Introduction to Nextcloud Talk

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What is Nextcloud 13?

Nextcloud 13 is a cloud storage platform that offers users the ability to self-host a video and text chat platform called Talk, featuring end-to-end encryption. This guide will walk you through setting up Nextcloud, and show how to use the video chat platform built-into the latest release.

Install Docker CE

You will need a Linode with Docker CE installed to follow along with the steps in this guide.

These steps install Docker Community Edition (CE) using the official Ubuntu repositories. To install on another distribution, see the official installation page.

  1. Remove any older installations of Docker that may be on your system:

    sudo apt remove docker docker-engine docker.io
    
  2. Make sure you have the necessary packages to allow the use of Docker’s repository:

    sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common
    
  3. Add Docker’s GPG key:

    curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -
    
  4. Verify the fingerprint of the GPG key:

    sudo apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88
    

    You should see output similar to the following:

    pub   4096R/0EBFCD88 2017-02-22
          Key fingerprint = 9DC8 5822 9FC7 DD38 854A  E2D8 8D81 803C 0EBF CD88
    uid                  Docker Release (CE deb) <docker@docker.com>
    sub   4096R/F273FCD8 2017-02-22
    
  5. Add the stable Docker repository:

    sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable"
    
  6. Update your package index and install Docker CE:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install docker-ce
    
  7. Add your limited Linux user account to the docker group:

    sudo usermod -aG docker exampleuser
    

    You will need to restart your shell session for this change to take effect.

  8. Check that the installation was successful by running the built-in “Hello World” program:

    docker run hello-world
    

Install Nextcloud 13 and Talk

Nextcloud

  1. Pull and run the Nextcloud image:

    docker run -d -p 8080:80 nextcloud
    
  2. In a browser, navigate to port 8080 of your Linode (e.g. 192.0.2.0:8080) to launch the Nextcloud console.

  3. Create an admin account when prompted:

    Admin account creation

Talk

Talk works by allowing all the users that are registered to your Nextcloud instance to communicate with each other. Nextcloud Talk offers simple text and video chat, private or group password protected calls, and screen sharing. The Nextcloud Talk source code is available on GitHub.

  1. From the Nextcloud console main page, click the Settings icon on the right side of the navigation bar. Choose + Apps.

  2. Install the Talk add-on located in the Social & communication section. Select the app and click Enable.

Talk addon

  1. Navigate to the Users section of the Nextcloud interface, and create logins for your team.

How to Use Talk

Nextcloud Talk is built using WebRTC, and works in your browser.

  1. Choose Users from the settings menu and add one or more additional users. Give the username and password combinations to each user and have them log in through the web console.

  2. Once Talk is installed, an icon for the addon will appear on the nav menu:

    Talk menu icon

  3. Click this icon to enter Talk and allow the use of your system’s camera and microphone when prompted. Once this is done, you will be able to start a chat or video call with any of the users you have created.

The basic configuration here allows you to make video calls using Firefox. Google Chrome requires an HTTPS connection in order to allow access to the camera and microphone. To do this, create an SSL certificate or place Nextcloud behind a reverse proxy.

Docker Compose

The basic Nextcloud Docker image is already configured for persistent data in the event that your container crashes. However, Docker Compose makes it easy to launch a configuration using a separate database container and persistent data volume. This method keeps your data consistent through upgrades and automatically handles all container restarts.

Install Docker Compose

  1. Download the latest version of Docker Compose. Check the releases page and replace 1.21.2 in the command below with the version tagged as Latest release:

    sudo curl -L https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.21.2/docker-compose-`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    
  2. Set file permissions:

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    

Create docker-compose.yaml

  1. In a text editor, create docker-compose.yaml and add the following configuration (from the Nextcloud Github repo). Fill in the MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD and MYSQL_PASSWORD with suitable values.

    docker-compose.yaml
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      version: '2'
    
      volumes:
        nextcloud:
        db:
    
      services:
        db:
          image: mariadb
          restart: always
          volumes:
            - db:/var/lib/mysql
          environment:
            - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=
            - MYSQL_PASSWORD=
            - MYSQL_DATABASE=nextcloud
            - MYSQL_USER=nextcloud
    
        app:
          image: nextcloud
          ports:
            - 8080:80
          links:
            - db
          volumes:
            - nextcloud:/var/www/html
          restart: always
  2. If it is still running, stop the container from the previous section using docker stop and the container name or ID.

  3. Launch the Docker Compose configuration:

    docker-compose up -d
    

    Nextcloud should be available at port 8080 on your Linode’s public IP address.

  4. When creating an admin account, open the Storage & database drop-down menu, fill in the information as shown below, and enter the MySQL password you used in the docker-compose file:

    Nextcloud database connection

Caution
The setup provided by Nextcloud does not include any SSL encryption. To secure your data and communications, the Nextcloud service should be placed behind a reverse proxy. A Docker Compose file using a NGINX reverse proxy and Let’s Encrypt is also available.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.