Best cheap hardware to run Nextcloud on?

We have the Nextcloud Box which runs on a Pi2. Support for Pi3 should be there soon, but it’s not very different than the Pi2, especially in terms of RAM.

I’ve seen posts mentioning some Odroids. What is the experience like?

Any other hardware you found interesting?

We’re talking about sub-$99.99 single board computers here.


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I have the Raspberry Pi 3 and I just recently migrated from ownCloud. It runs a lot faster on my Pi 3 than ownCloud and the mobile app is fantastic. If anything, get it on the Pi 3. After all, it is 10x faster than the Pi 2 (they literally advertised that).

Runs smooth, quick and I’m having no issues so far.

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Some time ago (perhaps 1 year), we had some users on the forum using the banana-pis. Seemed to work quite good at that time but haven’t seen much recently.

Odroids really seem to be among the more interesting alternatives ( to the RPi3, especially regarding hard-drive speed (USB 3.0), Gbit network speed and it should run a 64-bit php to overcome the file size limit. Unfortunately, I haven’t one myself.

The banana pi is 10/100/1000 right? That’s already got my interest piqued.
Though I have a USB3 > Ethernet for the pi2 which I’m considering installing on the NCBox as that should lead to significant speed increases:

Orange Pi PC 2 for $20

I agree that so far nothing beats an Odroid C2 in terms of price/performance. Those cheaper alternatives are OK for 1-2 users, but more RAM is needed to really be able to enjoy Nextcloud with multiple users.

The Odroids (like most ARM devboards) have the problem that they depend on binary drivers that limit the Linux kernel upgradability. My Odroid-X2 (as nice as it is for now) has this problem and is stuck on a 3.x kernel version.

The build in emmc storage is very nice and fast, but sooner or later you will want additional storage, and then a USB3 connection would be helpful, but most Odroids don’t have that.

I am currently looking into low-cost Intel devices for Nextcloud purposes. There are some interesting Intel Atom x5/x7 devices with Ethernet ports and USB3 that could work well. But they tend to be slightly above 100$.

Agreed. Hardkernel needs to jump to the 4.x branch.

If you have a $100 for the board, you can look at (GX-412TC quad core / 2GB / 3 Intel GigE / 2 miniPCI express / mSATA / USB 3.0)

But let’s focus on the <$50 boards :slight_smile:

Thanks for the link. Looks interesting, but an APU and then completely headless, seems like you are wasting the potential as a media platform with the nice GPU these should have :wink:

I really hope there will be soon development boards based on the new Qualcomm chips, see:

Especially the features of the 600E sound excellent for a devboard… and generally speaking the main-line kernel support for the Snapdragons has always been relatively good and there is even a open-source driver for some of its GPUs.

The 410 will be supported by Ubuntu Core, but the board I saw still has 1GB RAM which is not enough for power users.

The new Banana-Pi M2 Ultra looks like an excelent fit price and hardware wise:

(expecially because it has a native SATA port)…

But sadly the Allwinner SOC and the Banana-Pi’s seem to have quite a bad reputation when it comes to GNU/Linux support and upgraded kernel versions.

And that’s the biggest hurdle to building powerful, but cheap Nextcloud Boxes :frowning:

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Using the Banana Pi M3 with Ubuntu Minimal

-Old Kernel 3.x
-2GB Ram (limiting with more users)
-if you are new to linux the Setup and support of the board is not this user-friendly


Well, i use an old HP-T5730 Thin Client.
8GB CF-Card for Root
40 GB SSD for Data and /var/www
2 TB HDD via USBtoSATA for Backup/NAS

Runs great vor my use. I upgraded CPU to an AMD Athlon Athlon 64 X2 ML310 Dual Core 1,2 GHz and 2 GB RAM.
The HP-T5730 is to buy for ~30 EUR on ebay

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That’s a sweet setup :slight_smile:

I have just both Intel NUC with Pentium processor, and I will use it for Nexcloud and few other home-based services like backuppc, DNS resolver, maybe will serve as music source…

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The new intel based Up² might be an excellent fit starting at $89 it seems. And being x86 based it will probably help with a few things where it is difficult to get ARM packages.

(edit: ok $89 was the kickstarter price: so I guess it will be a bit more expensive.)

Bang on the button as most SBC offerings are the moment are extremely limited by memory, The PI irrespective of model has a fixed 1GB and that is an extreme limitation for multi-user applications.

There are things coming on-line and the SBC market may be the only market as the conventional computer maybe becomes a thing of the past.

My opinion if cheap is important and you need multi-users and resilience then we are talking about recycling and re-use of hardware.

The biggest consideration is data volume size, multi-access and resilience and many SBC solutions fall flat here, before we also get to the problem of limited RAM for each user-space.

It is very possible to build a 1TB multidisk, multi Nic system for less that a £100 GBP that has 4 - 16 GB ram.
It is even possible to build 2x 1TB multi disk, multi Nic in a failover cluster and use a cheap SBC as the quorum disk.

It is all very dependent on purpose, but many people probably have much of the hardware already that is targeted for the bin, whilst the purchase of a multiport sata card, multiport nic card and a switch that can do port trunking actually could provide far more, with far more resilience.

