How to install Nextcloud 12 server on CentOS 7

NextCloud CentOS Logo

NextCloud is a Dropbox-like solution for self-hosted file sharing and syncing. 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 12 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).

Step1: Install software

I take absolutely 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 12 is to install a web server and PHP. Since CentOS 7 ships with PHP 5.4 by default but NextCloud 12 requires at least PHP 7 we’ll also be installing PHP 7 from a third-party repository. The following procedure will install apache as webserver. Input the commands one by one to avoid errors!

CentOS 7

If you’d rather use PHP 7.1, you can follow this tutorial: how to install PHP 7.1 on CentOS 7. If you do so, replace each instance of php70w with php71w in all the successive commands.

Open a terminal and input the following commands:

Step 2: Database selection

Now that you got the software, you need 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.


No additional steps are required if you choose SQLite.

Install the software:

Start (and enable at boot) the service:

Next step is to configure the database management system. During the configuration you will be prompted to choose a root password, pick a strong one.

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

Now that you are in create a database:

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

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

When you’re done type Ctrl-D to exit.

Install the software:

Run the setup:

Start (and enable at boot) the service:

Now you need to enter the database:

Now that you are in create a database:

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

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

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

Warning: You may experience difficulties in authenticating NextCloud with PostgreSQL since the local authentication method is set to ident by default. If you want to change it keep reading.

The configuration file for PostgreSQL is a file located in /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf . Open it with your favourite editor and look for the marked line:

Replace ident with md5 on that line and restart PostgreSQL:

Step 3: Install NextCloud

This step involves getting the software and configure Apache to run it.

CentOS 7

With these step we download the software and extract it:

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

Step 4: Setting Apache and SELinux

In this step we’ll start (and enable) the webserver and we’ll set SELinux up. Now, many tutorials will tell you to disable SELinux (because it is a difficult component to manage). Instead, I suggest you to keep it on and add the rules for NextCloud:

If you decided to use a Mariadb/MySQL/PostgreSQL, you also need to allow apache to access it:

Now that you’ve configured SELinux let’s start and enable Apache:


Start (and enable at boot) the service:

Step 5: Install

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

Nextcloud 12 installation

Nextcloud 12 installation

Select an administrator username and password. Then click on “Storage & Database“, here 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 select the database you chose during step 2. Fill everything and if you’ve followed all the steps correctly you should be seeing the Files app:

Nextcloud 12 Files App

Nextcloud 12 Files App

Image courtesy of mark | marksei

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The IT guy with a little boredom look in his eyes, fond of computers since forever he now works as a freelancer in the IT and shares his experiences through this blog.

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  • Puff Face

    Note: If you have a clean install of CentOS you need to install bzip2:

    yum install bzip2

    • Hello Puff Face, thank you for your contribution, indeed bzip2 executable is missing on CentOS minimal install. In my test I usually use virtual machines templates so I overlooked this.

  • Bernald Solano

    Mark, why don’t you list the commands for opening the firewall ports?

    • Hello Bernald, other users have asked me the same question and I will add the instructions to open the firewall as soon as possible in every Own/Nextcloud tutorial. Initially, I thought that instructing users on how to open firewall ports would be dangerous for newbies. Since I have received many many requests, I will be adding this part in the forthcoming review session.

  • Wolf Paul

    Mark, thank you for this tutorial. Right at the beginning you mention installing Apache as the web server, but I do not see the instructions to do that. While that was no problem for me it might be for a newby, especially since the Apache package in CentOS and other RHEL-derived distros is not called apache but httpd:

    yum -y install httpd

    • Hello Wolf (or is it Paul? I apologize in advance), thanks for the feedback. Indeed one needs to install apache, although it might seem part of the command, it is the first package in the second yum command in the 1st step, right before php70w.

      • Wolf Paul

        It is Wolf, indeed …
        I apologize, I missed that because I followed the link to the php71 tutorial and then assumed that I could ignore the php install instructions right below there. Thanks for pointing it out, because I would have missed some of the packages other than httpd.

        • Hello Wolf, you shouldn’t apologize at all : ) Quite the opposite, you just highlighted a logic flaw in the flow (pardon the pun) of my tutorial, thank you. In the next review of all next/owncloud tutorials due in a few weeks (hopefully), I will address this issue by clarifying what to do if you follow the 7.1 path. The 7.1 tutorial starts from the assumption the user should decide the web server and the interaction between the two (mod_php, php-fpm etc.) hence the incongruence.