Nextcloud is open source and available for platforms. All of them. As I use Fedora in my main laptop, I’ll write some articles about it on Fedora 26. And on KDE because I’m a Plasma user and so Nextcloud founder is (contributor actually). Here we go.
What is Nextcloud
First of, what is Nextcloud, what is it for, who are its possible users and which are the use cases where it is most useful.
Nextcloud is a fork of ownCloud made by the same developer, Frank Karlitschek. It’s an open source alternative to services like Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud. It works on a client-server basis and it’s up to the user to have his or her own server or use any of the available hosting services. Some of these are for free but others are paid. If you decide to have your own server you will need a dedicated machine (any will work, even an old one) and a good reliable internet connection.
According to its founder, “Nowadays centralised cloud services become very popular. A lot of users store all their digital life in Dropbox, Google, Facebook, OneDrive, iCloud and other places. I think there should be open source alternatives that you can host wherever you want. This is what Nextcloud is. It empowers the users to store and handle all their data where and how they want.”
To whom would you recommend it?
“I think everyone can and should use Nextcloud. Maybe host it themselves or get it from their university or company. Or even from one of the mainly service providers that are listed here: https://nextcloud.com/providers
Which are the main use cases for Nextcloud?
“The main usecase for Nextcloud is probably syncing between all devices and sharing files with others. But Nextcloud is also a Calendar, Contacts syncing, Email handling, document editing, RSS reading, Note taking and can also do chat and video calls.”
Why been Open Source is so important?
“This is very important. If the software is open core then all the benefits and freedom that free software and open source provide only apply to the ‘light’ or ‘trial’ version of the software. As soon as you want to use the really powerful features then you have to pay and you lose all the free software advantages. You have all the classic vendor lock-in and all the other problems again, same as proprietary software. So open core is not really open source. It’s mainly open source for marketing reasons.”
How all this started?
Frank Kantischek says “I founded ownCloud 7,5 years ago. Two years later I got in contact with two other people and we founded a company around ownCloud together. This worked in a lot of ways. But there were also a lot of problems. The overall setup was not good so that the company didn’t work and the ownCloud community was not happy anymore. So the project I founded was failing because of bad decisions on the company side by my partners and investors. So 12 core people including me didn’t want to see the community and project fail and decided to do a reboot. This is Nextcloud. In Nextcloud we fixed a lot of the mistakes. We don’t have external investors or management anymore. We are fully open source and not open core like ownCloud. We don’t require a signed contributor license agreement from the community as in the past. And we moved to a pure open source business model. Same as SUSE or Redhat. And this is working great now. The company is getting a lot of customers and is more healty then owncloud ever was. And the community is happy because we work with them in a better and more fair way then before.”
Installation and usage
Nextcloud is available in Fedora repositories for both, client and server. It has support for KDE Plasma 5 (Dolphin), Mate Desktop (Caja), Gnome Shell (Nautilus) and Cinnamon (Nemo). You can use Nextcloud with SQLite, Mysql, Nginx and Postgresql.
Besides, the client will work in Windows and iOS too, so you can setup a server on Fedora and sync your documents and information with your non-Linux computers as well. If you have any.
Installation can be done via GUI with a programme like Dnfdragora, or via command line. In the case of GUI, search “nextcloud” and install whatever packages you need. If you’re not sure, install everything, you can always uninstall later what you don’t want to use. To install via command line type ” dnf install nextcloud ” for the server and ” dnf install nextcloud-client ” for (obviously) the client.
If you don’t want or can’t install a server in your own computer, you can use any of the many services available online. Some have free options and others are paid only. There’s a wide variety of options from simple use to business and big companies. Just choose area/country and study the options.
Next articles about Nextcloud: Trying and using online services. Installing, using and taking care of a Nextcloud server at home.
Thanks to Mr. Frank Kantischek.