How to incorporate my existing file server in Nextcloud


I have a file server running on FreeBSD that I have had for a number of years. I have all kinds of files here, some are accessed via FTP, some are mapped to directories on my Windows laptop, I have movies and music that is streamed to my media-PC etc. etc. I have spent a lot of time tweaking the ownership and permissions of the various files and folders. I have also set up a backup job which runs every night making incremental backups to an external hard drive.

In order to increase the flexibility when working away from home, I have decided to give Nextcloud a try. I have installed it on a separate machine running Ubuntu 22.04. I used the snap installation and the version shows up as Nextcloud Hub 6 (27.1.6).

Now to my problem: I had assumed that I could just mount my current file systems (using SMB or NFS) in a subdirectory of /var/snap/nextcloud/common/nextcloud/data somewhere. However, after playing around with Nextcloud for a while it seems that Nextcloud uses its own method of managing ownership and permissions, and on the file system level all files have the owner root and permissions 644.

So my question is: What is the recommended way of integrating my current file server into Nextcloud while keeping the ownership/permissions and without duplicating every file?

hi @Brundlefly welcome to the forum.

there is no way to integrate external storage and keep existing permissions. Nextcloud has and use it’s own user management. you can utilize external authentication from LDAP, SQL or OIDC but this will only allow the users to login and doesn’t adopt external permissions.

When you mount external storage you can provide individual credentials so each user can only access files available for this user but you still need to manage the users inside Nextcloud and mount individual external storages using individual credentials.

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Thank you for your quick and clear reply!

At least I know what I am working with and I can make an informed decision!