Nextcloud stopping File Explorer opening (CRITICAL!)

Latest version of client and this is occurring more frequently - it’s a showstopper. Basically the Nextcloud client shows this:

image

But clicking on the icon does nothing. Whilst it’s in this state, File Explorer will not open. Run Stop-Process nextcloud and File Explorer immediately opens. Launch NextCloud again and same problem.

I’ve now seen this on five clients and the client is about to throw Nextcloud out! Windows 11, latest patches.

Then file a bug report here: Issues · nextcloud/desktop · GitHub, logfiles might be interesting for the developers (Appendix C: Troubleshooting — Nextcloud Client Manual 3.11.81 documentation)

Will do but haven’t got time now so it’ll have to wait a couple of hours. Fortunately, this is on a brand new Windows 11 computer that the client will be switching to so at least they’re not been stopped from working.

My suspicion is that it’s something to do with accidentally creating documents in a group that the user only has read-only access to. They unzipped a printer driver into the read-only folder (which worked) but then Nextcloud said it couldn’t sync (not hint about read-only) - so deleted the unzipped files and this problem.

The only fix I know is to re-install Nextcloud - which requires and VERY annoying reboot.

I’m afraid this might be the final straw for Nextcloud at this client :frowning: I can’t believe I’m going to be recommending OneDrive! :frowning: Yes, I’ve very disappointed.

I’ve raised a bug report on Github:

https://github.com/nextcloud/desktop/issues/6422

I’ve just spent two hours on the finance directors laptop trying to diagnose what’s going on - managed to grab some logs.

But I suspect it’s too late - this level of disruption is too high and I’ve been asked to join a call tomorrow to discuss alternatives. I’m going to find myself suggesting they increase their M365 subscription to embrace SharePoint/M365 groups and OneDrive. Can’t believe I’m doing that :frowning:

My gut instinct is that it was this operation that I carried out this morning that’s caused the problem:

  1. Unzipped a printer driver into a folder within a Nextcloud group folder.
  2. Nextcloud will have started uploading the unzipped files.
  3. Immediately re-created the zip and deleted the unzipped files - probably before Nextcloud had finished uploading them.

In the two cases I’ve managed to get onto today, I saw a partial copy of the unzipped folder in the user’s Nextcloud.

Interesting point there: this group folder is read-only for the effected users.

Sigh - this is a horrible one. Getting calls from users saying they’re unable to work. About to start copying all their Nextcloud data to SharePoint. It’s just totally unusable. Video of the problem. Launch client, starts sync and then hangs - causing all file I/O to freeze.

Video of client crash

It’s unclear to me: did this start occurring after a recent update of either the server or the client? Or is this a brand new deployment where you/this client just sort of jumped in?

Also, you mentioned Windows 11 and a brand new computer: are you saying this isn’t happening on some other computers in the same environment?

I note you’re running the most bleeding edge versions of both the server and the client; for an enterprise environment I’d generally suggest a more conservative with what you run. v28 of the server for example is under 60 days old. Both v26 and v27 are mature and well maintained with regular critical bug fixes as needed.

Couple other suggestions:

  • Can you try to eliminate some variables to troubleshoot this? You’ve mentioned group folders: does the problem go away if you disable the groupfolders app (temporarily) or the folder (via the Web UI) you suspect to be the culprit?
  • Do you have a staging environment? If you’re going to self-host, you’re the service provider too, particularly if you’re not paying for support. If so, it would be informative if you can reproduce the issue in a more isolated setting and simplify the noise in the logs while you’re trying to isolate the cause
  • What do the server logs indicate? That is, your nextcloud.log. Particularly with groupfolders, that’s where the clues may be
  • Your bug report states you’re using encryption: would that be end to end encryption (the end_to_end_encryption app or server side encryption app? (They’re very different and also not compatible with each other)

It’s unclear to me: did this start occurring after a recent update of either the server or the client? Or is this a brand new deployment where you/this client just sort of jumped in?

Nextcloud server was updated to 28.0.2 on Sunday 4th Feb. These errors started on Tuesday 6th Feb. So they had a full working day without any trouble so whilst the upgrade is a possible cause, I would have expected it to occur Monday. I think it’s something to do with a read-only (for most users) group folder when I re-zipped a printer driver.

