Will Nextcloud be "inviting" to distribution packages?

An LTS release would also make app development easier as breaking changes wouldn’t probably happen that often.

I got curious how other web apps were dealing with LTS requests and here was Wordpress’ position in 2010: LTS = Long term suckage

I would rather have them hating some other out-of-date CMS. I would
rather the IT department do two hours of work every 3-4 months than a
two-month death upgrade project every 5 years.

Another quote

I would rather invest 100 hours
in backward compatibility in a new version than 2 hours in backporting a
fix to an obsolete version of WordPress. Plus, as noted by everyone
else, backporting was often impossible because it wasn’t one or two line
fixes, it was architecture changes that would touch dozens of files. The
LTS was actually less stable with these “fixes” backported because it
had almost no one using it


Seems to me that with the adoption of snap packages across distros (see http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/goodbye-apt-and-yum-ubuntus-snap-apps-are-coming-to-distros-everywhere/) snap is an increasingly reliable format - the auto-update option is a great feature, as is the bundling of dependencies (note that there is also deduplication, snap will not duplicate dependencies, but enables several versions of a package to coexist if different apps need them - the sandboxing that snap ensures also seems a nice securoty feature…)

Mark Shuttleworth himself noted:

Great to see a Nextcloud snap so quickly! This should “just work” on any distro now, thanks to snapd being ported to all the major Linuxes.

Maybe Nextcould core devs could consider getting behind one of these efforts to have an official nexcloud snap?

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Yes, I do believe that that’s the way forward.
There was an effort started with the collaboration between ownCloud and WD Lab on a “PiCloud” which should have brought an official snap, but the 1st version had performance issues and that effort has stalled due to the lack of interest from users and resources.
The current Nextcloud snap from the app store is basically the same one, provided by Canonical.
I have no doubt that things will improve though as anybody can create a Snap or adapt the current one, so a team of volunteers might one day be assembled to work on that or NC could allocate resources to develop an official version or fund the effort.

I’m more of this opinion: http://kmkeen.com/maintainers-matter/ but it doesn’t seem widely spread here.

I’m of the same opinion, but not for web apps unless they can be isolated like in a snap.

For those following this particular discussion there’s a preliminary package in COPR now for testing use.

This will almost certainly be the basis of my review request there coming up soon:


I haven’t yet decided what to do with OwnCloud in Fedora/EPEL or if I’ll try and do an automated switch from oC to nC there.

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I’d say that providing up to date packages is a great idea and I’d like to invite distributions to do that.

So distributions with a rolling model or a short release cycle like Arch, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Fedora or Debian Unstable/Testing could easily include Nextcloud packages and - please, guys and girls, do. Anything we can do to help, ask us!

For a more LTS focused distribution there are two problems:

  • long term bug and security fixes are something very few volunteers want to work on (most barely fix bugs in the stable release but only in development versions…).
  • Nextcloud can’t skip upgrades. And I don’t think it is OK running people through 5-10 upgrades at once at the end of the period.

It won’t be easy to find people willing to do bug and security fixes for 10 years. I sure won’t be willing to force volunteer developers to backport every fix for that long. A low barrier to contribution to Nextcloud is important to us.

We want to make it possible to skip releases, so that concern might go away in a future release, but we’re talking at least 2-3 releases from now, I think. An alternative would be to built a hacky way to skip upgrades which risks users’ data - something we would get very upset about (again). Users’ data is holy, not risking it is rule 1 of Nextcloud.

But it was planned: https://statuscode.ch/2016/06/nextcloud-and-its-planned-update-improvements/
Did you drop this idea?

PHP itself has 2 years full support + 1 year security updates (https://secure.php.net/supported-versions.php). CentOS backports fixes but I don’t know if they do it for all sorts of web application.

Ubuntu LTS support (5 years) only applies for packages from main. There are likely some unsupported packages: ubuntu-support-status --show-unsupported.

NC releases receive security updates for 18 months, that’s a considerable period of time. If you can skip major upgrades this would mean you must do a upgrade every 18 months. But how to implement this into the distribution packages? Would it help to provide a NC LTS with a support cycle of let’s say 2 years, and cut support a bit for other versions? To comply with the release cycle of Debian/Ubuntu it should be rather 3 years. Or they have to do a major NC upgrade at mid-term?

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no, I’m just saying it isn’t implemented yet.

With regards to the 18 months, that’s waaaaaaaay not long enough for Debian, RHEL or SLES and, indeed, even Ubuntu LTS with its 5 years… RHEL and SLES are supported for a decade or so.

The distro’s could decide to do major upgrades during this period, that would solve the problem of course.

