Mobile Devices, Drupal, Composer and 217 km

Beside my Drupal work at artus.com I attended the Mobile Users FFM monthly meeting on Wednesday. The group exists since 13 years and it started as the “Palm user group, Frankfurt”. Do you remember Palm? During the last 13 years the world changed and it was interesting for me me to hear stories about different types of smartphones, smartwatches, phone contracts and gadget like the Yota Phone 2.

A member of the group (@android_oma) is developing an interesting Drupal/Android/open data project. The basic idea is to collect photos from German railway stations (bike stations, elevators, facilities inside and outside of railway stations). She pulls open data from the German Deutsche Bahn with longitude, latitude and unique id numbers of German railway stations. These data should be imported/synced to a Drupal site (http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de).

http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de
http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de

With an already existing Android App, people can see railway stations where photos are missing. So far the project is in early stage, the app is not in the app store but available via in this Google+ group.
Later on the app should post the photos directly to the Drupal website by using web services. So far people are just tweeting photos (it’s easy to participate 🙂 ) (https://twitter.com/hashtag/bahnhofsfotos. Railway fans are unique, so the project is getting attention and they are planning an international version starting with Switzerland.

A day later I attended the Drupal Meeting Frankfurt and learned a lot about Drupal and Composer (http://drupal-composer.org).

Bicycle

As you may know I commute with a bike and this week I drove 217 km.

Activities for Oct 10, 2016 - Oct 16, 2016 Aug 29, 2016 - Oct 10, 2016
Activities for Oct 10, 2016 – Oct 16, 2016 Aug 29, 2016 – Oct 10, 2016

 

The post Mobile Devices, Drupal, Composer and 217 km appeared first on Hagen Graf.

News! I’m working as a Drupal Developer in Germany

The summer was wonderful. We finished the restoration of a house in the middle of July and we wanted to enjoy some weeks at the beach. As you know, we are Germans and there seems to be some truth in all these stereotypes about Germans, they always make plans 😉 So we did, we made a list about how we wanted to spend our “free” time. The plan was to work a few hours on projects that should be finally finished, like the green roof project in the garden, the Cave in 22 Grand’ Rue, some “little” things in our house … and spend the rest of the time at beaches, in art galleries, antique markets, reading books, … well … it worked somehow – I was everyday at a beach for these 8 weeks and now I’m the mayor 🙂

Plage Naturiste
Plage Naturiste

Nextcloud appeared in June and I’m very interested in the project. I went to Stuttgart in August for a Hackweek and to Berlin in September for the first conference. I wrote some blog posts about Nextcloud box and other aspects of the project.

While working on our summer projects we discussed how we will earn money in the future. Usually we do that regularly at Dec 31th but this time we planned in July at the beach. We came to the conclusion that we renovated more or less enough houses for us (You can buy one btw.). There is still one house project left together with our daughter and her husband but I thought

May be I can work on a nice software project.

Something related to Nextcloud, RaspberryPi, internet of things, Drupal 8. All these “new” stuff hat appeared while I was renovating 🙂

I applied officially at certain companies (my first applications since nearly 20 years) and I learned a lot about LinkedIn, Xing, Monster, writing a good CV and all those things where I’m still not good in (Help me to become better). A company in Frankfurt hired me as a Drupal developer. It’s a “digital interactive agency” called artus.com and their mission is:

We plan, create, develop and implement anything digital that builds our clients brand and business.

“Anything digital” sounded good and I never worked in an agency like that! They are using Drupal 8 for bigger projects, e.g. worldvision.de. They are planning to use it in more projects. The only problem is that they wanted to have me in their office in Frankfurt, Germany. We agreed on a kind of testing for six weeks and then
– I hope to continue with remote work from Fitou and
– they hope that I will move to Frankfurt.
I’m curious how we’ll figure that out – stay tuned!
Living in Frankfurt is ridiculous expensive, so I tried to find a place via Twitter and Facebook.

To my own surprise I found something for 4 weeks in Bad Homburg and something for 2 weeks in Rödelheim :).
Thanks to Android_oma and 12schm34idt56hil78ke.

At the moment I live in Bad Homburg and commute with my bike to Frankfurt. Well, it’s actually not my bike, it’s a super posh electrical bike that I’m allowed the use (a blog post on that is coming soon). Each day I drive 40 km. I track the tours with an App, so if you want to follow me, become my friend on Strava. First week 200km!

