Install NextCloud on Ubuntu Server 16.04

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Author: Etienne Barrier

Preliminary notes

This tutorial shows how to install NextCloud on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server, using MariaDB (as for database) and Apache 2 (as for web server).

This tutorial does NOT show:

  • how to install/configure databases other than MariaDB (although MySQL can be considered the sane)
  • how to install/configure web servers other than Apache2 (for example Nginx)
  • how to use NextCloud

It is assumed that you are already familiar with the basics of Linux command line terminal commands. But this tutorial is made so that you can copy paste the commands to your terminal.

Commands that must be entered in terminal with Bash shell start with a dollar sign "$". Terminal's outputs do not start with dollar sign.


$ echo I Love You  # This is a command
I Love You         # This is an output

All commands in this tutorial are made as root. You must be root or be able to use "sudo" command to install and configure Nextcloud.

Commands that must be entered for MariaDB start with greater-than sign ">".

Depending on the versions you use, the commands and/or the path shown in this tutorial might be different.

Tools' versions used in this tutorial:

  • Nextcloud (version: 11.0.1)
  • Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial)
  • MariaDB (version: 10.1.21)
  • Apache 2 (version: 2.4.18)
  • Php (version 7.0)

The version of Nextcloud used (version 11) is referred as “Nextcloud” across the tutorial.

This tutorial is based on the following tutorials:

For any comments, please write to ebarrier {at] itcollege [dot) ee.

What is the final state this tutorial reaches?

This tutorial's objective is to have Nextcloud installed on a Ubuntu server using the aforementioned tools.

The installation of tools will be done from the command line.

The installation of Nextcloud will be done from command line and web interface.

Nextcloud will be accessible from the main page of the webserver and https protocol will be enabled and forced.


MariaDB is a database server that was forked from MySQL. It is free and open source.

Install MariaDB

We install MariaDB directly from its package repository.

Note: Nextcloud's official documentation [1] installs MariaDB with the command apt install mariadb-server. Experience showed that this package does not work properly and leads to troubles later. Therefore the present instructions for installing MariaDB differ from Nextcloud's.

Import the key to the package repository and add it to the package source list (added in /etc/apt/source.list).

$ apt install software-properties-common
$ apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8
$ add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64] xenial main'

Then update the packages list and install mariadb.

$ apt update
$ apt install mariadb-server

When the wizard asks whether to set up a root password, it is important to set it and to remember it!

Once installation finishes, check that MariaDB is running:

$ systemctl status mariadb

IMAGE MariaDBRunning

MariaDB secure installation

MariaDB secure installation [2] is a script that enhances the security of MariaDB. It is highly recommended to run it.

$ mysql_secure_installation

The first question of the wizard is to enter the root password that was chosen in the previous step. Enter it.

The second question asks whether we want to change the root password or not.

For all next questions, press Enter ("Yes" by default).

Create user and database for Nextcloud

Create a dedicated user and database that will be used by Nextcloud during its installation.

Note: Nextcloud's official documentation [3] uses MariaDB's root password during its installation to set up the database (see below). In the present tutorial, a Nextcloud's dedicated user is created to avoid to enter the root password later (for security reasons).

First enter MariaDB as root:

$ mysql -u root -p

When prompted, enter the root password (we told you to remember it!).

Note: database statements (commands) do not need to be capitalize. But the semi-colon in the end is important, they are part of the statement.

Create the database (define your own database name; "nextcloud" in our example):

> CREATE DATABASE nextcloud;

Then create a user with its password (define both your own; "arold" and "salakala" in our example respectively) and grant all rights to it to the newly created database ("nextcloud" in our example).

> GRANT ALL ON nextcloud.* to 'arold'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'salakala';

Save the changes and exit.

> exit

Apache and PHP

Install the other tools Nextcloud will need (Apache2 web server, PHP 7 and its modules):

$ apt install apache2 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-gd php7.0-json php7.0-mysql php7.0-curl php7.0-mbstring php7.0-intl php7.0-mcrypt php-imagick php7.0-xml php7.0-zip

Make sure the following Apache modules are enabled:

$ a2enmod rewrite
$ a2enmod headers
$ a2enmod env
$ a2enmod dir
$ a2enmod mime

Already enable the SSL module and its default site configuration:

$ a2enmod ssl
$ a2ensite default-ssl

Restart Apache to apply all these changes:

$ service apache2 restart


Donwload Nextcloud

Download Nextcloud's archive use wget:

$ wget''version''.''file-extension''

Check from Nextcloud's installation page the exact link's target to use.


$ wget

Check Nextcloud's archive integrity

Check that the archive's integrity by comparing its checksum.

Download the checksum file:

$ wget''version''.''file-extension''.sha256

Check that the downloaded archive matches the checksum file:

$ sha256sum -c nextcloud-''version''.''file-extension''.sha256 < nextcloud-''version''.''file-extension''

If it matches, the terminal will display OK.

Install Nextcloud

Extract the archive depending on its extension:

$ tar -xjf nextcloud-x.y.z.tar.bz2


$ unzip

This will extract one single directory called "nextcloud".

This extracted directory will be used by the web server.

As for Apache, we can move it to /var/www (document root of Apache).

