Linux

Tonido: A Dropbox alternative for SMBs

Jack Wallen calls Tonido a nice change from the standard cloud-based Dropbox clones. Find out why he recommends SMBs give it a try.

Dropbox, Ubuntu One, SpiderOak, and all of the other cloud-sharing solutions enable users to access folders and files from anywhere, at any time. One of such solution called Tonido has some advantages to those other tools.

Tonido allows you access to your folders and files from within a web browser via your own, unique URL. With Tonido, you can also enjoy a sync folder that allows you to sync 2 GB (in the Free version). The Tonido "server" is available for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu Linux, and a client is also available for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.

There are three types of accounts:

  • Free: Unlimited remote access, basic sharing, 2 GB sync space
  • Pro: Unlimited remote access, basic sharing, 100 GB sync space, advanced sharing, basic branding
  • Biz: Unlimited remote access, advanced sharing, 200 GB sync space, advanced branding, own domain

For this tutorial, I used the Tonido Free edition, because it will be the version most users will start with in order to determine if the tool is right for them.

Installing Tonido

  1. Download the installation file necessary for your platform.
  2. For Windows and Mac installations, double-click the downloaded file and walk through the install wizard. For Linux installations, open a terminal window, change to the Downloads directory, and issue the command sudo dpkg -i TonidoSetup_i686.deb.
  3. Allow the installation to complete.
When the installation completes, your default web browser will open to the Tonido setup page (Figure A). Figure A

You not only create a user account, but that user account name becomes part of your URL. (Click the image to enlarge.)
After you create the account, the web browser will open to the address http://127.0.0.1:10001/ui/core/, which will reveal your available folders and files (Figure B). Figure B

Tonido as seen through Chrome. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Further setup

For businesses, you might want to ook at the Networking settings and set IP filters; this will enable you to allow only certain IP addresses to access the account. This is done with the following steps:

  1. Go to Tools | Settings.
  2. Click the Network tab.
  3. Click the IP Filter button.
  4. Check the box for Accept Connections Only From Networks In Allowed IP Range List.
  5. Enter the Allowed IP addresses in the Allowed IP Range box (Figure C).
  6. Click the Add button.
Figure C

After you click the Add button, your Tonido account should only be accessible from the allowed addresses. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Using Tonido

From the left navigation, you locate the folder you want to access, click it, locate the file you want to work with, and click the associated download button (Figure D). Figure D

I can access the file I am currently writing from anywhere. (Click the image to enlarge.)
You can also share files from the same interface. Next to the Download button, you will see the Share button. When you click the Share button, a window will pop up with a URL you can use to share the file. You also have the opportunity to share the file through Facebook and Twitter (Figure E) with a simple click. Figure E

I removed the URL so no one prematurely downloads this document. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Sync folder

When you install Tonido, a sync folder called TonidoSync is added to your user directory. In Linux, that folder will be in ~/ (or /home/USER/ - where USER is the user's name), and in Windows that folder will be in C:\Users\USERNAME\My Documents\ (USERNAME is the user's name).

In order to allow guest users to access the TonidoSync folder, you must have a Pro account. But you can install the client sync tool by doing the following:

  1. Access your Tonido account on the machine you wish to install the client on.
  2. Click the My Synced Files in the left navigation.
  3. Click the button for Download Client.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Sync section.
  5. Click to download the client for your platform.
  6. Shut down the Tonido service.
  7. Install the TonidoSync client in the same way as you did the main application.

Depending upon the platform you've installed the sync client on, the next steps will vary. You have to go into the TonidoSync settings and change the account information. By default it will be set up for the local account. To change this, follow these steps (I'll demonstrate on a Windows 7 machine):

  1. Right-click the TonidoSync icon in the system tray.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. In the Settings window, enter the URL for the desktop you get from the Tonido main window (such as https://USERNAME.tonidoid.com - where USERNAME is the actual name set up during the installation of Tonido).
  4. Enter the password for the account.
  5. Click Apply.

As soon as you apply these settings, the sync will begin.

Conclusion

I think you will find Tonido is a nice change from the standard cloud-based Dropbox clones. Give the free account a try and, should you like it, bump it up a notch for your business and go with the Pro account.

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.

2 comments
jred
jred

The tutorial was good, if anyone here doesn't know how to install software, but I didn't see anything that made Tonido special, except possibly the branding options. I'm not sure if any of the dozen or so other cloud-based storage options offer that.

sphinxguy
sphinxguy

Tonido has native apps for popular mobile platforms (iOS, Android and Blackberry). Also you can brand Tonido and run under your own company domain if you buy Tonido Biz.