ownCloud: Take Full Control of Your Online File Storage

ownCloud is a cloud file storage solution that lets you avoid the service disruption, vulnerability, and privacy weaknesses of public hosting services.

Between all of the cheap or even free file hosting services available now – like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive – you’d think that there wouldn’t be much of a case to be made for building your own. But you’d be wrong. Because of ongoing concerns about service disruptions, security vulnerabilities, data privacy, and sometimes even cost, some people are always going to need to control their files more directly.

For such people, the ownCloud open source file hosting server can provide a powerful solution. It works by installing ownCloud on top of an Internet-facing Linux (LAMP) server. Then, using freely available desktop and mobile apps or the browser interface, you can upload, access, share, sync, encrypt, and control your files to exactly fit your needs.

ownCloud Installation

They’ve definitely taken all the fun out of ownCloud installation. Not too long ago, if you wanted to build an ownCloud server, you would first need to install a web server, database, and Python. Then you would create appropriate database accounts, add entries in your web server configuration file pointing to ownCloud, populate your /var/www/owncloud directory with the package files, set appropriate file permissions, and enable SSL.

Those were the days.

Now, thanks to the good folk at openSUSE, you only need to add an openSUSE Build Service repository to your package manager, update your repositories, select the package matching your operating system, and install.

Here’s how that looks for Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/ownCloud:/community/xUbuntu_14.10/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install owncloud

You might also need to manually add the repository key to your package manager, but that’s it.

All that’s left for you to do is enter a MySQL password when prompted. Note: by default, ownCloud will use the SQLite database but, if you’re planning to work with larger volumes of content, you should switch to something a bit more robust, like MariaDB. Migration is supposed to be easy using the occ db:convert-type tool. (See ownCloud’s documentation.)

In any case, now that everything has been magically installed and configured, you should point your browser to your web server.

http://myexample.com/owncloud

ownCloud configuration

The first time you visit the site, you’ll be prompted to create an admin user along with a password. If you used the manual Linux setup process, you might also be asked for access to your database. Once logged in, you’ll be shown links for downloading and installing ownCloud desktop and mobile apps so you can seamlessly sync files between devices:
Welcome to ownCloud screenshot
From the drop-down at the top right of your screen, you’ll be able to access the user management page where you can create users and groups, and manage account limits.

The Admin page allows you to manage areas like security (server-side encryption), backups, and sharing. Sharing includes Federated Cloud Sharing, which permits file linking between ownCloud servers. Your unique Federated Cloud ID, which can be seen on the Personal page, might look something like:

admin@myexample.com/owncloud

Which brings us to cost.

Being open source, the ownCloud Community Edition is freely available for any task you’d like to throw at it. However, you may find that storing large amounts of data on your own web server volumes – especially if you’re working with a cloud-based virtual machine – can be expensive. It would be nice if there was some way to leverage the cheaper rates associated with cloud storage services like Amazon’s AWS S3.

Well, there is. And there isn’t. I guess it’s at least theoretically possible to configure S3 as the primary storage for your ownCloud Community Edition. But it will work right out of the box if you purchase the ownCloud Enterprise Edition version.

Avatar

Written by

David Clinton

A Linux system administrator with twenty years' experience as a high school teacher, David has been around the industry long enough to have witnessed decades of technology trend predictions; most of them turning out to be dead wrong.


Related Posts

Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— April 9, 2021

New Content: Platforms, Programming, and DevOps – Something for Everyone

This month our team of expert certification specialists released three new or updated learning paths, 16 courses, 13 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon....

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
  • Security
Luca Casartelli
Luca Casartelli
— March 31, 2021

Mastering AWS Organizations Service Control Policies

Service Control Policies (SCPs) are IAM-like policies to manage permissions in AWS Organizations. SCPs restrict the actions allowed for accounts within the organization making each one of them compliant with your guidelines. SCPs are not meant to grant permissions; you should consider ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Organizations
  • SCP
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— March 12, 2021

New Content: Focus on DevOps and Programming Content this Month

This month our team of expert certification specialists released 12 new or updated learning paths, 15 courses, 25 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon. Ja...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— February 12, 2021

New Content: Get Ready for the CISM Cert Exam & Learn About Alibaba, Plus All the AWS, GCP, and Azure Courses You Know You Can Count On

This month our team of intrepid certification specialists released five learning paths, seven courses, 19 hands-on labs, and three lab challenges!  One particularly interesting new learning path is Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Foundations. After completing this learn...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cism
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— January 31, 2021

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— January 31, 2021

The 12 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?

As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing. As the market leader and most ma...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— January 29, 2021

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020. The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— January 7, 2021

New Content: AWS Terraform, Java Programming Lab Challenges, Azure DP-900 & DP-300 Certification Exam Prep, Plus Plenty More Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Big Data Courses

This month our Content Team continues building the catalog of courses for everyone learning about AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, this month’s updates include several Java programming lab challenges and a couple of courses on big data. In total, we released five new learning...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— December 17, 2020

Where Should You Be Focusing Your AWS Security Efforts?

Another day, another re:Invent session! This time I listened to Stephen Schmidt’s session, “AWS Security: Where we've been, where we're going.” Amongst covering the highlights of AWS security during 2020, a number of newly added AWS features/services were discussed, including: AWS Audit...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • cloud security
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— December 4, 2020

AWS re:Invent: 2020 Keynote Top Highlights and More

We’ve gotten through the first five days of the special all-virtual 2020 edition of AWS re:Invent. It’s always a really exciting time for practitioners in the field to see what features and services AWS has cooked up for the year ahead.  This year’s conference is a marathon and not a...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Glue Elastic Views
  • AWS re:Invent
Bryony Harrower
Bryony Harrower
— November 6, 2020

WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead

At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • GCP
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— October 25, 2020

Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future

Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • careers
  • champions
  • upskilling