Allow only browsers to connect to server and remove/disallow any desktop or mobile client


This will sound like a silly question I am sure, but is there a way to only allow users to sync through a browser? I do not want anyone to use the desktop or mobile apps to sync as they are very technically unsophisticated and will likely end up messing up files on their system. To me the easiest way to accomplish this is to remove the reference to “Download Clients” in the welcome e-mail they receive when I invite them, and remove the download the clients pop up they will see when they log in for the first time (or any time after that). My theory is what they can’t see, they can’t try.

I am REALLY new to NC and like what I see so far, but my development skills are on the lower side of good.

Any assistance in identifying server based apps, admin settings, or a process that will allow me to achieve this would be greatly appreciated

I am running NC 12.04 on Centos 7.3.

Thank you inadvnce for any assistance you can provide

Actually quite like the idea behind that. If not via NC directly then you could likely block clients on the webserver level.

@tflidd @MorrisJobke @Andy

Glad to hear I am not alone in this approach :slight_smile:

I agree…I CAN block at the server level, but hope that there is a GUI or easy to follow method someone is aware of to accomplish this as I am still very much a beginner in development and Linux administration. I am lucky in that I have a close friend that is quite skilled at Linux and security, however, I really would rather avoid bothering him for every little tweak I am looking for.

I did manage to find some documentation that there used to be a template editor for mail messages (and this would be ideal for the e-mail portion), but it is apparently not available in version 12 or higher due to technical issues, but even having this would only solve the e-mail portion of removing reference to the downloads. NC12 seems to also present a pop up on first use that prompts to download desktop and mobile clients. I would also need to remove that.

I will see if I can muddle through the instructions to modify e-mail templates by creating a class and using PHP to compose the custom welcome message I want (cross your fingers please), but if anyone is aware of a config setting that prevent the browser pop up that would also be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Shouldn’t this be possible with file access control?

But this is probably also based on the user agent, so no real technical blocking (an individual Nextcloud client with a different user agent string would probably still work).

Yes. I have looked at this but haven’t tried it yet (but will). But even if I can prevent a group of users from using clients, they will still be notified that there are clients…and with my family it’s like ringing the dinner bell and they will want to try using that desktop app because it looks so cool and easy (sigh…you have no idea how much I want to prevent this). My thought is, if they don’t see there is a client available for their desktop and phone, they won’t know what they are missing and leaves me with less attempting to explain why they can’t/shouldn’t use it. Make sense?

I will let you know what I come up with in playing with Access Control. Even if I do manage to find a way to block the “download the client” messages, the Access control App just seems like a common sense extension of what i am doing.



Hi Rob, just to play the devils advocate here: If you think that they would mess with files on their system, how should they not mess with them in the browser. And if the clients/apps are that bad it’s maybe a good time to report this to us and we fix those flaws. I really think that @jan is super interested in user stories and why something went wrong with the usability of a client or app. We want to provide tools to help all people and not only the “technical sophisticated” ones (whatever this means, because they already seem to use computers and smartphones). Have trust in them - curiosity is something good :wink:

Hey, real Linux Admin does not need GUI to work :grin::grin::grin:

Hi Morris. Thanks for the reply. I agree that curiosity is a good thing. But I also see flexibility as a good thing. It’s the sync settings that are the issue here. Unless I am wrong, sync settings are turned on by default (which is a good thing in most scenarios), however, in my case I am looking for one way deposits of files only. I would use automation to delete files once they have served their purpose. If my father deletes the file locally it’s deleted on NC. Now as you have pointed out I CAN try to train the end user, but that takes time (and in my father’s case lots of it) which is something I don’t have an abundance of. So my hope is that NC has the ability to limit server connectivity to browsers only either now or in the future. I get that my scenario may be unique right now, but I suspect other will ask for similar flexibility for their own varied reasons in the future. Thank you @MorrisJobke and @jan for the awesome work you are doing. Please don’t take my request for “out of the box” as a criticism. It’s not…It’s simply looking for a feature/function to fit my personal scenario today. I am currently evaluating NC as a Back Up solution for a company I know as well and so far it fits the bill perfectly BECAUSE of the sync functionality. Please keep up the great work!

Best Regards


LOL… It will be a few years before I can brand myself a “Linux Admin”. For me it’s a big learning curve with lots of pitfalls on the way. :slight_smile:

On OS X there was an app to drop files: