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Apr 03

T&L Episode 9: Show Notes

OwnCloud and WebDAV
OwnCloud
  • http://owncloud.org
  • Requires a Web server like Apache or nginx
  • Needs PHP support
  • In nginx, this is handled through FastCGI
  • Native support is available in packages for Debian, Fedora, etc.
  • Easy-to-read installation instructions for standard installs
  • http://owncloud.org/support/setup-and-installation/linux-server/
  • Can be installed on Windows and MacOS X as well
  • Supports file sharing via the Web
  • Has built-in shared document editor (Google Docs)
  • Has built-in media player
  • Purported to be a Dropbox and Google Docs killer, or perhaps a proprietary cloud services killer
  • Most important piece of this puzzle is WebDAV and CalDAV
 WebDAV (and CalDAV)
  • DAV = Distributed Authoring and Versioning
  • WebDAV = DAV for the WWW
  • CalDAV = DAV for calendar access
  • In a nutshell, DAV is an extension of HTTP which allows for write as well as read access
  • It’s a well implemented standard defined in RFC 4918. It is supported in some manner on all operating systems.
  • Windows
  • Support for WebDAV shares is built in, but only for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Windows 7 support is a bit flaky. I found help on getting it to work for me here:
  • http://shon.org/blog/2010/03/04/howto-fix-windows-7-64bit-webdav/
  • The important bit is the registry change. Once done, WebDAV shares worked perfectly on my system.
  • MacOS X
  • I tried this using Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6)
  • No matter what I tried, shares were read-only. Not good.
  • Third-party client called Cyberduck allowed me to access my OwnCloud via WebDAV. Not elegant, but usable.
  • http://cyberduck.ch/
  • Linux
  • I use Debian systems, including LMDE. YMMV when it comes to Fedora, RH, CentOS, Gentoo, Arch or other non-Debian systems.
  • GNOME 2 (and presumably 3) has built-in support for WebDAV shares via Nautilus.
  • Go to Places, select Connect to Server.
  • Select WebDAV or Secure WebDAV depending on whether or not you have set up your OwnCloud with http:// or https:// via your Web server.
  • Enter the server name in the appropriate field.
  • Under Folder enter “/files/webdav.php”
  • Create a bookmark if you wish.
  • Voila. You should now have a WebDAV share with RW access on your desktop and in your Places dropdown menu.
  • A slightly more elegant solution for my purposes was to use davfs2. You can install this on Debian systems (including Ubuntu) with a simple “apt-get install davfs2”
  • This allows you to create WebDAV mounts on your filesystem by including them in your /etc/fstab file.
  • (Explain fstab procedure including davfs2.conf, turning locking off, and the secrets file)

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