First week
First week

I have no time anymore!

I start at 7:30am with my bike and I come back at 8pm with my bike. Additionally, this country is so cold, windy and mostly dark when I’m driving! It’s nice sometimes, you see 😉

Frankfurt

The work itself is interesting: The dev team works with PHPStorm, Vagrant, Bitbucket, Slack, several servers and is trying to organise everything as easy and smooth as possible. I’m curious to learn everything and it was for sure a good idea to be six weeks physically here! Last Friday, we had a so called Quarterly, followed by a workshop with all employees (37), very interesting! Later on there was a great dinner and we ended up with a little group in a kind of club in Frankfurt (Pik Dame).

The last days I heard so many opinions about work, controlling, planning, project management, creativity, brand management, mismanagement, open source software, closed source software, company culture, employee driven companies and the future in general that my daily commuting on the bike is a good way to reflect on that. Since that workshop I’m a proud member of a new team and I’m partly responsible for a handbook, that will help newbies like me to understand processes in this company.

Plan

I want to write about my experiences as often as possible but as I already said  in the headline – I have not that much time anymore 🙂

Save

Save

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More official Nextcloud Apps

As promised in the first blog post about the Nextcloud App Ecosystem, here comes the second one about all the official Nextcloud Apps that are disabled by default.

To understand the different types of apps better, I would categorize them as following so far:

  • Official Nextcloud app:
    A Nextcloud app is called official when it’s developed/maintained by Nextcloud GmbH and shipped in the Nextcloud server package. Some official apps are enabled.
  • Approved Nextcloud app
    A Nextcloud App is called approved when it comes from a third party entity and is shipped in the Nextcloud server package.
  • Apps from the Nextcloud app store.
    In Nextcloud version 11, an app store will be integrated. I don’t know yet how these apps will be called in the future.

This blog post covers official Nextcloud apps which are disabled by default:

  • Default encryption module
  • External sites
  • External storage support
  • External user support
  • File access control
  • Files automated tagging
  • Gallery
  • LDAP user and group backend
  • Retention
  • SAML authentication

If you just read the names and you are not familiar with the Nextcloud project you might struggling to understand what these apps are for, why they are not enabled and whether it is a good or a bad idea to enable them. I’ll go through these apps, provide a short description and, if possible a common use case and some screenshots.

Default encryption module

I’m not sure why this package is called a module, it should be called an app, an official app!

As you may assume this app is about security. After enabling the app and server-side encryption in the administration settings, all your new uploaded files will be encrypted based on AES 256 keys (How secure are AES-256 encrypted files?), the app won’t touch existing files.
Attention: It is not possible to disable the encryption again and switch back to an unencrypted system!
Please read the documentation to know all implications before you decide to enable server-side encryption.

Enable server-side encryption
Enable server-side encryption

External sites

This app allows an administrator to add links in the Nextcloud web interface apps menu that points to an external website. For a user, the external site appears in an iframe as if it’s part of the Nextcoud installation.

External Sites - Configuration
External Sites – Configuration
External website in an iframe
External website in an iframe

External storage support

The external storage support app enables administrators to configure connections to external storage providers (FTP , Amazon S3, SWIFT object stores, Google Drive, Dropbox, other Nextcloud servers, WebDAV servers, and more). Administrators can choose which types of storage to enable and can mount these storage locations for a user, a group, or the entire system. The screenshot shows an example with external storage via SFTP.

External Storage Configuration
External Storage Configuration

Users will see a new folder appearing in their root Nextcloud directory, which they can access and use it like any other Nextcloud folder.

External Storage in Files
External Storage in Files

External user support

This app authenticates user login against FTP, IMAP or SMB. Passwords are not stored locally and authentication always happens against the remote server. There is no graphical user interface for configuration. You have to add parameters to the configuration file config.php.
Have a look at the documentation.

File access control

This app controls the access to files. It can be used e.g. in relationship with the two factor authentication app (an approved app – TOTP TwoFactor (Google Authenticator)) because it’s necessary to protect the keys. I’ll cover this topic in a separate blog post.
Meanwhile, have a look at Joas blog post on Nextcloud.com – File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud.

Files automated tagging

The app automatically assigns tags to newly uploaded files based on conditions. Combined with Files Access Control App and Retention App it’s possible to create workflows like

  • converting document file types to PDF upon upload by members of a specified group
  • emailing files put in a specified folder with a given tag to a given mail address.

