Seperated user possible?


i am trying to find out if I can use nextcloud as a client portal for my lawyer clients to share file with them, get files uploaded etc.

This obviously means though that I need to prevent that standard users after signup can see each other, unless I allow it (e.g. for multiple contacts per clients etc).

How can this be done?


I’m not sure I miss some requirements or you have to fulfill some special regulations. but if you are Nextcloud owner and want to share exchange files with others you don’t need to add them as users on your instance. Simple share should be enough - depending on security requirement even with video verification. So just create one folder per client and share it. You may even separate it into different sub-folders, like read-only area where the client could only view/download the files and another area he could upload the files without ability to change it later (drop-zone).

Adding clients as users gives you little more security (like MFA) but introduces additional drawback - as users can create/share files on your instance more or less without your control - e.g. they can use your Nextcloud instance to create and share they own files with others (other functionality like NC Talk as well). usually this not your goal until you plan to become Nextcloud hoster.

Thank you.

I am still trying to learn the logics behind nextcloud or rather figure out if it is the right plattform at all.

I am basically looking for a way to offer a client portal, which enables me to share and receive files securely, while only the client can access the files (obviously :P). Additionally it would be great to share appointments, tasks, project states (like contracts drafts or time lines) and share regular calls, consulting. Last but not least I want to get rid of email communication with clients and switch to safe communication for each document and the whole case (project).

Not sure if this can safely be realized with nextcloud. Maybe somebody has this already set up? Or even wrote a best practice? I’d even hire a developer to make an initinial setup based on my requirements.

I don’t know if there is a messaging system with your clients. You could use chats and talk for communication, so it would only run through your server (make sure the communication is encrypted). You could give each client an account, so you can share meetings, drafts etc. Question is as a customer, if I want an account to contact my lawyer, for my doctor, …

I’d start with the file share, it’s the heart of Nextcloud’s applications and probably most important to transfer sensitive documents. Please make sure to get decent knowledge so you can set it up securely and keep it that way (updates etc).

Thank you for your feedback. Very valuable. I am an IT Lawyer and nearly all my clients are VERY digital. But even then, nobody will be forced to use any of my tools, be it a collaborative contract drafting plattform nor my client portal. It is just a service that some CAN use, if he wants to.

The only important thing for me is to get rid of my unsecure Emails, which are a data protection issue + which are just a big chaos when you exchange 100+ per client in a case :wink:

I want to collect everything for a client (could be company and more than one have access) in one secure place, that ONLY the client/contact has access to. I explicitly do not want a community or something like that, but a 1to1 solution.

So my goal of this question basically is to find out if nextcloud is the right solution for this approach or if a CRM like Perfex CRM etc. is better suited!


You can perhaps make changes in the option
Settings -> Administration -> Sharing

Perhaps you can activate the second point (Restrict …") and put the users in different or no groups.

Thank you. I read about this and it seems to work so that nobody is shown in the contact list. It seems though that the contact option in the top bar is not gone this way. It just says “Nobody here”. Can this be removed or just by using CSS?

Additionally, from security perspective, it worries me that the option say “if this is disabled the full username or email adress needs to be entered”). It seems not work with the full username, but I really need to be sure that in no possible way a user can find out who else is member of the portal.

The most optimum way even would be if for the Administrator autocompletion would be allowed and if I could see anybody through the contact app and not just through the user management.

There are some css apps. Also you can edit the source code if you like it.
You find e.g. the position with Mozilla Firefox Inspector (Strg Shift C).

Perhaps you can deactivate the first option in my posted picture above.
If someone shares a file or folder (also public share) everybody can find out the username because of federation.

Guests users can only access files shared to them and can’t create any files outside of shares, additionally, the apps accessible to guest accounts are whitelisted.

Perhaps you like the app guests.
Some people can use it to restrict them.

Can you please tell us your goal?

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Thanks for the time devnull,

As said, the goal ist to have a seperated system for each client of mine or rather a group of people per client (e.g. 2 people of the same company) that can use the system to get hold of their incoming appointment (e.g. court appointment etc), their documents, their project status (e.g. how far ist the contract draft. Additionally I would love to use it as an alternative on premise chat/video solution and give a way to upload stuff and information + I want to have a continouse stream of communication with the client (chat) and not many 100 emails in outlook.

The most important thing as said is that nobody can ever see who else is using the tool and thus know who is my client. If the clients shares files or access themself, it is their problem. They also could forward my emails. But they may not contact/invite/etc other users of the plattform like on a bulletin board or something like that.

I am currently looking at other solution too like on premise CRM solutions, mattermost setup etc, but currently love that nextcloud is a well developed and maintained piece of software. Thus I’d be willing to pay somebody for some consulting/help too.