File store/ sync/ share with Nextcloud

Nextcloud is the Faculty's private cloud file sharing and storage system. All files are stored on campus in two locations. It is available via NetID to all Engineering faculty, students, and staff.

Using the ownCloud web client

Sharing files and folders with ownCloud

Installing the ownCloud sync client for Windows

Installing the ownCloud sync client for Mac OS


Contents

Using the Web Client

Most of the features of Nextcloud, like folder sharing and file transfer, are done through the web interface.

  • Access it at https://myfiles.engineering.queensu.ca
  • Authenticate with your campus NetID credentials (not your Faculty credentials, the one you would use for PeopleSoft). If you have trouble connecting check your NetID first and make sure you can log in there.
  • Check the "remember" option only for private computers as it will save your userid and password and allow anyone else with access to that computer full access to your files stored in Nextcloud.
  • Adding Files : to add files to your Nextcloud storage you can drag and drop them anyone on the screen or onto a particular folder. Or click the up arrow icon at the top of the list and choose a file via the normal file dialog.
  • Create a folder by clicking the "New" button in the upper left and choosing "Folder". Type a name. Folders can be renamed and dragged into other folders to create a storage hierarchy.
  • Move files by dragging them onto a folder.
  • Search for files using the search box in the upper right corner.
  • Rename files or folders by hovering over the row containing the file and choosing the "Rename" option that appears.
  • Delete files or folders by hovering over the row containing the file, then clicking the "X" icon at the right end of that row.
  • Restore deleted files by clicking the "Deleted files" button in the upper right corner of your screen. Files or folders you have deleted using the web, desktop sync, or mobile clients will appear here. Restore them to your Nextcloud storage by hovering over the item and choosing "Restore". Not every file is kept forever. See this documentation for specific details about the undelete capabilities.
  • To permanently delete a file click the "X" while in the "Deleted files" area to remove all copies from the Nextcloud system - you will not be able to restore after taking this action.
  • Download a file by clicking its name or choosing the "Download" link. Your browser will implement it's normal interpretation of certain file types. For example, if you have a PDF viewer installed it will display PDF files, otherwise they will download to your computer as usual.
  • View previous versions of a file by choosing the "Versions" link. Nextcloud supports simple version control. Versions are created with the desktop sync clients when you modify a file and save it back to the same location in your Nextcloud folder. From the web client you can see versions available and download versions other than the current one. Note that not every version of every file is stored. See this documentation for specific details.
  • Sharing : for details on sharing files and folders see below

Sharing Files and Folders with Others

  • To share files and folders with others access the Nextcloud web client
  • Share a file by clicking the Share option on its row.
    • If the recipient is in the Faculty start typing their name (i.e. "brian") and choose from the pop-up list that appears. By default, internal users are given read-only permission to the file. You can give them expanded permissions by hovering over their name and clicking the down arrow icon. With the checkboxes grant or deny permission to edit (change the file and replace it), delete the file, and share it with others.
    • If they are not in our Faculty, click the "Share with link" button and a URL will appear. You can copy this URL and send it to the recipient, or enter their email address and click Send and ownCloud will send them the link. External users only have read-only access - they can download the file, but not change your ownCloud storage in any way.
  • Optionally, choose "Password protected" to require the recipient to enter a password before accessing. Choose "Set expiration date" to set a date after which the share will no longer work (the file will still be in your storage but the recipients will not be able to access it).
  • Stop sharing a file by clicking the Share option on its row. Remove all names from the list and turn off "Share with link". The file will no longer be accessible to others.
  • Share a folder the same way you share a file (above). Note that any permissions you apply to the folder automatically apply to all files and folders inside it. If you share a folder with an external person, using a link, they will be able to download all files in that folder.

Installing the Desktop Sync Client

The Faculty cloud file sharing and storage system allows you to keep a synchronized copy of all your files on any Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. 

To download the software:

  • Log into the web client , click your name in the upper right corner, and choose "Personal".
  • At the top of the page click the button labelled "Desktop App".
  • On the following page, click the "Download" button appropriate for your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux).
  • Once the file has downloaded, launch it by double-clicking and follow your computer's standard installation process.
  • After the install is complete, run the ownCloud app. It will launch the Connection Wizard to set up the system. The connection string for the server is
 https://myfiles.engineering.queensu.ca
  • You use the same campus NetID credentials as you used to log into the web site.
  • The final option chooses whether to keep any existing data folder (from a previous install) and merge it with your server storage, or erase the existing folder and begin a new sync. The first option is almost always the correct (and safest) one.
  • Once the client is running in the background of your system, open the ownCloud folder that has been created (usually inside your local home folder). Your files and folders from the server will be downloading to your system. Depending on the size of your data store and your network connection speed this might take less than a minute to over an hour, however it will run in the background without interfering with your use of the computer.

