration of applications. At first, this can scare off, but after setting up the application they work stably, except for Ampache and OJSXC. In fact, I had to scratch my head only when installing OJSXC due to the dampness of the code, other applications are installed without problems, you just need to read README.

    If possible, you can personally participate in the development of the platform, especially in the official Android application this would be very helpful. The field for work is still huge on all fronts, there is where to turn around.
    Already, it is safe to say that ownCloud 7 can be used in everyday life, install additional programs on your computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, configure the synchronization of the necessary components, and then calmly enjoy comfortable working with single data.

    useful links

    Official site -
    Platform features -
    Documentation -
    Demo -
    Articles about releases of owncloud versions from - 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 .
    Additional applications -
    Alternatives - Seafile ( demo ), Pydio ( demo) You can use them as an additional means of accessing files (because they are primarily aimed specifically at working with files and are not combines, like ownCloud), which I will do soon.

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