Creating a public Nextcloud service

Public use nextcloud service incoming

I’m a seasoned admin and developer, and decided I need a way to give back to the community I love so much. I use nextcloud for 99% of my data sync, on a private instance, and decided why not make a public one since I know I can manage it well?

Note This is invite only right now, but want to be transparent about everything.

What it’ll offer

  • To start, 1 GB of space for file syncing for free;
    • Will have Patreon tiers for larger storage amounts
    • Not 100% set on Patreon yet, let me know if you have other/better suggestions
  • All sorts of nextcloud apps installed and configured by default;
    • Will take requests, if you can justify it;
  • Integrations to other services;
    • github, gitlab, matrix (via element app)
    • login via openid, google, amazon, facebook, twitter, github, discord, qq, slack, telegram
      • these aren’t set in stone, and I’m just looking at the list of providers in the “social providers” app :smiley:

If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know. I’d like this to be a community effort in general, although I’ll be paying the costs.

Hardware and Software

  • Bare metal server, hosted by OneProvider in Montreal, Canada.
    • OS: CentOS 8. Will be keeping this until it’s not supported
    • CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1245 V2 @ 3.40GHz (8 cores)
    • Memory: 32 GB
    • Storage: 3x2tb hard disks, striped LVM for performance
      • Since the data isn’t stored on the disks (just the app on configuration), regular backups of that makes backups and restores easy
    • Network: 10gbps card, limited to 1gbps egress (shared, fair use) at data center
  • Stack:
    • Podman containers (all on same machine):
      • Nextcloud: Docker Hub
      • Postgres: Docker Hub
        • Will be moving this to external host at some point
        • Will be load-balanced and replicated when going public
      • Redis: Docker Hub
        • Should this be moved to a new server as well?
    • Data storage:
      • Wasabi object storage
        • Alternative to AWS
        • Cheaper to run at $5.99 USD per month per terrabyte
    • Backups:
      • Borg as backup system
      • Currently saving to my home server, which then get’s sync’d to wasabi as an offline storage location.

Checklist before going public - Help me add to this

Load balanced and replicated Postgres database
Setup automation for allowing people to join
Configure Patreon or another provider to help pay for it - Not required for free usage
Security audit in some form (metasploit?)
Terms of Service - Need help. I’m not a lawyer
Privacy Policy - Need help, I’m not a lawyer

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Link to my request for help in making a privacy policy - Help making a privacy policy

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I like this. Really cool way for people to experience the amazingness that is NextCloud

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That was my thought, but I would like some help filling out the checklist and features that would be a good balance.

btw, if you want to mention anywhere that I’m asking for help with a community nextcloud service, that would be great. Really want this to be a thing, and I don’t want to be the only one excited for it.

That is super generous of you! I really would be afraid though of potential legal issues. . . good thing we got a good community here! Maybe keep it invite only and use some method to see if the user is in good standing?

You could have tiers, like at $1 a month they get access to collabora or something

I want to have a good TOS document, that removes liability from me, and allows me control to delete accounts who don’t solve an issue that is reported to them.

First of all, I salute your efforts, @stobbsm. :slight_smile: I hope it works out as you envision.

Isn’t it kind of ironic that the technical part is not really the hard part, but rather it’s the messy human nature (as in, potential abuse by users, and taking pains to mitigate liability issues) which is the hard part.

It’s for this reason I run my own little Nextcloud server (on a $5US/month VPS), where I’m the only user. And Nextcloud has been so low-maintenance, that it’s actually worth doing this, IMHO! It upgrades itself with security updates, and I control when the upgrades between major versions occur, using the “channels” feature of snapd (as in, manually “switching” between channels).

There a a lot of people who need a sync service, but can’t afford the vps. Or don’t have the time and knowledge to do it so it works properly.

Really, I just want to give back, and being a passionate sysadmin, this is something I can do.

Saw a need, and I want to fill that need.

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Just thinking out loud…

You’d want to ask around for the most desired use cases but one might be an instructional guide on how to locally encrypt a folder/database and upload it to your service (possibly in an automated way via command line). Then how to pull it back down and restore.

This would reduce your liability, provide free instructions to the community should they wish to roll their own server and give them a very easy way to use yours.

You may even have people with NextCloud servers wanting to use your server to backup their NextCloud configs/data as a centralized quickie solution.

Good idea! I do have end to end encryption turned on, as well as encryption at rest on the wasabi side.

I like it! I’ll look at a way to do that.

What I need the most help with is the ToS though, of course. Don’t want to open up anything to the public until I have my liability taken care of. I’m in Canada, so it’s a little less restrictive, but better safe then sorry!

So literally a few days ago quidsup did a YouTube on Argos Translate I just got to. The sole developer tried a NextCloud venture similar to yours with a specialized privacy policy. I’d link the page but it’s since been editted out though you can still see it on quidsup’s video. May be worth asking him for a copy of the ToS, Privacy Policy, ect he came up with?

Argos Open Tech

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Thanks for that! I will!