ownCloud: The cloud sharing service you control

This open source service is still rough around the edges, but it puts you in the driver's seat

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Limiting file sizes

People aren't always clueful about file sizes, and you don't want your storage quota blown through no fault of your own (or through your own fault, either). So you can limit the size of uploaded files on the Admin page. You can also enable downloads to be compressed into zip archives (Figure 3).

fig-3-filesize.jpeg
Figure 3. Limit file sizes on uploads and downloads

Versioning and history

Versioning is enabled by default (Figure 3), so every time you upload a changed file, ownCloud keeps a copy of the older versions. You can see a list of all the versions by clicking on the History button next to the filename, and then clicking on the one you want to see. But that's not all -- you can also preview your files in your ownCloud control panel (Figure 4). Yes, that's right: preview text documents, audio files, videos, photos -- all of them.

fig-4-filepreview.jpeg
Figure 4. Read, view, or play your files in ownCloud

Do-over by deleting config.php

ownCloud is written in PHP, and the main server configuration file is

/var/www/owncloud/config/config.php
. If you make a hash of your server configuration, delete this file; the server will re-write it with the default settings and you can start over. This does not touch your data files.
config.php
has many options beyond what the Web GUI supports, and you can see all of them in
/var/www/owncloud/config/config.sample.php
.

WebDAV extends sharing to browsers and file managers

WebDAV is enabled by default, so you can access your files with any Web browser. Look on your Personal page for the correct browser URL, which will be something like

http://servername/owncloud/remote.php/webdav/
. Enter the URL in a Web browser, enter your login and password, and you'll see a listing of files (Figure 5). You can also access your WebDAV shares from any file manager that supports the WebDAV protocol.

fig-5-webdav.jpeg
Figure 5. WebDAV lets you access your files from any Web browser

Some applications are not WebDAV-aware and only let you save files to a local directory. You can get around this by attaching WebDAV to local folders. You can also configure it to log you in automatically. To set this up just follow the nice instructions in the ownCloud Documentation Centre.

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