Getting Started Guide - Nextcloud

Getting Started Guide for Nextcloud

 

Introduction

Nextcloud is an application designed to facilitate access, sharing and collaboration across your data sets. There are several interfaces available for accessing data through Nextcloud:

  • QRIScloud’s Nextcloud web server: a web-based interface to your storage, with the ability to configure connections to a wide range of storage repositories
  • Nextcloud desktop application: a client application interface, which can be easily downloaded and installed, that enables folder synchronisation between your data and local computer.
  • Nextcloud mobile application: a mobile client, available through various App Stores, for your smart phone.

Security considerations

There are two security considerations to be aware of prior to using QRIScloud’s Nextcloud service:

  1. The Nextcloud service is a web service, and as such, the webserver has access to all of the connected storage repositories. In the unlikely event where security is breached and someone gains unauthorised access to the webserver, they would be able to access all connected data stores. This security consideration is true of all web-based services.
  2. User credentials for any external storage repositories that you make available through Nextcloud are stored in encrypted form in a local database associated with the service. Again, if someone gains unauthorised access to the web server and database, they may be able to see your encrypted account credentials, with the potential for them to be exposed through a brute-force attack.

Your use of QRIScloud Nextcloud service is predicated on you acknowledging and accepting these risks.

 

Logging in

To use QRIScloud’s Nextcloud service you will need to register for a QRIScloud account and generate your QRIScloud Service Access Credential (QSAC). To register for your QRIScloud account, simply click the “Account” link on the QRIScloud website: https://www.qriscloud.org.au and complete the registration form. Once you are logged in, you can generate your QSAC by clicking on the "MY CREDENTIAL" link in the menu and then clicking on the "Reset password" button.

 

The web server interface for QRIScloud's Nextcloud service can be accessed at https://nextcloud.qriscloud.org.au/

You can login with either:

  • your QRIScloud Service Access Credential (QSAC), or
  • via the Australian Access Federation (AAF) with your institutional credentials (click on the AAF button).

 

Main screen

 

Note: Both the desktop and mobile applications require you to login using your QSAC, as they are not enabled for AAF logins.

 

Once you are logged in, you will be presented with your home screen and any connected extenal storage repositories.

 

User screen

 

Configuring External Storage

Once you have logged in, you will need to configure External Storage in order to access other storage repositories through the Nextcloud interface.

QRIScloud is working on enabling the automatic mounting of your Collection Storage, however, this is not yet available for the trial service.

To configure external storage click on your username (top left corner) and choose “Personal”

 

Screen Shot 2016 11 18 at 2.14.31 PM

 

This screen lets you configure various options for your account, including External Storage.

 

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You can navigate by clicking on “External Storage” using the menu in the left-pane, or scroll down the page until you locate the External Storage section. It is in this section that you can begin to configure connections to different storage repositories. For each external storage connection you define:

  • a folder name
  • they type of connection required
  • authentication credentials
  • settings, such as sharing

 

Screen Shot 2016 11 18 at 2.18.08 PM

 

 

Connecting to your QRIScloud Collection

For the time being, your QRIScloud collection(s) can be made available to Nextcloud via an SFTP connection.

You will need the following to complete the configuration of the connection to your Collection:

 

Screen Shot 2016 11 18 at 2.21.25 PM

 

  • Folder name: A short name to use for the folder that defines this extenral connection
  • Host: data.qriscloud.org.au
  • Root: The path to your collection (or sub-directory that you wish to make available through Nextcloud), for example: /data/Q0999/share
  • Username: Your QSAC username
  • Password: Your QSAC password

 

Once these have been successfully entered, a connection to your Collection is made, and will be available on the Home screen as a Folder using the name you configured for the Collection. In the above example, it would be QRIScloud_Q0999.

 

If you wich to be able to share files/folders from this External Storage location, you can click the settings "cog" to the left of the "bin" and click on the "Enable sharing" check box. With sharing, you can share with other users or create a link to the shared file/folder.

 

Connecting to your AARNet CloudStor account

Access to your AARNet CloudStor storage is configured by selecting the WebDAV option for this External Storage connection within Nextcloud. 

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To complete the configuration, you require:

  • the URL address for your CloudStor account
  • your CloudStor username (email address for your AAF account)
  • your password (institutional password that you use for logging in to CloudStor

 

To get the URL, you need to log into CloudStor. In the bottom left corner of browser is a WebDAV link.

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Click the link to display the URL that you will need to use. Copy this value to paste into the URL field to configure your External Storage connection.

Screen Shot 2016 11 23 at 3.18.03 PM

 

If you are not sure which email address to use for the username field, simply click on the "My Account" link in the top-right of the window to have this shown in the resulting account page.

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You now have all the information required to complete the configuration within Nextcloud to be able to see your CloudStor storage.

 

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Connecting to your Dropbox account

Access to your Dropbox account is described in the Nextcloud documentation at the following link: Dropbox External Storage

 

Connecting to your Google Drive account

Access to your Google Drive account is described in the Nextcloud documentation at the following link: Google Drive External Storage

 

Connecting to your Amazon S3 account

Access to your Amazon S3 account is described in the Nextcloud documentation at the following link: Amazon S3 External Storage

 

Connecting to your Nectar Object Storage allocation

Access to your Nectar Object Storage allocation requires the following information:

  • External Storage selection: OpenStack Object Storage
  • Service name: Object Storage Service
  • Region: Melbourne
  • Bucket: The name of a Container within your Nectar Object Storage allocation
  • Username: Your email address associated with your AAF/institutional login
  • Password: Your Nectar password, as set in Settings
  • Tenant name: The Nectar tenant name where your Nectar Object Storage allocation has been provisioned
  • Identity endpoint URL: https://keystone.rc.nectar.org.au:5000/v2.0/

 

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About QRIScloud

QRIScloud is a large-scale cloud computing and data storage service.  It is aimed at stimulating and accelerating research use of computing across all disciplines. 

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QRIScloud @
QCIF Ltd
Axon building, 47
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Qld, 4072

Contact us through the QRIScloud support desk, or email support@qriscloud.org.au

 

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