Looking for an honest comparison of OC vs NC by experienced admins

Everyone knows historically OC has been a nightmare - updates would almost always be a huge drama. Most people moved over to NC, which then slowly, but steadily stopped having all-out huge dramas, but it still has annoying, long-term bugs and their handling is exceptionally poor. New buzzword bloat and features nobody wants are added, but no care for issues with the core product most people want it for: up/downloading files and occasionally sharing links.

As it has been years, and OC switched to golang which presumably meant a full rewrite, do any of you have experience with both and would share your experience?

All we need is:

  • file up/downloading
  • link generation for sharing

I’m interested in:

  • Stability. This should be a minimal tool that I never have to worry about. There’s enough other work to do and I do not want to fret the ‘update’ button.
  • Low resource usage. The original tools that did the exact same job in the 90s used next to zero resources, even though they were written in spaghetti PHP. Somehow I can’t find something minimal these days.

I haven’t touched OC in years and would appreciate honest experiences by non-fanboys for either tool.

Thanks for anyone helping in advance!

Having run ownCloud on Debian since Squeeze, I dispute your assertion that upgrades have been a nightmare. The have either been painless or mostly painless. I migrated to a fresh install once during the past decade, due to infrastructure changes, not upgrade complications.

I can’t offer any opinion on Nextcloud. It never presented any benefit in exchange for the effort required to migrate.

I can’t comment on OCIS, either. It still lacks critical features that I use daily in ownCloud 10.


That is a bit odd. It takes one web search to find thousands of people who’d instantly get it. Guess someone had to be lucky.

When we were still running OC, update day inevitably led to drama. Maybe I should’ve waited with majors for a few minors? I always challenged the ‘stable’ release and hit update as soon as I saw it. Waiting half a year might’ve led to better outcomes.

I’d hope someone who administrated both over the years could chime in. I have a perfectly up-to-code NC in a minimal default config to compare with. One issue that OC had that NC still has is speed. It eats absurdly much res to just show a few files, even after following every optimization religiously.

If OC fixed that with the years, that’d be a reason to give it another shot. But like you, migration? Eh… Not my favorite activity.

OC 10 (PHP) will still be supported for a while. We’ve been fixing bugs for some time, and slowly adding things based on customer requests, some of them affecting core and / or public apps, so the community can also take advantage of those.
Of course, there are things that will remain to be fixed because the change is risky and could affect the whole platform. If the problem comes from a bad design, it isn’t possible to change the design without breaking things.
As long as you keep the installation within the officially supported specifications, there shouldn’t be problems. The oficial docker image can help with this. There could be minor problems on setups not widely tested, but it shouldn’t happen frequently.
In terms of resource usage, there have been improvements here and there, but I don’t think it’s low enough for you.

For oCIS (go) I can’t say much about it. It’s still under heavy development but there shouldn’t be any breaking change.
In terms of resource usage, I’d say it’s definitely lower than OC 10.
I’d say the biggest challenge is the setup. For small setups, there is an all-in-one setup which is just running a command (I think it’s recommended to have a reverse proxy in front of the server, such as traefik) but the builtin components might have performance limitations. In any case, most of them can be replaced by other ones. For example, you can use Keycloak or Authentik as idp instead of the builtin one, and have additional features coming from those providers.

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That sounds intriguing! It’d be ideal, if all the fancy marketed features were optional. (Haven’t seen it live yet, but I saw a bunch of buzzwords flying around.)

The docs don’t have a default config for nginx yet, does oCIS require anything special? I suppose there’s not a whole lot to do as it’s a single blob.

I briefly ran the docker demo, but to get past the domain trust error, one has to make a real compose and integrate it anyway, which I didn’t have time for. That didn’t seem all that unusual, though. Is there anything more complex beyond that?

What do you mean by ‘heavy development’, I thought you released stable? If we’re still talking Microsoft style ‘hey let’s just let a billion users be our unpaid testers’, then we should probably wait a few minors for evaluating.

