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OwnCloud is a great dropbox/ubuntuOne/GoogleDrive alternative. Gives you the power to run your own server without having to worry about others controlling your data. I also think the features of owncloud are better than most of the other services. This article will explain how to install ownCloud on a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server.

As of the date of writing this OwnCloud didn't offer good documentation for an install on Ubuntu 12.04. This is a in-depth explination of how to get OwnCloud running on Ubuntu 12.04 using mysql and not sqlite (although we will still sqlite if you want to use that instead).


OwnCloud has a few requirements. Run the following commands to setup prerequsits. Note that apt-get has different requirements that stated on OwnClouds Documentation. Also you could install OwnCloud using apt-get install -y owncloud but that would currently get you the 3.0 version not the 4 or 4.5 version.

sudo su
apt-get install -y lamp-server^ 
apt-get install -y apache2 php5 php5-gd php-xml-parser php5-sqlite libcurl3-dev php5-curl libsqlite0 unzip sqlite-doc libsqlite0 mp3info sqlite unzip zip

Now I like to set my apache server's fully qualified domain name.

vi /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
ServerName ownCloud
service apache2 restart

OwnCloud recommends you use the .htaccess file to change the PHP upload_max_filesize, but I prefer to set it globally (as I usually run atrium, gallery3 or other apps on the same server).

sudo vi /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
#Change the following line to something like:
upload_max_filesize = 200M
service apache2 restart

Even though I don't use htaccess for the max filesize we should still enable the use of htaccess.

a2enmod headers rewrite
service apache2 restart

Setup MySQL Database

I want to use MySQL for the install instead of sqlite, so I'll setup a database and user now.

mysql -u root -p
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON owncloud.* to 'uowncloud'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'owncloudpass';

Please change owncloudpass to your own unique password, you may also change the user to whatever you want.

Install OwnCloud

Now that we have all the requirements in place, I'm going to set things up a little differently than OwnClouds default setup. I'm going give owncloud a home outside my /var/www so that I can store the code in git and have the files non publicly accessable.

mkdir /owncloud
cd /owncloud
mkdir files sql scripts
touch README.txt
tar -xjf /owncloud/owncloud-latest.tar.bz2
mv owncloud public
rm owncloud-latest.tar.bz2
chown -R www-data:www-data public/
chown -R www-data:www-data files/

This is where I usually git init, but not everyone uses git so you can figure that out yourself.

We are also going to be running owncloud from a domain and not an IP so we have some further Apache configuration to do. Setup a new apache virtual host.

cd /etc/apache2/sites-avaiable
vi owncloud

Place the following in the file and change the $domain to your domain

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerName $domain
  DocumentRoot /owncloud/public/
  ServerAdmin [email protected]$domain
  <Directory /owncloud/public/ >
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    allow from all
  ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error_$domain.log

Save and close, then enable the site. If you have your DNS pointing to your server you can now visit your $domain (in my case If you don't have DNS setup you can set your /etc/hosts file and continue with the installation.

a2ensite owncloud
serivce apache2 restart

Run Setup

Now open your browser to your owncloud install and run the setup, where you will create an admin account, choose your data folder and setup your database. I set the data folder to /owncloud/files even though the htaccess should suffice for apache. (I'm keeping public in git for easy updates too).

That's it your all ready to go.