Installing the Desktop App

Introduction

The Desktop App enables users to access and sync files and folders from their ownCloud, work on remote files right from the desktop as if they were stored on their computer – because they are. Continuous synchronization to and from the ownCloud server provides ease of use combined with comprehensive access control.

System Requirements and Installation

You can download the latest version of the ownCloud Desktop App from the Desktop App Download page. There are Desktop Apps for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows available. When using Linux, you can also use AppImage.

System Requirements

Depending on the operating system used, some minimum system requirements need to be met. ownCloud provides Linux packages for a variety of Linux distributions, see the list of supported distros below.

Windows
  • Windows 7+

    • x86 with 32-bit or x86-64 with 64-bit

    • Native WinVFS available for Windows 10 version 1709 or later

macOS
  • macOS 10.12+

    • x86-64 or Apple M in Rosetta 2 emulation; unsupported legacy builds for Mac OS X 10.10 & 10.11 available

    • M1 native support planned for Q4 2022 - no issues in regard to performance or otherwise known at this time!

Linux
  • CentOS 7.x with minimum version x=8 (x86-64)

    • Note the Python extensions for nautilus (GNOME) and its forks nemo (Cinnamon) and caja (MATE) are available only in the third-party EPEL archives which needs to be installed separately before the ownCloud package can be installed. To do so, run

      sudo yum install epel-release
  • Debian 10 & 11 (x86-64)

  • Fedora 34 & 35 (x86-64)

  • openSUSE Leap 15.3 (x86-64)

  • Ubuntu 20.04 & 21.10 & 22.04 (x86-64)

For Linux distributions, we support, if technically feasible, the latest 2 versions per platform and the previous Ubuntu LTS.

Installation on Mac OS X and Windows

Installation on Mac OS X and Windows is the same as for any software application: download the installer, double-click it to launch the installation and follow the installation wizard. After it is installed and configured the Desktop App will automatically keep itself updated; see autoupdate for more information.

Installation on Linux

  • No matter whether the Desktop App is installed natively or used as an AppImage, you can add command line parameters when starting up post installation. One parameter to mention is the option -s. This option forces the settings page to be shown on startup. While not necessary during general usage, it can be helpful if system tray icons are not available any more within your desktop environment.

  • Linux users should also have a password manager enabled, such as GNOME Keyring or KWallet, so that the Desktop App can log in automatically.

  • Note, our description focuses on the GNOME desktop. Adapt the procedures for other desktop environments accordingly.

  • Using GNOME on recent distributions like Ubuntu 22.04, Debian 11 or others, the system tray is typically no longer available. This makes it hard to get back an app that has been minimized to the system tray. You have to install an extension in order to restore the system tray in this case in order to be able to find and restore the minimized application.

    For distributions like Ubuntu 22.04 or Debian 11, please use the command below to install the extension, otherwise please follow the AppIndicator Support installation.

    sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-appindicator

    When the extension is installed, you need to restart the GNOME shell. To do so, hit Alt+F2 on the keyboard, type r and Enter. Now you will see the new extensions added to the extensions list. To enable an extension, switch the button on the right to the On position. For the particular system tray icon extension, the name for all distributions is Ubuntu AppIndicators because the notification system AppIndicators has been developed by Ubuntu. Once enabled, the system tray is shown again within the desktop environment.

    gnome shell extension appindicator selector

Native installation

Linux users must follow the instructions on the download page to add the appropriate repository for their Linux distribution, install the signing key and use their package managers to install the Desktop App. Linux users will also update their Desktop App via package manager. The Desktop App will display a notification when an update is available.

You will also find links to source code archives and older versions on the download page.

AppImage

Starting with Desktop App version 2.9, an AppImage build of the ownCloud Desktop App is available to support more Linux platforms. You can download the AppImage at the Linux section of the Download Desktop App page.

AppImage is an alternative way to use Linux applications — instead of having multiple files in several places making up a package, the entire application is contained in a single file ending with an .AppImage suffix, including all necessary dependencies and libraries. ownCloud provides a single AppImage based on CentOS 7, which runs on all modern and most older Linux platforms.

Known limitations for the 2.11.x AppImage
  • For Ubuntu 22.04, Debian 11 and other very recent distributions, you need to install libfuse2 as a prerequisite. For details see issue with libfuse on Ubuntu >=22.04 or Debian 11 Setting up FUSE 2.x alongside of FUSE 3.x on recent Ubuntu (>=22.04).

  • The file browser integration, which means overlay icons and the context menu, is not included in the AppImage. You need to install file browser extension packages manually.

  • AppImages do not start automatically. You have to configure your desktop to automatically start the Desktop App when logging in.

    • For GNOME, search for startup applications in the desktop menu.

    • As an alternative, use the AppImageLauncher App which also helps managing AppImages.

  • There is no automatic updating. Any update is like installing the AppImage.

Installing libfuse2 if required
  • Check if libfuse2 is already installed:

    dpkg -l libfuse2
  • Check if there is an installation candidate for libfuse2:

    sudo apt-cache show libfuse2
  • Install libfuse2:

    sudo apt install libfuse2
Install the AppImageLauncher app

See the Install AppImageLauncher wiki for details about installing it. AppImageLauncher does not need to be started. It hooks in when you start an AppImage. There are different responses when starting an AppImage:

How to launch an AppImage

When you open an AppImage file via your file browser that you have not opened before then double click on it:

AppImage First Time Usage

First time usage

After opening an AppImage, if AppImageLauncher has been started for the first time, it will ask you to define some basic settings:

AppImage First Time Usage

AppImage Integration Question

Post first time configuration or when you open the AppImage file via your file browser, for example by double clicking on it:

AppImage Integration Question

Install and run the Desktop App AppImage

The example below uses the terminal but you can also use the GUI. For details see How to run an AppImage.

