Disaster Today.... A series of unfortunate events (Help please guys)

Hi guys,

We've been using OwnCloud (currently on 8.1.0) for the last year or so for our business (education related).

Our customers are provided a username/password and advised to install the client on their PCs. Once logged in they see their 'assignments' in their personal area and they work their way through the various documents/assignments.

Our OwnCloud server is hosted with DigitalOcean and we haven't had any major issues over the past year. When we do get a problem it's usually due to user error on the student's part, for example they might accidentally over-write one document with another. They then call us up saying they've lost their work and we will log into the front end as Admin and simply restore the latest version of the file/document... job done!

A few nights ago however, one of our students uploaded a number of very large files to their area. Each time they edited this file and subsequently saved it, it also saved a 'version' of the file to the server, as well as the 'live' version.

Unfortunately one of these saves took our Digital Ocean account right up to it's storage limit and prevented any other users from syncing. I also noticed that my OwnCloud toolbar icon was showing a red cross, it was also inaccessible via web browser.

I logged into DigitalOcean and managed to free up a large chunk of space by deleting one of our backups from months ago that was no longer needed. This bought us back within our storage limit, but the server was still inaccessible. I tried to reboot the droplet via the console, but it was frozen and wouldn't let me do anything (I couldn't even enter the username to log in, it was just unresponsive). I therefore had to 'hard' reboot the server.

The server rebooted and immediately the OwnCloud desktop client connected and the web browser could then access the server. All was great... or so I foolishly thought...

We quickly realised that any work/changes that had been made in the last 2-3 days had been lost completely. Documents that were worked on today (08.11.2016) had reverted back to 06.11.2016...

There was no way I could see (within my limited capabilities) to retrieve the lost work, luckily not many students had used the system in this time, but one or two of them had done work and lost it.

Now i really need to make sure that this doesn't happen again. It was obviously my own stupid fault for not having robust backup systems in place.

We have a 4TB physical server here in our office, what is the best way to back up our OwnCloud data on a nightly basis to this server? I have of course read the guides on the best way to backup the owncloud data folder and database, but because we use DigitalOcean as the host I'm not sure how to actually do this. Ideally I'd like to mirror our entire OwnClioud server onto our office server.

I did once have a backup system running on this server. I used SFTP NetDrive to map our DigitalOcean server as a Network drive on our office server. I then used a generic daily backup program to back up the mapped drive daily.

I very stupidly did not keep on top of this as it didn't seem to work very well...

I know I've been an idiot guys and I know this has been asked many times before, but I can't figure out the best way to do this. Would anyone be kind (and Heroic) enough to help me?

Any advice would be much appreciated, I am of course a beginner with Cloud Technology and OwnCloud.

Thanks in advance all, I'll hang my head in shame....


currently on 8.1.0

really 8.1.0 or do you mean 9.1.0?

Hey Rancor,

Thanks for reading my essay...

It is in fact 8.1.0 :cry:


then you should really think about upgrading this far too outdated version to a recent version first before thinking about a backup strategy.

Thanks Rancor, I will do.

I set the system up last year and pretty much haven't touched it at all since then, in my Admin panel it states version 8.1.0 (stable) so I didn't fancy upgrading to a version that may not be as stable. I did look into it but I saw a lot of issue son the forum where people had experienced problems upgrading and I thought "if it aint broke don't fix it" :grimacing:

None of our documents are confidential or contain any personal data luckily, as the online assignments forms only a small part of the total process.

Which version would you recommend upgrading to? My Admin panel tells me that 8.1.9 is available, but you mentioned 9.X.X earlier, shall I go to 9 or 8.1.9?

Thanks again for your help Rancor, very much appreciated!


in this case it doesn't mean that you have the latest available version installed. It just means that you're on the "stable" update channel. You still need to watch out for stuff like:

or the release announcements of the software you're using.

The current 8.1.0 is far from being "stable" as this was the first release of the 8.1.x major releases.

To get your current installation to a sane and recent version i would go up to 9.0.6 with the manual upgrade like explained here:


When doing so make sure that you're not skipping any major releases. A correct upgrade path which you need to do is:

8.1.0 -> 8.1.11 -> 8.2.9 -> 9.0.6

All previous releases are linked here:


Thanks a lot! I'll get the update done asap!

Hi again Rancor, I have a couple of questions regarding our OwnCloud update which I'm hoping to get done this week.

1) You stated that we would need to update gradually 8.1.0 -> 8.1.11 -> 8.2.9 -> 9.0.6.

I have contacted DigitalOcean who host our Ubuntu / OwnCloud installation and they suggest we update via the Linux Package Manager

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install owncloud

Could you advise if this is indeed the best way forward bearing in mind we need to gradually update?

2) Would it be easier to install OwnCloud 9.0.6 onto a new server and just move over our config/data folders to the newer version?

3) Once we are running OwnCloud 9.0.6 will our customers still be able to use their existing Desktop Clients (2.02) or will it require updated clients?

Again, I'm very grateful for any help you can give. I just want to make sure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible, particularly after our issues last week.

Thanks very much in advance :slight_smile:


nope i can't answer this as i don't know your environment and your installation. However a rule of thumb is that you should stay with the installation method you have chosen initially.

This would be a fresh installation. It would be easier / safer but you shouldn't use the existing config and database. It would also cause that the sync clients sees all files as new files and would cause them to download all files and folders again.

Clients should always use the latest available version which is currently 2.2.4

Thanks again Rancor!

1) We initially installed it via DigitalOcean's 'One-Click Installer'...This is why I am so unfamiliar with the intricacies of OwnCloud :disappointed_relieved: Our DigitalOcean control panel states that we are running "Ubuntu ownCloud 8.1.0 on 14.04"

2) Regarding my query regarding moving over to a new installation, I guess this would be out of the question if I had to reconfigure the whole system again (set up user accounts/shares etc) But thanks for clearing that up for me nontheless!

3) Regarding our OwnCloud Desktop Clients, we have currently branded our clients (2.02) with our company logo etc, so although we are planning to make these customisations again with the latest version in the near future, for now at least will the existing clients still work with 9.0.6? (Our customers are generally only with us a for a few months, so any future users will be using the newer clients, but it would be ideal if our existing users could carry on with their current versions)

Hope that all makes sense, thanks again for all your help!


2.0.2 might work but shouldn't be used on productive environments. That client version is also most likely unsupported by the oC sync client devs.

Ok thanks very much :slight_smile: