Help test our desktop client!

Hi everyone :wave:

Our awesome desktop client team :computer: is getting closer to a release, which will have a virtual file system. The release also has many other improvements, like:

  • new setup wizard - coming in the next few days - if you have any trouble, let us know!
  • Status feature - coming in the next few days too, same - let us know how it works! This requires Nextcloud 20.
  • Of course, if you have encountered any bugs in the current client, test this version to see if they are resolved. We fixed many bugs in syncing, end-to-end encryption and more. If existing issues got fixed, please, let us know so we can clean our log of issues!
  • Push notifications requires server 21. See

We would really like this to get some testing, as you can imagine, to make sure it is super stable when we release!

Important things to note:

  • This upgrade is one-way. If you have a local folder synced using the daily client when you downgrade to 3.1 it’s likely to crash the 3.1 client when it tries to access that folder, so either use different sync folders than usual or empty them before downgrading; Or use a separate account as in our example below.
  • This is a test version! Be careful, use it with test data. We’re not aware of any data eating bugs as we’d have fixed them before asking for wider testing, but that does not mean there are none!
  • If you are using Windows, your feedback is especially important, please take the time to go all the way and create a sync folder using the new virtual files feature (you can convert any sync existing folder to that new mode in the settings dialog, and it is one of the proposed options when creating a new sync folder).

On Linux and OSX we use placeholder files with a .nextcloud extension until they are downloaded - or because the user opened it or because the file was set to offline. On Windows we use the Cloud Filter Api so there is not need for a .nextcloud extension.

To enable the virtual file system on Linux and OSX you need to set showExperimentalOptions=true in the section [General] in nextcloud.cfg. We are still working on the Linux and OSX backend, that is why it is experimental.

To test it, best download a daily for your operating system here:

More about the daily builds:

Then, we suggest running this with a custom folder instead of upgrading over your existing client, so you don’t risk your data. On Linux , the easiest way would be to create a folder named client-test-folder in your home and, after downloading the app image, running it with the --confdir switch:

$ ./Nextcloud- --confdir ~/client-test-folder

On windows 10, create the folder nextcloud-test folder in your appdata folder. That can most easily be reached by typing %appdata% in the location bar of Explorer. In there, create a folder named Nextcloud-test

Then navigate to your nextcloud install dir (usually C:\Program Files\Nextcloud but if you installed both clients it is probably another folder) and run in a command line this command:

$ nextcloud --confdir %appdata%/Nextcloud-test

You will then run through the setup wizard. Once done, go to the settings, enable the virtual file system and give it a whirl: how well does it work for you? Leave your feedback below and report bugs on


Can someone please check if this has been fixed? Show different Icon during checking for changes · Issue #619 · nextcloud/desktop · GitHub

This false positive has been with us for more than two years…

Will virtual files work on Mac too ? Like the ownCloud client does.


It is working on Mac OS too.


I just downloaded the macOS version and there is no settings to enable virtual files.

I don’t see an option to enable virtual filesystem (appimage), does it require Nextcloud 21?

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The option to enable virtual file support is highlighted in the screenshot - if you haven’t found it.

Ready to test !

But I have a NC 21RC2 test server and a Ubuntu test desktop with Nextcloud- and I don’t see this option in the menu.

Is it only for Windows ?

In the settings pane I can see that :


What does “using virtual files plugin: suffix” mean ?

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It means the virtual file system works with suffixes in the file names. That’s currently the only way to use the virtual file system on OSX and Linux.

To enable the virtual file system on Linux and OSX you may need to set showExperimentalOptions=true in the section [General] in nextcloud.cfg .


Right, thank you !
The files have suffixes “.nextcloud”. They should be downloaded by running them or by using their context menu, but they are open with the text editor (Ubuntu 20.10, Gnome, Nextcloud-
I could create an issue but it seems strange to me, it’s a basic feature of virtual drives.
Does someone succeed to use it with Gnome and Nautilus ?

Same behavior here, context menu works nicely but when not stored locally they’re just blank text files (on linux). Do we need updated file manger integration (like dolphin-nextcloud)?

I have expanded the text in the post to clarify it how it works on each platform atm.


The integration with dolphin and nautilus is not possible from the app image. For that you would need to compile the client yourself and then make sure that the extensions for dolphin and nautilus are installed in the correct locations.

Or you could use the PPA for Ubuntu:

I tested the virtual drive function with my test instance in an Ubuntu 20.10 VM and it works perfectly fine including the integration with nautilus. At least as far as I can tell, after a short test. :slight_smile: I tested it with serval libreoffice documents and jpeg files.

For the test I used a clean and up to date Ubuntu 20.10 VM and installed the client from this PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nextcloud-devs/client-alpha
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install nextcloud-desktop nautilus-nextcloud

Before you start the client you should add the line “showExperimentalOptions=true” to the [General] section in the nextcloud.cfg, as @FlexW mentioned.

nano ~/.config/Nextcloud/nextcloud.cfg


You should then be able to chose the virtual file drive function as an option right during the initial setup of your account, in the “Setup local folder options” part of the setup assistant.

Hope that is of any help for anybody who wants to try it with Ubuntu.

Warning: Do not add this PPA on your production machine, where the Nexcloud-Client is allready installed through the stable PPA. If you do that it will upgrade the stable version to the alpha version, and you have to reinstall the client if you want to go back to stable.

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To enable the virtual file system on Linux and OSX you may need to set showExperimentalOptions=true in the section in nextcloud.cfg .

I don’t get this file, I am looking at: $HOME/Library/Preferences/Nextcloud/nextcloud.cfg for it. I don’t see it.

Right, it makes sense !

Thank you, using the alpha repo rather than the appimage makes it work on my test desktop VM.
The best way to test it on linux.

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What OS do you use ?

The entry does not yet exist in the file. You have to add it. Open the file with a text editor and then add showExperimentalOptions=true on a seperate line anywhere in the [General] section.

Or do you mean, you can’t find the file?

On linux it’s in /home/yourusername/.config/Nextloud (".config" is a hidden folder). The path you posted is the correct path on macOS.

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