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Nextcloud on Arch Linux

posted on 2021-08-06T10:10:35Z · last modified on 2021-08-10T11:57:34Z · view page on GitHub

I recently had to re-install nextcloud on my arch linux server. I decided it was time to finally document this process. It's not so difficult, but there are a lot of moving parts that need to come together.

Installing dependencies

These are all the packages you'll need to install. Go ahead and install them first with your AUR helper (like yay), we'll go over the configuration later.



Base mariadb installation

Mariadb is the FOSS version of MySQL. Install and enable as follows:

sudo mariadb-install-db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql
    sudo systemctl enable mariadb
    sudo systemctl start mariadb

This enables the mariadb service, however, it's not yet secure. Run the following to make your mariadb installation more secure:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

There's no password set for the root user, so just press enter when asked for a password. Then, choose the following options for the rest of the installer.

Switch to unix_socket authentication [Y/n] y
Change the root password? [Y/n] n
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y

config file is located at /etc/my.cnf

Then edit /etc/my.cnf.d/server.cnf and make sure the following mysqld section exists:

skip-networking = 1
log-bin = mysql-bin
binlog_format = mixed

We also need to add a compatibility flag for newer mariadb versions:


Nextcloud database

Create a nextcloud user by first starting mysql with the mysql root account:

sudo mysql -u root

Then, within the SQL prompt, create a new user called "nextcloud":

create user nextcloud@localhost identified by '<password>';

FYI, you can see all users with the following SQL command:

select user from mysql.user;

Next, create an empty database called "nextcloud":

create database nextcloud;
    grant all privileges on nextcloud.* to nextcloud@localhost identified by '<password>';
    flush privileges;

FYI, you can see all databases with the following SQL command:

show databases;

Exit the sql prompt:


For a new nextcloud installation, that's it. Your database is now correctly configured. However, when migrating your nextcloud installation from one server to another, do the following two steps as well:

First, on the old server, export your "nextcloud" database (assuming user "nextcloud" and database "nextcloud"):

sudo mysqldump -u nextcloud -p --opt nextcloud > exported_database.sql

Copy exported_database.sql to the new server.

Then, on the new server, import exported_database.sql into the newly created empty "nextcloud" database as follows:

sudo mysql -u root nextcloud < exported_database.sql

Note that this might take a considerable amount of time for large databases. However, this should be enough to set up MariaDB database correctly.



All dependencies should already have been installed in the "Install Dependencies" section. Now enable all php packages you need by editing the 'Dynamic Extensions' section in /etc/php/php.ini. Make sure the following packages are uncommented/added:

; Dynamic Extensions ;


Also, don't forget to set your timezone in /etc/php/php.ini. For example:

date.timezone = Europe/Berlin

And set the session.save_path variable:

session.save_path = "/tmp"

We also want to increase the maximum opload size:

upload_max_filesize = 25M

Finally, you'll need to set the fix_pathinfo flag:



Next, we need to improve the caching. Edit the [opcache] section in /etc/php/php.ini:

opcache.enable = 1
opcache.memory_consumption = 512
opcache.interned_strings_buffer = 16
opcache.max_accelerated_files = 10000
opcache.revalidate_freq = 1
opcache.save_comments = 1

Then increase memory_limit (somewhere in the same file) to 512M.


We also want to enable apcu caching. Add the following to the end of /etc/php/php.ini:



create /etc/php/php-fpm.d/nextcloud.conf and add the following content:

user = nextcloud
group = nextcloud
listen = /run/nextcloud/nextcloud.sock
env[PATH] = /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/local/sbin
env[TMP] = /tmp

listen.owner = http
listen.group = http

pm = dynamic
pm.max_children = 120
pm.start_servers = 12
pm.min_spare_servers = 6
pm.max_spare_servers = 18

Then edit the php-fpm service

sudo systemctl edit php-fpm

And add the path to your nextcloud data directory as follows:

