DropBox with its simplicity and versatility offers a simple yet robust file storage option in the cloud across multiple devices. OwnCloud allows you to host a cloud based file storage service on similar lines as DropBox, but with the added option of having the files and the server under your control.
With the success of DropBox, virtually everyone rolled out their versions of cloud based file storage, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud and so on. But all this while, we neglected the basic issue that all the files were hosted on some server in cyber space. And no matter what security measures are in place, there is always a way for someone to access your personal files or might force their way in.
OwnCloud gives you the ability to host your own file storage server within your own premises, on your own network allowing your employees the usage and convenience of a cloud, and keeping your data secure too. Such a server or service can be designed to be fully isolated from the internet, or use the internet for greater flexibility.
OwnCloud is a cross platform software package which allows one to create a file storage server. It is free and open source with no limits on storage capacity or number of users. Installation on own server is simple and straightforward.
OwnCloud has the option of access of your files either through your web browser or through a desktop client software. A designated folder resides on your PC which can sync with the server.
OwnCloud is available as a service from various providers, which means the servers are hosted by them, and you are given access to them via user account. But as brought out earlier, the true strength of OwnCloud is hosting it on your own server.
To begin with, visit the following URL
There are three basic version on offer. The Open Source or Community version, the Standard version which has paid support but without the enterprise apps and the Enterprise Edition which has the complete package and mission critical support by the OwnCloud team and customisable modules.
The Link for accessing the documentation or help files is at
OwnCloud is a PHP based package. You need a functional WAMP or LAMP Server. There are several options to install and use it. The range of options are listed in the following URL
The preferred method to have a greater control over settings is the installation on any one of the popular Linux Server operating systems. We will use OpenSuse 13.2 for this article. OpenSuse is the community supported version of Suse Linux.
Preparing OpenSuse Server for a Specific Role
The choice of OpenSuse is purely personal. It has a nice graphical installation and has a predefined role based server installation. Yes, I know graphical installation is not the usual choice with Linux Servers, but I am not too much of a command line fan, either.
For installation of OwnCloud we choose Web and Lamp Server under Software Selection and System Tasks. After choosing these as default, Apache, MySql and PHP is installed by default which completes the installation of a LAMP server. But Apache and mySql needs to be Enabled and Started. Use the Start/Stop Button and Enable/Disable Button in the Yast Control Center in Services Manager.
To carry out a check for Apache, enter either localhost or the server IP address in the web browser and it should show as below
To check correct installation and functioning for mySQL, open the terminal and type the following command
mysql u root -p
Key in the password and the following has to be displayed.
And finally to check PHP, write the following code in a file named testphp.php
Save the file in srv/www/htdocs/ and open the file in your web browser by typing
The PHP info should be displayed.
Among the two installation options listed at the URL below, we shall use the option of installation of OwnCloud by the ZIP or the TAR package.
This installation method is universal across all platforms.
Copy the contents of the owncloud folder to the htdocs folder of the server. It is recommended to copy the Zip or Tar file and uncompress it within the folder. Take care of the permissions. The folder should be writable by the Web Server.
Open a Web Browser and type in the URL of the web server followed by the folder name if any. In my case it is the server IP Address 192.168.1.1 and the folder in the htdocs is by the name owncloud. Hence I have typed in
OwnCloud needs certain PHP modules to be activated. The list varies from server to server. But it does tell you which module is missing. Those can be installed separately.
For OpenSuse you can use the YaST2 software installer. Search for the modules and install them.
Once everything is fine, you will get the owncloud installation interface. The installation is pretty simple but the following things have to be noted.
1. The admin username and database user name has to be different.
2. The username for the admin and password has to be specified.
3. The database user name has to be a prpre created user who has global rights to create tables.
4. OwnCloud will create its own database as part of the installation, you just have to enter the name of the database and its password.
5. If you are installing on the local machine, it can remain as localhost. But for a server on the Intranet, it is better to use the IP address to avoid the issue of trusted domains later.
If you get the error of folder not being writable, change permissions for the folder so that the web server can write the config file.
If all goes well and the installation of OwnCloud is complete, then you will see the following screen. From here one can go to the admin section to configure OwnCloud.