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How to manage a VPSBG cloud server with Nextcloud

Nextcloud is a self-hosted, privacy-oriented, open-source file and media sharing platform that allows you to collaborate on different projects, while also protecting your data.

Due to the fact that the software is entirely self-hosted, all of your files and information will be directly uploaded to your own cloud server rather than being hosted on third-party servers in the cloud. This results in better privacy protection and overall security as only you will have access to your files and media.

Nextcloud is the perfect solution for companies and businesses that have staff working both on site and remotely. With its multiple encryption levels, you can guarantee that information will stay inside of your enclosed system and will not be leaked or sold to any third-parties.

The platform also supports many additional, useful features such as personal and shared calendars, virtual meeting scheduling and content collaboration tools.

In this tutorial we are going to be sharing some of the most important tips and tricks you need to know about operating your Nextcloud server.

How to configure your Nextcloud server

When your Nextcloud server is deployed, you will need to perform a first-time installation in order to set up an initial account and to configure the system.

The Nextcloud app will be available on your server’s IP address, meaning that you can directly access the installer using an already pointed domain or by using the server IP address, both of which need to be combined with the port 8080: or https://X.X.X.X:8080.

When you access your server on port 8080 for the first time, you will be warned that the connection is not private:

connection not secure

This is due to the certificate being self-signed by Nextcloud for the purposes of the installation. In short, it is safe to proceed - the browser is just making sure that everything is alright. Click on the 'Advanced' button and then select 'Proceed to domain':

proceed to domain

SIDENOTE: If you have already pointed the domain to the server’s IP address, you could instead start the installation on port 8443: This will automatically create a Let’s Encrypt signed certificate, so you will not get any warnings.

After accessing the installer, you will be greeted by a page containing you master password:

nextcloud server setup

Remember to store it somewhere safe as you will need to log into the installer later.

You can then proceed with the installation, and when prompted, type in the master password:

enter your password

You will be then arrive at the the following page:

connect your domain

Enter your domain in the form and click on the 'Submit' button.

filling in the domain name

The next step is to configuring which features of Nextcloud you would like to have on your server:

choose your features

You can choose any of the options above. However, do take into consideration that the minimal RAM requirements are visible on the same page and that your Nextcloud instance might not run properly if the RAM is insufficient.

This is also the place from which you can change the timezone.

When ready, click on the 'Start containers' button, which will initialize the docker containers. Keep in mind that this process will take some time, depending on the features that you’ve selected. After the installation concludes, the page will reload with the status of each container being displayed:

check status

You can check the status of your installation by clicking on the 'Reload' button.

Finally, you will be able to see your Nextcloud username and password:

get your credentials

Clicking on the 'Open your Nextcloud' button will take you to the login page for you to enter your credentials:

log into nextcloud

How to enable server-side file encryption

While Nextcloud does support encryption, there are some things that you should be aware of before you enable it:

  • It will harm your server’s performance when working with files;

  • File and folder names are not encrypted - encryption applies only to the content inside;

  • If you have the fulltextsearch module enabled, the index from it will not be encrypted;

  • Encryption keys are stored within the Nextcloud server and are also protected by a server key that is located on the server. Alternatively, there are also per-user keys that utilize user passwords, which are not stored on the server. This ensures that any external mediums, such as cloud object storage or a network-attached storage, can only store encrypted content and cannot access the actual data.

First, you need to enable the encryption module (plugin) in Nextcloud. To do this, click on your Avatar (profile) and go to Apps >> Disabled Apps >> and tick the 'Default encryption module' checkbox.

Then open Settings (again from your user menu) and go to the Admin section. Now look for the Security tab. From there you can easily activate the Server-side encryption option by ticking the box.

enable encryption

Confirm the activation and your data will be successfully encrypted.

For more information about Nextcloud's server-side encryption, you can visit the platform’s official website.

Nextcloud installation script

VPSBG values your privacy and wants you and your personal information to be secure at all times. We want to remain completely transparent when it comes to all of our application templates and the installation scripts that we use to set up each app on your cloud server.

Because of this, we are providing the installation script, which you can find in our VPSBG GitHub repository.

Deploy your server with Nextcloud now!

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