Looking for a self-hosted file share tool



  • Here are the requirements and use case.

    We want to be able to give anybody access to a folder where they can upload files to us. Sometimes these files will be large, like videos.
    The folders should be created as needed and only the person we give it to should have access. So Bob is given his Bob folder where he can create any number of subfolders and upload files to us as required. Then Jill is given her own folder, etc.

    On the backend, on our side, we should be able to see all the folders as one big drive, able to manage the files, download them, or even move them around.
    We should be able to quickly find the latest uploaded files and know who uploaded what and when.

    I know OwnCloud or NextCloud are top products in file sharing, they are on my list to test.

    I am currently testing something called ProjectSend.

    A few things I don't like about it though; it seems to store every file in a single /upload/files/ folder. Everything from all users just dumped in here with no subfolder structure. I don't even know what they do when multiple users upload files with same filename.
    There is no way to tell who uploaded what when browsing over SFTP for example.
    And in the backend interface, there is no way to select multiple files to download at once, which is really odd to me. This means when some client uploads stuff, there is no way to find just these files over SFTP, and if I look them up in the backend, there is no way to download them all at once.

    Another feature that would be very handy is the ability to create a upload drop where people can send us files on the fly without having any kind of account. Basically I just want to give them a link, and the link will open a page with an upload box. Later I can expire or delete the link.

    Essentially I'm trying to make it as easy and painless as possible to give our people some place to upload files to us. No account registrations, licensing/payment models, no fuss, no special software to install. Just a web page to upload stuff to us. At most, a user/pass if they will be working with us ongoing.
    And on the backend, we want to see all the files organized meaningfully so we can browse as if it were all just one folder, and be able to quickly copy those files to our workstations as needed.

    Most cloud drive tools focus all their energy on sharing things OUT, but rarely have I found one that easily allows to pull things IN. Out of 15 cloud drives I've run, only one allowed for an upload feature where I could have people send things to me. The whole purpose of what I'm looking for is to make it easy for people to send to me, not the other way around.



  • This is exactly what we use Nextcloud for. We used to use Citrix ShareFile, and our users are having no problems with Nextcloud since the initial setup kinks were fixed (all of which were my fault 😭 )

    Edit: we don't share nearly as much "out," as we do receive files from our customers.



  • @bnrstnr
    Good to know. Can you set up anonymous upload drops or does each user need an account?





  • I use this functionality rarely in Nextcloud, but I do use it. It works well.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    Good to know. Can you set up anonymous upload drops or does each user need an account?

    Here are all the options. Yes, you can have anonymous uploads.

    https://i.imgur.com/XGsVM6H.png



  • What would you say NextCloud most resembles as far as a commercial product? Can it directly replace everything done by Dropbox, and/or Box, and/or Google Drive, OneDrive, etc?

    I am also migrating us off Box and originally was going to use OneDrive because we have Office365 until I learned that shared folders in OD can't even sync to computers, making it 100% useless as a file share tool.

    So along with this public uploading file share project, I'm also wanting to replace Box and OneDrive with a better company file share system.

    My biggest fear is self-hosting, I just don't want maintenance and support issues, I want things to be extremely robust, this is a twitchy company that tends to explode when our apps/services don't work right.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    What would you say NextCloud most resembles as far as a commercial product? Can it directly replace everything done by Dropbox, and/or Box, and/or Google Drive, OneDrive, etc?

    Yes.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    My biggest fear is self-hosting, I just don't want maintenance and support issues, I want things to be extremely robust, this is a twitchy company that tends to explode when our apps/services don't work right.

    I believe you can pay for hosted service, with support, too, if you prefer.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    What would you say NextCloud most resembles as far as a commercial product? Can it directly replace everything done by Dropbox, and/or Box, and/or Google Drive, OneDrive, etc?

    Yes, it does everything you'd expect from a big commercial service.



  • @bnrstnr said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    My biggest fear is self-hosting, I just don't want maintenance and support issues, I want things to be extremely robust, this is a twitchy company that tends to explode when our apps/services don't work right.

    I believe you can pay for hosted service, with support, too, if you prefer.

    Yup, that's not hard to find.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @bnrstnr
    Good to know. Can you set up anonymous upload drops or does each user need an account?

    We use this, it's awesome.



  • You can get hosted, here is a list from the nextcloud site.
    https://nextcloud.com/providers/



  • I typically use VULTR, and they have it as a default app so I just ran that. Installed without a hitch on Ubuntu 16.04.
    Did some initial configuring and a couple users. Now uploading a few gigs of some of our files.

    Anything I need to know about running this? Troubleshooting common issues? Ways to make it perform better? Tricks or tips?

    Note that our users don't use the web interface, I couldn't pay them enough to make them use a web interface for file management. All that matters is how robust the windows sync tool is.



  • Until recently we used Vultr and Fedora for NC and it worked well. RAM was tight for sure, though.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    Until recently we used Vultr and Fedora for NC and it worked well. RAM was tight for sure, though.

