Beginner question. Differences Server/Client. When to use what?

I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment about the differences between NC Client and NC Server and how to configure them.

My goal:
I want to set up a Nextcloud with a RaspberryPi4 in my car. If the car is parked in front of my door, it can synchronize the NC via WIFI and thus also serves as a “backup”. However, if I am traveling, the NC in the car should serve as a data centre for all devices. An Internet connection is established by switching the mobile phone as a hotspot or by placing the car in a WIFI. I have a Nextcloud with a provider on the Internet. So that’s where the server is and a client runs in my home. Another client with RasPi synchronises in the car. Everything works perfectly.

But traveling the following problem arises, if I also run a client in the car. The mobile phone loads e.g. photos or calendar data to the provider of the Nextcloud. Afterwards the RasPi synchronizes NC in the car with NC at the provider and thus produces twice the data traffic.

I would like to avoid this back and forth to the provider when traveling, because it doubles the data traffic to be paid for. This can be very much the case with self-created videos with the mobile phone.

My idea is to synchronise with the provider only via WIFI or a mobile phone hotspot. If the car is on a WIFI while on the road, I can establish a connection and arrange for a synchronisation with the NC at the provider. Every “internal” synchronisation and the immediate upload while traveling is done without contact to the provider, i.e. only in my own WIFI around the car.

I assume that a server must also run on the RasPi in the car. But how do I make sure that it synchronises with another server? Am I making a mistake?

What are the differences between server and client? One difference between server version and desktop client seems to be that the server version has no frontend. In the server version I can’t set a target to be synchronised either. So how do I get the server to synchronise with the other server at the provider if necessary?

After I switched to Linux at home, I now have several construction sites, so to speak. I ask for your indulgence if further requests come in.

You are doing something really, really weird, and I don’t think it’s going to work out.

Since you have signed up for a hosted Nextcloud service, you would not be running your own Nextcloud server locally.

I didn’t expect it to be weird :smile:

I had an idea. Shouldn’t it be possible to connect the NC server in the car only via a federate link to the provider?
When I am traveling all my uploads from any device go to the server in the car. This server syncs the federate link with the server at my provider.
I just will have to switch my devices to the server in the car and instant upload from smartphone as well.

Am I thinking wrong?


I found in the documentation, that federated links will be a solution to connect servers. I will test it.