Web Update is a nightmare - shared hosting

I’ve been using NextCloud for a couple of years on my shared webspace. Its not the ideal enviroment for NextCloud, but I pay for it anyway and its a way to get more independent from big tech companies. Until I have to update.

NextCloud runs in the server and is accessible from anywhere, which is good. But it also means, I have to keep it up to date, to not make it a security risk. But that has proven to be a nightmare for a long time.

Basically, the web updater always fails to verify the archive. I’m not sure why, could be a limitation of my shared webspace, which I can’t fix. I don’t have system access, so I can’t even check. I always have to manipulate the updater to skip the verification step. I’ve done this for years.

Recently, thats not enough. I always have to generate and provied the updater secret - not to mix up with the other “secret” in the config file, which I did in the past, putting my installation in an infinite update loop. Sometimes it helps just stupidly running the updater again and again, and at somepoint, it will work. At least, it did in the past.

But that is just an nightmare to do. Not enough that I don’t get any notification despite signing up for it, always have to check manually and then start the process manually. Couldn’t there be at least the option to have it update automatically? Plus all the additional, manual steps I have to do to get it actually to update. Its really annyoing, time consuming and overall frustrating to do. So much, that I think about switching back to one of the commercial, closed off cloud storage provider. Just to get that hassle out of my way.

I’m certainly not the only one, I’ve found tons of threads complainig about failed updates with hacky solutions to them. Its really a problem and I don’t see it getting any better. Having smooth, painless update is a needed features these days, and I don’t understand why NextCloud hasn’t to a point anywhere near it. Is there anything I can do? Or just hope and pray the devs will allocate some time to it at some day?

Well first off, it’s not really fair to blame the software when you don’t even have root access to the system that’s failing to update. Personally I don’t see why anyone would want to host Nextcloud on a system they don’t even have admin access to. Seems like that’s asking for something to go wrong.

I’ve been running Nextcloud since version 16 and have never had it break on an update. But, I’m not using the same procedure you are because I run it in Docker. Docker updates are easy, and many of the usual variables are no longer variables because docker images include a known working set of libraries.

Maybe you could consider changing to a VPS where you at least have root access. You could keep with the manual install if you wanted, but you’d have the option of running docker or AIO methods too.


If you want to get independant from big tech companies you should switch to a VPS and use Linux to host your Nextcloud. The Updater works fine except if you have more than 100 users. It then tells you to use the command line which is also an easy task.

BTW - Nextcloud will never update automatically because of third party apps.

If you want to have absolute security with testing for working apps before an update you will have to pay for an enterprise license - which we use for one of our instances. Enterprise version is always 2-3 subversions behind community edition (currently 24.0.7 enterprise but 25.0.1 community) but it’s tested to the limit and has enterprise support which will take care of all problems that may occur.

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apart from all the other right things the previous commenters have already mentioned you should note:

NC isn’t really made to run on shared hosting.

So of course you chose that service because it’s somewhat cheaper. But is it really cheaper? I mean you noticed yourself, already, your solution comes with more work (meaning: time) you need to invest. So it’s up to you to decide how to spend your money… investing it in your sparetime and trying to get in running on a cheap hosting service? or maybe investing your bucks in a more reliable way to host your instance, maybe on a VPS, or whatever to just enjoy your sparetime for things you like to do?

And no this doesn’t mark any resonsibility of NC, since it’s your very own responsibility. You alone decide where and how to host your instance.

Plus, and just let’s keep that in mind, you are using NC for free. Absoultely. F-R-E-E.

However, it is somehow supported. Problem is that these environments are different and hard to compare.

Well, it’s good practice to verify downloads, so just disabling it can’t be a solution for everybody. If you put an option to ignore this step, that is dangerous because if there is someone injecting a wrong update, this way it will be very likely that people just click on it and ignore the warning.
Perhaps just some missing packages or something that you could report to your ISP?


my shared webspace.

Check with your provider from time to time if they updated their offerings. Occasionally, you get more features and better performance for the same price.

Basically, the web updater always fails to verify the archive. I’m not sure why, could be a limitation of my shared webspace, which I can’t fix. I don’t have system access, so I can’t even check. I always have to manipulate the updater to skip the verification step. I’ve done this for years.

The verification process needs a lot of memory. If your shared webhosting does has a low memory_limit it will fail.