    $5 box on VULTR is 1GB now. You think we'd stretch that with about 12 users and moderate activity on mostly Word/Excel files of about 13GB total?



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @scottalanmiller said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    Until recently we used Vultr and Fedora for NC and it worked well. RAM was tight for sure, though.

    $5 box on VULTR is 1GB now. You think we'd stretch that with about 12 users and moderate activity on mostly Word/Excel files of about 13GB total?

    Oh you are looking at the non-storage units?

    Yeah. It'll struggle but work.



  • @scottalanmiller Interesting. Well if that's the case I just bump up to the $10 plan. Still cheaper than any other service charging $5 to $10 per user.

    I tried to give Turnkey Cloud a try and boy was that a joke.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @scottalanmiller Interesting. Well if that's the case I just bump up to the $10 plan. Still cheaper than any other service charging $5 to $10 per user.

    At 1GB of RAM, even with swap space added, I found it often failing to be able to update. 2GB should be perfectly fine, though.

    We have it with 12GB now, but we aren't using nearly that much.



  • I've put nodequery on it to monitor resource use, it'll alert me if anything goes above 80%. I'll be curious to see how it behaves as I add the users onto it.



  • With all our files uploaded, and just me and my test laptop connected, it's using about 360MB RAM.



  • This is a CentOS 7 VM with 2 vProcs and 3GB RAM.
    Using Remi to get PHP 7.1

    All users have the sync client installed on their computer. This is not accessed any other way, generally.

    0_1523992298312_785bada0-7936-40c4-bf08-2e37d4b6e7fa-image.png

    0_1523992441678_adaebc68-c253-4906-a9ae-f4009cd72d6a-image.png

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    0_1523992586752_d706f042-d0e0-4595-bf83-380f76a3941d-image.png



  • @jaredbusch

    Using Remi to get PHP 7.

    Just as a heads up, that’s in the CentOS SCLo repos so you don’t need any of the outside repos any longer.



  • @stacksofplates said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch

    Using Remi to get PHP 7.

    Just as a heads up, that’s in the CentOS SCLo repos so you don’t need any of the outside repos any longer.

    Doesn’t that required the named PHP install though?



  • @jaredbusch Cool! 120 users connected and yet it reports about 800MB RAM. Mine is on PHP 7.0.28, MySQL 5.7.21, Ubuntu 16.04. That makes me feel a little better.

    As many file sync tools I've tried over the years, the top most important feature becomes stability. As long as the thing keeps syncing, keeps accurate, then I'll deal with the rest.

    You'd be surprised how quickly I get myself into trouble.

    I found this app for "Group Shared Folders" so that I could have a master share that everybody uses, seemed like a good idea at the time. But then I found out the deleted folder (trash can) doesn't work on group shares.

    I created another admin user to act as a master account that I could put a share in for the whole office. Then I used the NC web interface to move all the files from the group share into the new share. This seemed to work fine.

    On my test workstations, I had turned off sync so I could move the files locally as well, I want to avoid using a ton of bandwidth if I can help it.

    When I turned sync back on, it seemed to go just fine until I noticed in the web interface that most every folder was duplicated! Lots of files appear duplicated as well. But this doesn't translate to Windows, I only see one copy of everything.
    When I open the sync client, the duplicates are seen in the folder selection tree.

    Now it gets weirder. When in the web UI, if I click the share icon on one of the duplicate folders/files, the duplicate magically disappears, just by viewing share info in the sidebar. But if I refresh the folder or click on the folder name, once again all the folders/files reappear as duplicates. This is freaking bizarre. Kinda goes against my need for a stable and robust system.



  • @jaredbusch said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @stacksofplates said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch

    Using Remi to get PHP 7.

    Just as a heads up, that’s in the CentOS SCLo repos so you don’t need any of the outside repos any longer.

    Doesn’t that required the named PHP install though?

    Umm, I don't remember off hand. You could be right.



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch Cool! 120 users connected and yet it reports about 800MB RAM. Mine is on PHP 7.0.28, MySQL 5.7.21, Ubuntu 16.04. That makes me feel a little better.

    As many file sync tools I've tried over the years, the top most important feature becomes stability. As long as the thing keeps syncing, keeps accurate, then I'll deal with the rest.

    You'd be surprised how quickly I get myself into trouble.

    I found this app for "Group Shared Folders" so that I could have a master share that everybody uses, seemed like a good idea at the time. But then I found out the deleted folder (trash can) doesn't work on group shares.

    I created another admin user to act as a master account that I could put a share in for the whole office. Then I used the NC web interface to move all the files from the group share into the new share. This seemed to work fine.

    On my test workstations, I had turned off sync so I could move the files locally as well, I want to avoid using a ton of bandwidth if I can help it.

    When I turned sync back on, it seemed to go just fine until I noticed in the web interface that most every folder was duplicated! Lots of files appear duplicated as well. But this doesn't translate to Windows, I only see one copy of everything.
    When I open the sync client, the duplicates are seen in the folder selection tree.

