Google, dropbox and friends offer some nifty and useful services. I've always felt uneasy trusting my data with third parties but I've done so since February 2010 because the convenience out weighed the concerns. For me, that balance has now shifted.
Concerns about data privacy and collaboration with state sponsored spying (see PRISM) have increased while the quality of Free Software to provide cloud infrastructure has improved exponentially. In particular, ownCloud has really come of age.
$ sudo su - # echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:ownCloud:community/Debian_7.0/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list # apt-get update # apt-get install owncloud
$ sudo su - echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:ownCloud:devel/Debian_7.0/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud-client.list apt-get update apt-get install owncloud-client
I'm currently using the file synchronisation service between the folders on my laptop, my ownCloud instance itself, my Android tablet and Android phone.
I'm extremely impressed by the quality and reliability of ownCloud thus far. I'm going to be digging deeper into it's features (listed below) in the lead up to this month's TasLUG Hobart meeting.
Straight from the ownCloud Features page:
Access Your Data Store your files, folders, contacts, photo galleries, calendars and more on a server of your choosing. Access that folder from your mobile device, your desktop, or a web browser. Access your data wherever you are, when you need it.
Sync Your Data Keep your files, contacts, photo galleries, calendars and more synchronized amongst your devices. One folder, two folders and more – get the most recent version of your files with the desktop and web client or mobile app of your choosing, at any time.
Share Your Data data with others, and give them access to your latest photo galleries, your calendar, your music, or anything else you want them to see. Share it publicly, or privately. It is your data, do what you want with it.
User interface is quick slick and elegant and the new design helps to concentrate more on the content and makes it easier to navigate and setup the Desktop and Mobile syncing clients.
Undelete Finally, now users can undelete a file that was accidentally deleted through the web interface. Simply select the files in the trash bin and they are returned to where they were deleted from, with versions maintained.
Powerful Search A new lucene based full text search engine app is added. People can use the search to not only find files by name but also by content. Scanning is done in the background to ensure a responsive user experience for the users.
User Documentation Read up on the new improved user documentation to find answers for your questions. The documentation is now built from ReStructured Text files which allows people to easier contribute and fix errors.
File Versioning The versioning support for files is improved with an intelligent algorithm that automatically expires old version if running out of space. The versioning keeps revisions every 2 seconds for the first 10 seconds, every 10 seconds for the next minute, every minue for the next hour, every hour for the nex 24 hours and one revision per day until running out of space or quota.
Contacts Contacts are now organized by groups (categories) instead of address books giving more intuitive access to Friends, Coworkers, Family etc. The main view shows an overview of the most relevant fields and the amount of info adjusts automatically depending the size of the browser window or device.
Calendars Want to share your calendar with other users of ownCloud? Enable the Calendar Application, open your calendar, select share, and choose the users or groups you want. You can be sharing your important calendar and important events in no time.
External Storage Mounting DropBox, Swift, FTPs, GoogleDocs, S3 and external WebDAV servers now works, and is significantly more performant than it used to be.
Galleries Want better control over your shared photo gallery? Now you can specify the ownCloud photo directories, sort order, share your galleries with any email address you choose, and control whether they can share those photos with anyone else.
Themeing Want to make ownCloud look and feel like the rest of your site? Use the new theming directory functionality. Any style or image that you place in this directory will be used in place of standard ownCloud fonts, colors and icons.
Document Viewer Want to read open document format files without downloading them? Enable this Application and you can click on any ODF formatted document (.odt, .odp, .ods) and read it in your web browser with no download required.
Public API’s Want to add features and functions to ownCloud? New publicly defined APIs make creating applications for ownCloud much simpler, enabling add on functions a stable integration point for future versions.
Migration and Backup Do you have multiple ownCloud instances, perhaps a primary and a backup installation? Now you can easily move your ownCloud user accounts between ownCloud instances, and have a backup ready when you need it.
Tasks Want to keep track of that all-important to do list? With the Tasks Application, you can easily sync your to do lists with your ownCloud instance.
Application Store Want to add one of the existing applications to ownCloud? Simply enable a new application in settings, and it will be automatically downloaded and installed in your ownCloud instance.