# How to install NextCloud 17 on Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/18.10/19.04

NextCloud is a Dropbox-like solution for self-hosted file sharing and syncing. Installing NextCloud 17 on Ubuntu is trivial. Whether you want to backup, have file-syncing or just have a Google Calendar alternative, this guide is for you.

## What is NextCloud? Is it like a “cloud”?

If you stumbled here by chance and don’t know what NextCloud is, here is an article explaining its principal features and advantages/disadvantages. In this other article you can find NextCloud 17 new features. To tell you the truth, NextCloud is a SaaS cloud, if you want to know more about cloud types you can read this article.

In this article we will cover the installation of the server (not the client).

The newest version of this tutorial is the following:

## Step 1: Install software

Important
I take NO responsibility of what you do with your machine; use this tutorial as a guide and remember you can possibly cause data loss if you touch things carelessly.

The first step in order to install NextCloud 17 is to install a web server and PHP. Although you can adapt this guide for many Ubuntu versions I suggest you to stick with Ubuntu 18.04 or higher since PHP7 is included. PHP7 brings many improvements over the past versions and will boost NextCloud too, as a matter of fact PHP7 is required since NextCloud 11. You will need root access during this procedure. The following procedure will install apache as webserver. Input the commands one by one to avoid errors!

Ubuntu >= 18.04Ubuntu >= 16.04

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

# apt-get install apache2 php7.2 bzip2
# apt-get install libapache2-mod-php php-gd php-json php-mysql php-curl php-mbstring
# apt-get install php-intl php-imagick php-xml php-zip

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

# apt-get install apache2 php7.0 bzip2
# apt-get install libapache2-mod-php php-gd php-json php-mysql php-curl php-mbstring
# apt-get install php-intl php-mcrypt php-imagick php-xml php-zip

## Step 2: Database selection

Now that you have set up the environment, all that is left is to choose a database that will support the installation. You have three choices:

• SQLite: is a single-file database. It is suggested only for small installations since it will slow NextCloud down sensibly.
• MariaDB/MySQL: are popular open source databases especially amongst web developers. It is the suggested choice.
• PostgreSQL: a popular enterprise-class database. More complicated than MySQL/MariaDB.

Now, this choice won’t really alter the functionality of NextCloud (except if you use SQLite), so pick whatever you know best. If you’re unsure pick MariaDB/MySQL.

Install the software:

# apt-get install sqlite3 php-sqlite3

Install the software:

# apt-get install mariadb-server php-mysql

Or if you prefer MySQL:

# apt-get install mysql-server php-mysql

During the installation you will be prompted to choose a root password, pick a strong one. If you’re not prompted to choose a password, the default one will be blank. (This is potentially insecure, change it!)

Now you need to enter the database (you will be asked the password you just set):

$mysql -u root -p Now that you are in create a database: CREATE DATABASE nextcloud; Now you need to create the user that will be used to connect to the database: CREATE USER 'nc_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE'; The last step is to grant the privileges to the new user: GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON nextcloud.* TO 'nc_user'@'localhost'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; When you’re done type Ctrl-D to exit. Install the software: # apt-get install postgresql php-pgsql Now you need to enter the database: $ sudo -u postgres psql

Now that you are in create a database:

CREATE DATABASE nextcloud;

Now you need to create the user that will be used to connect to the database:

CREATE USER nc_user WITH PASSWORD 'YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE';

The last step is to grant the privileges to the new user:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE nextcloud to nc_user;

When you’re done type \q and press enter to exit.

## Step 3: Install NextCloud

The last step is to actually get the software, configure it and run it.

Ubuntu

# cd /var/www
# tar -xvjf nextcloud-17-latest.tar.bz2
# chown -R www-data:www-data nextcloud
# rm nextcloud-17-latest.tar.bz2

Now we need to create a new file in /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud.conf . Feel free to use whatever editor you feel comfortable with and add the following lines:

Alias /nextcloud "/var/www/nextcloud/"

<Directory /var/www/nextcloud/>
AllowOverride All

<IfModule mod_dav.c>
Dav off
</IfModule>

SetEnv HOME /var/www/nextcloud
SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/nextcloud

</Directory>

Once done it’s time to enable the new site, enable apache mods that are needed by NextCloud and raise PHP’s memory limit:

# a2ensite nextcloud
# a2enmod rewrite headers env dir mime
# sed -i '/^memory_limit =/s/=.*/= 512M/' /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini
# systemctl restart apache2

## Step 4: Configuring firewall

This step is essential when your firewall is enabled. If your firewall is enabled you won’t be able to access your NextCloud 17 instance; on the other hand if it isn’t enabled you shouldn’t have any problems and you can simply skip this step.

