How to install Owncloud on a NETGEAR ReadyNAS

Please note that this guide will install a very old version of ownCloud. I recommend that you install Nextcloud instead, and you can follow this simple step-by-step guide that explains how it’s done.

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 (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:

Warning: 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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