How to add external storage on your Nextcloud server

If you're concerned that your Nextcloud server will run out of room or you want to add external services, adding external storage will solve both issues. Here's how to do it.

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If you're using a Nextcloud server (which you should be), you might eventually need more storage. Fortunately, the developer included the ability to expand your server with the help of an easy to use app. With this addition, you don't have to worry about your server running out of room, and you can even allow users to mount their own external storage devices or add external services such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google, and more.

I'll walk you through the easy process of adding external storage on a Nextcloud 11 server. I assume your Nextcloud server is updated to the latest release, and you have administrator access.

Note: When you add this feature it will disable the Stay Logged In feature on the login page; this means your users will have to log in every time they need to access the Nextcloud server. This is a small price to pay for adding external storage.

SEE: Storage in 2017: Big improvements are on the way (ZDNet)

Adding the app

Follow these steps to add the External Storage app to your Nextcloud server.

  1. Log in to your Nextcloud server as an administrator.
  2. Click the drop-down in the upper left corner and click Apps.
  3. Click Not Enabled (from the left navigation).
  4. Locate External Storage Support and click Enable (Figure A).

After you add the app, log out and log back in.

Figure A

Figure A

Enabling the External Storage app.

Adding an external storage location to your server

Once you'd added the app and logged out/in, click the user drop-down in the upper right corner and click Admin. In the new window, click External Storage (it's listed in the left navigation) to reveal the External Storage window (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Adding a new external storage solution to your Nextcloud server.

Select the type of external storage you want to add from the External Storage dropdown and then configure it accordingly (each service will require a specific configuration). For example, if you opt to add Dropbox External Storage, you will be required to create an App Key (done via the Dropbox API Platform) and then use the generated App Key and Secret key from your newly generated app to fill out the Dropbox external storage configuration (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Adding Dropbox external storage to your Nextcloud server.

Once the key/secret text areas turn green, click Grant Access. You can define who has access to your newly attached storage; access can be granted to individual users and groups. By clicking the gear icon associated with Available For (Figure D), you can allow user sharing and define how frequently Nextcloud will check for changes.

Figure D

Figure D

Defining who can access the share and other options.

Now you have additional storage capabilities added to your Nextcloud server. Whether you need to expand your cloud server for more storage or you want to add external services, Nextcloud has you covered. Give this a try, and see if it doesn't help to grow your in-house cloud server.

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