The developers of Nextcloud finally released a major update to their desktop client. This client seamlessly connects to the Nextcloud cloud server, allowing users to sync their data between desktop and server. The new client includes a number of important updates, such as:
- End-to-end encryption.
- A much-improved interface, which also separates user accounts, for those who want to sync more than one account to a single desktop.
- Seamless integration of synced folders into the GNOME file manager sidebar.
- Share dialogs are more in line with the web and mobile user interfaces.
- Open any of the Nextcloud apps from the context menu in the system tray.
- Improved notifications.
- Sync is faster.
- And much more.
SEE: Vendor comparison: Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud (Tech Pro Research)
I want to walk you through the installation of the new Nextcloud desktop client, and how to connect it to a server. I will demonstrate on Elementary OS. The installation process is the same across Linux platforms, and the installation for other supported platforms like macOS and Windows and Android and iOS are very straightforward.
I will assume you already have a Nextcloud server instance up and running, as well as a Nextcloud user account on that server.
Let's install and connect.
As of this writing, the only available client for Linux comes in the form of an AppImage. So to run the desktop client, do the following:
- Download the AppImage into your ~/Downloads directory.
- Open a terminal window.
- Issue the command chmod u+x ~/Downloads/Nextcloud*AppImage
- To start the app, issue the command ~/Downloads/Nextcloud*AppImage
The last command above will open the initial window (Figure A).
If you have an on-premises Nextcloud server, click the Log in button. In the resulting window (Figure B), you'll be asked to enter the address of the server. Type the address of your instance and click Next.
In the following window (Figure C), you'll be prompted to click the Log in button, which will then ask you to grant access to the client and then require your Nextcloud user credentials.
Once you've authenticated, the Nextcloud desktop client will have you configure what to sync (Figure D). You can not only select what to sync from the server but where to sync it on your desktop.
After configuring your sync options, click Connect and you're done.
Post install options
Since we've run the Nextcloud Desktop Client as an AppImage (and didn't actually install anything on the desktop), you'll want to ensure the desktop client is launched at system startup. To enable this, click on the General button from the main window and then click the checkbox for Launch on System Startup (Figure E).
Working with the client
You won't find the ability to add or remove files/folders to your sync folder in the Nextcloud Desktop Client. You will, however, find a system tray icon. If you click that, you'll see an entry to open your configured sync folder. Clicking on this will open your file manager to that folder, where you can manage your Nextcloud account files and folders.
You can, however, add another sync connection from the client. To do this, click the Add Folder Sync Connection from the desktop client main window (Figure F).
What this will do is allow you to add another local folder to sync to the Nextcloud account. The wizard will only ask you to chose the local folder, and then it will begin syncing that folder to your Nextcloud account.
A must have
If you work with Nextcloud, you should consider this new desktop client a must-have. With the new features and more efficient syncing, the Nextcloud developers have really outdone themselves. Keeping local folders in sync with your Nextcloud cloud server couldn't be easier.
- How to configure SMTP for Nextcloud (TechRepublic)
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- Nextcloud 14 rolls out with two major security features (ZDNet)
- What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained (ZDNet)
- Best cloud services for small businesses (CNET)
- Microsoft Office vs Google Docs Suite vs LibreOffice (Download.com)
- Cloud computing: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)
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.