Tip!
Keep in mind having a firewall enabled is a good security practice and you should already have one enabled.

In order for the firewall to work, it must be enabled. This guide will not include this part. When you enable a firewall many things can go wrong, e.g. you’re using SSH, you enable the firewall and your connection is cut and can’t connect otherwise, hence you should carefully review the documentation from your distribution.

To open the ports needed by NextCloud 17 follow these steps:

UFWIPtables

UFW is the default firewall in Ubuntu, if you’re using one, you’re probably using UFW.

# ufw allow http
# ufw allow https

IPtables is an older firewall (still widely used), if you’re not using UFW you can use IPtables directly.

# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
# iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT

## Step 5: Install

Once you’re done with selecting the database, it’s time to install everything. Head to http://YOUR_IP_ADDRESS/nextcloud/ and you will be facing the following screen:

Select an administrator username and password, then you can select the data folder, but if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s best if you leave it with the default value. Then click on “Storage & Database” to select the database you chose during step 2. Fill everything and if you’ve followed all the steps correctly you should be seeing the following screen:

## Step 6: Enable Caching (suggested)

NextCloud is good but it can be very slow if you don’t configure a caching solution. There are two caching solutions covered in this guide:

• PHP OPcache: a PHP inbuilt cache solution that speeds up scripts execution.
• Redis server: a fast in-memory key-value store that speeds up everything in NextCloud.

### Enabling OPcache

Ubuntu

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

# apt-get install php-opcache

Now you need to edit a file located at /etc/php/7.2/apache2/conf.d/10-opcache.ini . Replace 7.2 with the version of PHP you have installed. With your favorite editor, edit the file adding the missing lines:

; configuration for php opcache module
; priority=10
zend_extension=opcache.so
opcache.enable=1
opcache.enable_cli=1
opcache.interned_strings_buffer=8
opcache.max_accelerated_files=10000
opcache.memory_consumption=128
opcache.revalidate_freq=1


These values are suggested by NextCloud, but you’re free to tweak them to suit your needs. Once you’re done you can restart apache:

# systemctl restart apache2

### Installing and configuring Redis

Ubuntu

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

# apt-get install redis-server php-redis

Now you must configure NextCloud to use Redis. To do so you need to edit the NextCloud configuration file located at /var/www/nextcloud/config/config.php . The file will look like this, add the highlighted lines:

<?php
$CONFIG = array ( 'instanceid' => '', 'passwordsalt' => '', 'secret' => '', 'trusted_domains' => array ( 0 => 'YOUR_IP', ), 'datadirectory' => '/var/www/nextcloud/data', 'dbtype' => 'mysql', 'version' => '15.0.0.10', 'overwrite.cli.url' => 'http://YOUR_IP/nextcloud', 'dbname' => 'nextcloud', 'dbhost' => 'localhost', 'dbport' => '', 'dbtableprefix' => 'oc_', 'dbuser' => 'nc_user', 'dbpassword' => 'YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE', 'installed' => true, 'memcache.locking' => '\OC\Memcache\Redis', 'memcache.distributed' => '\OC\Memcache\Redis', 'memcache.local' => '\OC\Memcache\Redis', 'redis' => [ 'host' => 'localhost', 'port' => 6379, 'timeout' => 3, ], ); These settings will enable NextCloud to use Redis for caching and file locks. Of course these settings are just an example, you can tweak them to suit your needs. Lastly, restart the webserver: # systemctl restart apache2 ## Step 7: Expose NextCloud to Internet (optional) Important Hosting applications available to the Internet is potentially dangerous. In order to keep your applications safe you need to be proficient in system security and to follow security best practices. Most people will want to access their files from whatever location they are. To do so, your newly created NextCloud instance needs to be connected to the Internet. Given that you need to take care of port-forwarding (if you’re a home user) and domain configuration (which varies according to your provider), here you can find the instructions to create a virtual host with Apache. Ubuntu Using your favorite text editor, edit the file we created previously at /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud.conf . And make it look like this: <VirtualHost *:80> ServerName YOURDOMAIN.TLD ServerAdmin [email protected] DocumentRoot /var/www/nextcloud <directory /var/www/nextcloud> Require all granted AllowOverride All Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews SetEnv HOME /var/www/nextcloud SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/nextcloud </directory> </VirtualHost> It is important to set ServerName according to a domain you own and have configured correctly. Now you need to add YOURDOMAIN.TLD to the trusted domains in the NextCloud config file. You can do so with the following command: $ sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ config:system:set trusted_domains 2 --value=YOURDOMAIN.TLD


