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PythonIcon.png Skill level: Medium
The instructions on this page require a basic knowledge of linux.



Owncloud.png "OwnCloud ( http://owncloud.org ) gives you universal access to your files through a web interface or WebDAV. It also provides a platform to easily view & sync your contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all your devices and enables basic editing right on the web. Installation has minimal server requirements, doesn’t need special permissions and is quick. ownCloud is extendable via a simple but powerful API for applications and plugins."

Important.png Note:
As of September, 2015, the ownCloud project release schedule is very aggressive. New releases occur frequently, sometimes as often one every 120 days. Each release resolves many issues and adds features, and often requires upgrades of underlying packages, such as PHP.

Owncloud version 7 requires a higher version of PHP than SME Server 9.x currently provides. Presently, the ownCloud maintainers recommend PHP version 5.5. Please see PHP Software Collections on how to install a supported higher version of PHP alongside the default version of PHP on SME Server 9.x

Forum discussion

This how-to can be discussed on the forums here or here. Search for other posts.


Download the latest bz2 archive version or find the latest link from here https://owncloud.org/install/#instructions-server

  • Create an ibay in server manager, with the following typical settings:
Information bay name - owncloud, Description - owncloud site, Group - Admin, User access - Write = group, Read = everyone, 
Public access via web - Entire Internet (no password required), Execution of dynamic content - Enabled
  • Check that you have the correct PHP version running for the Owncloud version you like to install: Version 8 doc. Please see PHP Software Collections on how to install a supported higher version of PHP in an Ibay on SME Server 9.x}}
  • Extract ownCloud into the html directory of the new ibay (in this example called 'owncloud' )

In the following code, change the version number of owncloud to suit the current version downloaded from the owncloud website

cd /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/
wget http://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-8.X.X.tar.bz2
tar xvf owncloud-8.X.X.tar.bz2 
mv owncloud/* .
mv owncloud/.htaccess .
rm  index.html 
  • Set appropriate ibay settings at the command line prompt:
db accounts setprop owncloud \
AllowOverride All \
FollowSymLinks enabled \
Group www \
PHPBaseDir /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/:/tmp/ \
PublicAccess global \
UserAccess wr-group-rd-everyone

  • Update the ibay
signal-event ibay-modify owncloud

  • you also need to allow the "allow_url_fopen"
 mkdir -p /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
 nano -w /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf/99allow_url_fopen
  • and paste the following and save this
 <Directory /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html>
 php_admin_flag allow_url_fopen on
  • then at the command line prompt enter:
 expand-template /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
 /etc/init.d/httpd-e-smith restart

4. Create a new MySQL database (In this example the database name is owncloud. Change owncloud, username and password with your own choices as required)

Login as root and issue the following command:

create database databasename;
grant all privileges on databasename.* to username identified by 'password';
flush privileges;

5. Browse to http://yourserver/owncloud and follow install script


Upgrade to a higher version is simple! First take a backup of all files in the Owncloud ibay and the database. You then delete all files beside the data and config folder in the ibay and uppack the bz2 archive to the ibay. Then point you browser to the ibay and follow instructions.

Important.png Note:
It is only possible to upgrade one step at a time. E.g. you can not upgrade from version 6 to 8 directly but have to make 2 upgrades from 6 to 7 and then 7 to 8

Optional Addons & Settings


Require HTTPS

You can force https redirection whenever you use the http protocol. See Https_redirection for more information.

In Owncloud versions prior to 8.1.1 you could also force https by checking 'Enforce HTTPS' in the Security section of the Admin section.

Strict Transport Security

Starting with ownCloud version 8.1.1, the admin panel may display this warning:

The "Strict-Transport-Security" HTTP header is not configured to least "15768000" seconds.

A resolution for this was presented in forum thread owncloud 8.1,1, Strict-Transport-Security and SME 9, in which mmccarn suggested a couple of minor changes that handle the task nicely.

