Explain it like I'm five... replacing Dropbox with DO and OwnCloud?

I’m not a developer, I’m a writer. And not even a tech writer anymore. So I just barely understand the basics. I have looked at the wiki and not been able to figure out how to, if I can, install OwnCloud to use DreamObjects as a replacement for Dropbox.

At http://wiki.dreamhost.com/OwnCloud it tells me how to install OwnCloud. But frankly, I’m getting stuck on step two. What is the “proper domain directory”? Am I putting OwnCloud on it’s own subdomain? In a directory on my main domain? Does it matter where I install?

From there, I’m not even sure I’ll understand the rest of the instructions for recommended settings. I presume these are in the OwnCloud program and I should be able to locate them while I’m running it.

Then I have to somehow connect OwnCloud to DreamObjects. Is this going to be anything like Dropbox?

Admittedly, I’m extremely new to DreamObjects. I’m not even sure how it works yet.

So, anyone up for the challenge of trying to explain this for someone who really needs some serious help in figuring out if this is a project worth trying? Should I wait until DreamHost puts together a one-click install for OwnCloud and DreamObjects? How likely is that to actually happen?

Thanks for reading, thanks more to anyone who responds…

Let me see if I can help.

So I’m assuming you’ve downloaded the file called setup-owncloud.php to your computer.

Step 2 is simply using an FTP client to upload it to your DreamHost account. If your site is called my-site.com, you can put the file in the my-site.com directory.

In your browser, go to my-site.com/setup-owncloud.php and follow the instructions for setting it up (creating admin user, password, etc.). The default settings are fine.

The recommended settings are not strictly necessary, but will speed up and secure ownCloud.

Now we’ll configure DreamObjects with OwnCloud - http://wiki.dreamhost.com/How_to_Use_ownCloud_with_DreamObjects

Make sure you’ve enabled DreamObjects and created a bucket in the DreamHost Panel - https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=cloud.objects& Keep this page open in your browser, you’ll need the info from here soon.

Once you’ve finished the ownCloud setup steps, login and go to the apps section by clicking the “+ Apps” in the bottom-left corner. Find “External storage support” and enable it.

Now go to the Admin section by clicking your username in the top-right then clicking “Admin”.

In the “External Storage” section, enter the following info:
Folder Name: DreamObjects
External Storage: Amazon S3
Access Key: Your Access Key from the DreamObjects page in the panel ( http://wiki.dreamhost.com/DreamObjects_End_User_Guide#Keys )
Secret Key: Your Secret Key from the DreamObjects page in the panel
Bucket: Your DreamObjects bucket name from the DreamObjects page in the panel
Hostname: objects.dreamhost.com
Enable SSL: Checked
Enable Path Style: Checked
Applicable Users - Select yourself from the list

Once you’ve done that, you should see a green light meaning it connected.

Now you can download the desktop and mobile apps from ownCloud and use it similarly to DropBox http://owncloud.org/install/

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@owncloud.gjovaag.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

That’s what I get after running the install…

I’m not sure I can diagnose any further over a forum. Contact our tech support team and let them know what’s going on. I’d suggest including including a link to this forum topic too.

Here’s the link to contact support - https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=support.msg&

Your web server is not yet properly setup to allow files synchronization because the WebDAV interface seems to be broken.
Please double check the installation guides.

If I have to hassle support, I’ll probably just stick with Dropbox. I deleted the install and restarted it. This is the error message I got. Going to go look at the installation guides again. But I think this is probably too technical for me to handle at this point.

Based on some limited testing, this should just be a minor annoyance. I just setup a test configuration of ownCloud and got the same error. I then went to the main ownCloud page and logged in and I was able to upload files through the web and sync files with the desktop client. I think this error is because WebDAV is configured for Apache and ownCloud also provides its own WebDAV service.

Time seemed to fix it. I couldn’t log on immediately, but after a few days I came back to it and viola! I can log on now. Very strange. Anyway, got through part of the set up and ran into another issue. When I set up the external storage, I get this error message in the Admin panel:
Warning: “smbclient” is not installed. Mounting of CIFS/SMB shares is not possible. Please ask your system administrator to install it.

Any idea what I’m supposed to do about that? I feel like I’m just on the edge of having this working.

UPDATE: My bucket name was invalid, so changing it makes it work. I still get the smbclient error, but it doesn’t seem to be impacting my ability to use the app. Odd.

UPDATE: It’s now running smoothly. In short, my impatience may have been the major impediment to getting it working in the first place. Now I just need to figure out how to add an account for my husband so we can share like we do on Dropbox…

Ignore the smbclient error. You don’t need it — it’s only needed to connect to Windows shared folders on a local network. (That is, when the server running OwnCloud is on the same network as a bunch of Windows file servers.)