Any changes you make to the local data store (adding files, renaming, moving into folders, deleting) will be sync'd up to the server, and back down to any other devices you have the Desktop Client installed on, normally within a few seconds.

Mapping a drive to ownCloud from Windows 7

WebDAV is a open standard for connecting to file shares. It can be used to map a drive in Windows 7 to your ownCloud file storage. This is appropriate for virtual desktops and other systems where it doesn't make sense to create a local copy of the files with the Desktop Client. WebDAV connections are fast and transfers are made in real-time, not in the background. However they won't work when there is no network available.

How to create a WebDAV mapped drive in Windows 7

  • Copy the following URL: https://myfiles.engineering.queensu.ca/remote.php/webdav/ 
  • Click the Start button on your Windows desktop 
  • Right-click "Computer" (on the right-hand list) and choose "Map Network Drive..." 
  • Paste the URL 
  • Check the boxes to "Reconnect at logon" (this will save the information so the drive will remain mapped on your system) and "Connecting using different credentials" (because ownCloud uses your campus NetID and the computer is logged in with your Faculty ID) 
  • Click Finish 
  • Enter your campus NetID and password to connect 

Your ownCloud storage will appear and you can use it like any local storage - delete, rename, create folders, drag files and folders in or out. All changes will be made immediately to your ownCloud server storage. 

To perform other ownCloud functions like sharing, return to the web client . 

Creating a public upload folder

Using our ownCloud file storage service you can create a place for others to send you files, even people outside of our organization. This could be useful when you need to receive files from one or more people, particularly if the files might be quite large and trigger email limitations.

How to allow anonymous upload in ownCloud

  • Log into the web client
  • Create a folder anywhere in your ownCloud storage (click the "New" button and choose Folder). Name it anything appropriate to you and the sender, like "Upload here".
  • Find the new folder in the list and click its "Share" button
  • Click "Share with link"
  • Copy the URL that appears below
  • Click "Allow public upload"
  • Optionally check "Set expiration date" and enter a date after which this folder will no longer accept uploads
  • Send the URL you copied to anyone who should be able to upload to this folder via email, social media, etc.

Be aware that anything uploaded is counted against your ownCloud quota.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What does it cost to use ownCloud?

We provide 5 GB of storage to each undergraduate student, and 25 GB to each staff and faculty member. Additional storage is available at the rate $1/GB/year, billed annually.

Is ownCloud replacing any existing file storage, or on top of what we are already using?

For the moment it’s going to supplement the existing file servers, but our plan is to eventually move everyone over to ownCloud as their sole storage area. It would be a lot easier for you if everything was in one place. You can go ahead and copy things over anytime you like.

Mobile

Do the mobile apps cost money?

The Android and iOS (Apple) apps are $0.99. You can find the links to purchase them by logging into ownCloud. Click your name in the upper right corner and choose "Personal". At the top of the page you will find buttons that link you to the Google Play store or the iTunes store.

Is there an app for Blackberry?

At the moment is no specific mobile app for the Blackberry platform.

WebDAV

What is WebDAV?

WebDAV is an open standard for connecting various mobile and desktop systems to file shares. ownCloud supports most WebDAV implementations.

Can I use WebDAV to map a drive to ownCloud on my computer?

Yes, you can map a network drive in Windows or the Mac to your ownCloud storage. To find the correct URL, log into the ownCloud web client, click your name in the upper right corner, choose Personal, and look for the WebDAV section. The correct URL is listed there.

Using WebDAV rather than the ownCloud Desktop Client is appropriate for situations where your computer will always be connected to our campus network, and you don't want to keep a separate copy of your files on your local drive. WebDAV avoids the background processing task required by the Desktop Client software.

Can I use WebDAV to access my ownCloud files within apps like Notability or iThoughtsHD?

Many mobile apps support WebDAV as a way to import and export files from your device. Generally you will need to configure the app with the proper connection URL (see the section above, "Can I use WebDAV to map a drive").

Note that some apps don't implement the correct WebDAV standard and return an error. Please let us know when you find one of these and we will attempt to get it working. However we can't promise that every WebDAV implementation will function correctly.