The first step is to verify that the Apache headers module is loaded. You can look in the file httpd.conf for "LoadModule headers_module modules/mod_headers.so". Also, Xavier.A offered the command,

apachectl -t -D DUMP_MODULES 2>&1 | grep header

as a way to check for the module. The command returns "headers_module (shared)" if the header module is loaded.

Next, create a custom template to add the header directive. The template content shown here adds the directive to all virtual hosts (aka iBays). The custom template is placed in /etc/e-smith/templates/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf/VirtualHosts/. Name the template file "04StrictTransportSecurity". This important as the file name also dictates the order of loading. Put the following directive in the file:

### added to support ownCloud 8 ###
Header always add Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000; includeSubDomains; preload"

Important.png Note:
You may test this approach by modifying the httpd.conf file directly, and adding the directive in the ServerAlias section. However, this will be overwritten when the server is updated or reconfigured.

With the template in place, upgrade and reboot the system.

signal-event post-upgrade; signal-event reboot;

When the system is up and running again, check the ownCloud admin panel to verify the warning no longer appears.

Further Reading

The French Wikipedia page, HTTP Strict Transport Security provides a good description. The English page is not as detailed, unfortunately, but there are handy page translation tools availalble on the web.


If you have installed the Fail2Ban contrib, you can configure it to block ownCloud logins from a given IP address after repeated failures. To do this, you will first need to create a definition file telling Fail2ban what a failed login looks like, then create a template fragment to activate that definition, and finally restart fail2ban.

First, create the definition file:

# nano -w /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/owncloud.conf

This file should contain the following text:

failregex={"reqId":".*","remoteAddr":".*","app":"core","message":"Login failed: '.*' \(Remote IP: '<HOST>\)","level":2,"time":".*"}

ignoreregex =

Press Ctrl-X to exit, and Y to save the file.

Next, create the template fragment:

# mkdir -p /etc/e-smith/templates/custom/etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
# nano -w /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/fail2ban/jail.conf/30Service55owncloud 

That file should contain the following:

enabled  = true
filter  = owncloud
action   = smeserver-iptables[port="$port",protocol=tcp,bantime=$bantime]
logpath  = /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/data/owncloud.log
maxretry = 3
port = 80,443
protocol = tcp

Again, Ctrl-X to exit, and Y to save. Then reconfigure the fail2ban service:

# signal-event fail2ban-conf

For more information, see this thread on the ownCloud forum.

User login and permissions

owncloud provides several ways for users to login/authenticate. Next to the internal user authentication of owncloud, you can authenticate SME users:

LDAP Authentication

Configure owncloud to authenticate against the internal SME OpenLDAP server (all SME users)

  • log into your owncloud webapp as admin who installed owncloud
  • go to apps and enable ldap authentication backend
  • go to admin, ldap section and use below settings
Host: localhost
Base DN: dc=[yourdomain],dc=[com] (as seen in the 'domains' section in SME server manager)
User DN: uid=admin,ou=Users,dc=[yourdomain],dc=[com]
Password: [SME admin password]
User Login Filter: uid=%uid
User List Filter: objectClass=person

For the variables between brackets [], use your specific settings. Test creating a specific user and use that username password opposed to using the admin's credentials. For more info on using SME OpenLDAP for authentication please see: http://wiki.contribs.org/LDAP_Authentication

LDAP Tweaks

It seems when creating a user in SME, and ownCloud integrated via LDAP, it takes a while before the new user can log into ownCloud. Also, the error "Can't get cache storage, user not logged in" begins to log in the ownCloud Warning Log. To fix this, and allow the new user to log in immediately, go to Settings -> Admin -> LDAP/Advanced Tab Change the Cache Time To Live + or -1. This forces the cache to update, and the new user will be able to log in to ownCloud straight away.

Important.png Note:
When setting up ldap following these instructions you may need to uncheck "tls" in the advanced tab of the ldap admin section in owncloud.

