Notes on Nextcloud (App nextcloud)

How to install Nextcloud “apps”

First, let’s be clear about our terminology:

  • In UBOS terminology, Nextcloud is an App, like Wordpress or Mediawiki.
  • In UBOS terminology, anything that adds functionality to an App is called an Accessory.
  • Nextcloud doesn’t call itself an app. Instead, it calls code that adds functionality to Nextcloud (like the Nextcloud calendar or address book) an app.

Armed with this understanding, how does one install what Nextcloud calls an app, and what UBOS calls a Nextcloud Accessory? Usually, you would log into your Nextcloud installation as administrator, navigating to the “apps” pages, and pick install new ones from there.

This is not how it works on UBOS.

When you run Nextcloud on UBOS, you need to specify your Accessories at the time you create your Site, or by redeploying the Site later with an updated configuration.

Example: let’s say you want to use the Nextcloud “Calendar” app for your Site. When you create the Site with ubos-admin createsite, you specify nextcloud as your app, and nextcloud-calendar as an Accessory. You can specify multiple Accessories.

Here’s the reason why: UBOS cannot manage Apps that change their code base without UBOS knowing, and that’s what would be happening if Nextcloud got to add “apps” aka Accessories to itself. And: UBOS curates Accessories, so you can be fairly certain that the ones provided through UBOS actually work.

Notes on Nextcloud “social”

UBOS makes the Nextcloud “Social” app available because users have requested it. However, it is still marked as “alpha” by its developers, and in our experience, this assessment is correct. In other words, if you decide to deploy it, do not rely on it working.

How to install OnlyOffice and the corresponding document server

This requires two accessories:

  • nextcloud-onlyoffice, and
  • nextcloud-documentserver-community.

You may receive message “ONLYOFFICE cannot be reached. Please contact admin”. This is because you accessed your Nextcloud through a hostname or IP address different from what the Nextcloud installation expected.

To set the address at which the document server is available, go to the OnlyOffice Settings in the Nextcloud user interface (as administrator, go to Settings, section Administration, select ONLYOFFICE), and edit the Document Editing Service address. The URL there must start with the same protocol, hostname and path as the URL you are using to access Nextcloud.

You may also need to set this the first time you access Nextcloud after initial deployment.

How to skip a Nextcloud version during upgrade

If you don’t update your UBOS device regularly, it may happen that you missed an entire major Nextcloud release by the time you do finally upgrade. For example, if you deployed your site originally with Nextcloud 14, and waited a while to upgrade, the current version may now be Nextcloud 16. This is a problem because Nextcloud does not support skipped upgrades.

This is issue is a known Nextcloud issue, and really needs to be solve by the Nextcloud developers. We can only provide workarounds. The best one, of course, is the regularly update your UBOS device, so you do not end up in this situation. But if you do anyway, here is a possible workaround.

First: determine whether you are indeed in this situation, by determining which version of Nextcloud you are currently running. Execute:

% pacman -Qi nextcloud

This section applies to you if the version you have installed starts with 14 or 15. Upgrades do not require this workaround if your version starts with 16 or 17.

  • Before you attempt to upgrade your device, create a backup of your Nextcloud installation with ubos-admin backup.
  • Undeploy Nextcloud with ubos-admin undeploy. Depending how you have set up your site(s), it might be easiest to undeploy the entire site, or all sites, on your device. (Make triply sure first that you have a backup for everything you will undeploy!)
  • Upgrade your device with ubos-admin update.
  • Now restore your backup, while telling UBOS to replace package nextcloud with package nextcloud15 (the skipped version; if you skipped more than one, do it once for each skipped version in sequence) during the restore. You do that with additional arguments: ubos-admin restore --migratefrom nextcloud --migrateto nextcloud15. This will migrate your Nextcloud data to version 15, from which the regular upgrade works.
  • But we also need to replace nextcloud15 with the now-current nextcloud, so we go through backup and restore one more time: ubos-admin backup and then ubos-admin restore --migratefrom nextcloud15 --migrateto nextcloud.
  • Now you should be back and running. You can clean up by removing the intermediate version with pacman -R nextcloud15.

Sorry for the complications, but this is the best we can do if you do not regularly update your UBOS device.