Configuring External Storage for ownCloud
One of the features that I worked on for ownCloud 4 was the mounting of external storage directly into your ownCloud. No longer are you limited by the storage capacity of the server ownCloud is running on. Despite being labeled as an ‘experimental’ feature in the release announcement, many users requested help configuring it. With no user interface available and limited documentation to configure the external storage it seems all users were confused and frustrated. So, I set aside a few days and tasked myself with finally creating a usable user interface to configure external storage. This is the result of that work:
To add an external storage backend to your ownCloud head to Settings -> Admin or Personal. As an admin you can mount external storage for any group or user. Users are also allowed to mount external storage for their selves if this setting is enabled by the admin. The first step is to set the mount point, this is the directory that the storage will be mounted to. Next, select a backend from the list of available backends. ownCloud currently supports: Amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP, Google Drive, OpenStack Swift, SMB, and WebDAV. Local file storage can also be mounted that is outside of your ownCloud’s data directory. Users are restricted from mounting local file storage in the Settings -> Personal page, because this is a security risk.
Once a backend is selected, more configuration fields will appear. The configuration fields requested vary depending on the selected storage backend. For example, the FTP storage backend needs the following configuration details: url, username, password, root (optional), and an option for ftps://. The root option is the directory at the external storage that will be mounted.
This is available in the master branch and will not be included until the ownCloud 5 release. Documentation for manually configuring external storage is available at ownCloud.org. No error checking has been implemented at this time, so make sure all configuration fields are entered correctly.
Support for mounting Google Drive and Dropbox through this user interface will be added later in the week. These require some more work because of the OAuth authentication.