Have a look at https://nextcloud.com/workflow/.

Gallery

Hey, the Gallery app is the awesome photo gallery that you see, after you uploaded some images. It creates automatically mosaic pictures for folders and hopefully it’s soon possible to see EXIF Tags.

Gallery
Gallery

LDAP user and group backend

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) app allows LDAP users (including Microsoft Active Directory) to appear in your Nextcloud user listings!
Have a look at User Authentication with LDAP.

Retention

This is for automatic deletion of files after a given time. Files have to have a “delete” tag. It is configured in the administration area.

Retention App
Retention App

SAML authentication

The app authenticates users against a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) backend, such as Shibboleth which allows people to sign in using just one identity to various systems run by federations of different organisations or institutions.

Conclusion

The official but not enabled apps are often covering special use cases like the whole authentication and workflow handling. Even if these are not “main stream use cases” it’s important and crucial to know that these solutions exist for using Nextcloud efficiently in your company!


tl;dr: The Nextcloud 10 server package comes with several official apps that are not all enabled by default but awesome!

Save

Save

Save

The post More official Nextcloud Apps appeared first on Hagen Graf.

First setup of my Nextcloud Box

Last Saturday at Nextcloud conference in Berlin the Nextcloud Box was announced. Frank said it’s a part of his promise/desire to make the world a better place by bringing your data home.

How can the world be a better place with Nextcloud Box?

What is Nextcloud Box?

Nextcloud Box is a project between Western Digital Labs, Ubuntu/Canonical and Nextcloud GmbH. It gives you the possibility to store your data (files, documents, photos, calendars, notes, newsfeed, contacts, music files, video files and everything the can be stored in a file) in your own Nextcloud Box. There is no need anymore to upload your data to proprietary cloud services like Dropbox, Google Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, Apple Cloud, Amazon Cloud, and many other! It will be even possible in the next release to make encrypted phone calls via your Nextcloud Box.

The complete Nextcloud Box contains a hard disk, an operating system, and open source software:

  • a hard disk from Western Digital (1TB = a lot for me)
  • a Raspberry Pi computer (at the moment model 2).
    The Raspberry Pi is so far not included in the box you can buy.
  • a 4GB storage card with a preinstalled Linux System (Snappy Ubuntu Core)
  • the Nextcloud software (Version 9.53)
  • a software environment that connects the box automatically to your (local) network via ethernet cable and offers the Nextcloud services to all users.

A complete Nextcloud Box looks like this and costs 70 Euro in Europe (buy here).

Open Nextcloud Box
Open Nextcloud Box

Why is it sold without the Raspberry Pi?

Nextcloud box should be as open as possible so the partners decided for the start not to deliver the Raspberry Pi. If you already own one you can connect your Raspberry Pi 2 to the box. There is a screw driver, four screws, all necessary connection cables and a power supply in the box. If not, you have to buy it somewhere. Frank announced that there are working on a possibility to sell complete packages in the future.

All parts of Nextcloud Box
All parts of Nextcloud Box

Putting everything together is easy and doable for everyone. If you search for the card slot at the Raspberry Pi – It’s a bit hidden “below” it and luckily it’s not possible to insert the card in the wrong way.

Card Slot - Raspberry Pi
Card Slot – Raspberry Pi

This it how it looks if everything is connected

connected Nextcloud Box
connected Nextcloud Box

The last task is to close the box with the cover and your done.

How to install Nextcloud Box

Well, just connect it to your network, provide electricity and wait 8-10 minutes. Open your browser and point to http://ubuntu-standard.local. The start screen asks to set a user name and a password for the administrator account. Enter na nice name and secure password and click the Finish setup button.

Nextcloud Box - set administrator account
Nextcloud Box – create an administrator account

That’s it! Nextcloud Box is ready to use and lots like this:

Next steps

Depending on your goal and situation you can e.g.

connect Nextcloud Box to your clients

This is an example of the OS X Nextcloud client

Nextcloud OSX Client with Nextcloud Box folder
Nextcloud OSX Client with Nextcloud Box folder

It works of course too on iOS and Android devices.

Allow access from outside your home and become a cloud hoster

If you have a fairly fast internet connection at home and a possibility to configure your router, you can enable the access to your Nextcloud Box from outside of your home. E.g. here in France it’s possible to get your own IP-address for free (free.fr). As this IP-address is static it’s possible to connect it to a domain name (mydomainname.tld) and you suddenly become a cloud hosting entity.

