MacOS application files not syncing properly

Hi everyone

I’m happily running my NextCloud server on my RaspberryPi in a Docker container since a few weeks now. Syncing to my clients (2 MacBooks and 1 iPhone) works like a charm - almost at least.
However, I’ve realized NextCloud seems to have issue handling Mac typical applications.

Here is what happens (as an example, but generic to any applications on MacOS as far as I can tell):

  • Let’s say we have an Application named “KnockKnock”. This app was downloaded on MacBook #1 from the internet. In Finder, this will show in the Downloads folder as a file named “”. This app will open and work just
  • Now after syncing, this application will show up on the NextCloud server as a folder “”
  • If now this application gets synced to MacBook #2, it will show in the Downloads folder again as “”, which is in principle what one would expect and hope for. However, when trying to open (to start up) the application, the system will only show an error message saying “The application “” can’t be opened.” .

As one attempt to narrow down the issue I’ve upload the application file via the web-interface to my NextCloud. This will then show as “” in the files interface. When syncing to my MacBooks, this will then also show up as in Finder, when opening the zip file it will expand the application file and that one can then be used.

To me it seems the desktop client is diving into the application file package contents and syncing all the individual files, probably messing up something.
The webinterface seems to recognize it’s a package, that’s probably why it’s labelled as .zip file, which is somewhat better, but also somewhat flawed, as it should only be .app.

This is where I am stuck. Am I doing something wrong? Is that a known NextCloud issue? Not sure how should handle this issue, I will have to sync .app files to make use of NextCloud for what I have in mind.

Any help or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Retooo

Nextcloud version (eg, 20.0.5): Nextcloud Hub 7 (28.0.2)
Operating system and version (eg, Ubuntu 20.04): Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)
Apache or nginx version (eg, Apache 2.4.25): Apache/2.4.57
PHP version (eg, 7.4): PHP 8.2.16

The issue you are facing: see above

Is this the first time you’ve seen this error? (Y/N): N

In macOS, you can just copy the program, or when you copy the program file, it just copies this file and does nothing else in the background (registering something)?

I personally would just sync the download folder or any other data folder, but for programs, I’d install them separately. Not sure if there are ways in macOS to deploy certain software.

Thanks for your feedback. Let me clarify one point: I’m not trying to sync the application folder containing all the programs. I’m only syncing the download folder, documents folder, and other data folders. It happens however that these folders also contain some applications that I’ve stored for archiving purposes. Now these application files get “destroyed”, which is something that should not really happen from my point of view.

If I understood your problem properly: Many Apps in macOS are technically speaking folders. They are displayed as apps on macOS-Systems and as folder on other systems.

Just download an App/Folder from your Nextcloud to a maOS-System, unzip it and you will have the Apps again. But: in my tests the Apps do not work anymore after redownloading. I don’t know why.

That’s pretty much the problem. I also don’t know what the root cause is. Bit of a shame… Maybe I should post this as an issue on Github.