Nextcloud Updater is the worst

I registered specifically to get rid of the following:

We are using Nextcloud for several years now and every single Update including the one i made today was a true nightmare. Not a single Update got through once without annoying problems.

There is a constant pattern you can bet on when updating Nextcloud:

  1. The Update will fail.
  2. You will get some cryptic error messages that are no help at all.
  3. You will have to dig forum-posts to get to the reason.
  4. You will have to fiddle with configuration files to get it working.
  5. You will spend a lot of valuable free time on it.
  6. With some luck you get the problem solved, which will not prevent you having the exact same f*cking issues the next update.

Its ridiculous.

Hey Gundkurs,

sorry you’re feeling this way. Personally I must say that I my experience does not match yours, I’ve been using Nextcloud since around version 12 and never had any trouble updating through the updater, atleast nothing major I can think of right now. Infact I have some other web software running, which I wish would offer an update experience as nextcloud does.

But maybe it would be worth to open a thread about your issue, when each and every update you do fails and describe what needs to be done to get your instance up and running again. Maybe someone has a good idea for you for future updates.

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I have not registered specifically for this but I wanted to say that the updater has worked quiet well for me over the years.

Does this statement help anyone?

Probably not… :wink:

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And the reason was fixed? Is it the same reason every time?

If you find the reason, you can give feedback to improve the messages, that they will help users in the future. Unfortunately, this won’t help you for this problem any more but other users will benefit, and then perhaps others spot potential problems of yours and they can be fixed before you experience them.

What kind of a system you are using? There are some without problems and the updates working rather well and a few are complaining over constant struggles with updates. There can be problems with the system, there can be problems that Nextcloud doesn’t consider this system/platform enough, … (side note: hosting companies often severely limited their environments, so these usually less-experienced users have to tackle much harder situation of an environment they do no control at all)

Well, if the issue is not reported and not found, then you have to rely on chance that it might be fixed.

There are hoster that provide Nextcloud hosting as a service, you can buy it and get a turn-key solution. Depending on your knowledge level, there is a certain amount of time you have to invest to run a server. I understand, that I’m willing to invest some time in running a server and learning about it and I don’t want to invest any time in returning issues.

Complaining and critizing is good, it’s a way to improve. Diffuse critics don’t help however, so if you are not happy, it would be helpful to add the forum posts a bug tracker that tackle the issues you had.

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It goes usually like this (this is from memory, i cannot reproduce the steps since the instance is now updated to the most recent version):

  1. Go to Settings->Administration->Overview ->update version. Update Process starts and quits with some error message, most often arround “cannot verify files”.
  2. Google error-message. It has to do something with php memory limit not set to 512 mb, which seems to be necessary.
  3. Google how to increase memory limit.
  4. find suggested files on ftp-server, change them.
  5. Restart update. Now it stucks on “step 5 is currently in process. please reload this page later”
  6. Google error-message. Find out obscure error-message is related to backupfiles somewhere.
  7. find backup-folder in ftp-server, delete it.
  8. Restart update. Oh look at you, it works now.

Months later: Same issues, it appears that the update did erase the “memory limit” settings, so update will not go through. However, since months has passed since the last update i forgot most of the issues i had the last time. So its everytime a similar annoying process (Steps 1 to 8).

If some files are overridden during the update, it should not happen that the newly created files prevent the updated system from updating in the future.

This is how my post is meant to be. I don’t critize the devs, if i sounded offending, i apologize. I just hate the update-process and i am of the opinion that it has real issues for years now, so i wanted to be vocal about it. Thanks for the open ears.

Well this was documented change and Nextcloud even tells you what to do. If you are running a manual installation of Nextcloud, some basic knowledge about Linux, PHP configuration, webserver configuration is required. If you don’t want to learn how those things work and don’t want to “fiddle” with configuration files, but still want to be able to selfhost your Nextcloud instance, I would recommend using an appliance like Nextcloud AIO.

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Smells a bit like hosting envirnment, if not it is better so set the memory limit in the php configuration rather than changing this via .htaccess. However, the code is completely replaced during an update because you will end up with plenty of error if you mix code of different versions. This happened in the past and with the code integrity check, they avoid such problems. Unfortunately, the manual changes to the .htaccess might suffer from that (there are reports such as:

For your problem, that you don’t remember what has been changed the last time. In your data folder, there is a backup of the old code, the folder is called updater-randomstring (randomstring are some random characters to avoid collision with a user called updater). Within there are backups where you should find the .htaccess of the previous version with your modifications.

I don’t know how the .htaccess is handled during the upgrade process, if the manual changes could be detected and reapplied to the new .htaccess as well.
If that can’t be done, we should check in the documentation if that is covered. If the automatic correction is not working, perhaps just detect a modification and show it to the user (that they can manually re-apply it to the new one, with link to documentation).

That’s not what happens. There was a request for this, but it boils down to „don’t set your php setting in the .htaccess file“: Feature request: do not overwrite custom .htaccess content · Issue #22473 · nextcloud/server · GitHub

Other than nextcloud shipping its own .htaccess file (which I guess implies it will be overridden) and occ commands to update the .htaccess file, I couldn’t find a strict warning to not add additional settings to the .htaccess file.

Yes, you’re right @Grundkurs, that was indeed the case in the past. But by now the updater has been greatly improved and has actually worked well since the last couple of years.

The annoying problem are the apps, because the app developers often don’t keep up with the rapid version number increase of Nextcloud.

But then they remain in the app store as “untested” and so the bugs creep in that can prevent an update or even corrupt the installation.

What do you learn from this? Install as few apps as possible until the situation has improved. Disable critical apps before the update to be on the safe side. Do not play around with different apps on the production server just to find out how they work.

JM2C