Install NextCloud on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP and Let’s Encrypt SSL

This post shows you how to install NextCloud on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP and Let’s Encrypt SSL support. NextCloud is a fork of OwnCloud. Like DropBox and other cloud storage services, NextCloud and OwnCloud provide similar functions and unlike the others, they both are free to use.

Both are open source software that enable private cloud services on users’ own servers. OwnCloud and NextCloud are self-hosted file sync and share app platforms and with them you can access & sync your files, contacts and data across your devices.

In today’s environments, NextCloud is frequently being installed with SSL/TLS encryption so that all traffic to and from the platform is protected over HTTPS. This is a great way to secure your data on NextCloud.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users steps to install and configure NextCloud on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 Servers their own environment.

To get started with installing NextCloud, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2

NextCloud requires a webserver to function and the most popular webserver in used today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Next, run the commands below to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Step 2: Install MariaDB

NextCloud also requires a database server to function.. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • 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

Restart MariaDB server

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

NextCloud also requires PHP to function. To install PHP and related modules run the commands below

sudo apt install php php-common libapache2-mod-php php-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-soap php-apcu php-smbclient php-ldap php-redis php-gd php-xml php-intl php-json php-imagick php-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl

Step 4: Create NextCloud Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create NextCloud database.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called nextcloud

CREATE DATABASE nextcloud;

Create a database user called nextclouduser with new password

CREATE USER 'nextclouduser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON nextcloud.* TO 'nextclouduser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download NextCloud Latest Release

Next, visit NextCloud site to download your free copy. The community edition is what you’ll want to download.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the download file into Apache2 root directory.

cd /tmp && wget https://download.nextcloud.com/server/releases/nextcloud-11.0.1.zip
unzip nextcloud-11.0.1.zip
sudo mv nextcloud /var/www/html/nextcloud/

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for NextCloud to function.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/nextcloud/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/nextcloud/

Step 6: Configure Apache2

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for NextCloud. This file will control how users access NextCloud content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called nextcloud.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com
  
     Alias /nextcloud "/var/www/html/nextcloud/"

     <Directory /var/www/html/nextcloud/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
          <IfModule mod_dav.c>
            Dav off
          </IfModule>
        SetEnv HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
        SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the NextCloud and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite nextcloud.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod headers
sudo a2enmod env
sudo a2enmod dir
sudo a2enmod mime

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

STEP 9: OBTAIN AND CONFIGURE LET’S ENCRYPT SSL CERTIFICATES

Now that the NextCloud configuration is done, continue below to get Let’s Encrypt installed and configured. Let’s Encrypt now provides a Apache2 module to automate this process. To get the client/module installed on Ubuntu, run the commands below

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

After that run the commands below to obtain your free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate for your site.

sudo certbot --apache -m admin@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

After running the above commands, you should get prompted to accept the licensing terms. If everything is checked, the client should automatically install the free SSL/TLS certificate and configure the Apache2 site to use the certs.

Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

Choose Yes ( Y ) to share your email address

Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about EFF and
our work to encrypt the web, protect its users and defend digital rights.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

This is how easy is it to obtain your free SSL/TLS certificate for your Nginx powered website.

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Pick option 2 to redirect all traffic over HTTPS. This is important!

After that, the SSL client should install the cert and configure your website to redirect all traffic over HTTPS.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://example.com and
https://www.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=example.com
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.example.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2018-02-24. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

The highlighted code block should be added to your Apache2 NextCloud site configuration file automatically by Let’s Encrypt certbot. Your NextCloud site is ready to be used over HTTPS.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com
  
     Alias /nextcloud "/var/www/html/nextcloud/"

     <Directory /var/www/html/nextcloud/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
          <IfModule mod_dav.c>
            Dav off
          </IfModule>
        SetEnv HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
        SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =example.com [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =www.example.com
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

</VirtualHost>

A new configuration file for the domain should also be created named /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud-le-ssl.conf. This is Apache2 SSL module configuration file and should contain the certificate definitions defined in it.

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com
  
     Alias /nextcloud "/var/www/html/nextcloud/"

     <Directory /var/www/html/nextcloud/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
          <IfModule mod_dav.c>
            Dav off
          </IfModule>
        SetEnv HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
        SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf

</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name followed by install. You should see NextCloud setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

https://example.com

You should then see NextCloud setup page.. Connect to the database using the information you created and continue. Select the database server installed on your systems by clicking it as shown in the image below

nextcloud ubuntu installation

 

Click Finish setup and you’re done.

Enjoy!

nextcloud ubuntu setup

 

Congratulations! You have successfully installed NextCloud on Ubuntu `17.04 / 17.10 with Let’s Encrypt support.

To setup a process to automatically renew the certificates, add a cron job to execute the renewal process.

sudo crontab -e

Then add the line below and save.

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

The cron job will attempt to renew 30 days before expiring

Enjoy!

You may also like the post below:

Install NextCloud on Ubuntu 17.04 / 17.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP