7 easy steps to set up an ownCloud appliance

This was first published at https://owncloud.org/news/7-easy-steps-set-owncloud-appliance/

Welcome to our ownCloud Appliance setup guide. In a series of how-tos we will explain what the appliance is and for whom it fits, how you set it up and how to configure it correctly. In this post we will cover the installation of ownCloud.

Many people, when they first hear of ownCloud as a Dropbox alternative, encounter one issue - how to install and use it? With an appliance, setting up ownCloud is very easy and doesn't need much experience.

There are many reasons not to put your data on Dropbox. Maybe you want to take your privacy back - your data under your control. Maybe the features don't suffice, and you want to extend File Sync & Share with the apps from the ownCloud Marketplace.

Many organizations can't even use a traditional File Sync & Share provider. In some cases it is irresponsible or even legally impossible to give sensitive data to a third party. In all of these cases, ownCloud is the answer.

What is an ownCloud server?

To use ownCloud like any other File Sync & Share provider, you need an ownCloud server. Unlike Dropbox, we don't store your files for you - only if you run ownCloud on a machine you own, the data is under your control.

You can install ownCloud on your own PC, on some old PC at home, on a dedicated server somewhere else, or a VPS. It doesn't really matter, just use what's the easiest for you.

The ownCloud server synchronizes data with client applications. Clients can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux, and of course we have Android and iOS apps. You can also use ownCloud through the web interface in your day-to-day file sharing.

The server takes care of all the background tasks. It stores the files centrally, manages shares, users, and sync processes. It makes the ownCloud apps available and gives their functionality to the users.

So normally, the users only interact with their clients or the web interface. The server only runs in the background and does the hidden work.

For whom is the ownCloud appliance intended?

If you want a low administration effort and don't plan to have more than 500 users, the appliance is best for you. The appliance can also be run on a Windows Server. You can easily add 3rd party services like user management, collaboration software and others to extend your business processes. This recommended setup is perfect for most beginner use cases.

Install the ownCloud appliance!

You can install an ownCloud server in many different ways. On our download page, you can find tarballs, packages, docker containers - and the ownCloud appliance. They all have different advantages.

This may seem overwhelming first, but if you don't know which of those installation methods is best for you, you should probably pick the ownCloud appliance. It will let you get started using ownCloud quickly and easily. You don't need any special IT skills to set it up.

To make the installation possible for everyone, we prepared this small guide. It takes you through the whole installation process in 7 steps. Grab a coffee and tackle it, then it's no big deal to set up your own cloud server.

Read the ownCloud Appliance Installation Guide: https://owncloud.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ownCloud_User_Guide_Appliance_ENG.pdf

Stay tuned! We will soon publish more posts on what else you can do with ownCloud appliances - e.g. advanced configuration options and integration of other Univention apps.

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