Integrating existing NAS to Nextcloud at my house

Hello all,

First post and I am excited at the possibilities of using Nextcloud.

One thing I am confused on is what my options are for integrating my existing NAS files into Nextcloud. My NAS is running FreeNAS. I’ve had it for three years and recently upgraded to FreeNAS Corral. I plan to host Nextcloud on it using it’s docker capabilities.

I have a few different existing SMB / CIFS shares on the NAS that I mount as drives on our laptops and that we access via Solid Explorer on our Android phones. I’m happy with the local access aspects of this but want improved ease of use while outside the network, which is where Nextcloud comes in. I don’t want to have to keep a VPN running so that I can access my files while outside the network. But I want to keep the good local performance that SMB provides.

I’m not clear if I can keep the shares working as they are today while also pointing Nextcloud at them for the benefits it provides

I’m also not clear if there is a way to let multiple family members all have access to the existing big family folder heirarchy via Nextcloud in addition to their own private new Nextcloud space.

Are files stored in Nextcloud’s typical data directory just normal files that could also be accessed normally via the file system? Or are they not usable outside of Nextcloud?

I have seen the external storage app and still am not sure how best to integrate Nextcloud into my existing setup.

My main reasons for wanting Nextcloud are easier sharing of my files with friends outside my network and improved access and ease of use of files on my family’s phones.

To be clear, I am confident in my ability to set up the internet facing access part of Nextcloud, I am just not sure how to integrate it with my existing use cases.

Any information and guidance on this topic would be appreciated!

Thank you for this great software.

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Yes, you are able to use your existing NAS shares (cifs) on both, Nextcloud and “normal” devices/explorers.

What i did:
I mounted my NAS-share (e.g. // to /nc_data/user/files) and all data from NAS appear in Nextcloud as well. You are still able to work with all the data within Nextcloud AND on your devices (pc, laptop, cells…).

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bak sudo vi /etc/fstab

//<NAS>/<share> /var/nc_data/<nextclouduser>/files cifs user,uid=33,rw,iocharset=utf8,suid,credentials=/home/<ubuntuuser>/.smbcredentials,file_mode=0770,dir_mode=0770 0 0

If you are interested in more details, please have a look here @ nextcloud installation guide advanced

Cheers, Carsten

1 Like

Thanks for sharing. That is yet another way to do it that I hadn’t thought

So i take it this confirms that the Nextcloud data directory has normal
files in it and not some special Nextcloud specific storage?

Could you comment on the advantages and disadvantages of mounting the SMB
share in the data directory rather than using the external storage app?

Anecdotally, I did some experimenting last night and found that my
Nextcloud instance became occasionally unresponsive and even prevented web
login when I connected four SMB shares via the external storage app. The
shares are large (multi TB, many pictures, multi GB videos, and small files
such as in git repos) and I was using sqlite in this experimentation
instance, so the performance of sqlite or some initial index building
activity might have been the cause, but this was my experience so far.

Hi ,[quote=“ShaunCurrier, post:3, topic:10403”]
So i take it this confirms that the Nextcloud data directory has normalfiles in it and not some special Nextcloud specific storage?
Correct, no special files in Nextcloud user-files directory, but two level above you will find Nextcloud related (special) files:


From my experiencies and perspective sqllite is absolutely not recommended and shouldn’t be used anymore for Nextcloud.

Cheers, Carsten