Setting Up a Raspberry Pi as a Personal Cloud Server with Nextcloud


Creating a personal cloud server with a Raspberry Pi offers a unique blend of flexibility, privacy, and security. Nextcloud, an acclaimed open-source software, provides an ideal platform for this setup. This guide meticulously takes you through every step of transforming your Raspberry Pi into a robust and secure cloud server.

What You'll Need

  • Raspberry Pi (2, 3, 4, 5) with Rasberry Pi OS installed
  • MicroSD card (16GB or larger)
  • External hard drive or USB flash drive for storage
  • Internet connection for initial setup and remote access to your cloud server.

Step 1: Installing Nextcloud

Connect to your Raspberry Pi via SSH or directly using a monitor and keyboard. Begin by updating your Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install the Nextcloud server package:

sudo mv nextcloud /var/www/html/nextcloud

Step 2: Configuring Apache and PHP

Install Apache web server and PHP:

sudo apt-get install apache2 php7.4 php7.4-gd php7.4-mysql php7.4-curl php7.4-zip php7.4-xml php7.4-mbstring

Configure Apache to serve the Nextcloud directory:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/nextcloud.conf

Add the following configuration:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud
  <Directory /var/www/html/nextcloud>
    Require all granted
    AllowOverride All
    Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews

    <IfModule mod_dav.c>
      Dav off

Enable the new site and rewrite module:

sudo a2ensite nextcloud
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo service apache2 restart

Step 3: Setting Up Nextcloud

Navigate to http://<Your-Raspberry-Pi-IP-Address> in a web browser to start the Nextcloud setup wizard.

Create an admin account and configure the data folder (point this to your external storage device if attached).

Step 4: Accessing Your Cloud Server

Your Nextcloud server is now ready! You can access it from any device on your network using your Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

Choosing and Configuring External Storage for Your Nextcloud Server

Why Use External Storage?

Using external storage with Nextcloud on your Raspberry Pi enhances your cloud server's storage capacity. It allows you to manage large volumes of data efficiently. External storage is particularly useful if you plan to store large files or a significant number of files.

Types of External Storage

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD): Ideal for large storage capacity at a lower cost. However, they are slower compared to SSDs.
  • Solid State Drives (SSD): Faster and more reliable than HDDs but more expensive per GB of storage.

Maximum Storage Capacity

Nextcloud can handle a large amount of storage, theoretically up to several petabytes. However, the practical limit is often dictated by the file system and hardware. For most Raspberry Pi setups, a practical maximum is around 20 terabytes, which is more than sufficient for personal or small business use.

Setting Up External Storage in Nextcloud

  1. Connect the External Drive: Attach your external HDD or SSD to your Raspberry Pi.
  2. Format the Drive: It's recommended to format the drive to a Linux file system like EXT4 for compatibility.
  3. Mount the Drive: You can mount the drive manually or use tools like fstab for automatic mounting on boot.
  4. Configure Nextcloud to Use the External Storage: This can be done through the Nextcloud interface under 'Settings' > 'External Storage.'

Addressing Common Questions

  • How to Add External Drive to Nextcloud: After mounting your external drive to the Raspberry Pi, configure it in Nextcloud's settings under 'External Storage.'
  • Using External Storage as Default: You can set up your external drive as the default storage location for Nextcloud data during the initial setup or by changing the configuration later.
  • Managing Permissions: Ensure the proper file permissions are set so that Nextcloud can read and write to the external storage.
  • External Storage Apps: Nextcloud offers various apps and integrations for external storage, including support for NFS, SMB/CIFS, and cloud storage services.

Best Practices

  • Ensure that your external storage has its own power supply, especially for larger drives, to avoid overloading the Raspberry Pi's power supply.
  • Regularly backup your data, both on the Raspberry Pi and external storage, to prevent data loss.

By incorporating this section, the blog post becomes a valuable resource for readers looking to expand their Nextcloud server's capabilities with external storage solutions, addressing common queries and following best practices for setup and maintenance.


Your Raspberry Pi is now set up as a personal cloud server with Nextcloud, providing a private and secure way to store and access your files. Enjoy the freedom of having your own cloud storage!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Raspberry Pi enough for Nextcloud?

Yes, a Raspberry Pi is sufficient for running Nextcloud. While performance depends on the Raspberry Pi model and the number of users, models 3 and 4 are particularly well-suited for this task, offering ample processing power and RAM for a personal cloud server.

Can you use a Raspberry Pi as a cloud server?

Absolutely. A Raspberry Pi can effectively be used as a cloud server. With its compact size, low power consumption, and adequate processing capabilities, it's an ideal choice for personal cloud storage, especially when configured with Nextcloud.

How do I setup my Nextcloud server at home?

To set up a Nextcloud server at home using a Raspberry Pi:

  1. Install Raspberry Pi OS on your Pi.
  2. Update and upgrade your Pi.
  3. Install Nextcloud and configure Apache and PHP.
  4. Set up your admin account in Nextcloud.
  5. Configure storage and access settings as per your requirement.

Is Nextcloud a private cloud?

Yes, Nextcloud is a private cloud solution. It offers cloud storage and other functionalities similar to commercial cloud services, but with enhanced privacy and control since it can be hosted on your own server, like a Raspberry Pi.

Is it OK to run a Raspberry Pi 24/7?

Running a Raspberry Pi 24/7 is generally okay. These devices are designed for continuous operation. However, ensuring adequate ventilation and a stable power supply is important to prevent overheating and extend the lifespan of your Raspberry Pi.

How much RAM do I need for Nextcloud server?

For a Nextcloud server on a Raspberry Pi, at least 1 GB of RAM is recommended. However, for better performance, especially with multiple users or intensive applications, a Raspberry Pi 4 with 2 GB of RAM or more is advisable.