Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an open source cloud solution written in PHP and distributed under the AGPLv3 license.

Nextcloud was initially released in 2016 as a fork of ownCloud and is maintained by Nextcloud GmbH.


Note

For this guide you should be familiar with the basic concepts of

Prerequisites

We are using PHP in the version 7.4:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools version use php 7.4
Selected PHP version 7.4
The new configuration is adapted immediately. Patch updates will be applied automatically.
[isabell@stardust ~]$

You’ll need your MySQL credentials. Get them with my_print_defaults:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ my_print_defaults client
--default-character-set=utf8mb4
--user=isabell
--password=MySuperSecretPassword
[isabell@stardust ~]$

You can use the domains that are currently configured :

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web domain list
isabell.uber.space
[isabell@stardust ~]$

If you want to use your cloud with a domain not shown here, such as your own domain, setup your domain for use with your Uberspace account.

Installation

PHP settings

Before you start the Nextcloud installation you should adapt some PHP settings:

  1. enable the PHP OPcache

  2. increase the PHP memory limit

  3. disable PHP output buffering

  4. restart PHP

Otherwise Nextcloud would warn you after each command execution because of the wrong set memory limit.

opcache

OPcache caches script bytecode in shared memory, so scripts need not to be loaded, parsed and compiled on every request. To enable it, create the file ~/etc/php.d/opcache.ini with the following content:

opcache.enable=1
opcache.enable_cli=1
opcache.interned_strings_buffer=8
opcache.max_accelerated_files=10000
opcache.memory_consumption=128
opcache.save_comments=1
opcache.revalidate_freq=1

APCu

APCu is an in-memory key-value store for PHP. Installations after 21.0.1 may fail to update without this setting. To enable it, create the file ~/etc/php.d/apcu.ini with the following content:

apc.enable_cli=1

PHP Memory

Nextcloud recommends 512 MB of memory for an installation. To set the PHP memory limit to 512 MB, create the file ~/etc/php.d/memory_limit.ini with the following content:

memory_limit=512M

Output Buffering

To disable output buffering, create the file ~/etc/php.d/output_buffering.ini with the following content:

output_buffering=off

Note

After setting these PHP parameters, restart PHP to activate the changes

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools restart php
Your php configuration has been loaded.
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Downloading

Note

This Lab uses a well-known link to the latest Nextcloud package. You can find more versions and formats on the Nextcloud download page.

cd to your document root, download the latest Nextcloud release found at https://download.nextcloud.com/server/releases/latest.tar.bz2 and extract it on the fly, omitting the top-level directory from the archive:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd html
[isabell@stardust html]$ rm nocontent.html
[isabell@stardust html]$ curl https://download.nextcloud.com/server/releases/latest.tar.bz2 | tar -xjf - --strip-components=1
 % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
 100 37.5M  100 37.5M    0     0  5274k      0  0:00:07  0:00:07 --:--:-- 6062k
[isabell@stardust html]$

Setup

Warning

We strongly recommend to use the MySQL backend, consistent with the Nextcloud recommendation: Using MariaDB/MySQL instead of SQLite. This yields better performance and reduces disk load on the host you share. Do not use the SQLite backend for production.

Create the database

First, create a MySQL database to hold your Nextcloud installation

[isabell@stardust html]$ mysql --verbose --execute="CREATE DATABASE ${USER}_nextcloud"
--------------
CREATE DATABASE isabell_nextcloud
--------------
[isabell@stardust html]$

Run the installation script

Now, execute the Nextcloud maintenance PHP script occ with the parameters shown below. Set the three highlighted parameters to your account-specific values before executing the command:

  • NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_USER the name of the Nextcloud admin user you have to use when logging on for the first time on your new Nextcloud Instance

  • NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_PASS the password for the Nextcloud admin user

  • MYSQL_PASSWORD your MySQL Password

[isabell@stardust html]$ NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_USER=MyUserName
[isabell@stardust html]$ NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_PASS=MySuperSecretAdminPassword
[isabell@stardust html]$ MYSQL_PASSWORD=MySuperSecretMySQLPassword
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ maintenance:install --admin-user "${NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_USER}" --admin-pass "${NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_PASS}" --database 'mysql' --database-name "${USER}_nextcloud"  --database-user "${USER}" --database-pass "${MYSQL_PASSWORD}" --data-dir "${HOME}/nextcloud_data"
Nextcloud was successfully installed
[isabell@stardust html]$

Set the “trusted” domain

Set the domain name that your Nextcloud will be accessed with as “trusted”:

