Unboxing Dropbox

Posted by – 31. Januar 2012

Dropbox is an absolutely great tool to share your data between different computers and mobile devices. Your data is stored in the cloud from where you can publish files and photo albums and work collaboratively on documents. It works very smoothly, has a great performance, and provides client apps for Linux, Windows, Mac, iOs, Android etc., offering 2GB space for free.

That sounds perfect, where’s the catch?

You are giving your private data to a U.S. based commercial company, which recently had a credibility issue, some security problems, awkward terms of service changes, and the fact that the government can get access to your data.

ownCloud to the rescue!

This is where ownCloud might be your choice. It is an open source webdav server that can be deployed on your own webspace. It does not yet have all the features and smoothness of Dropbox but it’s catching up. The recently released version 3 comes with file-sharing, contacts and calendar syncing, and an online music player.

Installing it is quite easy: Just drop the uncompressed tarball to a standard webspace which provides php. After that you can configure the setup in a browser and are ready to go. This is how you can mount your owncloud directory on a linux workstation:

wdfs http://<your owncloud host>/files/webdav.php /mnt

The package wdfs is included in the openSUSE standard repositories. wdfs can be used as normal user, no root privileges and changing of /etc/fstab is needed. After you have mounted your ownCloud to the system it can be used just like a local filesystem.

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