Nextcloud

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Nextcloud
Nextcloud Logo.svg
Nextcloud 15.0.2 (Browser view)
Developer(s)Nextcloud GmbH.,[1] Community
Stable release
16.0.1 / 16 May 2019; 6 days ago (2019-05-16)[2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPHP, JavaScript
Operating systemServer: Linux
Clients: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
TypeOnline storage, data synchronization
LicenceAGPLv3
Websitenextcloud.com

Nextcloud is a suite of client-server software for creating and using file hosting services. Nextcloud application functionally is similar to Dropbox. Unlike Dropbox Nextcloud does not offer off-premises file storage hosting. Nextcloud is free and open-source, which means that anyone is allowed to install and operate it on their own private server devices.

In contrast to proprietary services like Dropbox, the open architecture allows adding functionality to the server in the form of applications and enables users to have full control of their data.

The original ownCloud developer Frank Karlitschek forked ownCloud and created Nextcloud, which continues to be actively developed by Karlitschek and other members of the original ownCloud team.

Features[edit]

Nextcloud files are stored in conventional directory structures, accessible via WebDAV if necessary. User files are encrypted during transit and optionally at rest. Nextcloud can synchronise with local clients running Windows (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8), macOS (10.6 or later), or various Linux distributions.

Nextcloud permits user and group administration (via OpenID or LDAP). Content can be shared by defining granular read/write permissions between users and groups. Alternatively, Nextcloud users can create public URLs when sharing files. Logging of file-related actions, as well as disallowing access based on file access rules is also available.[3]

Nextcloud is introducing new features such as monitoring[disambiguation needed] capabilities, full-text search and Kerberos authentication, as well as audio/video conferencing, expanded federation and smaller user interface improvements.[4]

Since the software is modular, it can be extended with plugins to implement extra functionality. Developers can offer their extensions to other users for installation via a manufacturer-operated platform. This platform communicates with the Nextcloud instances via an open protocol. The App Store[5] already contains over 200 extensions. With the help of these extensions the following functionalities can be added:

Architecture[edit]

In order for desktop machines to synchronize files with their Nextcloud server, desktop clients are available for PCs running Windows, macOS, FreeBSD or Linux. Mobile clients exist for iOS and Android devices. Files and other data (such as calendars, contacts or bookmarks) can also be accessed, managed, and uploaded using a web browser without any additional software. Any updates to the file system are pushed to all computers and mobile devices connected to a user's account.

The Nextcloud server is written in the PHP and JavaScript scripting languages. For remote access, it employs sabre/dav, an open-source WebDAV server.[6] Nextcloud is designed to work with several database management systems, including SQLite, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle Database, and PostgreSQL.[7]

With Nextcloud 12, a new architecture was developed with the name Global Scale, with the goal of scaling to hundreds of millions of users. It splits users over separate nodes and introduces components to manage the interaction between them.[8]

Nextcloud Box[edit]

In September 2016, Nextcloud, in cooperation with Western Digital Labs and Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu), released the Nextcloud Box. The announcement was made by Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical and Frank Karlitschek[9]. The Nextcloud box was based on a Raspberry Pi, running Ubuntu Core with Snappy; it was intended to serve as a reference device for other vendors.[10] In June 2017, Western Digital shut down Western Digital Labs,[11] which caused the production of the box to end[12].

Alternative hardware is available[13] from other vendors, including:

  • several do-it-yourself kits based on the Raspberry Pi and other boards;
  • fully configured servers based on the Intel NUC.

Others have been announced.

History of the fork from ownCloud[edit]

In April 2016 Karlitschek and most core contributors [14] left ownCloud Inc.[15] These included some of ownCloud's staff according to sources near to the ownCloud community.[16]

The fork was preceded by a blog post of Karlitschek, asking questions such as "Who owns the community? Who owns ownCloud itself? And what matters more, short term money or long term responsibility and growth?"[15] There have been no official statements about the reason for the fork. However, Karlitschek mentioned the fork several times in a talk at the 2018 FOSDEM conference, emphasizing cultural mismatch between open source developers and business oriented people not used to the open source community.[17]

On June 2, within 12 hours of the announcement of the fork, the American entity "ownCloud Inc." announced that it is shutting down with immediate effect, stating that "[…] main lenders in the US have cancelled our credit. Following American law, we are forced to close the doors of ownCloud, Inc. with immediate effect and terminate the contracts of 8 employees.". ownCloud Inc. accused Karlitschek of poaching developers, while Nextcloud developers such as Arthur Schiwon stated that he "decided to quit because not everything in the ownCloud Inc. company world evolved as I imagined".[18] ownCloud GmbH continued operations, secured financing from new investors and took over the business of the ownCloud Inc.[19]

Differences to ownCloud[edit]

While Nextcloud was originally a fork of the ownCloud project, there are now many differences. While ownCloud offers an open-source community edition, they also offer a proprietary Enterprise Edition with additional features and support subscriptions — Nextcloud instead uses the same public code base for both free and paid users.

