Judy's Nextcloud

Set up and use Nextcloud on a new Digital Ocean droplet!

Setup Log

new Digital Ocean droplet setup

  1. had d.o. account with ssh keys for my computer already.
  2. new droplet via d.o. web GUI. yes, import my ssh key. i chose ubuntu 18.08, $20/mo tier o_O is this too much?
  3. used d.o.'s automatic script to do initial setup and make new admin user for the server. had to ssh in as root first, download script according to their instructions in that article, and change the username. i did not have to change “also copy over the ssh key” (becuase it defaulted to true), or “other ssh keys to add” (because i didn’t have any to add and it defaulted to blank).
  4. added a firewall using the web gui. step 4 of Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 18.04 | DigitalOcean said to either use ufw OR the gui. i chose the gui. o_O firewall article: /docs/networking/firewalls/
  5. now i’ve met the prereqs for How To Install and Configure Nextcloud on Ubuntu 18.04 | DigitalOcean which was A sudo user and firewall configured on your server. now i should finish reading it and consider the domain name thing.
  6. okay, i’ve gone to gandi and set up four new rows for dns stuff. (what i did was first add my subdomain and domain name to digital ocean dns via the d.o. web gui, look at the records it generated, then manually added them via gandi’s web gui. i have no idea if this will work. then i deleted the dns entries from the digital ocean dns via d.o.'s web gui.) (i do NOT want to use How To Point to DigitalOcean Nameservers From Common Domain Registrars | DigitalOcean because i actually am using gandi’s nameservers.)

Step 1 -

  1. sudo snap install nextcloud asked me for my pw of course. now it’s trucking along. interesting.
2019-06-05T19:57:28Z INFO Waiting for restart...
nextcloud 15.0.8snap2 from Nextcloud✓ installed


  1. inspect changes. this is my first time using snap and i have no idea what these changes are. i guess it will, in the future, be a log of how i’ve interacted with my snap-managed nextcloud installation.
$ snap changes nextcloud
ID   Status  Spawn               Ready               Summary
2    Done    today at 19:57 UTC  today at 19:57 UTC  Install "nextcloud" snap

also cool!

  1. set it up automatically
$ sudo nextcloud.manual-install USERNAME PASSWORD
Nextcloud was successfully installed

note: do not put a bang in

  1. trusted domains. first check if it’s only localhost.
$ sudo nextcloud.occ config:system:get trusted_domains


  1. okay i’ve added it using sudo nextcloud.occ config:system:set trusted_domains 1 and now you know where my installation of it can be reached lol. that’s okay though right? now check it.
$ sudo nextcloud.occ config:system:get trusted_domains


  1. uhhhhhhhh??? i have no idea what i’m doing. followed the instructions and failed A lookup. i have to wait for dns.
  2. actually, it was the firewall. i needed to allow http and https connections! i did that in the d.o. web gui.
  3. i sshed in and ran sudo nextcloud.enable-https lets-encrypt and it WORKED
  4. OMFG I CAN LOG IN TO this is awesome

next steps

get clients for my devices
:white_check_mark: upload something
:white_check_mark: ask some friends to join my instance so we can see the social features on a single instance
compare and contrast social features on a with federating
get it sending emails somehow

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This sounds super cool! What Google products does it effectively replace?

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You going to do open office online integration or is that out of scope?

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not out of scope–that kind of thing is precisely what i want it for. i am woefully unprepared and don’t know that much about nextcloud apps, so part of this is finding out what i need to install, and finding out what’s even possible. do you recommend the open office online integration? i have never used open office online before.

i want to get off of google apps and apple iCloud for documents of all kinds and photographs from my phone, basically. i heard that there are plugins that make nextcloud almost as good. i’d love to try them out.

do you use nextcloud, @trashHeap? what plugins (addons? apps!) do you recommend?

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yeah!!! want to join me on my new instance and play around? i also don’t even really know how much space i have and when i’ll need to add a Digital Ocean Spaces thing to it (or how)!

i am not sure yet… hopefully a lot of them. it’s also sort of a dropbox and a sharing thing and could be a document editing thing. we’ll have to find out.

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I did at one point but have not in a while. I had it running on a VPS for a bit though. At the time I mostly used it for calendar/contacts and had added ebook reading plugins (mostly epub/cbz ) that I used from the file manager and I used some sort of integrated RSS reader.

I mostly use Jirafeau and Syncthing for moving documents and images around these days.

Ive thought about playing with it again though. However while Nextcloud and open-office both run on FreeBSD, running open-office-online on FreeBSD isn’t well supported and I havent wanted it bad enough to spin up a whole new VPS or flip a VPS yet.

But it’s something I consider from time to time and might do eventually.

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When you run Syncthing on a computer, is it both a server and a client at the same time? And there’s no “centralized” spot where the files go (like in Nextcloud, where the files are going on the machine that’s hosting my instance)? Which is the source of truth?

