My first impressions were a bit negative, as I was expecting "open source Dropbox" and nothing more; Nextcloud actually does quite a lot, which made me think it was bloatware. This is due to my ignorance and jumping in too fast.
What Nextcloud actually is: a personal Dropbox-style server, with open source equivalents of Google Docs, calendaring, contacts, notepads, and a complete "app store". It's all really well built, and you can use as much (or in my case, as little) as you feel like. I thought I'd use none of these apps at all, until I realized that I would really like a Del.icio.us-style [bookmarking app](https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/bookmarks), but had no desire to shop around and adopt something that required a fee or might disappear later.
At this point, my only criticisms are that I think the installation should be more idiot-friendly, and the UI smells of 2012.
For anyone interested in following suit, I picked up an [Odroid-HC1](https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-hc1-home-cloud-one/) (a bit like a Raspberry Pi, but much higher disk and network performance, at a similar price point) and [NextcloudPi](https://ownyourbits.com/nextcloudpi/#download) (complete Debian + Nextcloud image). It went swimmingly and cost well under a hundred bucks, not counting the 3.5" hard drive.
Nextcloud is backed by a corporation that mostly makes its money off support for the German gov't? I think it's an ideal solution for any municipality, non-profit, or small-to-large sized company that for whatever reason doesn't want to go with a commercial cloud.
I agree about the installation but what's a good solution? If you're self-hosting something (at home) there are two main problems you need to solve. You need to be able to access it from the internet and you need a backup strategy. I would argue that an install isn't complete unless you have those and they aren't easy to automate.
As for the UI, I agree. It's pretty blah. But I would take that over pretty much all of the recent garbage UIs that are more catered to making money instead of improving the UX.
One example: the install expects that the data drive will be on a 1-2gb USB attached storage drive; the Odroid uses SATA, 6tb drives are very commonplace, and the process for formatting <4 | >4gb is apparently completely different in Linux?
To reiterate, the installer is really good, but someone stopped just short of making it great.
Regarding the UI, it's not terrible, but I hope that Nextcloud Corp invests some of their newly found riches on a top-class UX designer.
It's different for any OS. A good tool hides that from the user, but it's as true for Windows as it is for Linux.
One of the Nextcloud designers here – thank you for the honest feedback! :)
Could you share some more details on these two things specifically?
- Where did you have issues with the installation? On the website, download, permissions, install page, etc.?
- Which parts of the UI you see as outdated? Is it the web interface, specific apps, the desktop client, the mobile apps, all of it? Any specific things which seem off to you and we should focus on?
We continuously work on improving the design of course. As it is we are not so many designers, as unfortunately the problem is in open source. Also we’ve been working on many things in parallel like accessibility, standardization, the new Vue components, and of course our breadth of apps, etc.
So thanks for bringing this up! We’ll do better.
The setup was painful, the UI would randomly not respond to my requests, and in general it just felt like a bad PHP hobby project.
Then to top it off their sync client basically deleted half of my photo collection for some reason, and nobody seemed to have any idea why, in general adopting a ‘that sometimes happens, just reset the sync client’ stance.
I mean, that’s cool, but meanwhile it’d synched the deletion across all my machines.
Thankfully I had everything still synched to Google Drive as well, but I need to be able to trust my sync client.
Since then I use NextCloud for calendar and addressbook sync, notes sync and a browser mail frontend if I'm not on any of my own computers.
Eventually I did get it going with Ubos on a raspberry pi 3 booting from a fast sandisk cz80 usb flash drive. Ubos under the covers is based on arch linux.
It was pretty straightforward to set up.
I then installed nextcloud apps for iOS and Mac OS.
It is nice -- it does files, contacts, calendars, photos, etc.
Then I didn't touch anything. It works, although I'm at least a year out of date, but everything is stable and all my stuff syncs back and forth.
It's not just "independence" it's literally: you cannot trust a US [owned] company because the US government has said it that US law governs any foreign subsidiaries. Because they're now magically subject to US law they have to comply with the patriot act, which is already unconstitutional. But that doesn't matter as the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the constitution does not apply to foreigners. Therefore they don't even need the patriot act: foreigners don't get the 4th amendment.
If you were the leader of some country, and there was another country acting that way, would you ever want to store any of your information, or rely on services provided by, a company subject to such rules?
I finally moved to Syncthing one year ago and never had to configure anything else. I have it running in a docker container that gets automatically updated and needed zero configuration since then. It's also much faster at syncronizing files than Nextcloud was, and doesn't need a central repository.
If you don't need Nextcloud fancy features and just want a Dropbox self hosted alternative, Syncthing should be the way to go.
AWS has FedRamp instances in DCs no one else uses. Same with the SaaS system I work on. They had all kinds of restrictions including only allowing US Citizens to access the systems.
...as reported e.g. here (I had problems loading the above page):
Meaning: Nextcloud won't follow a similar direction, right?
Second, there is simply no reason to rewrite everything from scratch. We know our code base well enough to be able to maintain and keep driving it forward.
Nextcloud can already scale to hundreds of millions of users. See nextcloud.com/globalscale - GS is in production since 2017 and at at least one customer, some nodes have shown to scale to 250K users, as part of a larger architecture designed for tens of millions. We have about a half dozen other customers using GS or working on deployments, and some in proof-of-concept stage.
In short, we have no plans to change a working, proven architecture which actually scales from Raspberry Pi to a global deployment for something which actually doesn't do either of those.
Thanks a lot for mentioning the interesting details!
Or is this just another ploy to get better pricing?
I can’t find it now but it wasn’t long ago that the NextCloud (or was it OwnCloud) FAQ had a note about security that read something like “we’re busy adding features we’ll get to security later”. It left me feeling uneasy. I would have hoped security would have been part of the design. Maybe I’m just getting old...
(Edit: removed incorrect information.)
The only thing that's happening here is they appear to have struck a huge contract with a few EU countries to build internal clouds.
I believe NextCloud is open source, and a fork of owncloud from the original owncloud developer who wasn't happy with the direction it was taking, or something like that. Also, they are a profitable company, and the product is open source, so this only looks like a boost to their business model and the open source product it's based on.
Dunno what your threshold for abandonment is, but that’s already a better shelf-life than most profit-driven startups.
It's very bad Europe has no its own public cloud yet. All universities, schools, research centers, public services can be much more efficient and secure than now. But they will probably fall again into the same trap like it happened with Windows and other proprietary garbage before. Will it be AWS or Azure this time?
Playing life on expert mode, respect.
So, the difference between the internet and the minitel is nothing like the difference between Nextcloud and American alternatives (Dropbox & Co).
everything was 'based on another protocol' before x25 :D
i think that just like Minitel was one of many services that used the banal packet switching tech at the time, nextcloud is just another banal cloud offering. What is interesting is what will happen soon: truly distributed networks will be for [aws/nextcloud/etc] what the internet was for [minitel/dec/telenet/bbs] users.