Why is Nextcloud Box important?

It’s another try to help people to understand how easy it is to store your own data at home or in your own company in an environment as open as possible. Even the plan of the box is available for free, so that you are able to start your own project!

Remember …

There is no cloud, just other people’s computer!

The familiar you become with your own data, the better it will be for the world too!

At Nextcloud conference 50 Nextcloud boxes were available.

Links

https://nextcloud.com/box/


tl;dr: Nextcloud Box will make the world a better place and will bring you data home!

The post First setup of my Nextcloud Box appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Nextcloud Conference – Saturday

Today the contributor conference started. Yesterday was more business oriented, today the “get things done phase” starts.

Jos opened the conference with a few words, Frank, Joe and Jane repeated their announcements of the Nextcloud box and 50 boxes are available to buy here at the conference for 70 Euro. The missing RaspberryPi is provided for free. Frank said, that he’s looking for a possibility to sell Nextcloud Box as a complete package.

Lightning talks

Some lightning talks were held to introduce Nextcloud people, their responsibilities and offer possibilities to contribute (Lukas Reschke , Morris JobkeBjoern Schiessle). Bjoern did an additional and inspiring talk about “what’s special in Nextcloud”.

Beside Nextcloud employees

Lunch

… was served by a food truck and the burgers were delicious! The marketing department was working hard 🙂

 

Workshop Collabora – Michael Meeks

Michael Meeks gave answers to very detailed questions from the audience. I didn’t understood everything but the way collabora office suite works is now a bit clearer for me. There was a longer discussion how to integrate Collabora in Nextcloud in a “better, easier and faster” way.

Fair web services – Cornelius Schumacher

Fair web services was the last workshop I attend and the topic reminded me why I’m at this conference. Years ago I wanted to backup my photos on Flickr. Backup in the sense of keeping album structures and EXIF data. I tried OwnCloud but it didn’t work. I discovered that OwnCloud was a perfect solution for other projects of mine and so I used it until June. The Flickr backup problem is still unsolved. It’s possible to access my data via API but so far I found nothing that really works for me (may be time to write a Flickr import app for Nextcloud). Today there is also an additional “iTunes Cloud Match” problem. But back to the talk.

There are a number of attempts to solve the problems of freedom of web services. This is a list of relevant references.

None of the solutions is complete yet or has enough traction to serve as a widely accepted solution … The idea is to create criteria for a certification of services. The certification would allow providers to show that they respect the freedom of users and give users a guideline about what services to use.

I think it’s a good idea – have a look at http://fairwebservices.org.

Link tip:

I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that. https://tosdr.org

In the workshop I met Marcos Garcia Pedraza, Co-Founder of Patria Digitalis. He wants to offer “fair” services, so it starts and I have a good ok feeling!

At the airport

As I mentioned above I’m not able to attend the whole week, so meanwhile I’m at the airport Berlin Schoenefeld, my Laptop was scanned for drugs, I had to show every piece of my Nextcloud box to the border police. The boarding pass that I printed out in France had the wrong “format” and the plane has a delay. The good news is that Dennis and his friends will come next week to Fitou for a short vacation.

Now I have a little bit time to think about this project that started 6 years ago to make the world a better place.
So far it was an interesting journey!

Someone replied to that tweet that he didn’t get the idea because it already exists and it’s called NAS or Synology.

The journey will continue 🙂

The post Nextcloud Conference – Saturday appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Nextcloud Conference – Business Day

I had no idea what to expect from this conference but something inside said to me

Go to Berlin, it’s important!

So I went to Berlin to attend at least two days of the conference at Technische Universität. The Berlin Technische Universität is one of the largest and most prestigious research and education institutions in Germany and for a whole week the center of the growing Nextcloud community.

Technische Universität Berlin
Technische Universität Berlin

The future of Nextcloud

In Frank Karlitscheks talk about the future of Nextcloud he also talked about sustainability and the way how Nextcloud will develop in the next 20! years:

During the talk, he showed Nextcloud 10 features und someone from the audience asked when this version with all these nice features will be released (easy answer, it was released a few weeks ago). In the meantime Klaas tweeted two feature request

Features requests via Twitter
Features requests via Twitter

Security Architecture

Lukas Reschke talked about Nextcloud security architecture. I liked the idea that the same developers who wrote the code are responsible for fixing their own bugs.

