The ownCloud file sharing application has been around for some time now, but somehow evaded my attention. My limited imagination makes me say “think of it us Dropbox hosted on the server in your basement”.

Of course, it is much more than that. You can even get a cloud-hosted setup, but the “server in the your basement” is what led me to ownCloud in the first place. Plus, ownCloud is full package – server software, desktop clients, and mobile clients – all available for common operating environments.

The install is fairly straight-forward and is amply explained in the documentation as well as by countless bloggers. Personally, I followed this set of instructions to get ownCloud up and running on my CentOS 6 box.

I really didn’t have to do much, as I already had working LAMP configuration in place. I just created a new MySQL schema; unpacked the application tarball into a sub-folder of one of my existing sites; and made a couple of quick edits of the config.php.

Having said that, I did run into a few puzzling situations that were easy to resolve, but prompted me to do this quick write-up.

First, make sure to download the latest stable version, as the upgrade process is a bit hairy and you may want to enjoy the application’s functionality for a while before having to go down that rabbit hole.

Second, when editing that pesky config.php, understand this: the trusted_domains array must contain the actual full server name, IP, or domain – basically, whatever you type into the browser to get to it. Wildcards, IP ranges, CIDR notations – none of that is allowed. Here’s an example:

Strictly speaking, if everything’s working just fine, you don’t need all of these things in your trusted_domains – just the primary address and whatever URL you use to access ownCloud.

Three, when choosing the administrator’s account name, go with anything but admin. And, when choosing the password, avoid Windows special characters, such as ()&%!*. Why? Because Windows is stupid and if you would like to connect to WebDAV, those special characters in the password will be a problem.

Four, since we’re on the WebDAV topic, here’s how to mount your ownCloud account. Open cmd.exe as administrator and type something like this:

You can also do the same via the File Explorer. To get the correct WebDAV URL for your installation of ownCloud, log in via the Web UI and in the bottom left corner click “Settings” and there it will be.

ownCloud has a troubled relationship with zend extension opcache, so you may run into this sort of errors:

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Should this become a problem, a few suggestions:

  • Increase the value of output_buffering in /etc/php.ini
  • Also in /etc/php.ini try setting these two variables:
  • If you really don’t feel like dealing with this, edit /etc/php.d/opcache.ini and set opcache.enable=0

Naturally you will need to reload httpd after making changes to php settings. And, if you went the route of disabling opcache altogether, doing so may have performance impact on whatever else is running on your Web server.

As I mentioned, ownCloud upgrade process, while not complicated, is a bit convoluted. I wrote a small helper script (you can download it here). I haven’t had much time to test it, so no guarantees…

 

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