Nextcloud Linux Client on a Chromebook (ARM / aarch64)

Short explanation on how to get the nextcloud linux client working in a chromebook. This is because the android desktop client does not offer two-way synchronization as of now.

To be honest I was quiet disappointed when I noticed that such an important feature is not available. Currently when I delete files in my nextcloud server, they’re not deleted in my chromebook’s local folder. However, I need / want this functionality for at least my Documents, Downloads and Projects folders. While searching for this (two way sync) I stumbled upon these issues in the issue tracker:

So it seems, it’s not available right now. To be honest, maybe this is not a big issue because you maybe don’t want to store all your files locally (that is on a mobile phone and on a chromebook) you may want to work with your lightweight device out-of-the-cloud. However, I’d prefer to have my Downloads, Documents and Projects folder synchronized between all systems. For photos a simple upload-and-delete-locally would be absolutely fine for me.

One way to get this synchronization is by tricking a little bit. Just run the Linux client in your Chromebook. There are three options I am aware of. However, the first two have some disadvantages:

  • You cannot autostart this (which is as far as I understand for security reasons. However, look at this:
  • The nextcloud android client integrates better into chromeos (notifications, icons, etc)
  • You’ll have to give the Linux-VM access to all folders which you want to have synchronized. Within the VM they’ll be located in /mnt/chromeos. Just an extra step – however, might have security implications.

In the following I assume that you already configured a Linux VM in ChromeOS and you’re able to open Terminal for it.

Variant #1 – Linux DEB / APT

First install the package using the package manager

apt-get install nextcloud-desktop

Then start it πŸ™‚


Small side note: If the nextcloud window does not appear, you may try to run it with the parameter -l (lowercase L). This helped in my case:

jean@penguin:~$ nextcloud -l


jean@penguin:~$ nextcloud  -v
Nextcloud version 3.1.1-2+deb11u1
Using Qt 5.15.2, built against Qt 5.15.2
Using Qt platform plugin 'xcb'
Using 'OpenSSL 1.1.1n  15 Mar 2022'
Running on Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye), arm64

Variant #2 – Linux Flatpak

In Variant 1 there is a pretty old nextcloud desktop binary; which might not be what you want. The flatpak variant is newer. To get it you will first install flatpak, as root or using sudo:

sudo apt-get install flatpak

Then you’ll add the flatpak repository to get flatpak apps, as user:

jean@penguin:~$ flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Then install the nextcloud desktop client

jean@penguin:~$ flatpak install flathub com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud
Looking for matches…
Required runtime for com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud/aarch64/stable (runtime/org.kde.Platform/aarch64/5.15-22.08) found in remote flathub
Do you want to install it? [Y/n]: y

com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud permissions:
    ipc                   network                 wayland       x11       dri      file access [1]
    dbus access [2]       bus ownership [3]

    [1] host, xdg-config/kdeglobals:ro, xdg-run/Nextcloud:create
    [2] com.canonical.AppMenu.Registrar, org.freedesktop.Notifications, org.freedesktop.secrets, org.kde.KGlobalSettings,
        org.kde.StatusNotifierWatcher, org.kde.kconfig.notify
    [3] org.kde.*

        ID                                                   Branch              Op         Remote         Download
 1. [βœ“] com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud.Locale         stable              i          flathub          6.7 kB / 55.4 MB
 2. [βœ“] org.freedesktop.Platform.GL.default                  22.08               i          flathub        127.1 MB / 127.3 MB
 3. [βœ“] org.freedesktop.Platform.GL.default                  22.08-extra         i          flathub         11.9 MB / 127.3 MB
 4. [βœ“] org.freedesktop.Platform.openh264                    2.2.0               i          flathub          1.1 MB / 884.8 kB
 5. [βœ“] org.gtk.Gtk3theme.CrosAdapta                         3.22                i          flathub        517.1 kB / 386.2 kB
 6. [βœ“] org.kde.Platform.Locale                              5.15-22.08          i          flathub         18.0 kB / 355.1 MB
 7. [βœ“] org.kde.Platform                                     5.15-22.08          i          flathub        363.8 MB / 313.4 MB
 8. [βœ“] com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud                stable              i          flathub         79.3 MB / 73.7 MB

Warning: Not exporting file com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud.appdata.xml of unsupported type.
Installation complete.

And then you are able to run nextcloud like this:

jean@penguin:~$ flatpak run com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud


jean@penguin:~$ flatpak run com.nextcloud.desktopclient.nextcloud -v
Nextcloud version 3.10.0git
Git revision ad2cf1b575e45c2adb2832f6b8642bb9f79d105b
Using Qt 5.15.10, built against Qt 5.15.10
Using Qt platform plugin 'xcb'
Using 'OpenSSL 3.0.10 1 Aug 2023'
Running on KDE Flatpak runtime, arm64

Variant #3 (untested) AppImage

My Chromebook is ARM so I am unable to verify / test if the x86_64 AppImage Binary works. However, I saw guides in which it works. So if you’re using Intel / AMD (x86_64) architecture you might be lucky: Just download the AppImage file and double click it after making it executable. If it does not work like that you may be able to run it from your Linux VM.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

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