Federation

Bjoern Schiessle is working since four years on the federation subject and showed an overview of the ideas behind the concept and it’s future.

In Nextcloud, it’s possible to share your files with a remote user. A remote user is a user in another personal cloud installation that supports the federation concept (e.g. Nextcloud, OwnCloud, Pydio). To share a file you have to insert the cloud ID of that user [username]@[domain] and Nextcloud sends a notification to the remote user. The remote user can decide whether he wants to accept the share.
You find your own Cloud ID in your Nextcloud profile page. Share it!

MySql Database Scalability

Oli Sennhauser (FromDual) gave a talk about MySQL database scalability. The interesting thing for me was that he was not familiar with the Nextcloud software. So he asked users and developers in the audience questions how Nextcloud is handling this and that. Based on the answers he described possible problems and solutions.


After the lunch break I missed half of Artur Schiwons talk about User Management in Nextcloud. Nextcloud has a variety of authentication mechanisms needed to fit comfortably in the diverse enterprise authentication landscape. I learned some new abbreviations: LDAP, SAML, ODP, ….

Nextcloud Scalability with a concept design for 10.000 users

This talk was interesting too because Dennis Pennings (360ict.nl) is planning to set up a huge Nextcloud installation. He researched a lot about possible solutions and he had plenty of question that were discussed at the end together with Frank and the audience.

Slides, Videos

So far, no slides and videos are available online. I’ll update the blog post when I find them.

Surprise, Surprise

During the day I saw tweets about a mysterious Nextcloud box, even an article in the German Heise Ticker (Nextcloud Box soll die Cloud ins Heim bringen).

The Nextcloud Box

At 6pm the Nextcloud box was presented by Frank. I decided to install Periscope and tried to stream the event. After the third try it worked! Here are the exiting 20 minutes!

The box is real

Directly after the “surprise show” arrived with 50 Nextcloud Boxes and I bought one (70Euro).

The next guy in the queue was Guido Stepken and he bought seven!

While writing the blog post I saw that nearly the same box design exists since one year for the Open Source Media Center (OSMC PiDrive).

Conclusion

The day was super interesting an now I have to sleep. See you tomorrow!

The post Nextcloud Conference – Business Day appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps …

So I installed Nextcloud Server and the Nextcloud iOS App and the OS X desktop client. I’m syncing my photos and other files and I’m so happy that everything works. I mean, not in the way “Yeah, it works somehow and I like it because it’s open source software and they are the good ones”. No, it’s more like

It works fine awesome, the data is were I need it! I don’t have to think about!

But the best thing is …

There is more to discover and there will be much more in the near future!

I discovered Nextcloud Apps! They are hidden behind the little + in this popup.

Nextcloud Apps
Nextcloud Apps

I didn’t know, that there is a whole ecosystem behind that little +. Beside the shipped apps there will be a whole new App Store created by Bernhard Posselt and many other contributors. As far as I know the Nextcloud App Store will be fully operational from the Nextcloud version 11 release (will be in 2016) on. The beta version is already online and it looks promising (https://apps.nextcloud.com/).

Nextcloud - App Store - Beta
Nextcloud – App Store – Beta

Shipped Apps

Before we talk about the future let’s have a look what is already available. The core nextcloud server package comes with official apps, which are developed by Nextcloud directly and with approved apps. Approved apps are developed and supported by the community and approved by Nextcloud as “so good” to ship them with the core package.

Official Apps – Enabled by Default

The following Apps are official and enabled. They are the real core package of your Nextcloud Server. Because they are necessary and simply working I didn’t pay a lot attention when I installed Nextcloud for the first time but it’s worth to have a look what the whole core system is about.

Activity

Activity is a kind of Facebook timeline. You can see, ordered by date, all your shares, comments, favourites, uploads and the activities of remote users who are connected to you via the federation system.

Nextcloud - Activity
Nextcloud – Activity

Auditing / Logging

Logging is necessary and in this case it’s about PHP. You can choose what to log and you can download the log file to look for the reason of the entries.

Nextcloud - Logging
Nextcloud – Logging

Collaborative tags

Every user can tag files. The tags are stored and offered to all the users. It’s a great feature for your personal cloud or for teams. If you run a bigger installation with plenty of users that didn’t know each other you should disable this app to avoid confusion.

