Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

ownCloud, a free software alternative to proprietary web services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and others that you can install on your own server, has reached version 6.

ownCloud 6
ownCloud 6

For those not familiar with ownCloud, this is a tool that you can install on your server (there are also desktop and mobile sync clients) which comes with a web interface that provides access to file management, calendars, tasks, image gallery, music player, document viewer and more.

It features file, contacts and calendar sync, quickly share files, calendars and so on, file versioning (you can easily revert the changes you make to a file) and support for external storage so you can mount Dropbox, Swift, FTPs, GoogleDrive, S3 and external WebDAV servers from ownCloud. More about ownCloud features.

The latest ownCloud 6 features an improved design, performance improvements as well as new features:
  • ownCloud Documents enables online, live, collaboration editing of standard documents - you can upload existing documents or create new documents from the ownCloud web interface and edit them inside the browser;
  • a new share API was added - this enables app developers and partners to externally access all ownCloud sharing functions;
  • the application API was enhanced for easier development of 3rd party apps;
  • a new framework was added which improves management of 3rd party apps and the installation of these apps into ownCloud;
  • Activity feeds: a real-time list of recent activity has been added, allowing users to see what's going on;
  • conflict handling: a new web conflict dialog provides multiple options if you try to upload a file that already exists on the server;
  • Share file notifications: optional emails are sent to users and groups when sharing a file or folder with other users of the system.

Other minor new features include avatars support, previews for various file types in the files app, public gallery sharing, example files and more.

ownCloud 6
ownCloud 6 Activity feed

Editing a document in ownCloud 6

Install ownCloud in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 13.10 users can install ownCloud (server) by using the commands below:
echo "deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:ownCloud:community/xUbuntu_13.10/ /" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install owncloud

Then, launch http://localhost/owncloud and follow the instructions.

To install the ownCloud desktop client in Ubuntu, instead of the last command above, use the following:
sudo apt-get install owncloud-client

Note that while the ownCloud repository is officially only available for Ubuntu 13.10, it may work on other Ubuntu versions as well. I've tested it on Ubuntu 14.04 (under development) and everything seems to work properly.

Tip: by default, you can't upload files larger than 2 mb to ownCloud. To change this you need to edit /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini:
sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

In this file, search for:

And change their value to whatever you want. Then save the file and restart Apache:
sudo service apache2 restart

Download ownCloud

Before downloading ownCloud, you can try an online demo available @ http://demo.owncloud.org/ but please note that at the time I'm writing this article, the demo uses ownCloud version 5.0.13 instead of the latest ownCloud 6.

Download ownCloud (server and/or desktop sync client)