Pydio (Put Your Data In Orbit) is an open source file sharing/syncing server that came into being in 2007. Formerly known as AjaXplorer, Pydio offers an easy to use web interface, mobile apps, advanced sharing, SSL encryption, WebDAV support, dedicated workspaces, user rights management, online viewing/editing documents (with Collabora Office), integrated audio/video viewer, and much more.

If you’ve looked into Pydio, you know the installation onto a standard server can be a bit of a nightmare. Thankfully, Pydio has offered up an OVA file that you can download and spin up with your favorite virtual machine hosting software. I use VirtualBox, and that is what I am going to use for this walk through. So, without further ado, let’s get Pydio up and running so you can test drive this powerful, enterprise-ready cloud server.

SEE: Cloud Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)

The cost

Although Pydio is an open source package, it isn’t free. You can opt to try the cloud server’s 30-day trial, but once that trial is up, if you want to continue, you’ll have to pony up for a license. For more information, check out the Pydio Pricing page.

What you’ll need

You’ll need a working installation of VirtualBox and the Pydio OVF file, which you can grab from the downloads page. After you download the file, you’ll have to extract the .zip file before you can continue.

With everything ready, let’s fire up the VM and get Pydio ready for work.

Importing the appliance

  1. Open VirtualBox and click File | Import Appliance.
  2. Navigate to the location of the Pydio OVA file, select the Pydio-Enterprise-Distribution-XXX-OVF.ovf file (XXX is the release number), and click NEXT.
  3. Review the details for the appliance and then click Import.
  4. After the appliance is imported, click the entry in the left navigation of the main VirtualBox window and click Start.

The appliance will start up and land at a bash prompt. Don’t worry about trying to log into the virtual appliance from here, as everything you need to administer the server will be done through the web interface. The login screen will display the IP address necessary to log into the Pydio web interface (Figure A).

Figure A

Setting up Pydio

Take the IP address given to you at the login screen and enter it into a web browser on the same network as the virtual appliance. You will be greeted by a window with a Start Wizard button. Click that button and then, in the next screen (Figure B), fill out the necessary information.

Figure B

The next window requires you to either enter your license information or click the Start 30 Days Trial. This trial is for 200 users; if you need to request more users for your trial, you’ll have to contact Pydio.

After clicking the Start 30 Days Trial button, you’ll be presented with the license. Scroll through the license and then click Accept. Pydio will complete the setup and land on the login screen. Enter the username/password you created during the Wizard and click OK. You’ll find yourself inside your Pydio cloud. Click the menu button in the upper right corner and then click Settings. Within Settings you can fully customize Pydio to meet your exact needs. Hover over the right edge of the window to reveal the Pydio Settings sidebar (Figure C). From the Pydio Settings sidebar, you can manage every aspect of your cloud server.

Figure C

Congratulations! Your Pydio cloud server is ready to be further customized and serve your business.

Don’t forget the apps

Once your Pydio cloud server is running, don’t forget to have all of your users install the mobile apps. Pydio is available for Android and iOS. There is also a desktop client for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

An outstanding, enterprise-ready cloud solution

If you’re looking for one of the easiest methods of getting a cloud server up and running for your business, you should definitely take a look at the Pydio virtual appliance. In less than 20 minutes you can have your cloud server setup and ready for work.