Cloud

How to install Tonido to enable cloud access to your desktop

One of the easiest ways to access your desktop files and folders from the cloud is Tonido, says Jack Wallen. See why self-employed IT pros, in particular, might like this option.

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Image: iStock

When you're constantly on the go, you know at some point you'll need access to files on your desktop that aren't already accessible. One way to avoid that collision with inconvenience is to install Tonido.

Tonido turns a desktop into your own personal cloud, making it simple to gain access to your files and folders from the cloud via browser or mobile app. There are two versions of Tonido: Personal and FileCloud.

  • The Personal version gives a single user access to all their files on a computer via web browser, smartphone, tablet, or even DLNA-enabled devices.
  • FileCloud is the business/enterprise edition of Tonido that enables a company to create their own private cloud storage and sync solution.

The Personal version is free. FileCloud can be purchased for as low as $3.50 per user/month (check out the pricing matrix for more information).

For testing purposes, we'll try out the free version. For a single user—especially a self-employed IT pro or a freelancer—this is a great solution for gaining access to your data.

SEE: Cloud Data Storage Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Setup is simple

There is very little in the way of installation. Since Linux is my desktop of choice, I will demonstrate on Ubuntu GNOME 16.04. Here are the necessary steps to get Tonido up and running.

First, you must open a terminal window and create the folder to house Tonido with the command:

sudo mkdir /usr/local/tonido

Change into that directory with the command cd /usr/local/tonido and download the necessary file with the command:

wget http://www.tonido.com/download.php?tonido64.tar.gz

Now we have to unpack that file with the command:

sudo tar xvzf tonido64.tar.gz

Note: The download may wind up named download.php?tonido64.tar.gz. If that's the case, the command to unpack the file would be sudo tar xvzf download.php?tonido64.tar.gz.

The unpacking of the file will not create its own directory. Within the /usr/local/tonido folder you should see all the bits and pieces of Tonido, which includes the tonido.sh executable. Issue the command sudo ./tonido.sh start and the Tonido server will fire up.

With that running, open a web browser and point it to http://127.0.0.1:10001. You should be greeted with the user creation screen (Figure A). You are creating a valid user account that Tonido will use to redirect to your desktop, so enter an Account Name and click Check. If the name you've chosen is available, you can continue filling out the rest of the information. When you've completed filling out the page, click the Create button.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
Creating a user for Tonido.

The next page will display the remote access server URL for your Tonido account (in the form of USERNAME.tonidoid.com, where USERNAME is the name you chose when creating your account). Click Next, and you will be asked what folders should be made available for remote access (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Selecting the folders for remote access.

Click Next and you'll see the final setup window (Figure C) that asks you to add a folder for indexing. If you want to add a folder for indexing, click Add Folder To Index, select your folder, and then click Next.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen
Adding folders for indexing.

Autostarting

You'll want to set the Tonido service to autostart at boot. Follow these steps.

1. Open a terminal window and issue the command sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/tonido.service.

2. Copy the following into the new file:

[Unit]
Description=Tonido Server
After=local-fs.target network.target

[Service]
Type=forking
User=root
ExecStart=/usr/local/tonido/tonido.sh start
ExecStop=/usr/local/tonido/tonido.sh stop
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=5

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

3. Save the file and start the Tonido service with the command sudo systemctl start tonido.

4. Verify that Tonido is running with the command sudo systemctl status tonido.

5. Enable Tonido at boot with the command sudo systemctl enable tonido.

Accessing data from the cloud

You should be able to access your included folders from anywhere. Open a browser to http://USERNAME.tonidoid.com, and Tonido will automatically redirect you to your desktop folders.

You can also install the Android or iOS apps and access your Tonido cloud by entering the access URL, username, and password (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen
Accessing Tonido on a OnePlus 3 makes working with the cloud simple.

You're in the clouds

Your desktop is now cloud-available. Tonido makes it incredibly easy to access your desktop via a web browser or mobile app.

Tonido doesn't store your data on its servers. In fact, the only thing Tonido's service does is serve as a redirect to your desktop. With encrypted passwords (make sure to set a very strong one here), you should be good to go in terms of security.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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