Recommendation 1: When you have access via SSH, use the CLI updater.

Recommendation 2: If you cannot use the CLI updater: use the manual update process: Upgrade manually — Nextcloud latest Administration Manual latest documentation (some points like stopping the web server are not possible, but it should more or less work).

Don’t you please open a backdoor to community-support :thinking:

As you already said: environments are pretty diverse and thus it could happen that NC works on one and won’t work on the next one. In no case that means any guarantee for any kind of support.

So i consider it fair if NC says “not made for shared hosting”. Which means you’re all on yourself first and foremost. And you can’t blame anyone else for problems that arise from your decision to host your instance on a shared hoster.

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I fully agree with Jimmy here. I would go even further, and say, that Nextcloud should have more clear and higher system requirements. Sure you can run Nextcloud on a Raspi 2 with 512MB Ram or on a €1.99 webhosting plan, until you want to run Talk or Office on the former or something goes wrong and you need to run an OCC command on the latter. Or maybe you need a PHP module for a certain app or function that the hosting provider doesn’t provide etc. etc…

People usually mean the full Nextcloud HUB package when they say Nextcloud. And for that to work reasonably with multiple users you need at least 2 cores and 4GB RAM and SSH access to run OCC commands. Anything less will result in a bad experience and users will think the product is bad, when actually their environment / HW is too weak.


We are on a shared hosting and it works really well. We are running both Talk and Office. Onlyoffice is installed on a separate local server. We have SSH access, 12 core, 32GB ram and can change php memory limits etc.

Even if Nextcloud is running smoothly there are often minor upgrade issues that has to be solved.

Yes, but to some extent, I would consider that as normal. Ask Exchange or Share Point admins if they can upgrade their servers with one click, and if there never are any unexpected issues… We are talking about a relatively complex server environment here and not about some weather app on a cell phone :wink:

I am myself running Nextcloud in a shared hosting environment since years …
and just installed new instances instead to update a running one.

Docker as an option to reduce installation complexity and reduced VPS costs are arguments to skip that approach. Just, with VPS as requirement I feel drowned. I have to cope with a higher complexity and higher costs. I get forced to become customer of software-as-a-service providers.

Just one note. PHP was meant to keep it easy. To let software run in shared hosting, just everywhere.

As Nextcloud and even Drupal expect VPS nowadays, by that,
I could even use Python- or Java-based server applications - real software.

With VPS as requirement the programming language PHP with all it’s weaknesses is obsolete.

We shall fork Nextcloud to decomplexify for shared hosting again!!!

It is not a good idea to use Nextcloud on a webspace. But some webspaces allow to use a ssh-shell (test it). Then you can execute occ-commands and it is better for Nextcloud administration.

You can still do so. But maybe not on the absolute cheapest plan. As @devnull said, there are hosting plans that offer you SSH access, higher PHP memory limits, dedicated cores and memory etc…

Why do you need to over-dramatize things? But yes, if everything has to be for free, then you have to use SaaS providers. Preferably multiple ones, so you don’t have to pay anywhere, when you reach their respective storage caps.

Again, there is no VPS requirement. But on the contrary there is also no requirement for the Nextcloud devs to optimize their software for any given 0.99$ hosting plan.

What is stopping you?

Btw. A fork is probably not needed. You can still install a relatively basic Nextcloud with only the files app and maybe calendar and contacts enabled. If you do so the requirements are not much higher than 6 years ago. The only thing you gonna need is SSH access in order to run OCC commands. But even for that there are workarounds e.g. via cronjobs. It all depends on how pain resistant you are. :wink: I certainly don’t want to go back to my web hosting days where I had to deal with things like C-Panel and forced limitations by the web hosting providers, and I also don’t want to miss out on features like Nextcloud Office. Yes, the effort that is needed and the costs may be a bit higher, if you host it on a VPS or on your own hardware, but you also get more out of it.

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“Personally I don’t see why anyone would want to host Nextcloud on a system they don’t even have admin access to. Seems like that’s asking for something to go wrong.”

This is a standard nonsense answer that helps absolutely no one. There are plenty of people who use NC on shared hosting for various reasons.

Please all keep it civilised, okay?

Sokar, to answer your original question on what you can do to make things better: what you could do to improve the updater experience is to help with testing the updates when they arrive, report the issues, or help with fixing the bugs.