[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set trusted_domains 0 --value="isabell.uber.space"
System config value trusted_domains => 0 set to string isabell.uber.space
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set overwrite.cli.url --value="https://isabell.uber.space"
System config value overwrite.cli.url set to string https://isabell.uber.space
[isabell@stardust html]$

Set links to the log file destinations so you can more easily access them:

[isabell@stardust html]$ ln --symbolic ~/nextcloud_data/nextcloud.log ~/logs/nextcloud.log
[isabell@stardust html]$ ln --symbolic ~/nextcloud_data/updater.log ~/logs/nextcloud-updater.log
[isabell@stardust html]$

You can now logon your Nextcloud using the domain you just configured as trusted. But before you use it, go to the next chapter and finish the configuration to enable sending mails, optimize performance and setup a housekeeping job.

Configuration

Currently your Nextcloud installation is not capable of sending mail, e.g. for notifications or password resets. You can do this by executing the commands in the following block or by editing the ~/html/config/config.php with your favorite editor. If you want to keep things simple, use sendmail. Alternatively log in with your admin user, go to settings > Administration > Basic settings and configure the email-server.

Sendmail Settings

For the basic system mail configuration just run the following commands.
You can also change the mail_from_adress or the mail_domain if you have set up additional mail domains
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set mail_domain --value="uber.space"
System config value mail_domain set to string uber.space
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set mail_from_address --value="$USER"
System config value mail_from_address set to string isabell
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set mail_smtpmode --value="sendmail"
System config value mail_smtpmode set to string sendmail
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set mail_sendmailmode --value="pipe"
System config value mail_sendmailmode set to string pipe
[isabell@stardust html]$

Note

If you prefer an advanced configuration read the Nextcloud admin manual for email.
You can also set all settings via the web based admin interface.

Tuning

URL rewriting

If you prefer prettier URLs without index.php run the following two commands.

[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set htaccess.RewriteBase --value='/'
System config value htaccess.RewriteBase set to string /
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ maintenance:update:htaccess
.htaccess has been updated
[isabell@stardust html]$

cronjob

For better performance, Nextcloud suggests to add a local cronjob.

Add the following cronjob to your crontab:

*/5  *  *  *  * php -f $HOME/html/cron.php > $HOME/logs/nextcloud-cron.log 2>&1

Configure Nextcloud to rely on the configured cronjob:

[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ background:cron
Set mode for background jobs to 'cron'

Memcaching

To further enhance performance, enable Memcaching.

APCu caching

To enable Memcaching (APCu), execute the following commands:

[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set memcache.local --value='\OC\Memcache\APCu'
System config value memcache.local set to string \OC\Memcache\APCu
[isabell@stardust html]$

Redis caching

To reduce load on the mysql server and also improve transactional file locking you may follow the redis guide on the lab and then execute the following commands:

[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set redis host --value="${HOME}/.redis/sock"
System config value redis => host set to string /home/isabell/.redis/sock
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set redis port --value=0
System config value redis => port set to string 0
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set redis timeout --value=1.5
System config value redis => timeout set to string 1.5
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set filelocking.enabled --value='true'
System config value filelocking.enabled set to string true
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set memcache.locking --value='\OC\Memcache\Redis'
System config value memcache.locking set to string \OC\Memcache\Redis
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set memcache.distributed --value='\OC\Memcache\Redis'
System config value memcache.distributed set to string \OC\Memcache\Redis
[isabell@stardust html]$

In the Nextcloud admin manual you can find more Information about memory caching and transactional file locking.

default phone region

This sets the default phone region for phone numbers to allow users to add phone numbers to their profile without the country calling code.
Nextcloud will then automatically add the default country calling code (e.g. +49 for Germany).
Change the value for this setting according to your ISO 3166-1 country code like DE in this case.
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ config:system:set default_phone_region --value='DE'
System config value default_phone_region set to string DE
[isabell@stardust html]$

Database maintenance

To adapt some database configs to make Nextcloud run smoother execute these commands:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd html
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ db:add-missing-indices --no-interaction
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ db:add-missing-columns --no-interaction
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ db:add-missing-primary-keys --no-interaction
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ db:convert-filecache-bigint --no-interaction
[isabell@stardust html]$

Apps

Nextcloud Talk

To enable video/audio calls in your instance, install and enable the “Talk” app in the admin interface. If the web installation fails, install the app manually in your shell:

[isabell@stardust html]$ cd apps
[isabell@stardust apps]$ curl -L https://github.com/nextcloud/spreed/releases/download/v8.0.7/spreed-8.0.7.tar.gz | tar -xvzf -
[isabell@stardust apps]$

Reload the page and press the talk icon in the top menu bar.

