Once there was ownCloud. Now there is Nextcloud. It's time to install Nextcloud on NETGEAR ReadyNAS.
If you’ve followed my 5-year-old guide How to install Owncloud on a NETGEAR ReadyNAS, you might have noticed that the ownCloud desktop client has complained about an unsupported server version for some time. ownCloud on your ReadyNAS server has been stuck on version 6, while the rest of the world has moved on to version 10. Unfortunately, the ownCloud version in the NETGEAR package repository has not been maintained, and upgrading using ownCloud’s own mechanisms has not been possible. ownCloud itself has also been through some rough times. In 2016, its founder, Frank Karlitschek, left the company, citing “moral questions”. Karlitschek went on to found Nextcloud, which is a ownCloud fork, and the file hosting software we will install now.
My particular ReadyNAS model is the 102, which uses an ARM CPU. There is no Nextcloud package in the NETGEAR package repository. This means that getting Nextcloud up and running on my ReadyNAS 102 would involve a lot of compiling, troubleshooting, and general hair pulling. Not ideal for a guy like me with a receding hairline, and I’d probably use a lot of my precious spare time that I’d prefer to prioritize differently. That’s why I’ll take the path of least resistance this time, and turn to someone who’ve gone through all those hoops already: Say hello to RNXtras.com.
RNXtras.com is a site that maintains add-on software packages that are compatible with different versions of NETGEAR ReadyNAS models. One of those packages contains Nextcloud, which is great for us since that’s what we need. You’ll also find ownCloud at RNXtras.com if you’d rather use that than Nextcloud.
Normally, I would not install packages from an unofficial, third-party site. It’s hard to check if the person who made the package slipped some malicious code in there. But RNXtras.com seems pretty legit. The site has been around for a few years, its social media accounts have been around about as long, and the accounts are updated regularly. The RNXtras.com admin, WhoCares, is also fairly active on the NETGEAR community forums, where they have been a registered member for almost 10 years. And finally, I’ve not been able to find anything negative about RNXtras.com on the internet. So it feels pretty safe.
It’s also worth mentioning that even if the add-ons on RNXtras.com are based on open-source software, they aren’t free. WhoCares takes a small fee for the work they’ve done creating the add-ons, which is understandable. The Nextcloud package currently sells at €2.99 EUR, a fair price in my view. Think of it as putting a monetary value on your spare time.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
As always when I give away free advice, I have to point out that you're following them at your own risk. If your ReadyNAS box catches fire when following the instructions below, you have only yourself to blame. Think about it: You're following advice you got from some random guy on the internet. That's not the best idea ever, is it?
Installing the Nextcloud package from RNXtras.com will uninstall the ownCloud application that's already installed. Your files are not deleted, but you will not able to get access to them through the ownCloud web interface, or through the ownCloud sync applications.
- First of all, if you have ownCloud installed, make sure you sync all the remote files to a local storage. This way, you can easily upload everything to Nextcloud once it’s installed. It might be possible to migrate your content from ownCloud to Nextcloud, but I didn’t research that option.
- Purchase the Nextcloud add-on from RNXtras.com.
- If you want to use MySQL as the Nextcloud database, you should also consider purchasing the MySQL Installer add-on. It’s recommended to use MySQL if you want to use any of the Nextcloud desktop clients to sync files, and that’s probably the case.
- Download the add-ons you purchased. You’ll receive download instructions both on RNXtras.com and on e-mail once your purchase is complete.
- If you purchased the MySQL Installer add-on, install that first.
- Not sure how you install a package? WhoCares has you covered, and provides clear instructions right here.
- Then install the Nextcloud package, following these instructions.
- When everything is installed, download and install the Nextcloud desktop client of your choice.
- After the desktop client is installed, configure it to connect to Nextcloud running on your ReadyNAS.
- Great success!