Nextcloud Photo management and sharing

As promised in my last blog post I’m back with a few experiences concerning Nextcloud Server, the Nextcloud iOS App, managing photos and of course the whole sharing thing.

Nextcloud iOS App

Over the last days I took some photos with my mobile. The upload to my personal cloud (Nextcloud) works perfect. Inside the iOS app is an area for photos where you can see them ordered by date. You can touch, swipe through, favorite and do basically everything that you expect on a mobile.

Nextcloud iOS App - Photos
Nextcloud iOS App – Photos

If your iPhone is low on space it’s possible to optimise the situation by removing the photos after upload and store just optimised versions inside the iOS app. I can confirm, that it saves space (of course I have the “cheap” 16GB version).

Nextcloud iOS App - Optimizations
Nextcloud iOS App – Optimizations

Managing and sharing Photos in the Browser

So far I have no Nextcloud client on my MacBook. At the moment I only use Nextcloud in my browser. When the iOS app uploads the photos, they are all stored in one folder (photos). In Nextcloud core is an app called gallery and an app called gallery+. Gallery+ is a fork of gallery and seems to be more modern.

Gallerie+ provides a dedicated view of all images in a grid, adds image viewing capabilities to the files app and adds a gallery view to public links. Compatible with Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10+

To be honest I don’t understand why they are delivering two gallery apps in core. Just enabled gallery+!

Nextcloud - Enable Gallery+
Nextcloud – Enable Gallery+

Features of Gallery+

  • Upload and organise images and albums straight from the app
  • Large, zoomable previews which can be shown in fullscreen mode
  • Sort images by name or date
  • Per album design, description and copyright statement
  • Image download straight from the slideshow or the gallery
  • Switch to Gallery+ from any folder in files and vice-versa
  • Ignore folders containing a “.nomedia” file
  • Browser rendering of SVG images (disabled by default)
  • Mobile support

Meanwhile I have a few more photos and it’s easy to create additional folders and drag the photos into these folders.

Nextcloud - Move files
Nextcloud – Move files

You can switch at any time between the gallery and the file view.

Nextcloud - Switch to gallery
Nextcloud – Switch to gallery

Tags, Comments and Favorites

It’s possible to add tags and  comments to a photo and mark it as favorite. All favorites are behind the Favorites link.

Nextcloud - Tags, Comments and Favorites
Nextcloud – Tags, Comments and Favorites

Of course you can also rename, download and delete photos.

Sharing photos

After organising my new photos I want to share them.

This is in general possible by creating a share link and send it to your friends. The interesting thing for me was the amount of possibilities to share in the share dialog.

Nextcloud - Share dialog

Sharing with other personal cloud users

It’s possible to share your photos with a user or a group in your Nextcloud installation. Depending on your environment this could be for example your family, your friends or a project group. We haven’t talked so far about a federation of clouds (a topic for another blog entry) so just accept the fact that it’s possible too to share your photos with a remote user. A remote user is a user in another personal cloud. There is a standard for that so it doesn’t have to be Nextcloud. In this case you have to insert the [username]@[domain] and Nextcloud sends a notification to the remote user.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

The remote user has the choice to accept or decline. If your share is accepted you get an email notification (if it’s configured in the admin area and if you provide your email address).

Nextcloud - Email notification
Nextcloud – Email notification

All shared items are visible behind the links Shared with you, Shared with others and Shared by link.

Nextcloud - Shared with you

I noticed that remote users cannot see comments, tags and favourites.

Share with the public via link

The other possibility to share photos is via a public link. You can create the link in the share dialog. If it is super secret, you can set up a password and if if it should be a temporary link you can setup an expiration date.

This is the link to the bicycle photo on top … try it! https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/n9Qfef5giu4chp1

Administrator Settings

It might be necessary to configure some settings in your admin dashboard to allow all those features.

