Upgrade woes -- experiences from ownCloud to nextCloud migration

As a long term ownCloud user I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and migrate to nextCloud. The server is a Synology NAS (DS418) running ownCloud 10.0.10.

First I was a bit (and unpleasantly) surprised to find out that migration was to go through several hoops, from OC10 via NC12, NC13, NC14 to NC15.

I cleaned up the ownCloud install a bit, downloaded the updater/index.php as instructed, opened a browser page and started the process. At first it went smoothly, until it reached “Creating backup” (step 4). After a while it gave a time-out error. The only option was to hit [Retry] – with the same result. Inspecting the backup folder it turned out that the process times out when some 20% of the backup was done. Moreover, the backup process did continue until it reached the end, but there is no way to resume the update process. [Retry] just removed the backup and started all over again.

Since I had made my own backups already I took a hard measure: I eliminated the backup phase from the updater script. Now the update process completed as expected and I was finally running nextCloud.

The next step was to update from NC12 to NC13. Again, the process aborted on a time-out while making the backup. Time for hard measures, again. For the other steps of the update hoops I disabled the backup phase in advance and all went well.

So I cannot say that the migration went smoothly, and a less knowing user might not be able to overcome the problems the way I did.

As far as I can tell, the backup phase makes a backup of the current {own,next}Cloud files. On my NAS, copying this folder takes about 30 seconds. Not fast, but definitely faster than the time it requires the update process to time out. And even when reaching time-out, the update process should be able to resume without re-attempting to make the backup.
And one can ask why nextCloud needs over 14,000 files…

Fixing this issue will lead to smooth migrations and happy admins.