Apps

Access and sync folders with AjaXplorer

AjaXplorer is a powerful, open source, web-based file sync tool. Learn how to install and configure this file management system.

If you don't want to rely on third-party tools and their limits for file syncing/access, AjaXplorer is an option to consider. You can use and retain everything in-house, and it doesn't involve an external service. With AjaXplorer you can make file syncing to and from your servers from the LAN or WAN using a web browser.

With AjaXplorer you can:

  • Install AjaXplorer on your servers or cloud platform of choice
  • Share documents and folders with your teams
  • Administrate your box with an enterprise-grade console (rights, groups, plug-ins)
  • Access documents with a Web GUI
  • Access from smartphone and tablet apps (iOS, Android)
  • Sync folders on your computer (public beta, PC, Mac, Linux, Web, tablets)

Once AjaXplorer is installed and running, it looks and feels like a standard file browser. Through it, users can preview and edit common file types online without downloading them to their machines (currently this only works with text and image files). If the file is unsupported, the file will be downloaded for editing.

Requirements

  • Web-server with PHP 5.1 or later
  • DomXML , MCrypt, and GD extensions.

Installing AjaXplorer

AjaXplorer can be installed on Linux, Windows, and Mac machines with little work. I installed the file management system on a Debian-based server, so if you're installing the file management system on a WAMP or a MAMP server, you need to slightly modify these steps.

  1. Download the zip file and place it in your document root (in my case /var/www/).
  2. Unpack the .zip file.
  3. Rename the zip file from ajaxplorer-XXX (XXX is the release number) to ajaxplorer.
  4. Make the ajaxplorer sub-folders (conf, core, data, plugins) writable to the web server.
  5. Point your browser to http://ADDRESS_TO_SERVER/ajaxplorer. If there are any issues (Figure A) resolve them accordingly.
  6. Click the link marked Click Here To Continue To AjaXplorer.
  7. Log in with the credentials admin/admin.
Figure A

With Warnings, you can continue, but with errors, not so much. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Anyone who can access that server will have access to the files on the server.

Configuring AjaXplorer

After installation, the first thing you should do is change the admin user password.

  1. From the AjaXplorer main window (Figure B), click the Logged As Admin drop-down.
  2. Select Change Password.
  3. Enter the old password (admin).
  4. Type the new password and confirm.
  5. Click the checkmark to complete.
Figure B

A very clean file explorer-like interface. (Click the image to enlarge.)

The next configuration step is to create users.

  1. From the main window, click the My Files drop-down and select Settings.
  2. Under Configuration Data, click Repositories and Users.
  3. Click Users.
  4. Click the User button in the toolbar.
  5. Select New User.
  6. Enter the information for the new user.
  7. Click the checkbox.
  8. Assign the new user permissions (Figure C).
  9. Close the New User window.
Figure C

You can also give the new user access to the default files. (Click the image to enlarge.)

It is possible to create roles for users; this makes it much easier to apply various permissions. To create a new role, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Users button in the toolbar and select New Role.
  2. Give the new role a name.
  3. Click the checkbox.
  4. Right-click the newly created role in the role listing (Figure D) and select Edit.
  5. Give the role the necessary permissions.
  6. Click the checkmark.
  7. Close the edit window.
Figure D

Now you can assign a user a role. This will make it easier to assign permissions to users. (Click the image to enlarge.)

You can also create new repositories and give roles access to those repositories. The repositories can be located anywhere on the server, but they will need write permission so that everyone can access them. Here is the process for setting up a new repository (we'll use /var/www/EDITS as an example).

  1. From the Settings window, select Repositories from the left navigation.
  2. Click the New drop-down and select Repositories.
  3. Give the repository a name (EDITS).
  4. Select Sample Template from the Repository Driver drop-down.
  5. Enter the exact path of the repository in the Path section.
  6. Click the checkmark.
  7. Expand the Filesystem Commons section (Figure E).
  8. Select the proper default rights.
  9. Close the New Repository window.
Figure E

Click the image to enlarge.

After creating all of the repositories you need, you can go back to roles and assign repositories to roles. Then, you can assign roles to users.

We'll cover AjaXplorer again and focus on templates and plugins. Until then, I hope you have fun with this powerful, open source file sync tool.

About

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 getjackd.net.

1 comments
Sven Schubert
Sven Schubert

The developer did a great job here. Now with the sync client and the mobile apps i think it's more powerfull than the other big open source cloud system "OwnCloud". We started a small project and set up the pages http://www.ajaxplorer.co.uk (English) and http://www.ajaxplorer.de (German). So everbody can can get his own AjaXplorer-entity now - without any server-knowledge.