A Copy App for Nextcloud Home Users

A copy application

Nextcloud is one of those projects that not only have nothing to envy proprietary software, but many hardware manufacturers deliver it as part of their products. It is a comprehensive cloud solution for productivity and collaborative work that can compete as equals with Google Workspaces or Microsoft 365.

Although the financing comes from the commercialization of corporate solutions, the home user or small businesses who want to take the trouble to learn how to install and manage it on their own server, can use it for free.

It is with these users in mind that the developers have just made a new ad. Nextcloud Backup, it will be a fully encrypted incremental backup solution which is not only easy to use, but offers a full feature set including a wide range of backup options and the ability to search through a backup to find individual files and folders when a full restore is not needed.

As I said before, from Nextcloud they highlighted that the software was created with home users in mind, as well as small family businesses, who will likely never become paying customers.

According to Maxence Lange, the Nextcloud software engineer who is the lead developer of the Backup app:

Businesses use powerful yet complex backup solutions to provide security for the data they share with Nextcloud.

For private users, these types of solutions are often excessive. Our new backup application offers an incredibly simple way to ensure that even in the worst case scenario, such as a total loss of a server, data is safe on a friend or relative's instance, preserving, of course, privacy through encryption.

Since writing in Addicts Linux, I have commented on a lot of projects that have a corporate version and a community version. It is the first time that any of those responsible takes care of the users of the self-hosted version.

The needs of home users are often quite different from those of large business users. Developers often believe that it is enough to comply with the license terms by publishing the code. But, many times the documentation is incomplete, out of date and difficult to understand.
It happened to me with Nextcloud (I'm not saying it's their fault) when trying to install Collabora Office or OnlyOffice. It gave me a certain error that I was unable to solve. Six months later, installing another project, I found the answer. Worse was with another open source project called Mautic. I needed to check out five different tutorials to finish the installation.

How the new Nextcloud copy tool works

With Nextcloud Backup, the user must find another trusted one who has his own Nextcloud server and ask him to create a user account for him. You can then configure the application to regularly store compressed and encrypted backups of your data on the Nextcloud server. If something goes wrong, the entire installation or individual files and folders can be recovered.

The new application, now in beta, will be available with its full functionalities with Nextcloud version 23.

Features currently available

  • Store the backups on another Nextcloud server. The other server can, but does not have to have the Backup application installed
  • Store the backups in an external storage, such as FTP, SMB, WebDAV or any other protocol supported by Nextcloud. They can also be stored on a local drive, such as a USB drive connected to the server.
  • Perform manual and / or automatic backups, scheduled in time bands
  • Store the entire Nextcloud installation, including settings, applications, and data.
  • Do incremental or full backups in the background.
  • Make compression and encryption optional (but recommended and enabled by default)
  • Export the encryption key and other configuration information to a file or clipboard for saving.
  • Show in-app notifications about backup activity
  • Exclude folders from backup if a .nobackup file is added to the folder
  • Control from the command line to find and restore individual files, initiate a full restore, or list and create backups

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