Installing and using ownCloud on QNAP hardware. EDIT1

Editor’s note: There is an issue with ownCloud 6 on QNAP. There is a new post with the extra steps here.

As of lately, services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, are getting more and more attention, both on the cloud storage front and on file sharing and synchronization. For personal and non critical purposes, those are just fine, specially if you don’t mind the 5GB free capacity.

Once you get used to it, either the 5GB storage limit, or the fact that the files are not hosted by a trusted 3rd party, might get on you nerves. On my case, both.

If you have a relatively large document base (around 350GB worth of documents, emails and such), these services start getting expensive and untrusty. Also, if you start depending on a portable device for work, accessing those 300GB+ starts getting more and more important, and it won’t the the 64GB available on the largest iPads that will save you.

On the other side, if you already have a network storage device, such as QNAP or Sylogy, accessing those 3 or 4TB worth of storage is important. So, after years of wait, we’ve finally reached a point where a open source GPL service is available on the form of ownCloud.

ownClowd can be installed on Linux and Windows machines, but more importantly, it relies mostly on php for it’s implementation, which makes is compatible with QNAP 439 Pro II ( or the more recent 469 Pro II) and most all ATOM based storage devices.

Also, there are client applications available for both OSX and Windows free of charge, and for IOS although not free, it’s cheap enough.

So, lets start:

1. Make sure your storage device supports php 5.3 (not 5.2). On the case of QNAP, this means upgrading to firmware 3.7 or above.

2. Download the latest stable ownCloud release, on this case 4.0.7 directly on the storage. Log into the storage and get into the path /share/Qweb . You can use wget to download directly into it.

3. Untar the file,

tar -xjf path/to/downloaded/owncloud-x.x.x.tar.bz2

4. Change the file ownsership to match the user of the apache process. On the case of QNAP its httpdusr

         chown -R httpdusr owncloud

5. Change the file permissions:

chmod -R 755 owncloud

6. Log into the installed web page: http://hostname/owncloud and finish the installation. On this case, I choose to use SQLite instead of Mysql, in order to make this solution self contained.

7. Don’t forget to keep backups of it. In the case, you only need to make sure that the path /share/Qweb/ownCloud is safely copied elsewhere.

After installing it, it’s only a matter of installing client applications. Both are available on ownCloud website, except for the iOS client which of course is only available through the Apple store.

On the client side, if your files start on the client side, try to setup as most folders as you can, as it will improve performance and readability.

Finishing notes

If you plan to make your ownCloud installation available on the Internet, DON’T FORGET TO USE HTTPS OR A VPN.


EDIT: Please note that there is a known issue with the OSX Client and paths containing spaces. This issue is already on the issue tracking system, here, but not workaround or solution was found thus far.