Updates

The easiest way to update Nextcloud is to use the web updater provided in the admin section of the Web Interface.

Updating via console command is also a comfortable way to perform upgrades. While new major releases of Nextcloud also introduce new features the updater might ask you to run some commands e.g. for database optimization. The release cycle of Nextcloud is very short. A prepared script with some common checks would ensure you don’t need to run them.

Warning

Before updating to the next major release, such as version 19.x.x to 20.x.x, make sure your apps are compatible or there exists updates. Otherwise the incompatible apps will get disabled. If the web based admin overview displays an available update it also checks if there are any incompatible apps. You can also check for compatible versions in the Nextcloud App Store.

Create ~/bin/nextcloud-update with the following content:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
## Updater automatically works in maintenance:mode.
## Use the Uberspace backup system for files and database if you need to roll back.
## The Nextcloud updater creates backups only to safe base and app code data and config files
## so it takes ressources you might need for your productive data.
## Deactivate NC-updater Backups with --no-backup (works from 19.0.4, 18.0.10 and 17.0.10)
php ~/html/updater/updater.phar -vv --no-backup --no-interaction

## re-enable maintenance mode for occ commands
php ~/html/occ maintenance:mode --on

## database optimisations
php ~/html/occ db:add-missing-primary-keys --no-interaction
php ~/html/occ db:add-missing-columns --no-interaction
php ~/html/occ db:add-missing-indices --no-interaction
php ~/html/occ db:convert-filecache-bigint --no-interaction

php ~/html/occ app:update --all
php ~/html/occ maintenance:mode --off
/usr/sbin/restorecon -R ~/html

Make the script executable:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ chmod +x ~/bin/nextcloud-update
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Then you can run the script whenever you need it to perform the update.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ nextcloud-update
[...]
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Tip

You can automate this script as a cronjob.

@daily $HOME/bin/nextcloud-update output as email @daily $HOME/bin/nextcloud-update > $HOME/logs/nextcloud-update.log 2>&1 latest output as logfile

Note

Check the changelog regularly or subscribe to the project’s Github release feed with your favorite feed reader to stay informed about new updates and releases.

Troubleshooting

403 errors

If you have installed Nextcloud on a subdomain it can happen that the update fails: Access to the UI is not possible and HTTP 403 errors are thrown. In most cases this happens due to wrong SELinux labels which can be fixed with finishing the update via console and setting the labels according the loaded SELinux policy.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd html
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ upgrade
[isabell@stardust html]$ restorecon -R .
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ maintenance:mode --off
[isabell@stardust html]$

missing files

If files are missing like if you move files or restore backups on the machine and not via web you can perform a scan.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd html
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ files:scan --all
[isabell@stardust html]$ php occ files:scan-app-data
[isabell@stardust html]$

memory limit after migration from U6

If you still see an error in the web UI, edit ~/etc/php.d/php.ini with the following content:

memory_limit=512M

storage capacity problems

If you use large apps like onlyoffice, your backups can get very large in relation to your storage capacity. Nextcloud always keeps the last 3 backups and deletes the older ones.
Depending on your storage quota you may run into issues so you may want to delete some backups. The Updater will store the backups in a folder with a generated suffix updater-XXXXX inside the data directory.
e.g. according to the recommended data location:
/home/isabell/nextcloud_data/updater_XXXXX/backups
if you did’t change the default setting:
/home/isabell/html/data/updater_XXXXX/backups

Here is an example you probably don’t want to keep on your Uberspace. To get rid of the old version navigate to that path and run: rm --recursive nextcloud-19.*

ncdu 1.15.1 ~ Use the arrow keys to navigate, press ? for help
--- /home/isabell/nextcloud-data/updater-ocRANDOMg5/backups ----
                       /..
  1,8 GiB [##########] /nextcloud-20.0.0.9-1603717139
  1,6 GiB [########  ] /nextcloud-19.0.3.1
  1,6 GiB [########  ] /nextcloud-19.0.4.0-1601738662

Total disk usage:   4,9 GiB  Apparent size:   4,7 GiB  Items: 132481

PHP fatal error

The update to Nextcloud 21.0.1 may fail with the following error message:

/PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of XXXXXX bytes exhausted (tried to allocate XXXXXXX
bytes) in /var/www/virtual/isabell/html/lib/private/AppFramework/Utility/
SimpleContainer.php on line 133/

To solve the issue, apply the apc.enable_cli=1 step above to your installation.


Tested with Nextcloud 21.0.0, Uberspace 7.9.0.0

Written by: Andreas Matschl | SpaceCode <andreas@spacecode.it>, EV21 <uberlab@ev21.de>