NextCloud LMS Update

This is for everyone who has been patient enough for the upcoming course of the LMS.

I went round and around to prepare a way for the full NextCloud Hub that will act as a dedicated, personal cloud server. The reason was that I did not want to go via the “easy” method, which would be otherwise limiting. Most of the ready-made solutions just offer the basics, without much option for expansion.

What I wanted to do was to do a - by default - a root installation using the official repositories that would make the update and expansion process a breeze.

I ended up cycling and installing between the following distributions:

  • Debian 11
  • CentOS Stream 9
  • OpenSUSE Leap 15

After going around, I reverted to the Debian, which was a full success. The reason I gave it up the first time was its inability to offer collaborative office work. This I resolved in the last run.

What it now needs is to prepare the edit and the comprehensive titling so that you don’t get lost in there. The setup is a challenge for any beginner, but once it’s done, the updates will be a breeze.

So, what you will get from the upcoming LMS Course are:

  1. The full implementation of the NextCloud Hub
  2. The Hub will sit on your Domain Name, which means you can have it accessible from everywhere
  3. Full SSL implementation for secure communications
  4. Two Factor Authentication for extra security on the online world
  5. Collaborative process of documents with multiple users
  6. The full MariaDB Database, which is production-ready for multi-users and multi-devices (the “easy” solutions come with a simple database setup which is not recommended for many users)
  7. Social Networking with chat, comments, and video calls from within the Hub
  8. Access to the numerous applications from within the Hub, including project management, reminders, etc.
  9. The ability to incorporate existing email accounts directly into the Hub itself.

Naturally, the NextCloud Hub is gigantic, so I couldn’t go through all the details and options it offers. You can still experiment with the settings and the apps yourself. However, once you have it setup, I highly recommend you install TimeShift and create a snapshot the instant that your NextCloud works.

Additionally, I include instructions on how to prepare your home router to direct incoming traffic to your server via port forwarding. No SSH will be available outside your home, unless you decide to open up an extra port. A firewall will be redundant, but I’m including it nonetheless. When you use it to shut down the ports, it shuts your NextCloud to the outside world.

This entire setup is not for a VPS, though it can also be applied to it. This is a full home or work environment setup for your business.

5 Likes

Hi Vasileios,

As a replacement for Google Business Workspace or Office 365, is NextCloud the best open source option? Are there any other app suites you like that contain document, spreadsheet, calendar, and email capabilities?

1 Like

Hey @dotedus,
The short answer is yes to most, except email. For the last one, a separate setup will be needed. This is also doable, but it’s the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that comes into play here. For residential Internet services, the providers block the SMTP (send-mail protocol) ports, so you can’t use a local mail server, unless you contact them and they unblock those ports.

However, NextCloud will allow you to import and sync other email accounts. On LMS, we have such a course to build a full server on a VPS (Virtual Private Server), that also includes a mail server.

On the rest, you can see the answer below: :wink:


And they do allow for full collaboration on all documents between multiple people.

It all depends on how you decide to set up your firewall.

1 Like

And a document example I just created for testing.

NextCloud Update

I recently re-recorded a new version of NextCloud that takes all steps on-camera, so that you guys can get the real steps in real time. Currently, the entire course is on editing and I expect it to be online soon. Also, for those who participate and set up their personal cloud, I intend on creating a live-stream to answer any questions you may have. I’ll post the details here in due time.

2 Likes

I know I teased everyone quite a bit with NextCloud.

The good news is that it finally be live tomorrow, Wednesday, July 6th on the LMS.

For those interested, take things easy and if you get lost, remember, there’s a full PDF guide with every step imaginable available too.

3 Likes

Hi Vasileios,

A bit confused on how to get to the LMS courses. Do you go to the TalentLMS website and sign up for a plan to get access to Jeff.Pro LMS? Have looked at the Jeff.pro site and searched the forum but cannot seem to find the proper steps.

Thank you in advance for any guidance on how this works,

1 Like

It begins!!

Gathering the parts for the NextCloud build. My desk is a bit of a mess at the moment! lol

3 Likes

It’s a project worth doing! I picked up a $660 desktop and turned it into a dedicated server. I ran the entire course on it, live. Ever since, it has become my full-time cloud. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hey @ckpiv and welcome to the forums!
The LMS is a subscription-based model that Jeff runs ($20/month). It has, as of today, 62 courses and workshops recorded and also runs weekly live workshops every Saturday.
I believe he opens up seats every month for it. The sign-up address is the following:
https://learn.jeff.pro

However, I’d first send an email at support@jeff.pro to be on the safe side. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Once you install the phone app, you will be also getting these messages. All updates are done with a click of a button, so it’s very convenient once configured. :smiley:

1 Like

@vasileios will any of these work? I am partial to the third one but I am not sure if I can add two 4TB NAS drives to it. any help would be appreciated.

1 Like

Vasileios,

Thanks for the link on where to start.

1 Like

Hey @BigDaveAZ!
The $142 one is ideal for you. The only thing I’d add in there is a smaller SSD and keep its HDD for the NextCloud data. Remember to format the HDD with the BTRFS system. You may need to install the BTRFS capability on Debian, which is done by executing:

sudo apt install btrfs-progs -y

This filesystem is awesome when it comes to catching possible errors and prevents against Bit-Rot, so your files are safer and your drive has a longer lifespan.

Also, if your budget allows, grab a second HDD that’s 4TB or more (it can be external), which you can use to keep an additional backup copy of your cloud data. One thing to keep in mind - which I found out - is that NextCloud does initiate its own backup and versioning process, so you will have extra safety for your files. :smiley:

My nextcloud server is up and running! Now I just have to figure out how to use it!. Thanks Vasileios for such a detailed and awesome experience! I can’t wait to get good at using it. (I’m already thinking of faster and bigger in the future! lol)

3 Likes

This is awesome, @Dan! :partying_face:
Congratulations on getting it done!
If you go to the apps, you will see a plethora of options there. Some may need some libraries installations (like facial recognition for your photos), but everything is basically doable via the apt install - which is why I selected the “raw” type of installation.

Also, now you can install NextCloud on your phone and tell it to copy your photos to your cloud. Initially it will take a while, depending on how many you have.

Another nice part is the Talk app that NextCloud has. That’s your chat, call, and video chat. There’s an app for the phone too, though I think it’s only for Android and iPhone for the time being.

Notice below how Talk allows for voice and video calls:
photo_2022-07-12_00-09-34

From there on, you can create accounts for family and use Talk to chat completely securely. Note that it’s your NextCloud server that handles the chat and calls, not some third party. :wink:

That’s just a few things from a large range of activities that you can do. :smiley:

1 Like

IMPORTANT UPDATE
One of our Admins noticed a typo I had in our Guide PDF on our Learning Management System (LMS).
That typo was a missing “slash” / that should have separated the php with the 7.4.

For those who have downloaded the PDF Guide, please re-download it, as it now also includes additional tips and information at the end (now 30 pages total).

1 Like

@vasileios So no need for a RAID setup? It will be good to go with just an SSD for the NextCloud? And the HDD will be good for the data? Or should I get a 2 TB HDD to setup a RAID array?

Hey @BigDaveAZ!
A RAID-1 (2 HDDs) will always give you more safety when it comes to your data. The general recommendation I offer is the following:

  • SSD as your system drive
  • HDD (2TB or more) for your data storage
  • HDD (2x or bigger for the backup of the HDD)

If you set up a RAID-1, then you don’t need the extra backup HDD - as the RAID will offer you enough protection as it is. You’ll just need the 2xHDD drives to be NAS grade and of equal capacity. The NAS are basically built to last.