This guide will focus on how to install Nextcloud on Debian 10 (Buster). Nextcloud is an open-source, self-hosted file sharing server forked from ownCloud project. It enables you to store documents, pictures, Videos, Movies and any other media content in a centralized location, much like Dropbox features.

You can share stored files with your friends, teammates, or with your customers/clients. It is designed with security in mind to ensure your sensitive data never gets to wrong hands. With the sync feature, you can keep your files, contacts, calendars and more synchronized amongst your devices.

So let’s get started.

Install Nextcloud 16 on Debian 10 Buster

Nextcloud has a number of dependencies that must be installed beforehand. To give you a better experience, we will cover the installation of all the dependencies.

Step 1: Install MariaDB database server

A database server is an essential component of NextCloud. Install it on Debian 10 using the commands below.

sudo apt -y install mariadb-server mariadb-client

Secure your database installation by setting root password, disable remote root login and removing test databases.

$ sudo mysql_secure_installation 

NOTE: RUNNING ALL PARTS OF THIS SCRIPT IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL MariaDB
      SERVERS IN PRODUCTION USE!  PLEASE READ EACH STEP CAREFULLY!

In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we'll need the current
password for the root user.  If you've just installed MariaDB, and
you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): 
OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n] y
New password: 
Re-enter new password: 
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
 ... Success!


By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MariaDB without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
 ... Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
 ... Success!

By default, MariaDB comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
 - Dropping test database...
 ... Success!
 - Removing privileges on test database...
 ... Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y
 ... Success!

Cleaning up...

All done!  If you've completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

Create Nextcloud database and user:

$ mysql -u root -p 

CREATE USER 'nextcloud'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY '[email protected]$d';
CREATE DATABASE nextcloud;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON nextcloud.* TO 'nextcloud'@'localhost';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
QUIT

Step 2: Install PHP and Apache web server

We also need PHP and Apache webserver to run Nextcloud. Run the commands below to ensure these dependencies are installed.

sudo apt -y install php php-{cli,xml,zip,curl,gd,cgi,mysql,mbstring}
sudo apt -y install apache2 libapache2-mod-php

Set PHP variables to suit your use.

$ sudo nano /etc/php/7.3/apache2/php.ini

date.timezone = Africa/Nairobi
memory_limit = 512M
upload_max_filesize = 500M
post_max_size = 500M
max_execution_time = 300

Restart apache2 service:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 3: Download Nextcloud 16 on Debian 10 (Buster)

With all dependencies installed, we can proceed to download the latest Nextcloud 16 archive to our local system. Visit Nextcloud releases page to check the latest release.

sudo apt -y install wget unzip
wget https://download.nextcloud.com/server/releases/latest-16.zip
unzip latest-16.zip

Unzip the archive and move to Apache web folder and set correct ownership and permissions.

sudo mv nextcloud /var/www/html/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/nextcloud
sudo sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/nextcloud

Step 4: Run Nextcloud Web Installer on Debian 10 (Buster)

For the next step, we’ll do it on the web console. Open your favorite browser and URL http://{serverip|hostname]

Create an admin account by providing a username and password.

Set data directory – This is usually a separate partition from the system.

Also provide correct database credentials.

Click the “Finish setup” button to complete the installation of Nextcloud on Debian 10.

You will then be directed to Nextcloud admin dashboard where you can create users, groups, set Two-Factor Authentication, Email server and install additional plugins you see fit.