If you store or track storage across lots of different places, you may have heard of ownCloud. This open source product lets you manage and share data across locations seamlessly. The project is a popular one, and there’s even a commercial service built around it.

There have been many improvements in ownCloud over the past year. However, until now if you wanted to use it on Fedora you needed source from upstream, rather than the packaged version in the Fedora repositories.
For a variety of reasons, ownCloud in Fedora has remained on the 8.0 branch since the last major upgrade in Fedora 21.

Over the last few months, a group has worked on an update path to the current 8.2.2 revision that meets standards for Fedora repository packages. This article explains what ownCloud users can expect over the next few weeks, and some of the exciting new features ahead.

Upgrade roadmap

Unfortunately there is no straight upgrade path from 8.0 to an 8.2 release. Users need to proceed in steps, migrating first to an 8.1 release. This release exists now for Fedora 22 and 23, and you can test it in the updates-testing repository:

dnf --enablerepo=updates-testing update owncloud*

Once this update reaches the standard repository, it’s important for ownCloud users to install it and migrate to 8.1. Without this step, the next update to 8.2 will not be possible without manual intervention. Once 8.1 is pushed to the stable repositories, 8.2 will be pushed to updates-testing for Fedora 22 and 23.

At a later point, there will be a Fedora package for ownCloud 9.0. Since that upstream release has only just happened, the maintainers need to review any dependency changes test builds. Once the team catches up with the current major release, we believe we can avoid similar measures in the future.

What if I miss the update?

If you fail to upgrade to 8.1 before the 8.2 packages are pushed, don’t worry. Time gets away from us all, but in Fedora the build system (Koji) and updates system (Bodhi) let us look to the past. If you miss the 8.1 update, you can use Bodhi to track the package history, and upgrade manually.

The best place to start with looking for the history of any package is in the package database. Use this web app to quickly find any packages in Koji, or updates that have been pushed by maintainers in Bodhi. The link of interest in this case is Bodhi, which provides a history of updates to the package in all distribution versions.

Find the 8.1.x update for your Fedora release (22 or 23), and download the relevant RPMs for the setup. You need to download:

  • httpd or nginx
  • postgresql, mysql, mariadb, or sqlite
  • owncloud

Then use dnf downgrade on these packages together to get back to 8.1.5 (at the time of this writing). In most cases, you can provide the list of file names for the packages you downloaded in one command line:

dnf downgrade ./httpd-<version>.rpm ./postgresql-<version>.rpm ./owncloud-<version>.rpm

You can upgrade from the existing 8.0 database to 8.1, and then continue to 8.2 as usual.

What’s new in 8.1?

ownCloud 8.1 brought some nice enhancements for Fedora users. Key features of interest include:

  • Improvements to use of Federated Cloud
  • Improvements to the documents app for built in editing
  • Major performance improvements
  • Improvements to external mount options, such as key based SFTP

ownCloud 8.1 also improved theming which may be of interest to business users.

External storage capabilities have been expanded in 8.1

The Contacts, Calendar and Documents app were moved out of the core install to the ownCloud app store. If you used any of these previously, you’ll need to enable them from the apps store interface. You’ll also need to upgrade them separately, which requires an OwnCloud maintenance and upgrade process:

# sudo -u apache php /usr/share/owncloud/occ maintenance:mode --on      
# sudo -u apache php /usr/share/owncloud/occ upgrade         
# sudo -u apache php /usr/share/owncloud/occ maintenance:mode --off

The apps interface will not enable a new app until all pending upgrades are completed.

What’s new in 8.2?

Building on the first update, version 8.2 brings several useful features, and readies Fedora users for the upcoming 9.0 update. In addition, the ownCloud maintainers extracted the last of the bundled items in the base ownCloud installation. This provides the benefit of unifying bug fixes and security updates for the affected libraries.

External storage further refined in 8.2

The slate of ownCloud 8.2 features includes:

  • Many user interface tweaks and revamps making usage more enjoyable
  • New retention options to improve administration in auditable environments
  • New notification mechanism to push out administrative information to users
  • Greatly improved performance of SMB external storage
  • Greatly improved encryption capabilities
  • New occ commands to administer configuration at a command line
Owncloud 8.2 notifications

New notifications indicator and announcement centre


How about that 9.0 release?

The focus right now is to get 8.2 out the door. The ownCloud maintainers expect that once the roadmap above is complete, there will likely be a 9.0.x point release with fixes for bugs seen by the bleeding edge users. Once we get to this point though keeping things up to date should be a simpler process.

What about enterprise Linux updates?

The team will deliver updates to EPEL 7 once they’ve all been pushed to the Fedora stable repositories and there’s been time for any dust to settle. These updates will spend a fair amount of time in epel-testing as we move through the upgrade path — and testing help is always welcome! You can get in touch with maintainers by filing a bug in Bugzilla, or contact them via their accounts (listed in pkgdb).

Since EPEL 6 is still on 7.0, an 8.0 release would have to happen before we can entertain this process. We haven’t investigated missing dependencies or any other issues yet toward this goal. It may happen, but as always there are no promises.