Also, you mentioned Windows 11 and a brand new computer: are you saying this isn’t happening on some other computers in the same environment?

On Tuesday, I happened to be remotely provisioning a new laptop for an existing user and saw the problem first hand.

Both v26 and v27 are mature and well maintained with regular critical bug fixes as needed.

The upgrade process always gives you the latest version?

Can you try to eliminate some variables to troubleshoot this? You’ve mentioned group folders: does the problem go away if you disable the groupfolders app

Not practical unfortunately as they use group folders for day to day work. This would require the entire company to stop working.

  • Do you have a staging environment? If you’re going to self-host, you’re the service provider too, particularly if you’re not paying for support. If so, it would be informative if you can reproduce the issue in a more isolated setting and simplify the noise in the logs while you’re trying to isolate the cause

I have my own lab environment which isn’t a copy of the client. Doubt it would be practical to clone it either as there is 500GB of data in the Azure VM. I’m trying to repeat the problem in my lab but it’s a much smaller environment.

  • What do the server logs indicate? That is, your nextcloud.log. Particularly with groupfolders, that’s where the clues may be

I’ll have a look. Not had chance to breath as I’ve been re-installing Nextcloud for each user as that appears to help. But for one the problem came back.

  • Your bug report states you’re using encryption: would that be end to end encryption (the end_to_end_encryption app or server side encryption app? (They’re very different and also not compatible with each other)

To be honest, I wasn’t sure of how to answer that.

Suspect it is moot as client has just asked me for the process and cost to migrate to Microsoft 365. Which isn’t a lot as they already have Microsoft 365 apps licenses already so upgrading to standard is £2/user/month.

Just hopped on the server and notice there are some warnings since the upgrade:

Note 315 errors since 1st Feb but when I look at the Logging tab, it’s blank. In fact, I think it’s been blank for a while…

Do I have to look on the server itself?

Later… yes, it’s in the data folder nextcloud.log.

The logging section is blank for the same reason you’re getting the mjs warning. Your environment is not setup properly.

For the mjs issue, search the Admin Manual: https://docs.nextcloud.com

It means your web server isn’t configured with the suggested configuration for Nextcloud v27/v28. The built-in proactive checks for misconfigurations like this got better in v28, but would have still been an invalid configuration in v27.

EDIT: To clarify, I’m not suggesting this is inherently related to the other matters being experienced with the desktop client connections. But it does indicate a misconfiguration in this environment.

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I’ll get those resolved. It would be preferable if the update procedure reminded you to check the admin screen for new requirements like this. Not forgetting when you do the upgrade manually via the command line. Which is what I nearly always do these days. Been burnt by updates failing due to backup taking too long.

Later… for the record, on nginx, the following needs adding to the configuration file:

server {
 include mime.types;
 types {
  application/javascript mjs;
 }
 …
}

It would be nice if Nextcloud told us in advance about configuration changes like this so one could research implementation before upgrading.

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I agree.

However, there are many things that are your responsibility as a server administrator, configuring nginx and keeping the configuration up-to-date is unfortunately one of them…

I subscribe to changes in files in the docs regarding webserver config using the great Github File Watcher.

Then I test the changes in a smaller deployment and roll them out if the work as expected.

To be fair, if your client’s work is mission critical and they need a 24/7 available setup, you were putting a lot of pressure on yourself in the first place. As much as I prefer self-hosting, it sounds like Office 365 is a better fit for them (or a subscription to Nextcloud Enterprise).

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This was in the release notes for NC 27:
https://docs.nextcloud.com/server/stable/admin_manual/release_notes/upgrade_to_27.html

You go first to the latest version of your branch, and then it proposes an upgrade to the next major version. But it is up to you when to do it.

I have a second setup to play around a bit, test some apps, test new versions in an environment similar to my real setup. That way at least, I avoid that something I care about stops working, and to run some tests if I have doubt if the server is involved is easily possible.
If you don’t have the support of enterprise subscription helping you out, and the business should run all the time, I’d try to check as much as possible.

Ohh completely agreed. Putting their eggs in an unsupported (as in using free version) of cloud storage was always a risky strategy.

