Which Distribution? Which Webserver?

Hey everyone,

just wanted to ask for your preferences and experience as it comes to choosing the proper webserver and the ideal distribution for a solid Nextcloud-base.

As it comes to myself, I have made the best experiences with Debian 9 and the Apache webserver. Is there any “best-practice”-scenario you have encountered?

Some people tell that the combination with Ubuntu and Nginx is better when it comes to deploy Collabora - is that true?

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas,


I’m running on Ubuntu 16.04 and Nginx, with PHP 7.0 (php-fpm). Using it internally, with about 40 active users who use it heavily all day, a haven’t noticed any slow-down on the VM.

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I prefer Ubuntu 16.04 based systems since it makes easier to deploy docker containers since it comes with native AUFS support.

About the web server I’m very much used to apache.
But when advance proxy’ing is needed seems like nginx has some build in features for large/heavy deployments.

Have an office with 20 users running fine with apache though.

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You should probably go with the system, which you know best. We are running NC13 on CentOS 7/Nginx for our 1500 user setup at work, but at home I am using Debian 9 with Apache. So, if you’re fine with Debian/Apache, thats also fine.



Thanks for your thoughts!

Many people I know have the opinion that Ubuntu has “too much overhead” but as this comes from straight Debian-users I do not wonder at all :wink: !

In fact Ubuntu seems to be quite better when it comes to use containers from the scratch while I am over the years even more familiar with Apache and don’t get along very well with Nginx, but this seems to be a personal thing…

Seems to be the best way indeed, especially when I want to have control over each installed component itself. For the last 18 years I got more and more used to Debian although I think that looking into other worlds can’t harm you at all, can it :slight_smile: ?

Just wondering if there is any “best solution”, especially when it comes to integrate Collabora Online with Debian and Apache (which I still have on my list) but I think you are right here - better stick to the environment you know. Thanks for your thoughts, budy!


Budy, what is your hardware for 1500 user please ? Ram, cpu, one or more server… Thanks,

We are running NC13 on a Xen-based VM with 4 vCPUs, 12 GB of RAM, Database is MariaDB on localhost.

Hi Oliver,
if you want to compare Ubuntu and CentOS7 you may have a look here: https://github.com/ReinerNippes/nextcloud13
The playbook works for Ubuntu and more or less for CentOS. (SELinux and redis/opcache is not yet working)

BTW: You should use NextCloud in a docker container. Then the underlying OS doesn’t matter anymore.

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I used to run Nextcloud on Ubuntu server with Apache. It was good, but heavy and Ubuntu kept having issues. I wound up switching to FreeBSD with nginx and kept using MariaDB and PHP7.1. No regrets. Stable system, I don’t get floods of kernel updates because of security patches, I would never use a non-ZFS filesystem with my big-data projects anymore, I take snapshots of things before I update so I can easily rollback if necessary. There’s also docker for FreeBSD but I never tried it…but I also just don’t trust docker period

It’s also not too often that I have to reboot to apply kernel/base system patches. It’s been 3 months since the last advisory for FreeBSD base. But I update and reboot every 30ish days or vulnerability reported out of principle. Ubuntu required too much updating. If it’s down to Debian or Ubuntu though…I’d want Ubuntu solely for ZFS but otherwise Debian is better IMO

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I’m running on a headless Debian server with no problems at all (Apache 2 + PHP 7)

You mean FreeBSD jails? https://ramsdenj.com/2017/06/05/nextcloud-in-a-jail-on-freebsd.html

It’s a great thing that Nextcloud runs on so many platforms. The *BSD family is quite interesting if you don’t want to decide for one of the many Linuxes.

Well, yes :slight_smile: I use jails for my stuff & iocage to manage it all, but there is also straight up Docker available for FreeBSD. I always thought about putting Docker inside a jail to try out LOOL but I guess Docker doesn’t jive with that. It’d need to be on the host (meh) or in a VM

I love that Nextcloud is so versatile :slight_smile: I think I love the BSDs because even they mainly come from BSD 4.4 (I think 1 or 2 come from 4.2 or whatever), they all are very unique in what they seek to accomplish.

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I use Fedora with Apache and Mariadb.
Works great.

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Hey everyone,

thanks for your thoughts and reports. Currently I am running with an actual Ubuntu with Apache and PHP7 and even managed to - finally - implement Collabora Online via Docker. Works great so far!

If anyone of you is interested in integrating Collabora Online with Docker and based upon a running Apache, the German tutorial may be found at here !

Thanks and best regards,