Go for it, but I think a more effective for less effort approach would be to identify what aspects of shared hosting make Nextcloud administration difficult or impossible so people can more easily identify and avoid providers that will cause them trouble.

It may simply not work well, or at all, with certain providers because of how they have things set up. I think you will come to the same conclusion.

This is just my observation, but I think most people who come to Nextcloud do it to get away from providers. So along those lines, it’s fair to say making it work on a system without root or even shell access is way down the list of priorities.

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Sorry for ressurrecting the thread. I got sick quite soon after and just forgot about it. But just updated and got the same problem again.

Just in general: telling somebody that their setup is not “the right way” or “the intended way” is never helpful. Ever thought their might be a reason for choosing this solution?
I have been using shared webspace for almost two decades, and it served me well. I admit it never ran anything as demanding as NC, but there was nothing from stopping me. And I can’t find anything in the official docs saying something like “if you don’t have root/ssh access, these are the possible restrictions”. The requirements are somewhat general, so I decided to give it a try and it did work well. Performance syncing files was not as fast something like Dropbox or OneDrive, but still good for my needs. Plus, running a VPS just adds more stuff for me to take care of: more software to keep up to date, transfering everything (Domains, e-Mail, etc.) without losing data and just evaluating a new service. Other options are really expensive, and I use it only for personal use, so its not worth it paying double digits per month just to have this service running.
And honestly, right now I don’t have the mental capacity to do so. Its not NCs fault, not your fault, but its something to consider. RIght now, I just need a system that works. And besides the update, NC does work really well. One more reason to keep it.

Now to the good parts: @kesselb had the only quality comment in this thread: through some digging, I found out my hosts allows a wopping 64mb per PHP instance. Now that explains a lot. Not NC though, the error message why verification failed was - well, none. The tooltip/pop-up was just empty. Like empty string empty. That is not exactly helpful in figuring out what went wrong.

So what I’m gonna do? Not sure. Keeping it that way at least for now is a option, although not a good one. Going through the pain of essentially hacking the update everytime is not making it any better. Keeping an outdated an potentially insecure system even less. Setting up NC on a different system that give me more options is just not in the cards right now.

Still, I think that the update process for NC could be more error tolerant or at least tell me more, what happened. Without looking to log files or similar. Even experienced users and devs like it, if they get the reason right away instead of digging. Speaking for a software dev myself. That was probably not made clear by me in the opening post. Frustration is not a good advisor when choosing words…

Looking through logs is exactly how we must address these issues. Modularity means not being possible to account for all cases, so you use logs or external monitoring programs (in combination with backups) in a manner you prefer.

Makes sense. Any defined limits on part of hosting will apply to your setup, so these kinds of arbitrary limits are too common. (This would be an example of why it is impossible for us to advise you on your setup). Best way to address this is to use tooling available to you through your hosting, be it scheduled CPanel backups, etc. Your hosting provider should be available to guide you, assuming they have basic customer support available on the phone or tickets or chat. Do expect you might be missing php modules or they might not support things like modern versions of PHP, etc.

Your frustration is understandable, but this limited setup is your choice to tolerate. Good luck with it.

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Correct, they just say nothing about “recommended for running on shared hosters”. I mean you even can run NC on some refrigerators-OS if you like to tinker and tweak around a bit… it is just NOT recommended. And thus you are on your own with it. Mostly.

We tried to tell you why this is not possible for all and every OS and setup in the world (at least not with a sane calculation)
And you, being a software dev yourself, should know that this is the truth.

Personally I understand your frustration. But sometimes every frustration needs to accept that must be an end to hope and demandings.
Meaning you have demanded a solution for more than one time. Afaik there won’t be any solution for you other than the ones already mentioned. So let’s call it a day and close this subject.

It has been already said here on the thread: if you want a carefree solution, you’d better buy a managed Nextcloud somewhere. You need to get clear for yourself that tweaking around with NC means you invest YOUR spare/qualitytime… which is worth real money. On the one hand you save money with a cheap hosting plan and on the other hand at the same time you throw it out of the window with spending your own time on those avoidable problems.

It’s not, as you have noticed yourself, devs’ fault, not NC’s fault, not community’s fault, even not hoster’s fault. Please accept that.

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