What about Jirafeau… is that a “centralized” (i mean centralized on a micro scale) server that you dump files onto that you want to share with someone? Do you host it yourself?

Thanks for talking through this with me =)

Hmm… are you running FreeBSD on your VPS…? I am trying to determine whether what you just said about open-office-online being not well supported on FreeBSD applies to my Nextcloud instance, which is on Ubuntu.

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By default there isn’t a single truth. It’s all distributed federated / mesh networked. Any group of machines sharing the same folder, compare metadata about the folder time/date stamps revision history etc, to determine who has the newest folder contents. You can also enable formal version control in the syncthing client on folders if your worried about errors but by default ive seen very few to zero.

I usually run it on my phone, home server and on my laptop. If phone leaves and I change a file, like add an entry to my encrypted password database, phone will update everything else when it comes back into contact with the mesh network again.

Jirafeau is centralized. I run it on lighttpd on a VPS. I mainly use it to share files with people across the web, when sharing a syncthing folder would not be appropriate. You can generate unique links to files with it. It’s basically very similar to Nextcloud’s file sharing, if it was broken out as a stand alone seperate app without a database. Dead simple.

Yeah I run FreeBSD on my VPS. Ubuntu should work with open-office-online I believe. The main sticking point for FreeBSD is that open-office-online is almost entirely documented around docker images, which FreeBSD can’t use yet.

Their is some interesting rumblings from the docker folks, about abstracting the format to support the linux kernel containers as well as freebsd jails. But thats far flung stuff, im tangenting on.


If you get everything going, id love to play around with open-office-online as a user. Id like figure out if I wanna go through the effort of my own instance.


Sure! It sounds super interesting


ok, it’s just basic right now, but i’ll look at open-office-online.

also, it doesn’t email anyone, and i have no idea where to start. haha

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I tried looking for open office online, and saw that libre office has 50x the contributions that apache open office does (according to wikipedia).

? i see the collabora / CODE stuff online, i can try CODE now


Note: using Collabora software requires a Docker Nextcloud server with a valid SSL certificate. A Snap Nextcloud server will not work, unfortunately.

from How To Integrate LibreOffice With Nextcloud

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My brain was short circuiting last night. Everytime I said open-office-online you can do a find and replace al with libre-office-online. That is what I meant to be talking about.


all good =D thanks!

also seems to say you gotta have a dockerized Nextcloud in order to use Collabora. unfortunately i have used snap

i also like that their domain is linuxbabe

i am still pretty confused about the difference between Collabora, Libra Office Online, and CODE, alas. but i think i am kinda stuck until i feel like redoing Nextcloud the docker way. it’s okay, we can play around with some of the other “official” Nextcloud apps, like Calendar and such

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I feel old, because I like installing things bare metal, and not use docker/snap etc.


Thats kind of my beef too. Which is why ive stayed my hand with libre-office-online. But i’d like to see if it’s worth the docker shenanigans myself.

SO I think:

Libre Office Online is the codebase that Libre Office/The Document Foundation Maintans for … well Libre Office Online.

Collabora is the name of an free/open source consulting company that also works on on Libre Office Online. They maintain their own bleeding edge fork and hosting options. Confusingly also called Collabora. The relationship here is similar to say Codeweavers & Wine. Almost all of their code if not all of it flows back to Libre Office Online eventually. But they offer a premium enterprise product and support options. Possibly even some premium features, but im not sure about this.

CODE is short for Collabora Office Developer Edition. Which is Collabora’s self hosted community/developer base product for non paying customers.

Their all more or less the same thing just different code branches of the same product. With the Collabora branded ones being the most public corporate facing one offering enterprise support.


I will mention just briefly. I really wish the whole “WebODF” thing had worked out. It seemed like a much more elegant and easier to setup solution for OwnCloud/NextCloud than Libre Office Online.

It shipped by default with OwnCloud for a little while. I quite liked it.

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Yes, that is too much. I just spun up a next instance, and I’m using the $5 droplet. I’d start small and resize up as needed. I don’t plan to sync files to the VPS, rather to a DO Space (their object storage service [S3]). So the base SSD should be fine for everything I need it, and I won’t need much memory on a single user instance. :slight_smile:

I baleeted my Nextcloud for two reasons: 1) I want to redo it using the $5 droplet and 2) I want to redo it using Docker so I can add Libre Office Online Collabora CODE ora Office Online collora Libora Onhard Conlineora Coffice.

Actually there was a third reason: my computer got a fish spilled onto it months ago and I forgot that I had a public/private key pair whose private key only lived on that computer so it’s gone, and so I couldn’t re-up the ssh thing. The https thing I mean. The SSL thing. The thing with the … the … Let’s Encrypt. That.

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Cool, if you get that up, let me have an account so I can test it out. I haven’t seen it live; I don’t have a reason to use syncing office docs warez as I don’t make office docs, but folks willing to pay me might. :slight_smile: