[HowTo] Replace Google Photos on Android with Nextcloud + Memories@All-Inkl.com

Hi lovely Nextcloud forums!

This post is more or less a how-to reminder for myself and for others trying to host NC memories on an all-inkl webhosting package (and a reference for myself for the future). As it took me almost two days to do this and this forum and reddit helped quite a lot, I thought it might be worth writing it down and save some off you the hassle :wink:
Btw. I couldn’t create this in how-to maybe some mods can move it there?

My goal was
Get away from Google Photos on Android (for two phones) and switch fully to Nextcloud Memories

Setup of basic Nextcloud@All-Inkl

  • There is the option to install a somewhat recent Nextcloud version (right now 27.02) via the software installer in the admin interface KAS
  • This is great for a basic Nextcloud setup that is enough for file syncs like Google Drive (that’s how I used it for 5 years)
  • You can connect to your hosted data and domains via FTP and SSH
  • You are accessing a Ubuntu virtual box, but you don’t have full root access. So you can’t install packages like e.g. ffmpeg or nextcloud via e.g. snap
  • This page gives a few nice hints for performance optimization that is possible on all-inkl & setting up a cron job in KAS admin interface

Updating an old Nextcloud instance on all-inkl

  • I was running a 5 year old version (20.x) and the updating via the web-ui didn’t work
  • I found this lovely set of helper scripts that automate the update process quite nicely all-inkl-nc-updater
  • This helps in updating from one major version to the next, although for 26.x → 28.x I needed to use the WebUI (and it worked there after a few tries)
  • You need to update one major version after the other, don’t forget to bump your PHP version to 8.x when you arrive at Nextcloud 26.x
  • I did upgrade to the latest stable version of NC which is 28.x → it is smarter to stay at 27.x right now as a lot of apps don’t work yet under 28.x

Setup Memories on all-inkl nextlcoud instance

  • Follow the installation guide in the memories docs (Imageick is already available on all-inkl)
  • Install the recommended nextcloud apps in the memories config docs
  • At this point you believe everything should work BUT you can’t generate previews for your videos because ffmpeg is missing.
  • As you can’t install packages, you need to use a static build of ffmpeg → as described here
  • Connect via SSH and copy your static build of ffmpeg to this path, so that memories can use it /nextcloud/apps/memories/lib/ffmpeg and insert the link to the binary in memories web ui.
  • Add this line to your config.php 'preview_ffmpeg_path' => '/nextcloud/apps/memories/lib/ffmpeg' -> Now you have lovely video previews in Memories.
  • I couldn’t get video transcoding to work, so I can’t watch videos on my Memories Web UI, but i works fine in the Android app. So no deal breaker for me. If anyone has ideas how to make it work, speak up please :slight_smile:

Sync your photos from multiple android phones to nextcloud & memories

  • I use the free version of Andorid FolderSync for this as the Nextcloud Android app sadly still doesn’t work reliable for photos
  • Works great from multiple phones, has lot’s of options, so a great alternative for now.

Move all your photos from GooglePhotos to Nextcloud

  • I tried the NC app Google Integration but it was very slow and never really got started (I had 100GB of photos in my account)
  • So I just used Google Takeout to download all photos (including JSON files with additional metadata) to my laptop
  • I then synced them with the Nextcloud Windows App to my Nextcloud Server
  • And then used memories in the SSH shell to write the JSON metadata to EXIF of the files as described in the memories config docs.
  • Remember that you need to use “php” before running an occ command in the shell. And that they only work from the main folder of your NC installation. So it would be in the above example php occ memories:migrate-google-takeout

This gives me and my partner the same experience as we had with Google Photos on Android. When we shoot pics on our smartphone, they are uploaded when WIFI is active and we see them in the memories app. Which is just an amazing app that fully replaces Google Photos :blush: