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Nextcloud Logo.svg
File list in Nextcloud 12.0
File list in Nextcloud 12.0
Developer(s) Nextcloud GmbH.,[1] Community
Stable release
13.0.4 / 11 June 2018; 34 days ago (2018-06-11)[2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in PHP, JavaScript
Operating system Server: Linux
Clients: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Type Online storage, data synchronization
Licence AGPLv3

Nextcloud is a suite of client-server software for creating and using file hosting services. It is functionally similar to Dropbox, although Nextcloud is free and open-source, allowing anyone to install and operate it on a private server.

In contrast to proprietary services like Dropbox, the open architecture allows adding functionality to the server in 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.


Nextcloud files are stored in conventional directory structures, and can be accessed via WebDAV if necessary. User files are encrypted during transit and can be encrypted at rest (requires encryption to be turned on). Nextcloud can synchronise with local clients running Windows (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8), OS X (10.6 or later), or various Linux distributions.

Nextcloud users can manage calendars (CalDAV), contacts (CardDAV), scheduled tasks and streaming media (Ampache) from within the platform.

From the administration perspective, Nextcloud permits user and group administration (via OpenID or LDAP). Content can be shared by defining granular read/write permissions between users and/or 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]

Furthermore, users can interact with the browser-based text editor, bookmarking service, URL shortening suite, gallery, RSS feed reader and document viewer tools from within Nextcloud. For additional extensibility, Nextcloud can be augmented with "one-click" applications and connection to Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3.

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


In order for desktop machines to synchronize files with their Nextcloud server, desktop clients are available for PCs running Windows, OS X, 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.[5] Nextcloud is designed to work with several database management systems, including SQLite, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle Database, and PostgreSQL.[6]

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.[7]

Nextcloud Box[edit]

In September 2016, Nextcloud, in cooperation with Western Digital Labs and Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu), released the Nextcloud Box. It had been announced at the Nextcloud conference in 2016 by Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical and Frank Karlitschek.[8] It is a simplified version of the spreed box.[9]

The Nextcloud box is based around a Raspberry Pi, and runs Ubuntu Core with Snappy; it is intended to serve as a reference device for other vendors.[10]

History of the fork from ownCloud[edit]

In April 2016 Karlitschek and some core contributors left ownCloud Inc.[11] These included some of ownCloud's staff according to sources near to the ownCloud community.[12]

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?"[11] There have been no official statements about the reason for the fork. However, Karlitschek mention the fork in multiple occasion in a talk the FOSDEM 2018 conference, mentioning cultural mismatch between open source developer and business oriented people not used to open source community[13].

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".[14] ownCloud GmbH continued operations, secured financing from new investors and took over the business of the ownCloud Inc.[15]

Differences from ownCloud[edit]

While Nextcloud is a fork of the ownCloud project, there are some differences. While ownCloud offers an open-source community edition, they also offer a proprietary Enterprise Edition with additional features and support subscriptions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Official Company Website". 
  2. ^
  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. ^ "ownCloud and sabre/dav". Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Database Configuration - Nextcloud 12 Server Administration Manual 12 documentation". 
  7. ^ "Nextcloud announces Global Scale architecture as part of Nextcloud 12". Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Swapnil Bhartiya (16 September 2016). "Everything you need to know about Nextcloud Box". Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Frank Karlitschek (27 April 2016). "big changes: I am leaving ownCloud, Inc. today". blog. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (2 June 2016). "OwnCloud founder forks popular open-source cloud". ZDNET. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  13. ^ {{cite web | title = Why I forked my own project and my own company | author = Frank Karlitschek | date = 4 February 2018
  14. ^ Swapnil Bhartiya (6 June 2016). "What we can learn from ownCloud's collapse". Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  15. ^

External links[edit]