Just recently I needed to install a private file transfer and collaboration service for a project I was involved it. I chose Nextcloud because the simplicity and features, and cloudways due to their outstanding VPS service.

The first step in the process is, of course, to own a cloudways account.

If you don’t already have one, you can get one by following this link. You will also get 14 days, risk free trial account without credit card details. Simply create an account and you are good to go.

Once you have an account, it is time to create and deploy the new application.

Unfortunately unlike what this post may suggest, neither Owncloud, or Nextcloud are available as one click install on Cloudways VPS, therefor you must complete the installation manually, the old fashioned way.

First, create a new application, and choose “custom php” as app type.

Second, Download Nextcloud installation files from here or Owncloud file from here and upload them to the public_html directory of your cloudways application.

Next, at cloudways VPS console set you application domain and add SSL certificate.
Then, open your favorite browser and navigate to your site. Follow the application installation wizard to the end.

So far, it sounds really simple right? Well it is, except for one little configuration that you must complete at this point to be able to use this cloud app/

You see, when I as was trying to upload file to the newly installed application I got logged out instantly.

I kept getting an error message “Problem loading file, refreshing page in 5 seconds”.

After 3 days of troubleshooting and amazing support from Asher @ cloudways tech support we were able to isolate the problem to Varnish caching system. As it turns out it is simply not compatible with owncloud or nextcloud on the server.

Here is how you disable Varnish for your specific application:

Go to your application settings at Cloudways console.

At the general tab, you will see the “Varnish” option.

By default this option is enabled. Click on the switch toggle to disable it.

To confirm, simply navigate to the varnish setting tab of your application.

You should see a message saying that Varnish is disabled.

As soon as we disabled Varnish the system worked as expected. There were no problems uploading files, renaming folders or logging in.

To sum things up

  1. Create a Cloudways account
  2. Create a custom php application.
  3. Manually upload nectcloud / owncloud files to the “public_html” folder of your new application
  4. Disable Varnish
  5. Profit!
  • Note 1: If you have more than one application on the server, you only need to disable Varnish for the owncloud / nextcloud application, not the entire server.
  • Note 2: Cloudways links in this article are affiliate links.

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