ownCloud (beta)

ownCloud is an opensource answer to Dropbox. It provides universal access to your files through a web interface, a dedicated desktop client, and mobile devices. The framework also provides an easy way to share files amongst others within the department or even access for external users.

By default, every faculty, staff, and graduate student have no quota. Undergradutates are limited to 5GB worth of storage.

Web Client

Point your favorite browser to our web interface at https://sync.cs.brown.edu/, then log in with your username and LDAP credentials.

Beta NOTE: During beta testing we have not necessarily scaled up the web interface infrastructure appropriately, so you may experience some lag until we are done with testing an have deployed the necessary amount of hardware.

Desktop Client

Most users will likely want to install a desktop sync client. This desktop client will automatically sync one or more folders on your local machine to the our servers. The client has already been installed on all departmentally managed Linux machines - we are in the process of rolling it to Windows desktops.

For personal machines, you can download an appropriate client from the ownCloud Desktop Sync Cilents page. Once you download the client, configure it to use:

    Server address: https://sync.cs.brown.edu
    Username:         <your departmental username>
    Password:          <your LDAP password>

Beta NOTE: After entering server information, you will need to tell ownCloud to trust our SSL certificate. We are still trying to figure out how to get the application to trust certificates signed by InCommon.

By default, the setup process will configure the desktop client to sync a local directory called ownCloud, located in your home directory, with a server side sub-directory called clientsync. After setting up and syncing your first desktop client, you will see the clientsync sub-folder appear in the web client. Anything you place in the local ownCloud directory should appear in the clientsync sub-directory in the web client and vice versa.

Once the client is up and running, you will see a notification icon (a grey cloud image) showing the current syncronization status. You can right click on this notification icon to perform additional configuration steps, add new folders, or view the current status of the sync process. The notification icon will also change depending on the state of the sync process, providing you with a quick way to verify whether your local files have been synced with the server.

Sharing Files with Others

Files Shared with You

When other users share files with you, they will automatically appear in a special Shared folder in the web client. If you want to sync this special folder using the desktop client, you need to:

A word of caution... It is very convenient and most likely of interest for most users to sync this Shared folder. However, when you are syncing this folder, it is theoretically possible for other users to fill your drive. If other users share a large amount of data, your computer(s) will dutifully sync away until they use up all your local hard drive space.

Sharing Your Files

All shares must be managed via the web client. If you hover over a folder or individual file, you should see a Share option appear. Clicking on this will bring up a dialog box asking you to configure the share. There are two different ways you can share files with other users:

If you have previously shared a folder or individual file and want to revoke access, you can use this same share dialog. Simply click on the X to the right of the access you wish to revoke.