Nextcloud desktop client 2.5 is out with End-to-End Encryption, new login flow and much more


#1

Originally published at: https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-desktop-client-2.5-is-out-with-end-to-end-encryption-new-login-flow-and-much-more/

The end of the year is gearing up to be a time with many announcements: Monday we released a new version of our Microsoft Outlook integration, yesterday we announced the Nextcloud Enterprise Day coming March next year and today, we’re excited to release the Nextcloud Desktop Client to you all!!! While there will be more news the coming days (including the second beta of Nextcloud 15 tomorrow), today the spotlight is on desktop and laptop users.

What is new

The new client has received a lot of work in all areas. The user interface was cleaned up, syncing improved, authentication updated to our new login flow, Simple Signup was integrated, End to End encryption is now available and much more.
Get the client!

End-to-end Encryption

With this release, End-to-end Encryption (E2EE) is available in Nextcloud mobile clients on iOS, Android and now also on the Desktop under Windows, Linux and Mac. End-to-end Encryption is designed to protect you from a compromise of the server, ensuring that even if somebody broke in or a sysadmin wants to snoop, your data is safe.

Inevitably, this means that you can’t access or share this data through a browser. A browser executes code coming from the server and schemes to decrypt data in the browser are thus inherently insecure: if you don’t trust the server, you should of course not give your key to code coming FROM the server. See this post by security experts at NCC Group for some more background on this. Learn more end-to-end encryption and about encryption in Nextcloud in general.

Unlike typical End-to-end Encryption solutions, our solution is designed for a subset of your data. That is, you can select one or more folders which will be encrypted while the rest of your data continues to be available also from the browser and can easily be shared, edited online and so on. As files are synced one by one and the protocol requires careful locking on the server, E2E causes significant overhead and is not yet suitable for large numbers of files.

Meanwhile, your feedback continues to be very welcome! We will further improve and harden our E2EE in the coming releases.

User experience

We worked hard to make using the client a nicer, more seamless experience. Server-side activities are better integrated, separated per user account and notifications can more easily be opened and acted upon. This can help, for example, with a feature like two-factor authentication using notifications.

We integrated our new login flow which makes it easier to set up your account and handle single sign-on and two-factor authentication. You can now also easily control access of your desktop client to your data from the browser, if you need to do so.

A few more enhancements:

  • Available with this release is seamless integration of synced folders into the GNOME file manager sidebar with libcloudproviders.
  • The share dialogs have been revisited to bring them more in line with our web and mobile user interfaces.
  • Users will notice they can immediately open any of the Nextcloud apps from the context menu in the system tray.
  • The notifications have been cleaned up, bothering you no longer with all file changes but just showing important server messages and sync issues.
  • Various improvements to platform integrations.
Easy to use sharing dialog
Share dialog options only show when needed
Open Nextcloud apps from the context menu

Simple Sign-up

If you are new to Nextcloud and don't yet have a server, you will now be able to register an account with one of our trusted providers directly from the desktop client! We expect the graph below to start adding red bars on top soon... See our earlier blog on how Simple Sign-up is doing and if you are new to our initiative to deliver decentralized, private clouds to users in an easy package, read our announcement from the Nextcloud Conference!
Nextcloud users signing up via Simple Signup

Sync improvements

There has been a lot of work to make syncing faster and more reliable, and give users more control. You can now edit the list of ignored files, and your free space quota is shown in the configuration screen of the client. Conflict handling was improved, adding the user name to the conflict file name.
See how much storage you are using and have left
List which files should not be synced

Get started now!

All together, this is a big release for our Desktop client! You can grab the 2.5.0 version from our download page. No Nextcloud account? No problem, Simple Signup will get you started!
Get the client!
There has been a lot of interest by contributors lately, and we already have a lot of improvements planned for the upcoming releases. If you want to get involved, too, we have daily builds for testing and the code can be found in our github repo. Of course, you are also very much invited to join us in person later this month in Stuttgart at our Contributor Week!

macOS Client with E2E?
Sorry NextCloud 2.3.3 has crashed error on Mac
#2

Damn! Thanks! Love to see this progression/optimization in the NC client environment! Server developed well and I’m really satisfied to see some client improvements and feature completion! Will update my clients in the next days/weeks!
Keep going! Love it!


#3

How to install, desktop client for Windows 7/10, without administrator rights? Is it possible?
Thanks.


#4

What are the server requirements? Any?

