New to NextCloud, have a few questions

I’ve been researching setting up my own NextCloud system instead of spending $ on Dropbox. I intend to start with a Rasberry Pi (only because I was given 5 of them… left over from a project at work) and then once I know what I am doing / know what I need then I’ll move to a more robust server.

Also a friend has a leftover Drobo 4-drive system (with four 1tb hard drives in it). It’s the USB version unfortunately, but that should serve nicely as a data drive.

So how hard will it be to set up the Nextcloud server at my house, configure it with DynDNS and end up with a replacement for basic Dropbox…
FYI Dropbox recently castrated the free accounts to limit accessibility to 3 devices… in my case a desktop, cellphone and laptop, and I have to disconnect one if I get a new laptop or desktop… I need 4 to 5 devices.

My long term goal is to have my Nextcloud server host four “dropboxes”… (one each for software development, family, business, hobby) with different users having access to different combinations of the four… example: dad, mom and brother access the business files, dad, mom, son and daughter need family files, dad and son access the software development files, mom and daughter access the hobby files).

Someone has to have invented this wheel… rather than reinvent it can someone point me to a web page that will walk me through the process? Including the necessary DynDNS setup?

Ideas? Comments?
And as i said above the Pi will only be a starter hardware platform… I suspect it’s not designed for 24x7x366 server duty… can someone suggest a good hardware replacement?



hi. my rasp pi b3+ serves me everyday pretty well since a long time. as long as you have a good power supply and sd card youll be good to go. the pi has 4 usb ports. therefore you can make a setup with 4 usb drives. that should be enough for what you want to do. but then theres this old debate about rasp pi. if your not using this for production purposes but for a family, i would say go with pi. cheaper and powerful enough. I would recommend buying a battery for the pi so when theres a power shutdown, your pi won’t suffer much. and i would also recommend to buy good parts (sd, psu… as I mentioned above)

now, the os you want to install on those machines is your choice. ive personally used OMV (open media vault) for my first nextcloud project on a pi. Now im using Ubuntu Mate. Depends what is your goal. OMV is good but sometimes the UI gets in our way and we end up using the command line to do our server administration. I recommend Ubuntu mate cause of the packaging system (apt-get). Theres also a lot of documentation online for ubuntu.

I dont see why you would need 4 “dropbox”. Nextcloud has a user management system with quotas and files/folders restriction system. You can set up external storage too (locally, google drive and all if im not mistaken). You can comment and share the files. They even have a “kanban board” app/plugin for you and your dad for your software dev projects :wink: (its not jira but good enough to lets say, add nextcloud admin tasks and do a follow up between the admins)

As for the documentation. Yes I can point you to some. Ill edit this post and add it. However the best documentation in my opinion is the NC user manual and devs manual.

Installation and setup is pretty easy depending on which method you want to use. I would recommend docker even if it may seem harder. Gives you a better ability when its time to troubleshoot your pi services. Theres also the setup-nextcloud.php script that is pretty easy but you have to install all dependencies (database, webserver, smtp server and such…). To avoid this dependencies issue, theres another way to install using “snap”.

I think I covered most of your questions. Lemme know if I missed something. Hope this helps


Let’s say you want to use the setup-nextcloud.php method:

I did try to use snap to install nextcloud once but maybe i wasnt enough good with linux I ended up using the setup-nextcloud.php (makes me learn how databases, webserver… works and gives me more control)

for docker I would have to dig.

as for DNS and port forwarding. it is also pretty easy. forward port 80 (http) and 443 (https, ssl) to your pi address and get a DNS that is configured to point to your home public ip and thats it.

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Take a look at Nextcloud Pi project which provides images for raspberry and other ARM boards ( The developer also wrote about common problems regarding RPi performance (

If you expect a high transfer speed and good performance with several users/devices, more powerful ARM boards or a NUC (or somothing similar with AMD processors). However the RPi is a great solution for some tests and check out if in general such a setup could be a solution for you.

10 minutes? (if you are totally new to linux may be a bit longer… but since you own five RPis…)

and if you choose restic&rclone as backup it should be no problem to move your installation anywhere.

Thanks to braka47, tflidd and Reiner_Nippes.
I can see I have some reading to do…
The idea about a battery on the Pi is a good one, especially since I have a 12v 20ah battery that is left over from a ham radio project.

In this case “owning” and “being familiar with” are two different
things… a project got cancelled and the two of us split the wealth…
each ended up with five… I’m just now firing up the first…

I’d welcome any help… email, telephone, whatever. Hell, if you’re in
the Los Angeles area I’d buy you a steak dinner plus trade you one of
the Pi boards for a teach session / walkthrough.


im not in the same timezone (montreal) but feel free to add me on facebook. ill contact you in private

Such a pity that I don’t live close ;-( In a few cities, they established meetup-groups to install on RPi and similar devices (mostly in Europe).

There is an addon in NextCloud called Group Folders. Once you install it ( which is about as easy as installing software in Android phones), you can setup group folders. These group folders have their own individual data storage cap and be be assigned to a group. People in that group can view those folders. In your case, your have software Development, family business and hobby folder. Different accounts can be placed in different combinations of groups. This gives them access to different group folders.

edit: Didn’t see the date but someone else will probably look this up.