Client disk usage policy

This is a couple of questions more than a problem, and I’m sorry if I’m asking the obvious, but I haven’t been able to find an answer:

I just got Nextcloud working on Debian 10, and am in a learning phase :slight_smile:

The client documentation states that:

Downloads that would reduce the free disk space below 250 MB will be skipped or aborted. The download will be retried regularly and other synchronization is unaffected. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable


  1. Is there a config file parameter that can be used instead of that environment variable?
  2. I have a lot more data on the server than I can fit on the client, so how will this work? I need to see all the files on the client (or else I won’t know they exist), but all can’t be downloaded at the same time.

This remark only states the automatic sync behavior. In general, you can select which folders on the server you want to sync to your desktop. If in one of your synced folders, there is a new folder, it will be synced, unless you have less than 250 MB free space (like you said) and it is less than 500 MB (this value is adjustable in the general settings of your client).

Thank you!

I half expected some kind of functionality like in Micro$oft Office365, where the synced folder is an interface to OneDrive, and files are pulled on demand.

However, my understanding now is that Nextcloud performs a 1:1 sync, and it’s the users responsibility to choose what to sync, and know what is online but not synced.

To me it seems that the best way to access files then, would be to sync the most used files, like active projects, and then mount the full file area through WebDav. That way I can access the most used files without downloading them every time, and still have everything available.

Or is there a better way to access the files from the desktop?

By the way; accessing the files through WebDav will keep the database updated? Or do I have to sync after making changes?

You can also access directly through webdav (no sync, just network access). The database will be updated as well.

You are right. There are plans in the future that it just syncs on demand (or it was suggested and there is a discussion but nothing has happened yet since 1 year).

You mean using the web browser?
In which case, yes - you’re right of course - and together with OnlyOffice that’s great on the road or when using other computers - but at home, snuggling up with my Manjaro XFCE and a cup of coffee, using the file browser and LibreOffice is a little bit more comfortable. I imagine - I may grow more into this as I gain experience :slight_smile:

Or did you mean (I hope) that using WebDav with something like rclone would allow me to mount my files on Nextcloud into my local file system while keeping the Nextcloud database in sync, not needing to manually sync?

EDIT: Yay! Instead of asking, I should have tested :stuck_out_tongue:
You’re right! With WebDav the database gets updated! That’s excellent functionality :slight_smile:

So good in fact, that I don’t think syncing is worth it until that on-demand sync is implemented.

Thank’s a lot for your answer and your time!

there was(is?) even a beta version of the syncclient with the so called “virtual file system”
which was (is?) capable of this. the client could(can?) normally connect to your regular
NC instance, as all the features are client side only.

NC lately focused on groupware features instead of the old basic business of file syncing features :sleepy:

I can’t remember if they put out a test version for that. The download folder is: (I let you search for yourself a bit)

Thank’s @derWalter and @tflidd for the info. It’s curious that functionality isn’t high on the to-do list.

I found an old post by @derWalter describing it perfectly in June 2018; the amount of data on a server will presumably be more than a client can hold, and so a sync functionality really ought to have some intelligent way of handling that.