Introduction, and Getting Started

Nextcloud is a powerful productivity platform that gives you access to some amazing features, such as collaborative editing, cloud file sync, private audio/video chat, email, calendar, and more! Best of all, Nextcloud is under your control and is completely customizable. In this article, we’re going to be setting up our very own Nextcloud server on Linode. Alternatively, you can also spin up a Nextcloud server by utilizing the Linode marketplace, which you can use to set up Nextcloud in a single click. However, this article will walk you through the manual installation method. While this method has more steps, by the end you’d have built your very own Nextcloud server from scratch, which will be not only a valuable learning experience – you’ll become intimately familiar with the process of setting up Nextcloud. Let’s get started!

In order to install Nextcloud, we’ll need a Linux instance to install it onto. That’s the easy part – there’s no shortage of Linux on Linode, so what we’ll do in order to get started, is create a brand-new Ubuntu 20.04 Linode instance to serve as our base. Many of the commands we’ll be using have changed since Ubuntu 20.04, so while you might be tempted to start with a newer instance, these commands were all tested on Ubuntu 20.04. And considering that Ubuntu 20.04 is supported until April of 2025, it’s not a bad choice at all.

Creating your instance

During the process of creating your new Linode instance, choose a region that’s closest to you geographically (or close to your target audience). For the instance type, be sure to choose a plan with 2GB of RAM (preferably 4GB). You can always increase the plan later, should you need to do so. You can save some additional money by choosing an instance from the Shared CPU section. For the label, give it a label that matches the designated purpose for the instance. A good name might be something like “nextcloud”, but if you have a domain for you instance, you an use that as the name as well.

Continuing, you can consider using tags, which are basically basically a name value pair you can add to your instance. This is completely optional, but you could create whatever tags for your instance if you have a need to do so. For example, you could have a “production” tag, or maybe a “development” tag depending on whether or not you intend to use the instance for production. Again, this is optional, and there’s no right or wrong way to tag an instance. If in doubt, you can just leave this blank.

Next, the root password should be unique, and preferably, randomly-generated. This password in particular is going to be the password we will use to log into our instance so make sure you remember it. SSH keys are preferred, and if you have one set up within your profile, you can check a box on this page to add it to your instance.