$ mv nextcloud /var/www

Create the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud.conf with the following content:

Alias /nextcloud "/var/www/nextcloud/"

<Directory /var/www/nextcloud/>
  Options +FollowSymlinks
  AllowOverride All

  <IfModule mod_dav.c>
    Dav off

  SetEnv HOME /var/www/nextcloud
  SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/nextcloud

This configuration makes the Nextcloud web application available at the address http://yourDomainOrIp/nextcloud

Then enable this configuration file:

$ a2ensite nextcloud

Reload Apache to apply all these changes:

$ service apache2 reload

As screenshot below shows, Nextcloud is visible in a browser at the address http://yourDomainOrIp/nextcloud, but Apache needs to access its directory.

IMAGE siteEnabled

To fix this, make Apache the owner of Nextcloud's directory:

$ chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/nextcloud/

At the address http://yourDomainOrIp/nextcloud the following screen should appear:

IMAGE installWebWizard

Set strong directory permissions

To make the application more secure, Nextcloud provides a script which sets strict directory permissions.

This step must be done once Nextcloud has been installed otherwise some permissions will not be as recommended [4].

Create a temporary file that will hold the script to execute:

$ nano /tmp/

Copy and paste the following code into the file.


printf "Creating possible missing Directories\n"
mkdir -p $ocpath/data
mkdir -p $ocpath/assets
mkdir -p $ocpath/updater

printf "chmod Files and Directories\n"
find ${ocpath}/ -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0640
find ${ocpath}/ -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0750
chmod 755 ${ocpath}

printf "chown Directories\n"
chown -R ${rootuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/apps/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/assets/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/config/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/data/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/themes/
chown -R ${htuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/updater/

chmod +x ${ocpath}/occ

printf "chmod/chown .htaccess\n"
if [ -f ${ocpath}/.htaccess ]
  chmod 0644 ${ocpath}/.htaccess
  chown ${rootuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/.htaccess
if [ -f ${ocpath}/data/.htaccess ]
  chmod 0644 ${ocpath}/data/.htaccess
  chown ${rootuser}:${htgroup} ${ocpath}/data/.htaccess

Then run it:

$ bash /tmp/

The terminal should output:

Creating possible missing Directories
chmod Files and Directories
chown Directories
chmod/chown .htaccess

Set up Nextcloud from graphical installation wizard

This set up will finish to install Nextcloud from your browser.

From your browser, go to http://yourDomainOrIp/nextcloud. The following screen should appear:

IMAGE installWebWizard

  • "Create an admin account" section asks to create the credentials that will be used to manage Nextcloud's administrator web interface.
  • "Data folder" section shows the path of the directory where the Nextcloud's content (files uploaded by users) will be stored. It is recommended to store the data in a folder sitting outside the web server's path for safety reasons. But in case of Apache, the default folder (var/www/nextcloud/data) is considered secure with the strict directory permissions set up previously.
  • "Configure the database" section asks for the settings of the database to use. Enter the values you chose when creating the database in a previous section.

Once filled-in, the screen looks like this (enter your own values):

IMAGE webSetup

Finally Nextcloud is installed accessible

IMAGE pageAfterinstall


While on http://yourDomainOrIp/nextcloud, there can be errors. Here the most probable ones with their fix.

Database access denied

If the following message appears:

Error while trying to create admin user:
Failed to connect to the database:
An exception occured in driver:
SQLSTATE[HY000][1045] Access denied for user 'arold'@'localhost' (using password:YES)
Nextcloud accessDenied.png

The solution is to re-enter the commands to grant all privileges to the user for the database we created earlier. The values "arold" (user name) and "salakala" (user password) are just for example. Choose your own.

> GRANT ALL ON nextcloud.* to 'arold'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'salakala';

Do not forget to apply the changes before exiting.

> exit

Binlog_format error

If the following message appears:

An unhandled exception has been thrown: exception ‘PDOException’ with message 'SQLSTATE[HY000]: 
General error: 1665 Cannot execute statement: impossible to write to binary log 
since BINLOG_FORMAT = STATEMENT and at least one tableuses a storage engine limited to row-based logging. 
InnoDB is limited to row-logging when transaction isolation level is READ COMMITTED or READ UNCOMMITTED.'

IMAGE binlogFormat

Uncomment and change the line BINLOG_FORMAT = ROW in the database configuration file (/etc/mysql/my.cnf) and set its value to BINLOG_FORMAT = MIXED.

Then restart the MariaDB:

$ systemctl restart mariadb

Trusted domains

For security reasons, Nextcloud have a (white)list of URLs that are allowed to access it.

If the URL used is not whitelisted, the following message will appear:

You are accessing the server from an untrusted domain.
Please contact you administrator. If you are an administrator of this instance, configure the "trusted-domains" setting in config/config.php. An example configuration is provided in config/config.sample.php.
Depending on your configuration, as an administrator you might also be able to use the button below to trust this domain.

IMAGE trustedDomains

The solution is to click the buttong "Add [domain] as trusted domain" or to add it manually in the file /var/www/nextcloud/config/config.php:

'trusted_domains' =>
  array (
    0 => '',
    1 => '',
    2 => '',

See also


  1. [1] Nextcloud's official documentation - Linux installation
  2. [2] MariaDB secure installation
  3. [3] Nextcloud's official documentation - Database set up from graphical wizad
  4. [4] Nextcloud strong directory permissions