Nextcloud - Collaborative Tags
Nextcloud – Collaborative Tags

Comments

Yeah, it’s possible to comment on files

Deleted files

This app enables users to restore files that were deleted from the system. Restoring a file also restores related file versions (versions app has to be enabled).

Nextcloud - Deleted Files
Nextcloud – Deleted Files

Federation

Federation allows you to connect with other trusted servers.

Nextcloud - Federation
Nextcloud – Federation
  • File sharing
    The file sharing app implements the whole process of sharing files within Nextcloud server.

    Nextcloud - File sharing
    Nextcloud – File sharing

First run wizard

This app enables the popup that appears when a user logs in for the first time.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Notifications

The app send notifications for example when you receive a remote share.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

Password policy

Manages the password policy on your Nextcloud Server. Common passwords are taken from https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists/tree/master/Passwords

Nextcloud - Password Policy
Nextcloud – Password Policy

PDF viewer

I uploaded most of my books to have enough to read …

Nextcloud - PDF Viewer
Nextcloud – PDF Viewer

Provisioning API

Enables external systems to communicate via API with Nextcloud. For example the url http://admin:secret@example.com/ocs/v1.php/cloud/users -d userid="joecool"-d password="secret" creates the user joecool with the password secret.

Server info

Information about current CPU load, memory usage and active users.

Nextcloud - Server Info
Nextcloud – Server Info

Text editor

Create a new file online and write something! The screenshot is a gif animation including a problem that is solved by Nextcloud itself … have a look!

Nextcloud - Text Editor
Nextcloud – Text Editor
  • Theming

    You are already wondering about the nice orange color on top of the screenshots?

    Nextcloud - Theming
    Nextcloud – Theming

    Have a look at my login page (https://cloud.cocoate.com) and upload a nice log in image to your personal cloud!

    Nextcloud - Individual Login Page
    Nextcloud – Individual Login Page

Update notification

It displays update notifications. I saw it for the contacts app but I was to slow to take a screenshot (next time).

  • Usage report

    Sends anonymized data to help to improve Nextcloud. You can disable it at any time.

    Nextcloud - Usage Report
    Nextcloud – Usage Report

Versions

This application automatically maintains older versions of files that are changed.

  • Video player

Yes, there is a video player in Nextcloud! Click the link (https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/By6txeI6Hws38B8) for my shared video of @maxilamps.

Nextcloud - Video Player
Nextcloud – Video Player

Have a short break …

My initial plan was to try out and describe the Nextcloud apps. What I described so far in this blog post is a short glimpse on the official apps which are enabled by default! There are more official apps you can enable at any time (Default encryption module, External sites, External storage support, External user support, File access control, Files automated tagging, Gallery, LDAP user and group backend, Mail template editor, Retention, SAML authentication) and there are also the approved apps which can be enabled by just one click (NewsBookmarksDocumentsTasksJavaScript XMPP ChatOwnBackupownNote – Notes ApplicationQOwnNotesAPI,Shorten).
May be now you get a better impression what the Nextcloud ecosystem is about and how interesting it already is!

Now I’ll start to play around with the “not enabled” official apps and will come back soon with a new blog post.


tl;dr: The Nextcloud ecosystem is an amazing collection of useful apps and it’s growing and improving every day. Have a look at it!

The post Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps … appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Syncing your Personal Cloud with Nextcloud Desktop Client

After installing Nextcloud Server und Nextcloud iOS app last week, I noticed that there was no Nextcloud desktop client for OS X available on their website. One of the most important things in my personal cloud is the synchronisation between my Nextcloud server and my desktop. The reason for the missing desktop client was simple. The existing OwnCloud client worked perfectly together with Nextcloud 9.x and it was not an easy for the Nextcloud team to fork the desktop client.

After the upgrade to Nextcloud 10 I noticed that Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X were available and I was quite happy.

In this blog post I’ll show the installation and configuration of the Nextcloud OS X client.

Installation

Download the desktop client from the Nextcloud website (https://nextcloud.com/install/#install-clients).

Nextcloud - Download page desktop clients
Nextcloud – Download page desktop clients

The downloaded file is called Nextcloud-2.2.3.4.pkg. With a double click on the name you start the installer.

Nextcloud - Client Installer
Nextcloud – Client Installer

Just click the Continue button and go through the Installation. You can accept the default values.

