Users seeing all folders at "home" level

We’ve been using Nextcloud for some time now, happily. I noticed a while ago that an admin user account we created wasn’t seeing the filesystem we created within Nextcloud properly, but was seeing all the directories created at the “home” (root) level rather than nested as they should be. Since we have other user accounts with similar permissions that do see the proper nested structure, we just avoided using that admin account.

However, I just today learned that one of our regular users is seeing the same problem when he logs in. He sees all the directories and subdirectories he has permission to view at the “home” level, without the proper nesting. Is there some configuration option per account that could cause this?

We’re running Nextcloud 16.0.4 on a virtual machine running on a shared host from I’m not sure of the Linux version, but I believe its probably the current long-term-support version of Ubuntu or Debian.

@dloss Hi Douglas and sorry for your mishap.

Sounds like some danger to some data if not a complete OS folder hierarchy being at risk. :exploding_head:

Please provide some more details to avoid a grave misunderstanding. Besides that get a new admin at your earliest convenience or even better get him or her some training on the job as soon as possible.
:woman_technologist: :man_technologist:

Have a more thorough look at Nextcloud support and the documentation, certainly the Nextcloud - NC 16 Nextcloud Server Administration Guide.

Please note the availabilty of the NC Issue Template App which could help in producing a more detailed report including but not limited to the NC server. One can copy & paste excerpts from such report into this forum besides making bug reports.

NOTE: Please always redact any sensitive information which may have found its way into the draft report text before copying such text into the public domain.

A word of advice if I may:

  1. Never ever put a ‘root’ folder into NC cloud storage sync.
  2. Almost never put ‘home’ folders of user accounts into NC cloud storage sync.
  3. Always take a dedicated folder (named ‘Nextcloud’ or other name at your convenience) below the resp. ‘home’ folder of each resp. user account into NC cloud storage sync.

Details depend on OS of client computers and the default home folder structure and your IT security policy, I presume.

Take the opportunity to make yourself familiar with the concepts of Cloud storage.

Please be aware this is the home user forum and cannot provide Nextcloud Enterprise support.

Hope this helps.

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I think I must have explained the situation badly. When I say “root” or “home” folder, I’m not talking about either the / directory on the Linux server or the /home directory (or anyone’s home directory within /home). I meant the top-level location when a user logs into the system. This is the Nextcloud dedicated folder you talk about, I think.

The problem appears to be entirely how the various folders (subdirectories) are displayed to individual users. As I say, some users see the folders and subfolders in the correct nested relationship, while others see them in a flat list, with all folders regardless of level within the Nextcloud filesystem displaying at the top-level when they log in. There isn’t anything wrong with the folders and files being properly constructed and located within the filesystem, just with the display of folders for certain users.


and again your message is not very clear to me, unfortunately.

To me a phrase like your a.m. “the top-level location when a user logs into the system” is the ‘home’ folder of such user account. This home folder i.e. login folder on Linux by default policy is named /home/user1, /home/user2 ... /home/whateveruseraccountnameyoulikemost or similar.

Again, what are you talking about?

  • A GUI issue?

  • A design feature you are missing?

  • What do you expect to see where and how?

  • What is the expected behaviour and what is the actual behaviour?

There are different options to view files and such options can be choosen in a GUI view of the client OS and can be choosen at the NC GUI view of the browser of each and any user. One choose to use the CLI and may have a totally different opinion.

Please be more specific in details and more expressive in words as otherwise I cannot enjoy the vastness of your human mind and neither your colourful phantasies while reading this poor text and being some miles kilometers away, I presume.

OK. The top-level location for my account within the Nextcloud file system is:


where tviw_admin is the account under which various virtual systems have been created. “” is our Nextcloud instance.

I wasn’t talking about CLI logins to the main system, as none of our Nextcloud users have accounts on that system, those accounts being limited to administrative users solely.

The Problem I’m talking about is this. Here is a screenshot of what I see when I login using my credentials:

here’s a screenshot of what the admin user I mentioned previously sees (limited, as there are many more entries that I’d have to scroll through to display):

So yes, it’s a GUI issue. Honestly, I don’t see how to be any more specific in the problem here. I think I’ve described it pretty clearly.

(I should mention, everything displaying in the admin screenshot, down to “Bylaws and other legal documents,” is in the subdirectory “TVIW Organization Documents.” “Copyright Releases” is in the subdirectory “TVIW 2019.” All the “Day X - Nov. 1X” folders are in the subdirectory “TVIW 2019/2019 Papers and presentations.”)

In NC, each share always gets displayed on the reciepient’s “root” folder. As the screenshot shows, all folders have been shared by the same account, so that’s no design flaw or error, it’s just how NC works.

However, the recipient is always able to move the shared folders to another place on his/her NC account, but new shares will always be linked to the root level folder first.

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@dloss My sincere thanks for the details and I can fully agree now. Having a more clear understanding after a look at your two pictures and after learning the quite appropriate answer from @budy my poor old mind can take some rest now, I presume.

Please accept my apologies for being such a narrow minded person. However, as a civil engineer with a more technical educated brain I would call this an utter non-issue. Problem solved.

Off-topic but not without some importance:

Last not least me giving some tweaks in my above comments IMHO was quite appropriate when looking at your nice logo on as your Nextcloud instance and learning the “purpose of TVIW is to facilitate interstellar research and exploration” at the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW) homepage in the web, if I may. Here in Old Europe we can only wonder about U.S. ambitions as always and may enjoy a tradition in Critique of Pure Reason sometimes, certainly in my hometown Berlin, Germany, European Union.

However, make a stop at the Berghain, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe near the U.S. embassy and at Mauerpark if around. Only after the true fan of space travels may take the effort to make a days visit to the southern coast of the Baltic sea and touch some historic ground of space travel and other more sad ambitions of the past, I propose.

Goodspeed and prosper.

Thanks @budy and @TP75, I see the cause of the problem. I wasn’t sure of the propagation of permissions through the filesystem tree, so I was sharing each subdirectory and file with the user groups that need access to them. That didn’t appear in my own account, of course, but was visible to all other users as everything appearing in their top-level view. I’ve gone through and removed all the shares for every child folder and file within the folders I want the users to see at their top-level, and everything seems to be fixed. So the actual problem was (as is unfortunately too often the case) “user headspace error.” :grin:

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Just always remember, that in NC, as it is in OC, every view you’ll get to see in the browser or via the desktop client are virtual ones. All structures are knitted together using the database, which holds every information about your files, other than the files themselves. This is why the database is to important and why it needs to be taken good care of… (hint: backup).

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Good advice.

@dloss Please refer to:

Hope this helps.