Notes on Nextcloud


On Nextcloud “apps” and UBOS Accessories

First, let’s be clear about our terminology:

  • In UBOS terminology, Nextcloud is an App, like Wordpress or Mediawiki as Apps.

  • 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”. However, in UBOS terminology, that is called an Accessory.

How to install Nextcloud “apps”

Armed with this understanding, how does one install what Nextcloud calls an “app”, which is 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 as you like.

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 Accessory by itself.

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 the 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.

This is a limitation of the current Nextcloud/OnlyOffice integration.

This requires three accessories:

  • nextcloud-fulltextsearch,
  • nextcloud-files-fulltextsearch, and
  • nextcloud-fulltextsearch-elasticsearch.

UBOS will automatically run all required daemons and associated commands.

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 21, and waited a while to upgrade, the current version may now be Nextcloud 23. This is a problem because Nextcloud does not support skipped upgrades.

You may first experience this issue when you finally performed a Device update, and you got an error message saying that UBOS cannot upgrade your Nextcloud for this reason. In this case, when accessing Nextcloud with your web browser, Nextcloud will say that it is in maintenance mode.

This 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 to 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 create a backup of your Nextcloud installation with ubos-admin backup with suitable arguments. Which arguments to use depends on your situation, such as how many Sites you have on your Device. If you have only one Site on your Device, you might want to run:

    % sudo ubos-admin backup --all --backuptofile mybackup.ubos-backup

  • Undeploy the Site running Nextcloud with ubos-admin undeploy. Depending how you have set up your Site or Sites, it might be easiest to undeploy the entire Site, or all Sites on your Device, with a command such as:

    % sudo ubos-admin undeploy --all


Make triply sure first that you have a backup for everything you will undeploy!

  • Upgrade your Device with sudo ubos-admin update.

  • Now restore your backup, while telling UBOS to replace package nextcloud with the package that contains the Nextcloud version that you skipped. UBOS provides older Nextcloud packages that are still supported by Nextcloud, with version numbers appended, such as nextcloud22 for Nextcloud version 22.

    The additional arguments to the ubos-admin restore command are --migratefrom nextcloud --migrateto nextcloud22 if you skipped Nextcloud 22. So the full invocation may be:

    % sudo ubos-admin restore --migratefrom nextcloud --migrateto nextcloud22 --in mybackup.ubos-backup

  • Once you have done that, you need to migrate from the skipped Nextcloud version to the current version. So we go through backup and restore one more time: ubos-admin backup as above, undeploy the restored Site now running the skipped Nextcloud version, and finally migrate to the current one by using flags --migratefrom nextcloud22 --migrateto nextcloud with the ubos-admin restore command.

  • Now you should be back and running. You can clean up by removing the skipped Nextcloud version’s package with pacman -R nextcloud22.

  • If you skipped more than one version, you may have to go through this process more than once, starting with the oldest skipped version and migrating to the next one one at a time, e.g.

    • --migratefrom nextcloud --migrateto nextcloud21 ...
    • --migratefrom nextcloud21 --migrateto nextcloud22 ...
    • --migratefrom nextcloud22 --migrateto nextcloud ...

Sorry for the complications, but this is the best we can do. Best is to regularly update your UBOS Device.


You can ignore any error message about AbstractSystemdItem::_switchOff ... smtp-server22@... that might be printed under some circumstances.

Nextcloud Social

If you use the Nextcloud Social app, you may see the message:

.well-known/webfinger isn't properly set up!

This is an incorrect error message, and you can ignore it. It requires a fix upstream in Nextcloud Social (see this issue).