NextcloudPi: Safer updates and Community Participation Settings

As announced some time ago, major internal changes are coming to NextcloudPi.

Changes like these don’t come without risks and therefore, I have been putting some work into NCP update process before tackling bigger changes to any critical core components.

These changes are now released as part of the release v1.53.0 and include:

1 Staged rollouts

While I take great care to test updates before release, both using automatic and manually test procedures and for critical changes also with the help of volunteers from the community, server configurations are so complex, that there’s always a chance of missing a bug.
Sidenote: That’s one reason why it is mandatory to always have recent, good backups.

With staged rollouts, I now have the option if publishing a new version of NextcloudPi to only a percentage of the userbase and only increase this number if those users don’t report issues.
The point of this is to limit the number of affected users so that I personally, as well as the experienced volunteers that are active in the NCP community, have enough capacity to support them and help with fixing upcoming issues.

The way, staged rollouts are implemented, does not collect any data about your NCP instance and only affects automatic ncp updates, leaving you in control of both your data and your system. You can always manually update to a new ncp release from the NCP admin panel as you are used to.

2 Canary updates

As an addition to staged rollouts, you can opt-in to receiving all NCP versions right when they are released by checking the “canary” option in the NCP admin panel or in your Nextcloud’s Admininstration Settings (under Basic Settings), where you will find a new section for NextcloudPi related info and options.

3 NCP Community Notifications

Occasionally I have reasons to want to reach out to the NCP community and either inform NCP admins about important changes (like for example the discontinuation of the docker variant) or ask for users’ opinions, usage info or feedback on functionality.

Therefore, I have now added to options to both the NCP admin panel (under ncp-community) and the NCP section in the Nextcloud Administration Settings (under Basic Settings) that allow you to configure whether you want to receive notifications in these cases. By default, you will receive notifications related to important changes to NCP, but you will not receive notifications asking for feedback.
However, if you want to support the development of NCP, I highly appreciate if you decide to check the notifications for user surveys.

I will use this new mechanism once to inform admins that it exists (and include a link to this article) and then only use it for the dedicated purposes going forward.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some bigger updates (internal and new features) over the next weeks and months. :slight_smile:


Beta and RC’s are included on the canary updates or will be only maintenance releases?

Manual testing by me and (if necessary) volunteers will be done for releases before they are published as canary release. Release candidates are pre-canary.

Think of the canary toggle as opting in to always be in the first stage of staged releases (the idea being that users who have the capabilities to help themselves with minor technical problems can choose to be in this group).