Upgrading ownCloud

Are you looking for a Dropbox alternative? Try ownCloud. Dropbox and ownCloud are both free as well as a paid service. The main difference between the two is that you can run ownCloud from your own server. Like Dropbox, you can access ownCloud from your browser, desktop or smartphone. The ownCloud server software runs on any server, mine runs on Ubuntu Linux, and it doesn’t require special permissions.

The latest version is ownCloud version 6. I was still running on version 4.5. So, the following instructions will upgrade your ownCloud to the latest version on the Ubuntu server. If you have large amounts of data, it would be wise to backup your ownCloud directories. If you don’t have many files, you can opt for a clean install.

Go to your ownCloud directory.

cd owncloud

Delete everything except for data and config. You will most likely need sudo to delete your files. I opted for a clean install, so I deleted everything.

ls | grep -v 'data\|config' | sudo xargs rm -r

Download ownCloud. Since I did a clean install, I went up one directory level.

cd ..
wget http://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Unpack the tarball. It will create a new directory ‘owncloud.’

sudo tar xfj owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Give it write permissions. By default, the owncloud files are owned by nobody. So, you might see an error message saying it needs write permissions to ‘owncloud/data.’ I changed the ownership of the files to Apache, which is www-data.

sudo chown www-data:www-data -R owncloud

Access ownCloud by opening up your web browser and going to your ownCloud URL. If you did a clean install, you will be asked to create a new admin username and password. Otherwise, enter your former credentials. Finally, download the desktop clients as well as the mobile apps and install on your devices.

Synch your files and have fun.

Owncloud 4.5

OwnCloud is an open-source file sharing and file storage cloud platform that’s similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and other cloud sharing services. The difference is, OwnCloud allows you to install your own cloud storage on your own server. You manage the server software yourself making your data your own. OwnCloud has vastly improved the past year. OwnCloud has added a desktop client for Windows, MacOS and Linux, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Much has changed since the last time I played around with OwnCloud. Instead of performing an upgrade of my previous installation, I’ve decided to just reinstall everything from scratch. OwnCloud now gives your three options to install the server software. You can install it from a tar archive, a Linux package, or you can use the Web Installer. I chose the latter. It turned out to be the simplest option.

You simply download the small installation file called “setup-owncloud.php.” You then upload the it to your web server and run the install script. You will be asked to supply a username and password. The installation file will then download the rest of the program and complete the installation for you. It takes less than a minute to complete the install.

Just a couple of things worth sharing. I opted for SQLite install. So, there is no MySQL database needed. There’s only one thing I want to modify. I want increase the default allocated space to something bigger. Other than that, it’s a functional file sharing service. It’s not as polished as Dropbox and Google Drive, but it’s not too shabby either. At least, you can sleep well knowing your data is your own.

Get Your OwnCloud

There are several free cloud services available out there. Dropbox, Google Drive, Ubuntu One, JustCloud, ZipCloud, to name just  a few. They’re all great. They all have one thing in common, they store and share files and documents on the cloud.

If there’s one thing that bothers people about cloud services, it’s privacy. People worry about placing sensitive data on the cloud. How about running your own cloud? Well, get your own cloud with OwnCloud. OwnCloud is an open-source cloud software solution that you can install yourself.

You can install it on your own desktop, your server at home, your VPS server on the Internet, or anywhere there is a PC or computer. You decide where you want it. The best thing about ownCloud, no one has access to your sensitive data. Just you.

I’ve been running ownCloud for about a month now. It’s great. I am able to upload and share any files that I want, from pictures, videos and documents.  I can access these files from any computer, from any location around the world. There is no need for me to carry a USB stick anymore. All I need to do, is access my browser and access my files online.

In addition, OwnCloud allows me to play music and movies online. It organizes my pictures into galleries. It has a calendar, contacts, and a host of other applications that can be installed with just one click of a button. So, get your own cloud with OwnCloud.