Nextcloud's popularity also appears to have overtaken that of ownCloud, at least based on Google Trends data.[20]

Release history[edit]

Version Original release date Latest version Release date Major features
Old version, no longer supported: 9 June 14, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-06-14)[21] 9.0.58 2017-04-24[2]
Old version, no longer supported: 10 August 25, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-08-25)[22] 10.0.6 2017-08-07[2]
Old version, no longer supported: 11 December 13, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-12-13)[23] 11.0.8 2018-03-15[2]
Old version, no longer supported: 12 May 22, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-05-22)[24] 12.0.13 2018-11-22[2]
Old version, no longer supported: 13 February 6, 2018; 15 months ago (2018-02-06)[25] 13.0.12 2019-02-29[2] improved UI, video and text chat, end-to-end encryption, improved performance[25]
Older version, yet still supported: 14 September 10, 2018; 8 months ago (2018-09-10)[26] 14.0.11 2019-05-11[2] video verification, signal/telegram 2FA support, improved collaboration, GDPR compliance[26]
Older version, yet still supported: 15 December 10, 2018; 5 months ago (2018-12-10)[27] 15.0.8 2019-05-16[2] Mastodon integration, PDF conversion, collaborative editing app via Collabora Online[27]
Current stable version: 16 April 25, 2019; 27 days ago (2019-04-25) 16.0.1 2019-05-16[2]
  • Access Control Lists to replace classic File Servers[28].
  • Authentication: Detection of suspicious logins uses a locally trained neural network[29]
  • Projects allows users to link different types of information together like chats, calendars, todos and files. Useful for collaboration of teams. Projects can be shared complete or in parts with colleagues[30]
  • Talk 6 brings commands and improved user experience[31]
Legend:
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Maintenance and release schedule[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Company Website".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nextcloud Server Changelog". Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  3. ^ "File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud". 25 August 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  4. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (14 December 2016). "Nextcloud adds security and scalability to its private cloud offering". ZDNet. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Nextcloud App Store".
  6. ^ "ownCloud and sabre/dav". owncloud.org. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Database Configuration - Nextcloud 12 Server Administration Manual 12 documentation".
  8. ^ "Nextcloud announces Global Scale architecture as part of Nextcloud 12". nextcloud.com. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Nextcloud Box – a private cloud and IoT solution for home users – from Nextcloud, Canonical and WDLabs Box". Nextcloud. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  10. ^ Swapnil Bhartiya (16 September 2016). "Everything you need to know about Nextcloud Box". CIO.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  11. ^ Kevin Parrish (22 June 2017). "Source confirms Western Digital is closing WDLabs and canceling projects". Digital Trends. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Nextcloud box updates: Raspberry Pi 3, Nextcloud 12 and looking for a new provider". Nextcloud. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  13. ^ Keep your server at home, Nextcloud, retrieved 5 October 2018
  14. ^ Github (1 June 2016). "Contribution overview to Nextcloud Server". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  15. ^ a b Frank Karlitschek (27 April 2016). "big changes: I am leaving ownCloud, Inc. today". blog. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  16. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (2 June 2016). "OwnCloud founder forks popular open-source cloud". ZDNET. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  17. ^ Frank Karlitschek (4 February 2018). "Why I forked my own project and my own company".
  18. ^ Swapnil Bhartiya (6 June 2016). "What we can learn from ownCloud's collapse". CIO.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  19. ^ "ownCloud Secures Financing and Expands its Management Team - ownCloud". 14 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Nextcloud vs ownCloud – The Whole Story ⋆ CiviHosting". 19 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Nextcloud 9 Available, Enterprise Functionality to be Open Source". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  22. ^ "Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now!". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  23. ^ "Nextcloud 11 sets new standard for security and scalability". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  24. ^ "Welcome to Nextcloud 12!". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  25. ^ a b "Nextcloud 13 Brings Improved UI, Video and Text Chat, End-to-end Encryption, Improved performance and more". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  26. ^ a b "Nextcloud 14 now available with Video Verification, Signal/Telegram 2FA support, Improved Collaboration and GDPR compliance". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  27. ^ a b "Nextcloud 15 goes social, enforces TFA and gives you a new generation real-time document editing". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  28. ^ "Nextcloud 16 implements Access Control Lists to replace classic File Servers". 2019-04-25.
  29. ^ "Nextcloud 16 introduces machine learning based security and usability features, ACL permissions and cross-app projects". 2019-04-25.
  30. ^ "Nextcloud 16 allows you to link resources to keep track of your projects". 2019-04-25.
  31. ^ "Talk 6 brings Commands, improved user experience and more". 2019-04-25.
  32. ^ Maintenance and Release Schedule, Nextcloud, 2018-12-26, retrieved 2018-12-26

External links[edit]

Media related to Nextcloud at Wikimedia Commons