After the Installer finished the installation you can start the Nextcloud desktop client by searching the app in Spotlight Search,

Nextcloud - Spotlight search
Nextcloud – Spotlight search

or click on the Nextcloud icon in Launcher,

Nextcloud - Launcher
Nextcloud – Launcher

or click on the app in the Applications directory in a Finder window.

Nextcloud - Finder - Applications
Nextcloud – Finder – Applications

Nextcloud Connection Wizard

When you start the app for the first time Nextcloud Connection Wizard will help to setup the connection between your server and your desktop client. First insert your Nextcloud server address and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Server Address
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Server Address

Next question are user credentials. Insert your username and password and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - User Credentials
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – User Credentials

These values are enough to connect and the connection wizard asks what you want to synchronise and where your local folder should be. I want to synchronise everything and the folder name is ok.
Click the Connect button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Setup local folder options
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Setup local folder options

Everything is set up now and you are asked where to go now. Access your Nextcloud Server in a browser window or open a local Finder window with your synced data.

Nextcloud Connection Setup - Everything set up!
Nextcloud Connection Setup – Everything set up!

Depending on the amount of data you are syncing it might take some time until all files are downloaded. A good possibility to have a look at your desktop. You probably see your new Nextcloud folder with plenty of green sync symbols and the Nextcloud icon in your menu bar on top of the screen. If you click the blue Nextcloud icon, a menu opens and beside other options you see how long syncing will take and how much data is involved.

Nextcloud - Syncing
Nextcloud – Syncing

That’s it! My data will be synchronised between Nextcloud Server, the iOS app and my Desktop!

You can add as many user accounts as you wish. They will be all synchronised!

Nextcloud - OS X Desktop Client - Settings
Nextcloud – OS X Desktop Client – Settings

Summary

My personal cloud consists for now of the Nextcloud server, the iOS App and the OS X client. All my photos and other files are now synchronised.

Links


tl;dr: Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X are available – download, install and use them!

The post Syncing your Personal Cloud with Nextcloud Desktop Client appeared first on Hagen Graf.

How to update your Nextcloud from version 9.53 to 10.0

Et voila, the first upgrade to a new major version is necessary. Yesterday the Nextcloud team released Version 10 with plenty of new and shiny features. Everything will get better, faster and more secure. (Release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now!). Thank you for that!

How to upgrade?

What has changed is the version of Nextcloud server. The iOS app works with both versions well (9.x and 10.0).

So how to upgrade the server?

A first look in the admin dashboard tells me, that there is no update available and my version is up to date.

Nextcloud 9.53 - Updater
Nextcloud 9.53 – Updater

I know it better because I read the release announcement and they say there is a new version! The sad truth is that the Updater in Nextcloud 9.53 doesn’t work. Unfortunately it is not possible to upgrade to the next version via a button click! The Updater will be fixed as soon as possible and I know it is a lot of work but for me and my personal cloud it will be a challenge.

Upgrade on shared hosting

As you know, I’m running my Nextcloud on a shared host and I installed it via the amazing web installer. Because of the broken Updater I have to do the Manual Nextcloud Upgrade as described in the documentation. The general workflow is the following:

  1. Backup files and the database is in general a very good idea!
  2. Move all Nextcloud files to a backup directory or simply rename the Nextcloud directory to [name]_old.
  3. Download and unpack the new Nextcloud files in the [name] folder.
  4. Copy the /config/config.php file from your saved version to the new version

Depending on you hosting environment you can copy the files via command line, FTP or a tool like cPanel.

Now access your Nextcloud in a browser. The installer will show the database update screen. Click the Start Update button.

Nextcloud 10 - Database Update
Nextcloud 10 – Database Update

Plenty of update steps will be shown

Updating to 10
Updating to Version 10.0

and … your done! That’s it! You will be redirected to the login screen.

Have you noticed? The form fields are shaking if you try to login with wrong credentials

In the admin area you can check the Nextcloud version … and … it’s Nextcloud 10 – congrats!

Nextcloud Version 10
Nextcloud Version 10

Don’t forget to delete the old files and hopefully this was the last time that we have to do an upgrade like this 🙂

And now take a bit time to read the release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now! and play around.


tl;dr: The upgrade from Nextcloud version 9.53 to 10.x works well!

The post How to update your Nextcloud from version 9.53 to 10.0 appeared first on Hagen Graf.

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.