Once you complete this step you won’t be able to access NextCloud through http://YOUR_IP_ADDRESS/nextcloud anymore. Instead you will be able to access it through http://YOURDOMAIN.TLD (notice /nextcloud is gone).

Lastly, restart the webserver:

# systemctl restart apache2

## Step 8: Get a free SSL certificate with Let’s Encrypt! (SUGGESTED!)

Now that you have your NextCloud instance up and running you’re good to go, but beware: you’re not safe. Internet is a dangerous place for your data and you will most likely need an SSL certificate to ensure your communications are encrypted. Provided you own a domain name you can get one for free using Let’s Encrypt! No catches, free forever.

Warning!
Let’s Encrypt has rate limits in place to prevent inappropriate usage of the CA. There’s a limit on the numbers of attempts you can do before getting a temporary ban. During this setup, if things go wrong, I suggest you to use the –staging option to avoid the temporary ban. The –staging option will use a testing server and will not issue valid certificates. When you have completed the procedure against the test server successfully, you can remove the –staging option to obtain the real certificate.
Ubuntu

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

$sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
$sudo add-apt-repository universe$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
$sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache 

Now you will run the command to install a certificate, follow the procedure and you will get everything configured out of the box:

\$ sudo certbot --apache


Lastly, restart the webserver:

# systemctl restart apache2

If you need further help you can follow my other tutorial on Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu (the apache part).

Image courtesy of mark | marksei

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#### mark

The IT guy with a slight look of boredom in his eyes. Freelancer. Current interests: Kubernetes, Tensorflow, shiny new things.

### 8 Responses

1. Guido van Harten says:

I tried, retried and retried again, but my problem remains: In step 5 I filled in my credentials. Nextcloud replies with an error: Error while trying to create admin user: Failed to connect to the database: An exception occurred in driver: SQLSTATE[HY000] [2054] The server requested authentication method unknown to the client
I followed the instructions and I do not know what is going wrong.
Can you help me?

• mark says:

Hello Guido, I’m sorry you encountered this problem. You’re probably using MySQL 8, am I right? If so I suggest you to take a look at this question, more specifically this answe. Hope you can resolve : )

• Guido van Harten says:

Hello Mark, thanks for your reply. Yes, I am using Server version: 8.0.17-0ubuntu2 (Ubuntu). After editing my.cnf I tried it again, but without success. So I restarted again from scratch, After step 1 first I edited my.cnf according to the given link and then I go forward with step 2. When I am at step 5 and try to create an administrator account, the server still replies with the same error.
For your info: I am using Ubuntu Server 19.10, while I see in the header of your document this manual is for up to 19.04…

Best regards,
Guido

• mark says:

Hello Guido, sorry for the late reply, as soon as I have the possibility I’ll try to reproduce this issue. For the time being, unless you have specific requirements, I suggest you to use MariaDB.

2. disqus_RJaE1geVzi says:

So everything works right up to the SSL certificate. After following the certbot prompts I get

Forbidden

You don’t have permission to access this resource.

Apache/2.4.41 (Ubuntu) Server at MYDOMAIN.TLD Port 443

• mark says:

Hello, try setting the permissions on the whole folder again, www-data should be able to access the folder for it to work.

3. Marcos says:

Great tutorial!!

The only step that doest work is the expose to the internet.

I get the blank page. If i try url/nextcloud there a connection error. with url/ is empty as well. no default page.

Any ideas?

edit:
needed to reboot router. still that last step doesnt work for me. this part. Ive changed the servername and serveradmin

“

ServerName YOURDOMAIN.TLD
DocumentRoot /var/www/nextcloud

Require all granted
AllowOverride All