I’ve been using Nextcloud since its first release in 2016. It has been fun to watch it grow and improve over all these years. I sometimes hear people complain about how difficult it is to maintain, or it breaking and such. However for me, 8 years later, it has been incredible and put up with a lot from me.

I started using Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi 2 with a 32GB flash drive for storage, a Raspbian 8(?) LAMP stack. Then I got the Nextcloud Box and upgraded it to 1TB storage, then moved to an Ubuntu 16.04 server in an LXD container, then to a FreeBSD 11.1 server in an iocage jail, changed from Apache2 to nginx, changed from MariaDB to PostgreSQL, upgraded hardware again in there, moved it to a hand-spun jail, and now to today. I have run it on all sorts of configurations and over all of it, it has worked. Until recently.

Over time, I have watched the scope of Nextcloud grow broader and broader. I don’t blame them though. It is a great one stop shop and pluggable. However, I have recently seen core parts of Nextcloud languish. With Nextcloud 25, Photos 2.0 was released. And it was a horrible launch. Every feature that was touted in the marketing was entirely broken. It really took until Nextcloud 27 for it to feel adequate, but still not impressed. In 28, Files got a facelift. However, still, core functionality is broken. When creating new files/folders it just sticks with "New Folder" or whatever, requiring extra clicks, even having to go to the "Rename" option to rename it from the default, where before I could just create new and type the name. I can no longer download files in bulk. It pops open a new tab and does nothing. The nextcloud client only seems to behave well for me with kwallet, and does not work with any other secret service for me. I noticed that there were multiple issues open on GitHub, all of which had received 0 developer response.

I have been seeing a trend. A focus on new shiny features with big promises and hugely under delivering. I can never trust E2EE after its debut years ago, Guests was a promised feature at one point that still does not exist, all their efforts to polish existing core software has left them in a condition with all sorts of bugs at release. Really, a release that should not have happened at all. I am experiencing too many bugs today to be comfortable with Nextcloud like I had been for years. So, it is time I consider new pastures.

So, Onto What?

I really only use Nextcloud for a small set of things:

  • Files

    • Sharing with people on the server, and via public links

    • Versioning

    • Desktop sync client

  • Photos

    • Syncing from my phone

    • sharing with friends/family

    • Allowing family/friends WITHOUT accounts to upload

    • Albums

  • CalDAV/CardDAV

  • Kanban (kinda)

So, all my options aren’t 100% solidified, but here is where I plan on going.


If I didn’t do file sharing, I would have gone with syncthing. I used it for a long time before I switched to Nextcloud. Maybe I will look at it again, but I also have to consider that I am wanting strangers to possibly have an upload spot without installing a client, as well as sharing with family on the server. I don’t think Syncthing does any of this, but it also has been many years since I looked at the project.

Really, I see myself possibly using Owncloud OCIS. It does files. Done. Neat. The UI is familiar too. I’ve poked at it with a stick over the years, and I have a feeling it is good enough for me to do this job. Hopefully the desktop client is still good.


If you’ve read my posts, you’ll probably know that I have basically 0 Linux servers in my house. It’s FreeBSD or OpenBSD (or maybe even SmartOS soon, time will tell). I’m not AGAINST Linux, I just like running those operating systems from a management and design perspective. However. I was recommended Immich. Even worse, it basically requires I use something like Docker which 99% of the time I refuse to even consider using…​.but Immich struck that 1% chance. It is still in active development and they have warning signs saying thar be dragons. But I have ZFS snapshots to save the day if something goes south.

Immich is just…​awesome. It does everything I wished Nextcloud could do, but couldn’t. I don’t like Nextcloud albums. I like Memories, but one fatal flaw has been that album sharing and all that really requires being on a computer. I tried making it a PWA on my phone, it didn’t bode very well. Immich still has some work to be done for it to be that golden program for me, but it is so good that I am pressing on. I’ll be writing soon about migrating from Nextcloud to Immich. It isn’t easy. But I will make it work!


This was THE feature that got me onto Nextcloud in 2016. I noticed a project called Radicale, and I will be using that. No one in my family uses the Nextcloud Calendars app (which, also has had all sorts of problems, forgot to mention that). We use our phones or Thunderbird to manage calendars. So this will be easy to replace.


I use Deck. Deck is awesome. But I don’t need it. In fact, where I do use it is on the work’s Nextcloud server, and I am all good with keeping my server at work on Nextcloud. It has served its purpose for us very well there.

Moving Onward

Nextcloud has served me very well over the years. I still don’t know if I will be dropping Files and Cal/CardDAV for other software. I also have to consider my family who has also been using this. I also have to consider my own time managing all this. But I think I am ready to move on.

The last bit I am interested in possibly is setting all this up with a Keycloak server. Only Radicale doesn’t seem to support some sort of SSO, but they suggest I can do this at the web server level. This could be that nice "bow on top" piece here, but I may not care either, since I have all my family using password managers.

So yeah, let’s see where this goes. I have another post lined up on my migration from Nextcloud photos → Immich experience. I actually started with that before this post, but I have more to add to that.

#100DaysToOffload #Post9