Sadly I had an onsite meeting with the client on Friday and they’ve decided to move entirely into the Microsoft 365 stack. My job this week is to start migrating to Microsoft 365 groups/SharePoint/Teams/whatever they call it this week. Not that OneDrive as a sync client is perfect but at least I won’t have to try and fix Nextcloud with one hand behind my back.

I’ve got one other very small client using Nextcloud (3 users) and they’re fine but their use is much lower. I personally use Seafile but that’s historical and I too might shift to OneDrive.

So I doubt we’ll ever get to the bottom of this one. I transferred a critical shared folder from a personal account to my admin account using occ files:transfer-ownership over the weekend and now Nextcloud client is crashing for everyone who had access to that folder :frowning: I must admit I won’t miss the stress.

I totally get your situation. When I’m recommending proprietary software or services it’s not because I don’t know about about the amazing stuff FOSS can do, but it’s because I do know how easily a solution can fall apart.

For some organizations that potential pain is okay, because it may be more sustainable for them in the long run or it might just fit their values better. But at the end of the day, software choices should not stand in the way of getting the task done, more like the opposite.

Anyways, I also had some major issues with sync clients on Mac these days and it just points towards that whoever’s working on sync clients at the moment has had a gap in testing efforts before release. Not much we can do, but try to contribute our own time :slight_smile:

Lastly, let’s not forget that Microsoft fails quite spectacular sometimes, too. But in a business context, it’s much easier to point to the giant that failed than explaining why your bespoke solution failed, sadly.

Ohh completely agreed. My last big client had thousands of Microsoft 365 groups that they accessed via Webdav and network locations which worked fine with a few caveats: mainly file size limit and keeping File Explorer authenticated. Microsoft kept saying network locations were “not supported” and they must move to OneDrive synchronising.

I left before they made this transition (supposed to be retiring!) but I heard from one of the directors that it had been a nightmare with everyone complaining that they spent all their time looking at “Processing changes” or “looking for changes”.

I miss good old file servers on the LAN :wink:

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Continue to battle with this client until we can get them migrated to M365 :frowning: Each change of sharing seems to cause all sorts of problems. There’s only 15 users!

Nextcloud has brought one user’s computer to it’s knees. Preparing to sync and flat lining the CPU:

So all that happened last night was that a share on a folder shared by one user with four others was removed and they were added to a group folder.

Just checked with one of the other four users and Nextcloud is stuck “Preparing sync”. When I look in the their Nextcloud folder, the old shared folder is still there and the new group folder hasn’t appeared.

Fortunately for this user, Nextcloud hasn’t crashed or caused all other file access to freeze so I was able to grab the logs if that’s of any use. The folder in question is only 2.88GB big and contains 786 files.

What’s perplexing is that I’m one of those four users and it works flawlessly for me. The older shared folder disappeared and the new group folder appeared.

Later… yes Nextcloud has now broken all four user’s computers. Client not responding and unable to access any files via File Explorer :frowning:

From my own experience : Nextcloud Sync + Groupfolders = MESS (sooner or later).
I don’t recommend using both. If Groupfolders is a must-have, don’t sync Groupfolders.

I know one small company which was having problems almost every week of different sort. Files don’t synching, timeouts, crashes…

They’ve stopped using the Sync client.

Since then, no more problems at all and collaborators found a perfect fit using both the Web GUI and Mountainduck (https://mountainduck.io/) which MOUNTS but doesn’t SYNC everything in the background (sync is the keyword here - 2 ways - while MOUNTING is one way - from server to client). 2-ways sync is not always (almost never) necessary because clients wil scan ever and ever the server and the local client for changes.

This can have terrible behaviour (search the Github repos, you’ll find cases where Sync client simply decides to delete all server data…).

I know this doesn’t help troubleshooting, but it may help others avoiding problems in the future!

Well as the client specifically chose Nextcloud because of the group folder functionality, that would have been a bit of a showstopper :slight_smile:

But I hear what you’re saying. As mentioned, currently copying 600GB into SharePoint (which is fun in itself) as they’ve had enough.

To show I’m not trying to be glib here, I’ve just spend three hours repeating a problem of the client crashing when trying to sync/copy a relatively small number of files.