How to Use Owncloud Sync on Ubuntu Phone

Congrats! So you figured out the 20 steps to getting owncloud-sync on your ubuntu phone.  The problem is … now what? How do you make it work?  It took a bit of goofing around but here is what I figured out:

Sync Files

  1. Do my tutorial (if it’s not in the software center when you read this) HERE
  2. Go to ‘system settings’
  3. go to ‘accounts’
  4. then add an account and select ‘owncloud’ from the list. It will prompt you for your credentials so fill them in.

Now you have an owncloud (nextcloud works fine with it) account meshed into your phone.  Now you can actually start doing useful things.  The most exciting part, of course, is syncing calendars!

  1. go to calendar icon
  2. click that grid calendar icon in the top right area – the left most of the three
  3. add online calendar
  4. owncloud
  5. again you will be prompted for your credentials again.  enter them
  6. done. you’ll see a ‘sync in progress’ kind of notifier and boom. works.

Now you want to sync up files from your phone to your cloud.  Unfortunately the app does not yet, at the point of this post, have a ‘share to cloud’ option which is too bad.  I’m sure the feature is on the way as you read this.  For now, however, what you have to do is this:

  1. in file manager, create a dedicated ‘sync’ folder on your local phone.  you could use the folders that are already there, but in my case I needed to have a folder that did *not* sync my personal photos to my work cloud!  So I made a folder called ‘work-uploads’ on my phone
  2. open the owncloud app and in account settings choose your sync frequency. I chose 15 minutes.  I left the ‘sync on mobile data’ off because I don’t want a few gigs syncing with my mobile data..
  3. go back then go to sync folders.  for the local folder, select the one you made in step 2 above. You can also create the folder at this point by pressing the + icon, or you could select one.  If you select be sure to press the check mark in the *top right*. Not sure why but the check mark in the center confuses me…
  4. back out then in the ‘sync service’ make sure there is a file in your local folder that you made in step 2 and then press ‘sync’.  It should tell you that the sync has started.

Honestly, mine is not syncing but I bet it should be. haha  It’s definitely connecting to the cloud because I could choose the folders no problem and see all of them on my cloud.  But the files aren’t moving from my phone to the cloud now so hopefully it will work for you while I figure this out.

I think you have to follow these steps in order and not use the owncloud sync app before you add the stuff in system settings but not sure…

two theories:

  1. because i created the folders on the phone it requires root (sudo) somehow to sync.  I noticed that I cannot see the folders I created in step 2 above in the regular file manager of phone…  maybe this permission issue is restricting sync
  2. I did something in the wrong order…  calendar is working perfectly though!  weird.

To test, I went in from my laptop to the web GUI of Nextcloud to see if the file made it.  No go.  Did not.  Then I put a small file in the same directory from my laptop and sure enough the file made it to the cloud.  So the issue is definitely on the phone side… hmm… more for tomorrow..



Stuff that Matters (STM): Digital Privacy for the People

And, the ‘new series’ to compliment the new category ‘Question the Magic (QTM)’ is ‘STM’ (stuff that matters).

There is a flurry of stuff, especially in tech, flying at us. Most of that is white noise, but all of it matters because I’ve learned from people (like my ghost writer) that you are either travelling down the slippery slope to bondage under corporations and government, or freedom and civil rights.  You are on a path right now.

Today this article really caught my attention.  I already have Owncloud running in my home to make sure I have a convenient way to access my personal data.  I know this system is amazing and ‘somewhat open source’ base on my limited review of the licensing and companies behind it.  It’s by far the ‘most free’ and ‘most cool’ one out there.  I also used to use Pogoplug, but became quite concerned that although the machine was physically in my home, you had to log into the machine through the pogoplug servers…. that seemed to me at the time like the wrong path to travel.  I even hacked it and made it work with a different OS but it never worked awesome.

So what does it all do?  It’s having your own ‘cloud’ but having it safely in your house, instead of the possibly corrupt households of others like google, apple, and the like.  Right now most people are syncing their personal lives, usually unknowingly, onto computers of other people.  Everything they have said and done for the last few years is sitting on someone else’s computer.  Not good.

This new ‘team’ of a well-funded corporation like Western Digital has a lot of potential – depending on the ethics of WD.  I honestly don’t know anything about them.  The ‘corporation-meets-free-software’ relationship works very well for the free Ubuntu project with Canonical as one of it’s funding machines to make sure a good thing doesn’t fade into ‘just another good idea’ category.

If WD really gets behind owncloud, and I were the corporation of Alphabet soup, I’d be very, very concerned.

And this will tie into another ‘STM’ article that I will publish either tomorrow or the next day depending on availability of coffee.