Software update: Nextcloud 24.0.0

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Version 24 of Nextcloud was released a few days ago. With Nextcloud it is possible to run cloud storage in-house. It originated as a fork of ownCloud after a large number of developers left there due to a conflict. All components, including the enterprise functionality, are offered as open source and the revenue model is similar to what Red Hat does, which is to provide paid support to major customers. The main improvements we find in version 24 can be found below:

User migration

Our goal is to give you, as an individual or business, Digital Sovereignty, that is, to put YOU in control of your data. It is why we provide a special privacy screen and extensive personal privacy settings, why we don’t collect any user data, and of course why you can decide to host your Nextcloud wherever you want. With this release, we are introducing the next step: User migration.

Export and import

User migration allows you to export your data from Nextcloud into a single archive and import it into another Nextcloud instance! This includes user and profile settings and data from the Groupware and Files apps, like calendars, email settings, comments, favorites, and more. An API allows any app to add support for migration, enabling users to take all their data with them.

You are in control!

Where the big tech players like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook aim to lock you into their platforms, we want to give YOU control. Thanks to user migration, you can decide where to host your data – and change your mind! You can upgrade from your Raspberry Pi to a hosted solution, or bring your data back home again.

For businesses, this provides an important compliance benefit as more and more privacy regulations require that users are able to easily export their data from hosted services. For large enterprises, the migration feature enables us to provide a series of new, powerful features, information on which will be made available over the following months.

Nextcloud Files

Nextcloud Files has been polished and brings performance and scalability improvements in the back-end. More visible are:

  • Enterprise search API. The new API allows content on Nextcloud to be indexed by a third-party search tool.
  • Improved sharing permissions, allowing users to specify edit, delete, and upload permissions in shared folders.
  • Share-by-mail with a password can be configured to not rely on a predefined password. Instead Nextcloud will use a temporary token to verify ownership of the email address associated with the share when the recipient visits the link. See more details about the feature in this github issue.

4x lower database load for common operations

  • Support offloading of Activities data to a separate DB
  • More efficient Activities malfunction
  • Option to scale preview generation using a microservice
  • New built in Profiler
  • Smarter handling or DB access
  • Reduce connection load on Redis server
  • Faster quota handling
  • Faster user status reading
  • Reduce DB load for user profiles
  • Smarter access to federated shares
  • Optimize filesystem DB load
  • Faster access token handling
  • More intelligent avatar size handling
  • Leverage asset caching
  • Improved thumbnail caching
  • Reduce page load time
  • Faster user status reading
  • Improved WebDAV performance
  • Optimize capabilities loading
  • Smart background job scheduling to run expensive operations outside peak hours

For this release a lot of performance work was done to help scale Nextcloud to larger instances and improve the user experience.

Faster is better

Many of these lower both the load on servers and increase the responsiveness for users, like the smarter handling of file system access that can reduce the database queries for a folder view by 75%. Another improvement is to allow admins to configure when maintenance background jobs are run, so they run at quiet times instead of during peak activity hours. And avatars are no longer generated in many different sizes but in only two, making caching easier and more efficient.

This release also makes it possible for large servers to use a separate Imaginary based docker service to generate thumbnails, both improving security and performance. All in all, users will find this release improves responsiveness while admins will notice a decreased load on servers, especially in large scale installations.

Nextcloud Groupware

In Nextcloud Groupware, much work was done on the user interface and regarding performance improvements.

The calendar app now shows an ‘accept/deny’ for invitations in the calendar item view so you can change your status right there in the web interface. The Mail app introduces two important features:

  • Undo sending
  • Scheduled sending

The Mail team is asking for user feedback for the Mail app, to help set priorities! If you want to participate, please use this form. The survey is done with Nextcloud Forms so no data is stored besides your input in the form.

Nextcloud Talk

Nextcloud Talk makes a big step forward, introducing a series of reliability and performance improvements as well as some nice, interactive features:

Comments: now you can react to any message, with any emoji! See others’ reactions to messages.

A media tab: this enables you to quickly and easily search for and see all the media shared within your chat, perfect for when you know someone sent you that one image, but you’d have to scroll back ages to find it!

Much improved desktop integration: direct message reply in a notification and a screen to easily pick up a call

  • Ability to select audio output on mobile apps.
  • Ability to share system audio (like playing a video) during screen share. This feature is currently only supported by Chrome with ChromeTab or system sound, but we look forward to see other browsers support this feature!

Other improvements were made, like lowering the server load generated by calls with many participants, user interface polishing and more.

Nextcloud Office makes a major step forward in this release, introducing a new, efficient, and easy to use tabbed menu interface that will be more familiar to users.

Automatic file locking

To facilitate collaboration, the existing file locking feature in Nextcloud was enhanced with the introduction of automatic locking by the Office apps (Text, Collabora Online) while editing. The desktop and mobile clients also support the file locking:

  • Clients display locked status and lock metadata for files
  • Can manually lock/unlock files on clients
  • Clients prevent (as much as possible) write operations on locked files

Nextcloud Text

The office team also worked on a big update to Nextcloud Text, our collaborative text editor, introducing:

  • Tables
  • Info boxes
  • Instant picture upload
  • Emoji car completion

Nextcloud Collectives

These features are also directly benefiting the knowledge management app Collectives, which also introduces share permissions that allow sharing a set of pages through a public link and defining access rights more finely.

Version number 24.0.0
Release status Final
Operating systems Linux
Website Nextcloud
License type GPL
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