Does new Virtual Drive Desktop Client have to run for accessing offline files?

Hi there,
I’ve heard/read that the new Virtual Drive Desktop Client will provide offline file functionality beside the on demand file fetching and caching. I’ve also heard that it will use some virtual filesystem for accomplishing this. I’ve finally heard some rumors that this new client will probably supersede the current File Sync Client.

My Question: Will I be able to access my “available offline” files and folders without actual running the new Virtual Drive Desktop Client?

I would examine this question by myself, but my client ecosystem is Linux only (for the moment at least) and the new client seems not to be available for Linux for now.
The use of “a virtual filesystem” lets me suspect something “bad”, but I want to make doubly sure that I get everything right. This can be crucial for quite some use cases and it will, to some degree, define the direction, in which Nextcloud is evolving in a broader sense.

Thanks in advance

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I would expect that your question should be answered by the original announcement:

@j-ed I have already read the announcement and I couldn’t get any explicit information about this. Can you please point me to the relevant passage. Thx!

A picture says more than thousand words :wink:

@j-ed And where do I see if the new Nextcloud Client has to be run or in which way it is running???
When yes, is it a service/daemon or a normal process, which depends on a user login?

Maybe another forum user is willing to provide a little bit more than just a picture of an already existing post/announcement and wants to share a little bit more technical information, which I can’t work out because of current OS restriction of the new client.

Sorry, but you asked if you need to start the Nextcloud client and the picture shows you that it is transparently integrated into the file system.

You want to know if it is based on a service/daemon and the text explains that it is based on Dokan, an open source user mode virtual files system.

I come to the conclusion that you haven’t read the provided information and want to get everything masticated.

@j-ed Your conclusion is wrong! I’ve read the announcement and like I said, I have a suspicion of the Nextcloud Client must always run in the background, because of the architecture of a virtual filesystem powered by Dokan(y). This is the indication of my question! And I also indicated, that I can’t test it by myself for now, but need some precise and explicit information about this issue, which are not given in the announcement. Therefore I asked quickly in the forum for finding some users, who already have tested the new client and are willing to answer my question, maybe in preparation for digging deeper, if it is possible in a none common way to access the offline files. Just like a help/community forum works.
But despite you’ve “answered”, you don’t seem to be willing to really answer it!? The thing with your answers (3!) is, that they don’t contain real information and knowledge transported by clear words. There is nothing explicit in your words. You can’t even write “yes/no/because of…”, and I have no idea why. But you have the time to fabricate some little red boxes and arrows, which may be helpful (only) with some additional words (depending on the other side’s knowledge). But again, just some unnecessary and unspecific things! Is there a reason for this? Are you pissed off by just a simple question? I really don’t know, what the reason for this could be. Do you prefer to put energy in providing derisive suggestive information over writing two or three concrete words?

Next time you could save yourself and others a lot of time by just not providing any answer, if you don’t know it exactly or do not want to answer. Nobody is forcing you to write here in the forum. OR you could share your knowledge and experience (about the new client) with only just some clear words answering according to a/my question. Like:

  • "I’ve tested the new client and as far as I can see, you always have to run it to access your (offline) files, because when the virtual file system isn’t running, the offline available files are in a not accessible structure on your primary file system.
  • “I don’t know for sure, but I know a user who might know it and wants to share his/her experience. Let’s ping him/her.”

Compare this to your last comment:

  • In this thread nobody (=me) asked or is interested, if the NC Client “is transparently integrated into the file system”!
    That does not tell me explicitly, if the offline files may accessible by any chance when the vfs is not running. Even Dokan has to save the offline files on your primary filesystem.
    You could show a screenshot of the old client as well and write something like: “You have to start it, then it is nicely integrated in Windows context menu.” But it would not concretely tell me, if the files are available offline without interpretation. Everything is true but doesn’t have a concrete explanation for the question. I don’t want to to funny interpretation of a guessing game.

  • “You want to know if it is based on a service/daemon and the text explains that it is based on Dokan, an open source user mode virtual files system.”
    -> You don’t say! Address my issue and don’t tell me what I already know. So if you’ve tested the client already, tell me some interesting things about the processes and services running on your system and what you have found out. Like I said, I’ve read the announcement. And because, I do not exactly know how the new NC client uses/implements Dokan or anything deeper about it, I decided to ask this question rather here in the forum than in Dokan’s because in first place my interest is concerning the new NC client! But if it is obvious (for you), that the offline files couldn’t be accessed in any way, when using NC client/Dokan at all and which processes and services are running, then tell me and share your knowledge, instead of just sound some nebulous stuff!

  • “I come to the conclusion that you haven’t read the provided information and want to get everything masticated.”
    PRECISELY NOT! Everything masticated is in the announcement. There is no real information, about the things I asked! Give me one sentence or phrase, which mentions explicitly the issue of accessing offline files without running the client. Or some thing about the processes/services that are needed to provide accessibility. That is why I wanted to ask some people, who may have already grappled with this concern and - if you want it in your words - provide me with their “masticated” knowledge, that I can’t gather for explained reasons. That is the basis of existence of this forum! I have really no idea what your problem is or what the difficulty is to understand that? Do you have a bad day? Why do you even answer then?
    And again, here, in half the time of writing this and making useless speculation, you could told me and maybe others your experience and knowledge concerning my question. This is what valuable participation in a forum should represent.

I really have no clue what the reason could be for you to have the occasion to write three or at least two answers with almost no substance in a quite contemptuous way.

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@Nytrm I can give you a small bit of information, though in my testing so far, I’ve yet to have the virtual drive work correctly (maybe because I’m still on NC13 server).

From my interpretation of Dokan’s docs, it looks like the Nextcloud client does need to be running in order for the virtual drive letter to work. Dokan’s kernel driver doesn’t seem to do anything without a live, user-mode program dictating its behavior.

That said, the Nextcloud client seems to put its offline-cached files here by default:
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Nextcloud\cachedFiles
I’m not able to test whether making changes to the files here will actually commit them to the server when Nextcloud starts again, so I would not recommend modifying these files directly… but if Nextcloud won’t run, you can at the very least copy and work with your locally cached files, and upload them manually later.

@mactrent Thanks a lot! In about two months, I will have a new workstation with windows on it. Then I will inspect your hints further.

Would be interesting to know.
But I think in general you are right by saing:

I have a question to this one:

Do you know, if the files in cachedFiles\ have their normal names and original structure?