Installing and Configuring ownCloud on Debian 10

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What is ownCloud?

With ownCloud you can host a private cloud for data synchronization, file storage, and file sharing. You can use ownCloud as an alternative to commercial services like DropBox or Box. This software is great for secure collaboration across your projects and teams.

ownCloud has plenty of compelling features:

  • Versioning: A file history permits you to roll back to a previous version.
  • Encryption: ownCloud protects user data in transit; when it’s transmitted between client and server.
  • Drag and drop upload: Drag files from your desktop file manager to your ownCloud instance.
  • Theming: Change the look of your ownCloud instance.
  • Viewing ODF files: You can view Open Document Format files such as .odt documents and .ods spreadsheets.
  • Expansion via installable applications: From within the ownCloud Marketplace, you can install a number of official and third party applications.
  • A mobile app for Android and iOS: Mobile apps allow you to interact with your ownCloud server, such as for syncing, uploading, downloading, and viewing files.

Why would you want to host your own cloud? Some common reasons are:

  • To save sensitive data, but not on a third-party, commercial option.
  • You work from home and you need a private cloud to be used only by those in your household.
  • You own a small business and want to keep everything in-house.
  • You need an expandable storage solution.

This tutorial walks you through the steps to install ownCloud on Debian 10, one of the most reliable operating systems on the market. There are only a few steps to install ownCloud on Debian. You install the LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL/MariaDB PHP) stack; create a database and database user; configure Apache; and set up ownCloud using its graphical user interface.

Before You Begin

  1. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

  2. This guide uses sudo wherever possible. Complete the sections of our Securing Your Server guide to create a standard user account, harden SSH access and remove unnecessary network services.

  3. Update your system:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
    
Note
If you have a registered domain name that you want to point to your ownCloud instance, then use the Linode DNS Manager to point the domain to the Linode server on which you plan to install ownCloud. If you do not have a registered domain name, then replace example.com with the IP address of the Linode server when following the steps in the Create an Apache Configuration File section.

Install ownCloud

Install Apache and PHP

In this section, you install the Apache web server and all of the necessary PHP components.

  1. Connect to your Linode via SSH.

  2. Install Apache and all the required PHP packages:

     sudo apt-get install apache2 mariadb-server libapache2-mod-php openssl php-imagick php-common php-curl php-gd php-imap php-intl php-json php-ldap php-mbstring php-mysql php-pgsql php-smbclient php-ssh2 php-sqlite3 php-xml php-zip php-apcu -y
    
  3. Once the packages are installed, start and enable Apache with the following commands:

     sudo systemctl start apache2
     sudo systemctl enable apache2
    

Install the database

ownCloud relies on a database for storing data. Instead of MySQL, this installation uses MariaDB. MariaDB is a fork of MySQL that places a higher importance on security.

  1. Install MariaDB:

     sudo apt-get install mariadb-server -y
    
  2. Start and enable the database with the following commands:

     sudo systemctl start mariadb
     sudo systemctl enable mariadb
    
  3. Set a MariaDB admin password and secure the installation. This is accomplished using a tool borrowed from MySQL:

     sudo mysql_secure_installation
    

    When prompted, hit Enter on your keyboard (as there is no current MariaDB admin password). Answer y (as in “yes”) to set the admin password, and type and verify a new secure password for the MariaDB admin user. Finally, the database setup prompts you to answer four questions. Answer y (as in “yes”) to each of these questions.

Create the ownCloud Database

Now that you have installed the prerequisites, it’s time to create the ownCloud database and user. The commands in this section are issued from within the MariaDB console.

  1. Access the MariaDB console:

     sudo mysql -u root -p
    
  2. create your ownCloud database:

     CREATE DATABASE ownclouddb;
    
  3. Create a new user with the necessary privileges, including a strong and unique password. Be sure to substitute PASSWORD with your own password:

     GRANT ALL ON ownclouddb.* TO 'ownclouduser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD';
    
  4. Flush your database’s privileges:

     FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    
  5. Finally, exit the database console:

     exit
    

Download ownCloud

At this point, the system is ready for ownCloud. Before you actually download the software, check the ownCloud downloads page to confirm the most recent version.

  1. Download ownCloud. As of writing this guide, the latest version is 10.5.0. Replace 10.5.0 with the version you want to download.

     wget https://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-10.5.0.zip
    
  2. Unzip the downloaded file:

     unzip owncloud-10.5.0.zip
    
    Note

    If necessary, install unzip with the command:

    sudo apt-get install zip -y
    
  3. When you unzip the file, a new directory named owncloud is created. Move the new directory to the Apache document root. This example uses the default directory for Apache site files:

     sudo mv owncloud /var/www/html/
    
  4. Change the ownership of the owncloud directory:

     sudo chown -R www-data: /var/www/html/owncloud
    

Create an Apache Configuration File

Apache requires a virtual host configuration file in order to server your ownCloud instance to the web.

  1. Create an Apache configuration file using the Nano text editor:

     sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/owncloud.conf
    
  2. Paste the following text into the new file. Replace mentions of example.com with your own domain name or your Linode’s IP Address:

File: /etc/apache2/sites-available/owncloud.conf
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<VirtualHost \*:80>
     ServerAdmin [email protected]
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/owncloud
     ServerName example.com
    <Directory /var/www/html/owncloud>
         Options FollowSymlinks
         AllowOverride All
         Require all granted
     </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com_error.log

CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/your-domain.com_access.log combined

</VirtualHost>
  1. Save and close the file by typing Ctrl + O and then, Ctrl + X:

  2. Enable the rewrite, mime, and unique_id Apache modules:

     sudo a2enmod rewrite mime unique_id
    
  3. Restart the Apache server:

     sudo systemctl restart apache2
    

The command line portion of the installation is complete.

Configure ownCloud

This section covers the web-based portion of the installation.

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to your site’s domain, if it has been configured to use one http://example.com/owncloud. If you configured Apache to point to your server’s IP address, navigate to http://192.0.2.0/owncloud and replace the example IP address with your own. You should see the ownCloud web-based installer.

  2. Type a username and password for the admin user; click the Storage & Database drop-down; and then click MySQL/MariaDB.

  3. The database information section is now available. Enter the following information:

    • Database User: ownclouduser
    • Database password: the password you set for the ownCloud database user
    • Database: ownclouddb
    • Localhost: leave as the default

    The database details section for the ownCloud installation

  4. Click Finish setup. When the install completes, the ownCloud login page appears. Login with the newly-created admin credentials. Once logged in, you are taken to the main ownCloud page.

    ownCloud is installed and ready to use as your private cloud

You now have a working instance of ownCloud, running on Debian 10.

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