My hoster is in progress of upgrading its server plattform. However, the present version runs an old version of libxml, hence I am limited to ownCloud 8.6.x. (All newer versions require newer versions of libxml.)

Will nextcloud client v 2.5 work with ownCloud 8.6?

Update:
Wrong Version number given: Correct - actually running ownCloud v. 8.2.9


#5

@ivaradi @m4lvin Can you update the Debian repository for the new Nextcloud client?


#6

Thanks for the notification, but it will take took a while. I first have to understand which dependencies and parts of the build process changed. Tracking issue: https://github.com/m4lvin/nextcloud-client-debian-packaging/issues/5.

My repository is now updated :tada:. Unfortunately now the tray menu only appears for a second, something like this or this bug :thinking:

NOTE: I just reverted my repository to 2.3.3 because the new client was unusable under Debian (not syncing, tray menu broken). I will follow the github issues about those problems but for now will stay with 2.3.3. Maybe 2.5.1 will work better under Debian.

@ivaradi, do your packages include dolphin integration nowadays? That was the main reason I made my own :wink:


#7

@alfred I have just uploaded the source packages to the Ubuntu PPA and the Debian OBS project and they should be built and published soon.


#8

This version did not exist. But every OC 8 version is very old, not supported for a very long time. Please use a more current version. With the libxml version problem might only be the tip of the iceberg, probably there is a lot more old unsupported software.

Regarding Nextcloud/ownCloud, in the past it was not a big problem to mix both versions, e.g have the client from owncloud and the server from Nextcloud and vice versa. In the last versions, there were changes on boths sides which could make at least some functions incompatible. In the best case it only triggers a small error somewhere.


#9

Sorry. Wrong version number given. Actually running ownCloud 8.2.9

Would love to run an newer version, actually would love to switch to nextcloud.
However, since the hosting provider does not provide a more up-to-date libxml, I can’t do anything about it.
And as I mentioned, they are upgrading their complete server platform and are just entering the beta phase - probably by today or so. I am one of their beta testers. But I will not transfer all the live data / hot data into the beta program.

So, in order to still have access to all my cloud data of my owncloud, I am asking if the new client should run with the old ownCloud, or if I need to block updates for this nextcloud client version on my repos.


#10

Use the beta environment and install a current Nextcloud as a test setup and check if it is working. Once everything works and is out of beta, you can migrate.


#11

At the very moment, my beta installation is not yet completely finished and I have no yet received my beta account.
But in advance, I had already asked for permission for an nextcloud installation.
The present road map plans for a completed migration by end of Q1.
Since being a beta tester, I will be one of the first for full migration.

And up to then, I need to keep my present setup up and running.

PS: I will not be able to talk about any specifics of the new setup, since I signed an NDA.


#12

Tested in virtual. Running now on production. mind you not using encryption at the moment on server as had meltdown once where was not able recover encrypted data.
Keep a good work no issues from users reported.


#13

Sadly the 2.5 release doesnt work here. It can’t sync due to https://github.com/nextcloud/server/issues/12365.


#14

There is a very serious bug in the E2EE implementation which leads to subfolders not getting encrypted without any notification for the user:


#15

Seems it isn’t compatible with *buntu Xenial.


libqt5webenginecore5 is only available on artful (17.10) and later.


#16

This new version is compatible with TLSv1.2?


#17

Sorry. Had to read it several times again to (correctly) understand.

Since the beta environment is different from present hosting platform, even if it would run fine on beta platform it would be questionable, if it also would run fine on the old setup. But it would indeed give some indications.

As soon as the new platform is either out of beta or very stable and close to release and my tests running fine with the new nextcloud, then I would migrate my live data to the new platform.


#18

I’ve experienced quite a few issues with 2.5.0.
The last step of the installation won’t finish, the button just won’t react.
But once I click it, the systems wants to restart immediately without further warning.
After the installation is finished, sync has stopped with quite a few duplicate errors in the activity view.

These issues were experienced on three out of three systems tested.
Once that’s all cleaned up, I really like the new looks and added functionality!

Thanks for all your work.


#19

Experienced the same issues. Thought it would be a problem on my pc only.


#20

The client seems to be working fine at this point, except E2E doesn’t work. I’m able to create a folder and set it to be encrypted but contents won’t sync when added. Then to remove the directory I have to restart the client. These issues aren’t too far off from what I had earlier this year with the iOS client. I figure there are some server-side updates yet…though I’m on the latest stable of NC14