    Now it gets weirder. When in the web UI, if I click the share icon on one of the duplicate folders/files, the duplicate magically disappears, just by viewing share info in the sidebar. But if I refresh the folder or click on the folder name, once again all the folders/files reappear as duplicates. This is freaking bizarre. Kinda goes against my need for a stable and robust system.

    I have no clue WTF you are doing.

    But it sounds like your browser shit.

    Look at your data store directly.

    If it is all good and it still looks bad in a new porn mode browser, then have it rescan the files from the command line.



  • @jaredbusch said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @stacksofplates said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch

    Using Remi to get PHP 7.

    Just as a heads up, that’s in the CentOS SCLo repos so you don’t need any of the outside repos any longer.

    Doesn’t that required the named PHP install though?

    Yes, it gives you all versions so you do have to specify.



  • @jaredbusch said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch Cool! 120 users connected and yet it reports about 800MB RAM. Mine is on PHP 7.0.28, MySQL 5.7.21, Ubuntu 16.04. That makes me feel a little better.

    As many file sync tools I've tried over the years, the top most important feature becomes stability. As long as the thing keeps syncing, keeps accurate, then I'll deal with the rest.

    You'd be surprised how quickly I get myself into trouble.

    I found this app for "Group Shared Folders" so that I could have a master share that everybody uses, seemed like a good idea at the time. But then I found out the deleted folder (trash can) doesn't work on group shares.

    I created another admin user to act as a master account that I could put a share in for the whole office. Then I used the NC web interface to move all the files from the group share into the new share. This seemed to work fine.

    On my test workstations, I had turned off sync so I could move the files locally as well, I want to avoid using a ton of bandwidth if I can help it.

    When I turned sync back on, it seemed to go just fine until I noticed in the web interface that most every folder was duplicated! Lots of files appear duplicated as well. But this doesn't translate to Windows, I only see one copy of everything.
    When I open the sync client, the duplicates are seen in the folder selection tree.

    Now it gets weirder. When in the web UI, if I click the share icon on one of the duplicate folders/files, the duplicate magically disappears, just by viewing share info in the sidebar. But if I refresh the folder or click on the folder name, once again all the folders/files reappear as duplicates. This is freaking bizarre. Kinda goes against my need for a stable and robust system.

    I have no clue WTF you are doing.

    But it sounds like your browser shit.

    Look at your data store directly.

    If it is all good and it still looks bad in a new porn mode browser, then have it rescan the files from the command line.

    haha, what does that mean?

    Like I said, I originally did a "group share", this is a feature via a plugin.
    When the features of a group share didn't work out, I went back to just having a regular share owned by a user.
    In the web interface, I selected all the files in the group share and used the "move" link to move them into the new share.
    Maybe I'm going mad but this seems like a pretty standard operation, move some files and folders from one share into another??

    But now all those folders/files appear duplicated.

    What are the magic commands to force things to rescan at the command line?



  • @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @guyinpv said in Looking for a self-hosted file share tool:

    @jaredbusch Cool! 120 users connected and yet it reports about 800MB RAM. Mine is on PHP 7.0.28, MySQL 5.7.21, Ubuntu 16.04. That makes me feel a little better.

    As many file sync tools I've tried over the years, the top most important feature becomes stability. As long as the thing keeps syncing, keeps accurate, then I'll deal with the rest.

    You'd be surprised how quickly I get myself into trouble.

    I found this app for "Group Shared Folders" so that I could have a master share that everybody uses, seemed like a good idea at the time. But then I found out the deleted folder (trash can) doesn't work on group shares.

    I created another admin user to act as a master account that I could put a share in for the whole office. Then I used the NC web interface to move all the files from the group share into the new share. This seemed to work fine.

    On my test workstations, I had turned off sync so I could move the files locally as well, I want to avoid using a ton of bandwidth if I can help it.

    When I turned sync back on, it seemed to go just fine until I noticed in the web interface that most every folder was duplicated! Lots of files appear duplicated as well. But this doesn't translate to Windows, I only see one copy of everything.
    When I open the sync client, the duplicates are seen in the folder selection tree.

    Now it gets weirder. When in the web UI, if I click the share icon on one of the duplicate folders/files, the duplicate magically disappears, just by viewing share info in the sidebar. But if I refresh the folder or click on the folder name, once again all the folders/files reappear as duplicates. This is freaking bizarre. Kinda goes against my need for a stable and robust system.

    I have no clue WTF you are doing.

    But it sounds like your browser shit.

    Look at your data store directly.

    If it is all good and it still looks bad in a new porn mode browser, then have it rescan the files from the command line.

    haha, what does that mean?

    Like I said, I originally did a "group share", this is a feature via a plugin.
    When the features of a group share didn't work out, I went back to just having a regular share owned by a user.
    In the web interface, I selected all the files in the group share and used the "move" link to move them into the new share.
    Maybe I'm going mad but this seems like a pretty standard operation, move some files and folders from one share into another??

    But now all those folders/files appear duplicated.

    What are the magic commands to force things to rescan at the command line?

    Did you close all browsers tabs and then start a new private browsing session? To ensure your browser was not just showing cached data.


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