Not sure, but i remember RHEL’s support is not covering software like owncloud. So I don’t know of examples where 10 years would apply. Never the less: That’s the question that distributions answer when packaging software. I don’t think that known security issues would just remain unfixed in Debian stable. The seperate Debian LTS team might just drop support for Nextcloud. As with a direct Nextcloud installation you would have to upgrade, in this case your distribution from LTS to old-stable or stable.

Still for me the question remains, will you threaten downstreams with trademarks again?

You could save space by using “folks” while being even more inclusive :slight_smile:

It would be great if you wouldn’t mix things up. Owncloud was distributed via the “universe” repository. It’s not officially supported, and also practically there is not LTS support at all. You can’t blame other distributions for Ubuntu having such a nontransparent security support policy (VLC player and Chromium are also in “universe”).


Are there more than two biological sexes :D?

Well anyways, I’m totally confused now with all the different support periods. Does that mean we keep everything as is and let others worry about it?

Not in principle, but we haven’t done it before either. Only if people do stuff that would make Nextcloud look bad - for example, things that threaten user data, or adding spyware. But that’s always been a rule in our trademark guidelines.

RHEL’s support doesn’t cover Nextcloud or ownCloud, the idea is that those companies get paid by customers for support of their software on RHEL.

So your company deploys RHEL 7.2, which has 10 years RH support. You then buy Oracle version whatever, which also has 10 years for that RHEL release. And you get Software X, also 10 years supported with Oracle version whatever and RHEL 7.2. Now you have a platform you can use for 10 years, and you pay gold for that to Oracle, RH and the vendor of Software X because they need money to pay their engineers to work with stuff so old nobody sane wants to touch it with a 10 foot pole.

So here is a concrete invitation: we provide a space for anyone to built distribution packages:

Ask and you’ll be added with the karma to get stuff going.

If you prefer to work on this within your distribution’s structure that is totally cool with us too, of course. We just want to facilitate!


Now get crackin’!


This isn’t solving anything. The problem has never been to find a repository/bugtracker/infrastructure to develop packages. The problem is NC’s attitude towards downstreams users who just want to apt-get install nextcloud and know it’ll work.

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Well, our attitude is: “it would be awesome to have, how can we help someone who has packaging knowledge to make it happen?”

Not sure how that is a problem :wink:

In any case, there are packages: https://repo.morph027.de/

Not sure how we missed this :cry:

Try them, tell me if they work, please!

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How can you help ? Easy ! Allow the packaging guy to integrate NC nicely within its distribution, i.e.:

  • have some stable maintained versions.
  • allow migration from one stable version to the other (even if the migration script is written by the distro maintainer).
  • do not threaten people if they don’t maintain your software the way you would like them to.

have some stable maintained versions.


allow migration from one stable version to the other (even if the migration script is written by the distro maintainer).

There is currently still code that can’t deal with this. Also distro maintainers in the past did not write migration scripts but they are of course free to do so :slight_smile:

do not threaten people if they don’t maintain your software the way you would like them to.

There never were threats but people were displeased with communication and like you pointed out some distro maintainers turned off the check while not writing migration scripts so they broke people’s installs.

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Hi all,

If I may, I believe the 2 issues of
1.Having a “stable” system
2.Making sure no obsolete NC installs are left around
can be addressed.

You have a lot of packages that require frequent updates: anti-virus systems, etc.

In Debian for example, there is a repository called “stable-updates”, for packages matching the following (from Debian website):

-The update is urgent and not of a security nature. Security updates will continue to be pushed through the security archive. Examples include packages broken by the flow of time (c.f. spamassassin and the year 2010 problem) and fixes for bugs introduced by point releases.
-The package in question is a data package and the data must be updated in a timely manner (e.g. tzdata).
-Fixes to leaf packages that were broken by external changes (e.g. video downloading tools and tor).
-Packages that need to be current to be useful (e.g. clamav).

So if the package maintainer manage to convince NC belongs in stable-updates, then they can get their more frequent updates without compromising the whole system stability.

I assume similar mechanisms exist for other distributions?

What @BernhardPosselt said.

If you mean, with point 2, that one should be able to skip a release on upgrading, this is work-in-progress but quite hard. 12 will most likely make big steps in that direction, not sure if it’ll be ready yet, though.

With regards to the other points - we’ve had stable releases since we started, that is what 9, 10 and 11 are. And when did we ever threaten people? If you refer to the packaging debates earlier with Debian - well… First, we might still be unhappy if a distribution isn’t careful with user data, or seems to be going in that direction. Bu we’re a different project, different management i particular. So we won’t be making our own packages anymore nor will we tell people to use those. Entirely up to the distribution now. That should be blindingly obvious by now - we don’t and won’t be packaging.

And if a distribution breaks packaging, well, we have no expertise doing better. We might suggest to use another distro… Which is what I’d currently recommend - if you want packages, use a distro which provides and maintains them. Simple.