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Cloud Adventure pt. 2

02 Apr 2017

This is a casual sequel to last week’s tutorial on getting nginx set up with HTTPS. Towards the end of that post, I dropped a reference to a new subdomain on wbadart.info, cloud.wbadart.info. This new record points to my installation of Nextcloud, an open source, self-hosted alternative to such cloud-storage services as Google Drive and Box.

Here’s a quick tutorial on getting Nextcloud set up behind your PHP-enabled web server.

Nextcloud tutorial

  1. Go through the list of prerequisites and install them on your system. (PHP modules are typically available through your package manager though the package php-modulename or php7.0-modulename.)

  2. I used the web installer since that seemed the easiest. Here’s the download link. Download this to /var/www/html or wherever your web root is.

  3. Visit your site at setup-nextcloud.php, i.e. mydomain.com/setup-nextcloud.php and follow the prompt.

And that’s about all she wrote. Most of the snags I ran into were solved either by doing

$ chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html
...
$ chmod -R 755 /var/www/html
...

(And by starting over from scratch).

Reflection

I think the saying “If you’re not paying for the product, your are the product” is certainly true with respect to cloud services. Now, having seen how easy it is to set up your own cloud service with something like Nextcloud, that trade-off of privacy for convenience is absolutely not worth it. I think for a more complicated service like email, it’ll still be worth it (though I’m sure I’ll keep poking at iRedMail when I have the time).

I can’t say I have a moral objection to the privacy encroachments by cloud services. It would be one thing to harvest our data in secret, but it’s pretty much all laid out in the various EULAs and Privacy Policies. Now, just because I have no moral objections to these collections doesn’t mean I want them done on my data. I think I’ll continue to try my hand in private cloud services. Stay tuned for future posts and tutorials!


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