Cloud

How to use App Bundles on Nextcloud

Jack Wallen shows you how to make use of App Bundles to make your Nextcloud server perfectly fit your company needs.

Nextcloud is one of the most popular on-premises cloud servers on the planet. With good reason. Nextcloud evolved very quickly to encompass the needs of nearly every type of user: From single at-home users to large enterprises. Even better, Nextcloud has become a cloud server platform that is easy to install, easy to manage, and easy to use.

One of the many aspects of Nextcloud that makes this possible is the vast array of available apps that can be installed. These apps range from calendars to games and to social networking, security, notifications, searching, monitoring, and everything in between. In fact, if you have a need, chances are Nextcloud has a third-party app ready to meet that need.

However, with such a large collection of apps it is a bit challenging to know which apps you should install to get the most out of the platform for your organization. Say you need to set up an instance of Nextcloud for an educational institution? Or for an Enterprise? What apps should you install?

SEE: Cloud computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Fortunately, the Nextcloud developers thought of that and included what they call App Bundles. These bundles (which came out in Nextcloud 12) roll up a collection of apps that are considered (at least by the developers) ideal for a specific purpose. At the moment there are only four App Bundles available, but if I were to guess the developers will create more in the future.

The current App Bundles are:

  • Enterprise
  • Groupware
  • Social Sharing
  • Education

Each of these bundles contains a different collection of software and can be downloaded/enabled as a collection or downloaded/enabled one by one. The installation of bundles is incredibly easy. Let's see how.

What you'll need

The only things you need are a working instance of Nextcloud and a Nextcloud admin account on the system. That's it. Let's install a bundle.

Installation

Let's say you want to install the Education bundle. This collection includes:

  • Admin notifications
  • Announcement center
  • Circles
  • Dashboard
  • Group folders
  • ORCHID
  • Quota warning
  • SSO & SAML authentication
  • Zenodo

To install this bundle, log into your Nextcloud instance as an admin user. Once authenticated, click on your profile image in the top right corner and select Apps. In the Apps screen click App bundles in the left navigation and scroll down until you see Education Edition (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Education Bundle ready to install.


As you can see, it is possible to either install each component separately or install them as a bundle. To install the entire collection, click the Enable all button. You will be prompted for your admin password. Once you've successfully entered the password, the process will begin and complete. The apps associated with the bundle will then be available for you to use.

Warning: If you've installed Nextcloud on Ubuntu Server 18.04, you won't be able to use the Education Bundle, as the SSO & SAML authentication component cannot be enabled due to a mcrypt dependency. There is currently no known workaround for this. All other bundles, however, will successfully install on a Nextcloud instance running on Ubuntu Server 18.04.

Once you've installed an App Bundle, you can always go back and install more apps individually (or install more App Bundles). You're not limited to only installing an App Bundle.

More to come

And that's all there is to using App Bundles on Nextcloud. Although the platform is limited in the number of bundles it currently has, I'm certain, as more third-party apps appear in the Nextcloud app store, we'll see more bundles in the future. Until then, make use of these bundles to better extend your Nextcloud deployment.

Also see

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

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.

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