WebDAV for local network?


i have a small office (6 People) and we currently run a locally hosted nextcloud server, which accesses another local linux SMB server via the “external storage plugin” and provides those files to everyone working from home while all local users can still access the files via SMB. This solution seems rather unstable, changes on the SMB server are not properly communicated no nextcloud and so on.

office users ← SMB → SMB Server ← SMB (ext. storage :-1:) → NC Server ← NC Sync Client → home users

My idea was to try a different setup: Store all files on the nextcloud server, which can then be accessed locally via webdav in the regular Windows Explorer.

office users ← WebDAV → NC Server ← NC Sync Client → home users

Is using WebDAV for local file transfer a good idea? Are there performance losses compared to SMB? Does anyone have another idea? :smiley:

Thanks in advance!


Using the NC desktop app for office users is also an option. Using the virtual drive feature (on Windows), they can keep their frequently used files in sync, while other files are fetched from the server as needed.

WebDAV is certainly also an option. There are some performance losses vs SMB/CIFS, but it’s worth testing out to see whether that causes a problem in your environment. Instructions for connecting Windows clients are here in the user manual.

Samba should work perfectly. Here is the documentation for how to set up access to your samba shares in Nextcloud:


Most likely reason would be improper configuration.

Hi @reallydoesntmatter,
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It doesnt for me and I think its because its a linux SMB server. On the page you linked it says: Due to limitations of linux based SMB servers, this feature only works reliably on Windows SMB servers.

In that case see if related issues have been filed:

Ok cool :slight_smile: If I dont have a better idea I might try smb again, but a pure nextcloud solution seems a bit more reliable to me at the moment, maybe just because there are less things for me to mess up. If Nextcloud is handling the files itself it doesnt need chronjobs to look for updates either, it just seems like the more elegant approach.

I’ll start a new support thread with all the system info in case i stick with SMB, this thread was just meant as a discussion over WebDAV performance.

I guess a third option would be to embed a local directory on the NC Server into nextcloud with the external story plugin. That directory can be shared locally via SMB but wouldnt need SMB to connect to the nextcloud.

Does the local storage via “external storage plugin” update quicker or more reliable than SMB?

I’ve never seen a post stating SMB didn’t work as expected in nc. So, it is interesting to see you are having trouble.

Try following the documented setup guide to see if it works, then file the support template if you are still in trouble and us volunteers will see what is up. Thanks.

SMB vs. WebDAV vs. Nextcloud Client

Maybe you should change your way of working with the change to Nextcloud.

Nextcloud can do SMB
Nextcloud can do WebDAV
But there are Nextcloud clients - not without reason

What are other users use e.g. with OneDrive? WebDAV? I think not.
Do you know users with iCloud and Android?
Or linux users with a virus scanner :wink:

I think SMB through Nextcloud is a good (additional) option if it is configured correctly.
But i think data direct in Nextcloud with Nextcloud clients is better.
Also direct SMB is better than through Nextcloud or with WebDAV.

Not to add confusion, but worth noting… Nextcloud client = webdav. Webdav is what the client uses literally.

Yes you are right. But i think there are advantages in using Nextcloud client instead of native WebDAV. I think WebDAV is more the Nextcloud client option Virtual files. Nextcloud client also gives you additional options e.g. sync. I also believe or hope that Nextcloud client is optimized for Nextcloud server.

Virtual files (i think the WebDAV option, only server side storage):

It is. It has advantages over generic webdav if you’ve set up the hpb release about a year ago. Client also supports some nice refinements like loginflow and two factor support. The generic design of the clients is why other webdav servers such as Filerun actually use the Nextcloud clients literally. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is a specific choice by the devs.

Correct, you can treat webdav remote mounts as virtual files. But, sometimes people run into problems when accessing files in this manner, which is why effort is being made to implement a similar concept in the clients. For now you cannot use virtual files safely in the clients… for any number of reasons this functionality has simply not become stable within the Nextcloud client, nor is it available for Linux or MacOS or mobile. It also is missing many features and has many bugs. It was announced, but only available as an experimental, unstable feature on Windows clients.

So, yes on it being a feature of webdav, but not an actual functional feature within nc clients for desktop or mobile. Just writing this here so no one assumes this is an actual, dependable feature yet as of 4/2022. :heart:

I think you are right with virtual files.
Maybe Nextcloud should stop announcing unfinished features in a big way.