# your nextcloud data directory
ReadWritePaths = /var/lib/nextcloud/data

# your nextcloud apps directory
ReadWritePaths = /var/lib/nextcloud/apps

# your config directory

Finally, enable and start the php-fpm service:

sudo systemctl enable php-fpm
    sudo systemctl restart php-fpm

Nextcloud server installation

First, edit your nextcloud configuration file at /etc/webapps/nextcloud/config/config.php. Here you can change the location of your data folder and the location where apps will be installed. The default locations are:

  • datadirectory: /var/lib/nextcloud/data
  • apps: /var/lib/nextcloud/apps

We won't be changing these locations, however make sure they match the ReadWritePaths in your php-fpm service. We should also add the following line to enable better APCu caching:

'memcache.local' => '\OC\Memcache\APCu',

This will prevent nextcloud from overriding your settings. The only way to update the settings is by editing the file manually from now on.

Finally, we want to prevent installing updates for nextcloud via pacman (we can always manually update it by explicitly reinstalling). Edit /etc/pacman.conf and add:

IgnorePkg = nextcloud


If you're reinstalling nextcloud, be sure to use your old config file!

Cron Jobs

We also need to install a cron job for nextcloud. We can do this using systemd timers.

First, create /etc/systemd/system/nextcloudcron.service:

Description=nextcloud cron.php job

ExecStart=/usr/bin/php -f /usr/share/webapps/nextcloud/cron.php

Then create /etc/systemd/system/nextcloudcron.timer:

Description=Run Nextcloud cron.php every 5 minutes



then enable and start the timer

sudo systemctl enable nextcloudcron.timer
sudo systemctl start nextcloudcron.timer

Domain name

Make sure you have a domain name associated to your ip address. If you're currently working in a local setup and do not have a domain associated with your account you can edit /etc/hosts to add a fake link between a domain and the local host. Let's assume we're using the nextcloud.example.com domain, add this to your /etc/hosts: nextcloud.example.com

NOTE: do this only if you do not have an actual domain pointing to your public ip!

Now, add this host to your nextcloud config at /etc/webapps/nextcloud/config/config.php by adding the following 'trusted_domains':

'trusted_domains' => 
array (
  0 => 'nextcloud.example.com',

You can add as many trusted domains as you want. Nextcloud will refuse to serve to any domains not in this list.

Apache config

Finally, we need to configure Apache (you can also use nginx, but in general I feel like Apache just works better and is easier to configure). Copy the default apache configuration file into /etc/httpd/conf/extra:

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/nextcloud/apache.example.conf /etc/httpd/conf/extra/nextcloud.conf

Then change the servername in /etc/httpd/conf/extra/nextcloud.conf:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName nextcloud.example.com

And add the following configuration to the end of /etc/httpd/conf/extra/nextcloud.conf:

DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
<FilesMatch \.php$>
    SetHandler "proxy:unix:/run/nextcloud/nextcloud.sock|fcgi://localhost/"

Then edit the main apache config at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:

Uncomment the following modules:

LoadModule socache_shmcb_module modules/mod_socache_shmcb.so
LoadModule proxy_module modules/mod_proxy.so
LoadModule proxy_fcgi_module modules/mod_proxy_fcgi.so
LoadModule ssl_module modules/mod_ssl.so
LoadModule http2_module modules/mod_http2.so
LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so

And include the nextcloud configuration at the end of the same file:

Include conf/extra/nextcloud.conf

HTTPS config

NOTE: this only works for actual domain names pointing to your IP address, if you hacked the hostname into /etc/hosts, this will not work

Configuring https is easiest with certbot:

sudo certbot --apache -d nextcloud.example.com

Answer the questions of the wizard and let certbot modify your apache configuration automatically. If everything went well, the nextcloud apache config at /etc/httpd/conf/extra/nextcloud.conf should now have a new section for port 443 (the https port). Add the following recommended HSTS settings to it:

<VirtualHost *:443>
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15552000; includeSubDomains"

Nextcloud should now be correctly installed!

First nextcloud connection

Now go to nextcloud.example.com and create an admin user and password and connect to the mariadb nextcloud database. Once this is finished, nextcloud is completely set up!

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