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How to install Owncloud on a NETGEAR ReadyNAS.

In the previous entry in the PRISM Break series, I looked at how to set up a NETGEAR ReadyNAS 102 as a basic replacement for your current, commercial, privacy-repellant, cloud storage needs. But to really get things running, you’ll have to tinker a little bit more with the NAS box. In this entry, I’ll cover how you connect to your ReadyNAS device over SSH with root privileges, how you install and configure Owncloud and you set up your Android device to synchronize files with your new Owncloud account. The tutorial below has been tested on a NETGEAR ReadyNAS 102 and a NETGEAR ReadyNAS 312, and it’s very likely that you can follow this guide to accomplish exactly the same on other ReadyNAS versions as well. The only prerequisite is that your ReadyNAS device has version 6 of the firmware installed.

I’m assuming that you’ve completed all the steps required to configure your ReadyNAS unit and that it’s connected to your LAN, and that you have installed the latest version of the firmware.

  1. First we have to configure the NAS unit to accept SSH connections if you haven’t done this already. Log in to the ReadyNAS administration web site with your admin account, go to System -> Settings, and enable SSH. Personally, I’ve turned off everything except for HTTP, HTTPS and SSH, but if you are using any of the other enabled services, you should of course keep them enabled.
  2. The next step is to connect to the NAS device using SSH. Log in as root using the same password as the admin account you used to log in to the web site in the previous step.
  3. Install Owncloud with the following command:
    root@vNAS:~# apt-get install owncloud

    This will install a bunch of packages and might take a while depending on your internet connection.

  4. When the installation process eventually finishes, the last step is to log in to Owncloud. Go to https://192.168.5.135/owncloud/ (replace the IP address with the IP address of your own ReadyNAS unit) and follow the simple installation process. Note: After the Owncloud installation wizard completes, I’m not able to log on with Firefox, for some strange reason. This is unbelievably frustrating, but so far I’ve not been able to solve it. If you have the same problem, you simply have to use another browser to log in.

And there you have it, your very own, private cloud storage service. I did everything described above after having performed a factory reset of the NAS. It’s not necessary to do a factory reset to get everything to work, but you’re having problems and you want to do the same, have a look here for instructions on how to perform a factory reset. Please note the following, however, copied from NETGEAR’s factory reset instructions:

The factory default reboot process resets the storage system to factory settings, erases all data, resets all defaults, and reformats the disk to X-RAID2.

To sync files to and from Owncloud, simply download and install one of the sync clients. If you are using an Android phone, there’s an official Android client as well, but it’s not exactly getting great reviews. A better alternative might be FolderSync, an excellent application that let’s you synchronize files on your Android phone with Owncloud. FolderSync doesn’t support Owncloud per se, but Owncloud uses WebDAV, which is supported by FolderSync. The full version of the application costs a little money, but I strongly recommend that you buy it. I’ve been using FolderSync for a long time, first for syncing my files with Google Drive and now Owncloud and it has performed flawlessly.

If you decide to use FolderSync, there’s a couple of things you should know when setting up the WebDAV account: You find the WebDAV URL by logging in to the Owncloud web interface, clicking on your name on the top right and selecting Personal. The WebDAV URL can be found a bit down on the page. In FolderSync, select HTTPS as the protocol, make sure you allow self-signed certificates, enter the server address in the WebDAV URL in the server address field, and everything else in the (including the first / after the server address in the start folder field.

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22 Comments

  1. Hi Vegard,

    I have been struggling for at couple of days getting ownCloud working satisfyingly on my ReadyNAS 312. You see, I have installed it three or four times in different ways and always ended up with the same problem. The upload via the mac client (as well as the connection over WebDav) was incredibly slow. Have you had that problem?

    It turned out that I needed to disable WebDav on the server (as the documentation also mentions under Prerequisites in http://doc.owncloud.org/server/5.0/admin_manual/installation.html). So now it runs like a charm and I can confirm that it is not only on the 102 that the command line installation works perfectly.
    I’m looking forward to see if I’ll be able to rid myself completely of Dropbox.

    Thanks for a great Prism break series!

    Regards
    Michael

    • This is very interesting information. The Windows client is most certainly slow, but I just thought it was due to the slow connection it has to the internet. I have now disabled WebDav on Apache to see if this speed things up. Thanks a lot for the tip.

    • Just af follow-up on the comment above.

      Sorry if this is a disappointment, but I still have the problem with slow uploads. Very slow in fact. But only when dealing with multiple small files. This is a very widespread problem as far as I can see, and I don’t see any solutions to it around. So for now, I have given up on ownCloud after having spent a couple of days trying to get it running.

      I certainly hope you find a solution or satisfying setup! If you do, please do post an update.