Good to know. Thank you.

This is still a little on the technical side for folks like me, but it wasn’t impossible to set up. I found a few spots during the set up that would have been a little more difficult if I didn’t have some understanding of command lines and such, but overall it’s pretty close to being something the average user could do.

A one-click install that puts in the OwnCloud server and links it to DreamObjects might be quite popular. The storage in DO is pretty cheap and I think most folks will feel like they have more control over their own data than on Dropbox or Copy.

I’m glad you were able to get it to work! I really like the idea of a one-click install to simplify the installation process. I’ll try to get that going.

I’m having a problem similar to one mentioned here. Everything works fine from the web interface, but syncing through my windows client has a ‘forbidden’ error with all files it tries to write. I imagine it is a webDav problem, however, I believe I followed the Dreamhost wiki correctly - added the four lines to my htaccess file mentioned (http://wiki.dreamhost.com/OwnCloud).

I am running on a VPS with https enforced through my owncloud admin interface.

I read a bit on other forums too, however, it is difficult to tell which apply to a Dreamhost VPS. Any help appreciated.

If you’re seeing a “forbidden” error, it sounds like it could be a bad password or maybe you need to add your user to the Applicable Users section.

I can download fine and I am using my only user, which has admin rights. Also, I only get the forbidden error when uploading from my phone or Windows pc. I can access through the web page fine with the same log in.

I see many posts on the owncloud forums (https://forum.owncloud.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7536&start=10) for this problem, but I am finding it difficult to troubleshoot on a shared vps. Have others gotten webDav to work with only following the steps listed in the dreamhost owncloud wiki?


The OwnCloud client decided to delete all my files off my computer. Thank goodness they were still sitting in DreamObjects. As it was, I nearly had a heart attack. Now it’s downloading all my files from DreamObjects… all the files that it deleted for no apparent reason… and repopulating my computer.

What the heck? Maybe this thing isn’t really ready for primetime yet.

You’ve found the forum post that I was going to point you to - that’s really the best resource I’ve found for troubleshooting webdav issues with ownCloud. I do know that ownCloud provides it’s own WebDAV module that can conflict with Apache’s WebDAV module. So if you’ve enabled WebDAV for your site, you’ll need to disable it for the ownCloud directories.

I did some testing and saw similar errors in the Admin section on a fresh install. Looking at the log in the admin section of ownCloud, I saw this:

I think this is ownCloud not being able to connect to itself. Everything seems fine when I connect to http://<mysite.com>/owncloud/remote.php/webdav

I’m also able to connect with the desktop client without any problem too.

I don’t know if that’s helpful, but it’s a little more information for you.


We have been doing a lot of maintenance over the past few weeks to upgrade the DreamObjects storage cluster which would have caused temporary outages. What I believe to be happening is that ownCloud sees that DreamObjects is unavailable, but reacts like the data has been removed. It then performs a syncs and deletes the data from your computer. This sounds like a bug in ownCloud. I don’t know why they would treat an unavailability even the same as a response of “you’ve reached the right place but there are no files.”

You may be right in that ownCloud isn’t ready for primetime. I would suggest something like Strongsync - http://wiki.dreamhost.com/How_to_Use_Strongsync_with_DreamObjects

I got my webdav uploads to work! It was an htaccess issue. I added

#<Directory /your/docroot> <Limit GET POST OPTIONS PROPFIND PUT DELETE MKCOL MOVE> Order allow,deny Allow from all </Limit> <LimitExcept GET POST OPTIONS PROPFIND PUT DELETE MKCOL MOVE> Order deny,allow Deny from all </LimitExcept> #</Directory>
I commented out the Directory directive because I wasn’t sure what it referred too (I took that right from the ownCloud forum). I added it to the htaccess file in my ownCloud directory. Please drop a reply if you think this could compromise my site in any way. I have a deny at the root of my site.

I know this thread is a bit old, but I wanted to report that there has been some movement on GitHub regarding the ownCloud bug where data was removed from the client machine when storage was temporarily unavailable. You can follow the progress on GitHub - https://github.com/owncloud/core/issues/11149

I think this thread is old, but I would also like to suggest a one-click install for owncloud for dreamobjects. I’m also not a tech and think this would be an incentive for folks like us to use and stay with dreamobjects. Great idea, but not I don’t feel it’s as easy to implement like say Google Drive or Dropbox.


I provided instructions for easily installing OwnCloud and configuring it to work with DreamObjects in the other thread that you posted in: https://discussion.dreamhost.com/thread-147768-post-189279.html#pid189279