IMAP Authentication

Configure owncloud to authenticate against an IMAP server

Enable and Configure IMAP Authentication
  1. Login to your running owncloud configuration as an administrator
  2. Enable the app named "External user support"
    Note: "External user support" is included with owncloud as an "Internal app". There is an older add-on app named "IMAP user backend" that did not work for me.
  3. Edit <owncloud>/config/config.php and insert the text below inside the $CONFIG array
    • in front of the last closing parenthesis in the file (make sure there's a comma at the end of the preceding entry)
    • Replace [mail.yourdomain.com] with your mail server name or IP address
    • Remove "/novalidate-cert" if your chosen mail server uses a signed SSL certificate):
  'user_backends' => 
  array (
    0 => 
    array (
      'class' => 'OC_User_IMAP',
      'arguments' => 
      array (
        0 => '{[mail.yourdomain.com]:993/imap/ssl/novalidate-cert}',

When done, users will be able to login to your owncloud web interface using their mail server username and password. More information can be found here: http://owncloud.org/support/custom-user-configuration/

Enable Automatic IMAP User Creation

This discussion on the Owncloud bug tracker describes patches that provide more automated IMAP user management: https://github.com/owncloud/apps/issues/302

The patches provide these capabilities:

  • Create new Owncloud users when unrecognized users login using IMAP
  • Add new users to a group named for the domain portion of their email address
  • Optionally set an Owncloud quota based on the user's email domain
  • Update the Owncloud password for any existing user who logs in using IMAP
Sync Issues (Turning off magic quotes in php)

I had issues when deleting files in my client. Turing off magic quotes fixed the problem. Edit your php.ini using custom templates.

cd /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/php.ini
  • Edit template-begin file
  • Add the following and save file:
php_value magic_quotes_gpc = Off
php_value magic_quotes_runtime = Off
php_value magic_quotes_sybase = Off
expand-template /etc/php.ini
sv t httpd-e-smith
Allow Sharing with IMAP Users

To allow sharing with your IMAP users, you need to manually add each IMAP user account to the oc_users table using commands like those below at a shell prompt on your SME server:

mysql owncloud
insert into oc_users (uid,password) values ('[xyzuser@mail.yourdomain.com]','*');
  • owncloud: replace with the name of the database you created for owncloud
  • [xyzuser@mail.yourdomain.com]: replace with the exact login string used by the user when they login
  • By default:
  • Users who login using IMAP Authentication are not automatically added to the owncloud "oc_users" table. Consequently, they are not offered as options when other users want to share files with them.
  • IMAP authenticated users will be unable to connect using the owncloud client sync program.
  • If your IMAP server allows alternative username syntax, owncloud will create a separate account for each username format that allows successful authentication. That is, if your IMAP server allows users to optionally include or omit the domain name, you might create a user account entry for "xyzuser@mail.yourdomain.com", then find that the user always logs in using simply "xyzuser", which succeeds during the IMAP authentication, but is a different account within owncloud.
Using the Owncloud Client

In order for an IMAP-authenticated user to configure the owncloud client sync program:

  • The system administrator must add the username to the oc_users table manually as described above

Then the user must:

  • login to the web interface
  • open his/her personal settings
  • "change" the password in owncloud to match the password on the IMAP server.

WebDAV interface

The ownCloud admin panel may display the following warning.

Setup Warning Your web server is not yet properly setup to allow files synchronization because the WebDAV interface seems to be broken. Please double check the installation guides.