  • Go to the download page and download the recent AppImage into the Applications folder in your home directory. Replace the URL from the example with the actual URL from the download page. Note the folder name Applications can be any name and helps to collect all AppImages you have on one location. The AppImageLauncher, if used, has this name predefined unless you change it.

    mkdir -p ~/Applications
    cd ~/Applications
    wget https://download.owncloud.com/desktop/ownCloud/stable//2.10.1.7187/linux-appimage/ownCloud-2.10.1.7187.AppImage
  • The following steps are only necessary when the AppImageLauncher is not used:

    • Make the AppImage executable:

      sudo chmod +x ownCloud-2.10.1.7187.AppImage
  • Start the AppImage by invoking the following command:

    ~/Applications/ownCloud-2.10.1.7187.AppImage
  • Note when you start the AppImage after setting it to be executable, AppImageLauncher will open if installed.

Customizing the Windows Installation

If you just want to install the ownCloud Desktop App on your local system, you can simply launch the .msi file and configure it in the wizard that pops up.

Features

The MSI installer provides several features that can be installed or removed individually, which you can also control via command-line, if you are automating the installation, then run the following command:

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi

The command will install the ownCloud Desktop App into the default location with the default features enabled. If you want to disable, e.g., desktop shortcut icons you can simply change the above command to the following:

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi REMOVE=DesktopShortcut

See the following table for a list of available features:

Feature Enabled by default Description Property to disable.

Client

Yes,
required

The actual client

DesktopShortcut

Yes

Adds a shortcut to the desktop.

NO_DESKTOP_SHORTCUT

StartMenuShortcuts

Yes

Adds shortcuts to the start menu.

NO_START_MENU_SHORTCUTS

ShellExtensions

Yes

Adds Explorer integration

NO_SHELL_EXTENSIONS

Installation

You can also choose to only install the Desktop App itself by using the following command:

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi ADDDEFAULT=Client

If you for instance want to install everything but the DesktopShortcut and the ShellExtensions feature, you have two possibilities:

  • You explicitly name all the features you actually want to install (whitelist) where Client is always installed anyway.

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi ADDDEFAULT=StartMenuShortcuts
  • You pass the NO_DESKTOP_SHORTCUT and NO_SHELL_EXTENSIONS properties.

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi NO_DESKTOP_SHORTCUT="1"
NO_SHELL_EXTENSIONS="1"
The ownCloud .msi file remembers these properties, so you don’t need to specify them on upgrades.
You cannot use these to change the installed features, if you want to do that, see the next section.

Changing Installed Features

You can change the installed features later by using REMOVE and ADDDEFAULT properties.

  • If you want to add the desktop shortcut later, run the following command:

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi ADDDEFAULT="DesktopShortcut"
  • If you want to remove it, simply run the following command:

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi REMOVE="DesktopShortcut"

Windows keeps track of the installed features and using REMOVE or ADDDEFAULT will only affect the mentioned features.

Compare REMOVE and ADDDEFAULT on the Windows Installer Guide.

You cannot specify REMOVE on initial installation as it will disable all features.

Installation Folder

You can adjust the installation folder by specifying the INSTALLDIR property like this.

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi INSTALLDIR="C:\Program Files (x86)\Non Standard ownCloud Client Folder"

Be careful when using PowerShell instead of cmd.exe, it can be tricky to get the whitespace escaping right there. Specifying the INSTALLDIR like this only works on first installation, you cannot simply re-invoke the .msi with a different path. If you still need to change it, uninstall it first and reinstall it with the new path.

Disabling Automatic Updates.

To disable automatic updates, you can pass the SKIPAUTOUPDATE property.

msiexec /passive /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi SKIPAUTOUPDATE="1"

Launch After Installation

To launch the Desktop App automatically after installation, you can pass the LAUNCH property.

msiexec /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi LAUNCH="1"

This option also removes the checkbox to let users decide if they want to launch the Desktop App for non-passive/quiet mode.

This option does not have any effect without GUI.

No Reboot After Installation

The ownCloud Desktop App schedules a reboot after installation to make sure the Explorer extension is correctly (un)loaded. If you’re taking care of the reboot yourself, you can set the REBOOT property.

msiexec /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi REBOOT=ReallySuppress

This will make msiexec exit with error ERROR_SUCCESS_REBOOT_REQUIRED (3010). If your deployment tooling interprets this as an actual error and you want to avoid that, you may want to set the DO_NOT_SCHEDULE_REBOOT instead.

msiexec /i ownCloud-x.y.z.msi DO_NOT_SCHEDULE_REBOOT="1"

Installation Wizard

The installation wizard takes you step-by-step through configuration options and account setup. First you need to enter the URL of your ownCloud server.

form for entering ownCloud server URL

Enter your ownCloud login on the next screen.

form for entering your ownCloud login

On the "Local Folder Option" screen you may sync all of your files on the ownCloud server, or select individual folders. The default local sync folder is ownCloud, in your home directory. You may change this as well.

Select which remote folders to sync

When you have completed selecting your sync folders, click the "Connect" button at the bottom right. The Desktop App will attempt to connect to your ownCloud server, and when it is successful you’ll see two buttons:

  • One to connect to your ownCloud Web GUI.

  • One to open your local folder.

It will also start synchronizing your files.