- Important Considerations
- Default Preview Providers
- Preview Format Requirements
- Managing Your Preview Settings
The ownCloud preview system generates thumbnails and previews of files for all ownCloud apps that display files such as the Files or the Files Mediaviewer app.
The following image shows some examples of previews of various file types.
By default, ownCloud can generate previews for the following filetypes:
Cover of MP3 files
|Be careful enabling preview thumbnail generation for documents which could contain or reference executable code! ownCloud does NOT take any responsibility for any issues.|
Rendering takes place when the user accesses the folder and the preview has not been generated before. This means that each first folder access may create additional load on the server.
Previews are not a shared resource but rendered for each user individually.
Preview generation can only be set for the system and not for individual mounts.
When enabling preview generation for SVG, the preview code checks for the existence of
hrefand disallows creating a preview. This minimizes the risk but does not eliminate it. Such a check is not made for PDF or Office documents and enabling the creation of previews for those documents can be therefore a serious security issue.
When enabling preview generation for videos (or huge image files), consider the following points:
Because the video needs to be downloaded before a preview can be created, this may impact general accessibility of files for other users if the video resides on an external mount point with limited bandwidth like Google Drive.
The server may report timeouts if there are multiple videos to render and/or if the video is big.
Preview generation for videos is in general a resource intensive process.
Please note that the ownCloud preview system comes already with sensible defaults, and therefore it is usually not necessary to adjust those configuration values. If you want to configure previews, add or change the following parameters in
The default list of enabled preview providers which do not need to be explicitly enabled in the config are:
OC\Preview\BMP OC\Preview\GIF OC\Preview\JPEG OC\Preview\WEBP OC\Preview\MarkDown OC\Preview\MP3 OC\Preview\PNG OC\Preview\TXT OC\Preview\XBitmap
If you want to add or change the default list, you MUST define all elements used. If you just declare an additional item, only this item will be taken and none of the default list.
When defining your own preview providers, some things need to be considered. For some file types, ownCloud uses ImageMagick to generate previews. By default, the delivered version of ImageMagick for Ubuntu 20.04 is version 6, and the wrapper for php is version 3.4. This version of ImageMacick is not capable of processing additional file formats like SVG or HEIC and many others. If you want to use those providers, you must upgrade ImageMagick to version 7 and the php wrapper to version 3.5. See the php-imagick Library section in the installation guide for more information.
If you handle the security risk and decide to allow creating previews for PDF files, change the following imagick security policy. Use an editor of your choice like
nano and change the following file, adapt the path if using ImageMagick 7:
sudo nano /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml or sudo nano /etc/ImageMagick-7/policy.xml
Search for the following content:
<policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />
rights="none" --> rights="read|write"
After changing the policy file for ImageMagic, restart your Apache web server or your php-fpm service.
To be able to create previews for video files when using the
OC\Preview\Movie provider, you must install
ffmpeg. There can be significant load on the server during conversion when video thumbnail generation is enabled.
sudo apt install -y ffmpeg
To get a list of file extensions linked to the image or video provider, change into the
owncloud directory and run the following example command. Use a different filter for other provider types.
cat resources/config/mimetypemapping.dist.json | grep image
The following providers require the php
OC\Preview\AI OC\Preview\EPS OC\Preview\Heic OC\Preview\PDF OC\Preview\PSD OC\Preview\SGI OC\Preview\SVG OC\Preview\TIFF OC\Preview\TTF
The following providers are only available if either LibreOffice or OpenOffice is installed on the server:
OC\Preview\MSOfficeDoc OC\Preview\MSOffice2003 OC\Preview\MSOffice2007 OC\Preview\OpenDocument OC\Preview\StarOffice
The following providers are available, but disabled by default due to performance or privacy/security concerns:
OC\Preview\Font OC\Preview\Illustrator OC\Preview\Movie OC\Preview\MSOfficeDoc OC\Preview\MSOffice2003 OC\Preview\MSOffice2007 OC\Preview\OpenDocument OC\Preview\StarOffice OC\Preview\SVG OC\Preview\PDF OC\Preview\Photoshop OC\Preview\Postscript OC\Preview\TIFF
Under certain circumstances, for example if the server has limited resources, you might want to consider disabling the generation of previews. Note that if you do this all previews in all apps are disabled and will display generic icons instead of thumbnails.
Set the configuration option
'enable_previews' => false,
The example below adds the preview provider for
'enabledPreviewProviders' => [ 'OC\Preview\SGI', 'OC\Preview\Heic', 'OC\Preview\BMP', 'OC\Preview\GIF', 'OC\Preview\JPEG', 'OC\Preview\MarkDown', 'OC\Preview\MP3', 'OC\Preview\PNG', 'OC\Preview\TXT', 'OC\Preview\XBitmap', ],
|You have to add all default providers if you do not want to disable them.|
There are two configuration options for setting the maximum size (in pixels) of a preview. These are
preview_max_x which represents the x-axis and
preview_max_y which represents the y-axis. The default value you can reference in
config/config.sample.php is set to 2048.
The following example would limit previews to a maximum size of 100 px × 100 px:
'preview_max_x' => 100, 'preview_max_y' => 100,
If you want no limit applied for one or both of these values then set them to
If a lot of small pictures are stored on the ownCloud instance and the preview system generates blurry previews, you might want to consider setting a maximum scale factor. By default, pictures are upscaled to 10 times the original size:
'preview_max_scale_factor' => 10,
If you want to disable scaling at all, you can set the config value to `1':
'preview_max_scale_factor' => 1,
If you want to disable the maximum scaling factor, you can set the config value to
'preview_max_scale_factor' => null,
The JP(E)G image quality can be defined in [%] for displaying thumbnails and image previews for apps like Files or Files Mediaviewer. Note that this setting is for displaying only and has no impact on the stored thumbnail / preview quality or size.
'previewJPEGImageDisplayQuality' => -1,
The scale ranges from 1 to 100, where 1 is the lowest and 100 the highest. It defaults to -1 which is equivalent to approximately 75% of the original image quality. Consider that any value over 80 may result in an unnecessary increase of the displayed image and has larger response sizes when requesting images, without much increase of the image quality. Usually it is not necessary to have a quality setting over 75, but it can be increased if there is the need to display previews in high quality with the cost that every image requested generates a higher response load. Note that this setting does not affect downloading images. Setting a value takes immediate effect and nothing needs to be regenerated as it is for display requests only.
For more information see: PHP imagejpeg — Output image to browser or file