The issue could come from the use of a bad domain dns name which is different of the ssl certificate. If you feel it is a false positive... simply add 'check_for_working_webdav' => false, to your /config/config.php file and get rid of it. This workaround was successful with ownCloud 7. It has not been tested on ownCloud 6 or with ownCloud 8.

nano /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/config/config.php

and add

'check_for_working_webdav' => false,

Maintenance tasks

Owncloud requires periodic maintenance tasks to run, and offers three different methods to execute them: AJAX, webcron, or through the system's cron process. They may be chosen on the Admin page, under the Cron heading. AJAX checks for tasks each time an owncloud page is loaded. It is simple to use and requires no configuration, but not very reliable since it depends on users logging into the web interface. Webcron relies on using an outside service like easycron.com to load http://yourserver.tld/owncloud/cron.php on a schedule, roughly every 15 minutes. This is simple to configure, but can incur additional cost for the webcron service. Finally, the system's cron process runs commands on a specified schedule. It requires the most complex configuration, but does not rely on any external user or service to operate.

To set up regular maintenance using the system cron process, first select the Cron option under the Cron heading on the Admin page. Then, from the system shell, run the following commands:

# export EDITOR=nano
# crontab -u apache -e

This will open the nano editor with a blank file. Enter the following:

*/15  *  *  *  * scl enable php56 'php -f /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/cron.php > /dev/null 2>&1'

Then press Ctrl-X to exit, and Y to save. This command assumes you've installed the PHP software collections as described above, and that you've chosen to run your ownCloud installation with PHP 5.6. If you'd chosen PHP 5.5, it would read "scl enable php55" instead.

Memory Caching

For improved performance, use of a memory cache for compiled PHP code and data is recommended. As of version 8.1, ownCloud will complain on the Admin page if you don't have this configured. ownCloud supports a number of cache backends, but the easiest to configure is said to be APCu. To configure this, you'll need to install the PHP extension, and activate it in your config.php file. To install the extension, run the following command:

# yum --enablerepo=remi install php54-php-pecl-apcu php55-php-pecl-apcu php56-php-pecl-apcu

If you've set up a system cron job for the ownCloud maintenance operations, you'll need to tell the cache to operate from the CLI as well as from the web. To do this, assuming you're using PHP 5.6 for ownCloud (change the version below as appropriate):

# nano -w /opt/remi/php56/root/etc/php.d/40-apcu.ini

Find the line with "apc.enable_cli", uncomment it (remove the semicolon), and change the value to 1. It should look like this:


Then restart the web server:

# /etc/init.d/httpd-e-smith restart

This will install the extension for all PHP Software Collection versions. Then, to activate it, add this line to the ownCloud config.php file:

'memcache.local' => '\OC\Memcache\APCu',

Further information about caching can be found in the ownCloud documentation.

Mozilla Sync

Mozilla Sync is an addon for OwnCloud that allows users to securely synchronize Firefox settings across multiple devices (tabs, bookmarks, history, saved passwords).

The owncloud instructions for installing and configuring Mozilla Sync addon can be found here: https://github.com/owncloud/mozilla_sync/blob/master/INSTALL.md

The Mozilla Sync addon is included by default as of OwnCloud 6 and simply needs to be 'enabled' by an admin.

Install Mozilla Sync in OwnCloud

These instructions assume that you have installed owncloud into an ibay named owncloud:

Using a zipped tarball:

cd /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/files
wget https://github.com/owncloud/mozilla_sync/archive/master.zip -O master.zip
sudo -u www unzip master.zip
mv mozilla_sync-master /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/apps/mozilla_sync

Using Git:

cd /home/e-smith/files/ibays/owncloud/html/apps
sudo -u www git clone https://github.com/owncloud/mozilla_sync.git
sudo -u www git checkout master

Server settings to enable Mozilla Sync

Now, on the server:

  • login to your owncloud instance as an administrator
  • Open the 'Apps' page
  • 'Enable' the Mozilla Sync app
  • Verify that all 'Mozilla Sync' users have a unique email address configured in their user profile (Mozilla sync (in Firefox) authenticates using the user's email address).

Firefox settings to enable Mozilla Sync

Setup sync using the email address you verified above, using the password for the user that matches the email address.

The address for your 'custom server' should look like:

History and advanced topics

The history and some advanced topics can be viewed on these How-To page sections:


Interesting relations to other Contribs or How-to's

Personal tools
Koozali SME Server wiki