|Developer(s)||Nextcloud GmbH., Community|
15.0.5 / 28 February 2019
|Operating system||Server: Linux|
Clients: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
|Type||Online storage, data synchronization|
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.
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.
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.
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 already contains over 200 extensions. With the help of these extensions the following functionalities can be added:
- calendars (CalDAV)
- contacts (CardDAV)
- streaming media (Ampache)
- browser-based text editor
- bookmarking service
- URL shortening suite
- RSS feed reader
- document viewer tools from within Nextcloud
- connection to Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3
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.
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.
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. 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. In June 2017, Western Digital shut down Western Digital Labs, which caused the production of the box to end.
Alternative hardware is available 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
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?" 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.
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". ownCloud GmbH continued operations, secured financing from new investors and took over the business of the ownCloud Inc.
Differences from ownCloud
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, however, has only one version and it's open source. Nextcloud's popularity also appears to have overtaken that of ownCloud, at least based on Google Trends data.
|Version||Original release date||Latest version||Release date||Major features|
|Old version, no longer supported: 9||June 14, 2016||9.0.58||2017-04-24|
|Old version, no longer supported: 10||August 25, 2016||10.0.6||2017-08-07|
|Old version, no longer supported: 11||December 13, 2016||11.0.8||2018-03-15|
|Old version, no longer supported: 12||May 22, 2017||12.0.13||2018-11-22|
|Old version, no longer supported: 13||February 6, 2018||13.0.12||2019-02-29||improved UI, video and text chat, end-to-end encryption, improved performance|
|Older version, yet still supported: 14||September 10, 2018||14.0.8||2019-02-28||video verification, signal/telegram 2FA support, improved collaboration, GDPR compliance|
|Current stable version: 15||December 10, 2018||15.0.5||2019-02-28||Mastodon integration, PDF conversion, collaborative editing app via Collabora Online|
Maintenance and release schedule
- Comparison of file hosting services
- Comparison of file synchronization software
- Comparison of online backup services
- "Official Company Website".
- "Nextcloud Server Changelog". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud". 25 August 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (14 December 2016). "Nextcloud adds security and scalability to its private cloud offering". ZDNet. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Nextcloud App Store".
- "ownCloud and sabre/dav". owncloud.org. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "Database Configuration - Nextcloud 12 Server Administration Manual 12 documentation".
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- "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.
- Swapnil Bhartiya (16 September 2016). "Everything you need to know about Nextcloud Box". CIO.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Kevin Parrish (22 June 2017). "Source confirms Western Digital is closing WDLabs and canceling projects". Digital Trends. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "Nextcloud box updates: Raspberry Pi 3, Nextcloud 12 and looking for a new provider". Nextcloud. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Keep your server at home, Nextcloud, retrieved 5 October 2018
- Frank Karlitschek (27 April 2016). "big changes: I am leaving ownCloud, Inc. today". blog. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (2 June 2016). "OwnCloud founder forks popular open-source cloud". ZDNET. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Frank Karlitschek (4 February 2018). "Why I forked my own project and my own company".
- Swapnil Bhartiya (6 June 2016). "What we can learn from ownCloud's collapse". CIO.com. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "ownCloud Secures Financing and Expands its Management Team - ownCloud". 14 July 2016.
- "Nextcloud vs ownCloud – The Whole Story ⋆ CiviHosting". 19 June 2017.
- "Nextcloud 9 Available, Enterprise Functionality to be Open Source". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now!". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Nextcloud 11 sets new standard for security and scalability". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Welcome to Nextcloud 12!". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Nextcloud 13 Brings Improved UI, Video and Text Chat, End-to-end Encryption, Improved performance and more". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Nextcloud 14 now available with Video Verification, Signal/Telegram 2FA support, Improved Collaboration and GDPR compliance". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Nextcloud 15 goes social, enforces TFA and gives you a new generation real-time document editing". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
- Maintenance and Release Schedule, Nextcloud, 2018-12-26, retrieved 2018-12-26
Media related to Nextcloud at Wikimedia Commons