320Gb sata 720 RPM second hand hardrives are frequently on offer about the £10 mark. With the right case and I just managed to get 6 into a standard Acer desktop case that I loaded with fans. In RAID-5 that is 1.6 TB with 6 spindles offering relatively really good multi random access performance and it uses 2 on board sata ports and a PCI-E 4 port card.
Yeah those disks are second hand, but they are raid and I can even drop down to 1.3 TB and one can sit as a hot spare in a software raid configuration.

If you looking for cheap with good resilience then actually for me the SBC arena isn’t where it is at.
Even new the best storage prices are probably the Toshiba 3 TB 7200rpm P300 drives @£70 and its actually reasonably cheap to get a standard ATX or mATX board and processors like the 8 core E5-2660 xeon can be purchased for as low as £60 but the motherboards are a bit steep.
It is highly likely you could get a decent quad core that could accommodate 8 - 32GB of ram from freebies to £50 and really the main question is storage volumes and the cheapest most resilient best performance way is to have on board multiple SATA which in general is a bit of a failure for the SBC.

Just thought I would add that as it is pretty amazing what you can get now, 64Gb SSD, 4GB ram, 1GB Nic £150 with usb 3.
Prob a lot smaller and with a couple of external hard drives extremely neat, but still think recycling offers the best bang for your bucks.

Even some of the £50 TV boxes have 3GB ram now and some else posted about running under android. ?

As it will not be long before these are on offer for not much more than £70 when they have been mainstream for a while, as the early releases are expected about $130. It one of the new 4gb Hex core do they call them 2+4 (sexy core) lols, anyway and all other strange terms such as little-big arrangements.
rk3399 is going to run chromebooks so its highly likely to be running 64bit ubuntu.

Its amazing when you look at the specs and price and then the size of these things as they are tiny little TV set-top boxes.

Someone mentioned about Odroid C2 the being the best value and being having enough ooomf to serve multi user environments.

Actuall to be honest I believe it is Odroid but the XU4

Many of the budget SBC options available share there bandwidth across the Nic and USB ports, where the total I/O is limited to 300-600 Mb/s.

I would pick the XU4 as it would be possible to run a collection of disks that are valid in volume size and multitasking data operation for levels of the extended family and above.
I was just wondering is Nextcloud ever thought of creating an online shop, where the mutual benefit of community review could be coupled to the sale of known good product.

Currently it is possible to create quite large, extremely resilient raid devices, via some relatively cheap hardware.
I keep thinking there is no Makers enclosure where the economies of sale to a community would allow extremely cost effective and dynamic peer review guided product. have come up with a few enclosures and I feel there is a makers gap here where we need a good well priced SBC / Nas enclosure and maybe the economies if scale will allow maybe a 1-4 drive drive unit, community designed on the criteria of cost and simplicity could offer much to all.

There are products such as where USB3.0 to Sata can offer reasonable performance returns and there are some really stinky ones.
I always know if I do a trawl of Alibaba after a bit of hit and miss I could probably find a product just as good as the above for the fraction of the cost.
For me as an individual the hassle of finding this and the cost might even be more than sourcing the above.

I quite like the idea of a community hardware hub, then in an exchange of mutual benefit products could be sold, products could be reviewed, design ideas and implementations can be shared in terms of hardware.

Also these products are not just limited to Nextcloud as we are seeing a new range of cost effective products that are a combination of Nextcloud, NAS and Kodi needs.
The HouseCloud :slight_smile: is very much a personal device and the Makers scene should be Homesteading this Noosphere and taking back ownership of this arena.

I have been having a google and a look at what I would purchase in my opinion and currently its the above or maybe the OrangePI Plus2.
The 2GB Ram and onboard SATA swing that one for me and apologies Raspberries as I know your a passionate lot.

But to be honest its still a hobbyist market, but there is a rake of products coming online and solutions like NextCloud, OpenWRT & Kodi are dragging Linux into the living room.

These products are cheap, sexy and cool and are attracting attention from a wider audience than the maker or hobbyist markets.

Products like

Where its an Android TV set-top box with USB3.0, 1GB ethernet and a 2.5" Sata bay.
They are not the ones to buy as the chipsets are closed source but at a starting release price of £80 it is indicative of where costs and functionality are going.

I have got my eyes on the RK3399 as it will have all the above goodies, twice the processing power, but be very much part of an opensource offering.
I am unsure if I will aim for a raw RK3399 SBC or a finished product such as the say like the
Got a feeling because I am aiming to be an early adopter it will be a TV box and later a raw board as they arrive on the market in extremely cost effective offerings.

I will be here posting my findings and asking questions like anybody tried a SATA port multiplier? Are they all the same and do the stink or not?

As for not much more than a tenner ( £10) they are on offer on Ebay and Amazon?

I have to say after initial reservations about Collabora (LOOL) when yo start thinking of what a cheap all in one box of Nextcloud, OpenWRT and Kodi could offer its quite exciting for a boring, geek, hobbyist maker like me.