      The best
      Michael

      • This is a known issue for a lot of users. You can see the bug report here:
        https://github.com/owncloud/core/issues/3118

        The issue was recently closed as of 10 days ago, but I’m not sure what version of owncloud you could download to get the fix.

        Currently the version of owncloud on my ReadyNas 316 is 5.07 and for some reason, I can’t get apt-get install to update it to 5.013 which is the latest (maybe there isn’t a version created for the readynas yet).

        • As far as I can tell, the fix has been merged into the ownCloud master branch (https://github.com/owncloud/core/pull/5602) and will therefore most likely make it into the next release.

          Unfortunately, a new release of owncloud doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be available on the ReadyNAS. The availability of new ownCloud versions is dependent on whoever is maintaining the ReadyNAS repositories, whoever that might be. If you are adventurous, however, it should be possible to download the ownCloud source and compile it on the ReadyNAS manually. I have no idea how to do this, though.

          • Just to follow up on this: The fix has indeed been merged, and version 6 of Owncloud is now available in the Readynas. I was so thrilled to see this, and also to experience how the performance seemed better efter installation (which went fine).
            But to my mind Owncloud is still waaay too slow for regular use. Besides, that mac client presents as a veritable CPU hog, even in the most recent updates. And the greatest problem is that it produces so-called “conflicting” copies on a massive (and unnecessary) scale, which often leads to dataloss, since it swaps an older server-version of a file with the most recent version on the client.

            I took the consequence of this and looked for alternatives. Lo and behold, I actually found something!
            I have now been using Seafile for about a week and I absolutely love it. It is snap, reliable and exserts an only minimal strain on both my readynas and my laptop.
            It’s clean, reliable, fast and light weight, all the things I missed (in my installation of) Owncloud, without lacking any of the fundamental feature set.
            I would recommend Seafile for anyone in a snap. I can’t exactly say the same of Owncloud.

            – Michael

          • Great stuff, thanks a lot for this information. I’ll have a look at Seafile as well.

  2. Thank you for the excellent guide. It works like a charm.

    It will install 5.0.5 and that version works on my 314. But then I upgrade to 5.0.12 the browser just give me a blank page. Any thoughts?

    regards

    Bub

    • The version you upgraded to, did you get it by doing an “apt-get upgrade” or did you update some other way? I’m not sure of the update from owncloud will work, I think you’ll need to use the packages compiled for the ReadyNAS, but I might be wrong – there could be something else entirely that causes the blank page.

  3. When I type apt-get install owncloud, I get :

    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Couldn’t find package owncloud

    Any idea what the problem might be? I’m running a ReadyNAS Ultra 2.

    • What version of the ReadyNAS firmware is installed on the Ultra 2? From what I can tell, the Ultra 2 is a somewhat “old” model, and my best guess is that the ownCloud package simply isn’t maintained for the ReadyNAS Ultra 2. It might help to update the apt cache by running “apt-get update” before running the “apt-get install owncloud” install, but I doubt it’ll make any difference.

      • Is there a reliable way to employ the ReadyNAS as a local storage device for the LAN and have it synchronize with an OWNCloud server in a datacenter? This is something Egnyte does very well and there are a number of benefits vs the many clients-to-cloud synch scenario.

  4. I agree with Michael and others. Seafile performs sooo much better across the board, both server- and client-wise. Using it on a ReadyNAS 104. Owncloud is way behind.

  5. I get errors when tried to install:
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    x11-common
    libice6:armel
    libsm6:armel
    libxt6:armel
    libmagickcore5:armel
    libmagickwand5:armel
    mysql-server-5.5
    mysql-server
    php5-imagick
    owncloud
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

    Browser shows this message:
    Can’t write into config directory!
    This can usually be fixed by giving the webserver write access to the config directory.

    What should I try?

  6. Finally I could install Owncloud on my ReadyNAS 102

    touch /etc/php5/conf.d/imagick.ini
    dpkg –purge –force-all php5-imagick
    apt-get remove –purge owncloud
    apt-get install owncloud
    (secondly I did not set pw for mysql)

    • Unfortunately, it looks like version 6 is the version in the repositories. But you could give upgrading to version 8 via the web interface a go and see how well that goes.

  7. Update does not work…

    Checking your installation…
    Downloading package…
    Creating backup…
    Here is your backup: /apps/owncloud/web/data/updater_backup/6.0.0.13-170829cf.zip
    Moving files…
    Update failed
    Please fix this and retry.
    The update was unsuccessful. Please report this issue to the ownCloud community.

  8. Hi Vegard,

    I was just wondering if you know how to get OwnCloud to use another volume for data than the one it is installed on. I have two volumes on my ReadyNAS, the default data-volume and a volume called cloud. I want OwnCloud to use the latter for data.