Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as an ownCloud server

Secure Collaboration

MySQL Database Dependency

OwnCloud manages its metadata in the form of a database. It is up to you whether you want to rely on SQLite or use a proper database. SQLite falls short in many ways, so the use of the full-fledged MySQL database is highly recommended. You can install this on Ubuntu using

apt-get install mysql-server

and the answer the root password prompt. Before installing ownCloud, you need some additional packages:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php5-gd php-xml-parser php5-intl php5-sqlite php5-mysql smbclient curl libcurl3 php5-curl

The system is now ready for use by ownCloud.

Better Cooperation

The ownCloud installation is simple because the provider offers packages for Ubuntu. This article focuses on ownCloud version 9, which the ownCloud project officially released March 2016. OwnCloud 9 is characterized by several practical innovations. For example, you now can add comments and tags to files. The calendar and address book programs have been rewritten and integrated directly in the core of the application with CalDAV and CardDAV. The project also promises that ownCloud 9 is far more robust than its predecessor in terms of security.

Through the work of the CERN nuclear research center, ownCloud can now cope better than before with large numbers of users. Collabora and the ownCloud project integrated LibreOffice into version 9 as LibreOffice Online. The objective is to take on online services such as Office 365 and Google Drive, with which teams of people can collaborate on a document at the same time. Spreed, the video conferencing software, is also included in the ownCloud 9 package. All in all, ownCloud 9 is quite an impressive bundle.

Installing ownCloud

Before installing OwnCloud, you need to import the ownCloud key into your local database of trusted GPG keys so package source verification will work, and enable the ownCloud repositories on the system (Listing 2). Now you are ready to install ownCloud:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install owncloud

Listing 2

Import Key and Enable Repositories

$ wget -nvhttps://download.owncloud.org/download/repositories/stable/xUbuntu_16.04/Release.key -O -| sudo apt-key add -sh -c "echo 'deb http://download.owncloud.org/download/repositories/9.0/xUbuntu_16.04/ /' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list"

Once the installation is finished, you can call ownCloud on https://server/owncloud , where server is the address of your ownCloud; in this example, that is owncloud.example.com . Out of the box, ownCloud still uses the underpowered SQLite database. To change OwnCloud to MySQL, you first need to set up a MySQL user for ownCloud:

$ sudo mysql -u root -p

The -p parameter ensures that mysql asks for the password of the root user. The password is the same one used during the installation of the MySQL package earlier. Now enter the text in Listing 3, replacing the password secret with a secure password (e.g., a password generated by pwgen at the command line).

Listing 3

Creating the ownCloud Database

↩
CREATE DATABASE owncloud;
CREATE USER 'owncloud'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'secret';
GRANT ALL ON owncloud.* TO 'owncloud'@'localhost';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES
Exit

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