Nextcloud - Sharing settings
Nextcloud – Sharing settings

Summary

Since a few days I use the Nextcloud iOS App, Nextcloud Server and the Gallery+ App to manage my photos. So far it works well. Next step will be to install a client on my MacBook to sync all the photos.


tl;dr: You can manage and share your photos via Nextcloud

The post Nextcloud Photo management and sharing appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Nextcloud – Installation on shared hosting & first steps

back to A Personal Cloud – But How and Why

To run your own personal cloud you have to install the server component somewhere. After that you can access it from everywhere in the world with every suitable device. The best and most personal scenario would be to do that on your own machine in the place where you live. It is possible to do it on a PC or even a Raspberry Pi but unfortunately the upload speed of many internet connections is not high, so often this option isn’t an option. For example in the little village in France where I live the upload speed is 0.8 Mbps 🙁

Internet connection speed
Internet connection speed in Fitou, France 🙁

The second best choice is a shared hosting environment. You have to pay for it (<10€ per month), it’s easy to handle and managed by the hosting company. Usually you can create databases, FTP users and more features.
You could also go for a cloud or a dedicated server but then you have to deal with server updates and configurations and it’s probably more expensive.

The easiest way to set up your personal cloud in a shared hosting environment is the Nextcloud web installer.

Installation

The Nextcloud web installer checks the dependencies, downloads the Nextcloud files from the official server, unpacks it with the right permissions and the right user account. Finally, you will be redirected to the Nextcloud installer.
You’ll find it in the download area (https://nextcloud.com/install/#instructions-server).

Nextcloud - Webinstaller
Nextcloud – Webinstaller

Download the file setup_nextcoud.php, upload it to your shared hosting environment and point your web browser to http://[your_domainname]/setup-nextcloud.php.

The Nextcloud Setup Wizard appears. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Setup Wizard
Nextcloud – Setup Wizard

Now you have to decide if you want to install Nextcloud in the current directory (enter a single “.” to install ), or in a subdirectory (default name is nextcloud).

I want to have my personal cloud in the current directory so I enter a dot.

Nextcloud Setup Wizard - Directory
Nextcloud Setup Wizard – Directory

Now the web installer loads all the necessary files from the Nextcloud servers and tells you that Nextcloud is installed. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Web Installer - Success
Nextcloud – Web Installer – Success

Next step is to decide whether you want to use SQLite as a database or MySQL/MariaDB. The advantage of SQLite is that it is inbuilt in PHP and if you have a shared hosting without a database SQLite would be the way to go. But for performance reasons, especially when using the desktop client for file syncing the use of SQLite is discouraged.

Because I want to do exactly this I decided to create a database and a database user in cPanel (administration tool of my provider) and use it for my personal cloud. Fill the fields with the db credentials and choose a username and a password for the admin account. Click the Finish setup button.

Nextcloud - database configuration
Nextcloud – database configuration

Your database will be used and configured by the Nextcloud setup wizard and after that you see the big welcome screen.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Your Nextcloud server is now ready to use. You can use apps to sync your data from your mobile and your desktop.

But before we install clients, have a look around. Behind the link with you name in the right top corner are most options to configure your personal cloud. In the left top corner are the active apps. You can add more apps by clicking the +. In the middle of the screen are the default folders Documents and Photos with some example files. In the left bottom corner is a settings link which displays the possible settings depending on the page you are. Remember that you are now connected as the godfather of users with all possible administration rights.

Nextcloud - Dashboard
Nextcloud – Dashboard

It’s a good idea to create a user account for each “real” user in your cloud and leave the admin account for administration purpose.

Create a user

Creating a user is simple. Click on your user name -> users and add the desired person. You just need a name and a password. Then you can logout and login again as a “real” user. When you click the same menus as before you’ll notice that it’s not possible anymore to add apps or configure your personal cloud.

Nextcloud - Create User Account
Nextcloud – Create User Account

Even if we haven’t configured anything else, it’s possible to use your personal cloud. You can play around and upload a file via your browser.

iOS Client

I’m using an iPhone, so I install the Nextcloud App (0.99 Euro) to sync my files and automatically upload my photos from my mobile to my shiny new personal cloud. In the app you can just enable the camera upload.

Nextcloud iOS App
Nextcloud iOS App

BTW – this is the first photo I took after activating the photo upload and it simply worked 🙂 #mehappy

Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud ;)
Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud 😉

What have I achieved so far?

I was able to setup the Nextcloud server on my shared hosting space. I installed the iOS app on my mobile and configured the automatic camera upload.

My photos are now in my personal cloud!

For today it’s enough, I’ll take a few photos in the next days and come back soon with my experiences.

The post Nextcloud – Installation on shared hosting & first steps appeared first on Hagen Graf.