You can give https://ocis.owncloud.com/ a try, although you’ll be limited to a regular user.

Other than requiring HTTPS connection for OIDC, I don’t think it requires anything else. There is an example of setup with traefik in Container Orchestration :: ownCloud Documentation so maybe you can translate it to use nginx instead of traefik.

For small installations I don’t think you need anything more than what is provided builtin. If it’s a big installation with thousands of users and millions of files, you might need additional services like Keycloak, access to a private read-only LDAP, etc,

Unlike OC 10, which is mainly maintenance and bug fixing (with some new features from time to time), oCIS has plans for new features that will keep coming. It’s stable in the sense that there is no plan for a breaking change, but new features are expected to be added.


Is OC 10 considered a parallel project that will be kept alive indefinitely? As it does all most would want, a rock-solid ‘boring’ PHP version is useful, too.

Thanks! First thing I notice is the speed. Of course that could just be a beefy corporate server, but it feels smoother than what I’m used to from OC historically/NC currently.

Parallel project? yes. To be kept indefinitely? unlikely.
The main focus is and will be oCIS. OC 10 will be maintained until there are customers paying for that, after that I don’t know what will happen. I’m pretty sure it will be announced when it happens, and there will be some way to migrate to oCIS.
In any case, companies usually move slow, and I don’t think they’ll want to move to oCIS until it has everything they need. We’re talking about years, but it’s impossible to give an estimation.

For new installations, I think oCIS is the way to go unless you need something other than file access (calendar and contacts are often requested but not yet implemented in oCIS).

These are personal opinions since I have no decision power. I don’t think there has been an official announcement about the EOL of OC 10, and I don’t have any info about any date.

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Their absence is why I cannot even justify the expenditure of testing OCIS yet. I use some other functions, but calendar and contacts are critical.


I greatly prefer UNIX philosophy: One tool doing one job, properly, and with dedication. There are a few calDAV servers that work reliably and on next to no resources since forever. If you’re interested, at this point, someone probably slapped one of em into docker.

radicale or Baikal come to mind. We stopped using cal/cardDAV, but baikal worked reliably with just about anything, and res usage was unnoticeable.

I’ll play with it when there’s some free time, then. Thanks for your straight forward replies without marketing bs!

Seems there’s no admin around who had both running recently. If I do set it up on the same server as NC, maybe I’ll remember to post a comparison. The historically grown PHP bloat doesn’t seem fair to compare to a newly written golang program, though. Leaves only reliability, which we’ll see over time. Since there are no ‘moving parts’ anymore, I suppose that should be better. To be honest, I don’t remember why the PHP stuff always broke/still breaks, though. It’s not PHP’s fault, and environments aren’t all that different. Guess that’s more corporate’s fault for pushing for quick profit and my fault for updating to x.0.0s. NC even has an explicit corpo release channel said to be more-stable-than-stable. That tells you what they think of ‘stable’.

And now NC pushes ‘ai’. Because that’s what you want in a filesharing tool, yup. /s

Damn, now I’d like to give oCIS a real shot, haha.

Cheers guys



i can’t say anything about NC (never had any reason to look at it because OC offered everything i need) and OCIS (i can’t migrate because i still need contacts and calendars which are provided in a responsible way by OC without having to install another software).

What i can say is that i never had any issues with updating OC since i had started to use it around OC 10.0.something a few years ago.

But i must admit that i’m only doing the manual update, disable 3rd party apps before and i’m also quite experienced with server and web app maintenance which could play a role in my good update experiences.

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I’m an admin of ownCloud and Nextcloud for some years. Both als admin and user I experience similar behaviour of both systems. At work we use ownCloud and for my private needs I’ve installed a nextcloud, because they were faster with updates. In the stable branch it seems to be the same at the moment. In both there are “apps” I’ll deactivate or add, so they are nearly the same. Regarding performance I can’t compare them because of the difference in the hardware used. So if you like minimal admin work I would stick to ownCloud because of lower frequence of updates.