Nextcloud 16 installation guide (Debian/Apache2)

Debian / Apache2

Following this guide you will be able to install and configure Nextcloud 15 (latest) based on Debian Stretch, Apache 2.4.39 (mpm_event, http2), TLSv.1.3, PHP 7.3, MariaDB 10.3, Redis, fail2ban, ufw and achieve an A+ rating from both, Nextcloud and Qualys SSL Labs. We will request and implement the ssl certificate from Let’s Encrypt in this guide. You only have to ammend the red marked values (YOUR.DEDYN.IO, 192.168.2.x, 22) regarding your environment!

May, 16th, 2019:
– new (initial version)

… the entire update history


From my perspective the requirements for this guide may be rated as low: you only have to

  • provide a 64Bit Server (e.g. Intel NUC),
  • forward two ports (80 and 443) from internet (your router e.g. FritzBox or Speedport) to your internal Nextcloud server
  • and install the server operating system Debian Stretch (64Bit).


su -
cd /usr/local/src
apt install apt-transport-https git wget gnupg2 dirmngr lsb-release ssl-cert ca-certificates tree sudo -y
make-ssl-cert generate-default-snakeoil
mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak && touch /etc/apt/sources.list
cat <<EOF >>/etc/apt/sources.list
deb stretch main
deb stretch/updates main
deb stretch main
deb stretch main
deb stretch main
deb stretch-backports main
wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/php.gpg
wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/apache2.gpg
apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8
apt update && apt upgrade -y
apt install software-properties-common zip unzip screen curl git ffmpeg libfile-fcntllock-perl -y
apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt autoremove -y && apt autoclean -y

Determine the uid of your www-data user by issuing

id www-data

and only if it differs from ‘uid=33‘ replace the ‘uid=33‘ in the following rows properly before executing them!

sed -i '$atmpfs /usr/local/tmp/apc tmpfs defaults,uid=33,size=300M,noatime,nosuid,nodev,noexec,mode=1777 0 0' /etc/fstab
sed -i '$atmpfs /usr/local/tmp/sessions tmpfs defaults,uid=33,size=300M,noatime,nosuid,nodev,noexec,mode=1777 0 0' /etc/fstab
mkdir -p /var/www /var/nc_data /usr/local/tmp/sessions /usr/local/tmp/apc
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/nc_data /var/www
chown -R www-data:root /usr/local/tmp/sessions /usr/local/tmp/apc
mount -a


If you are interested in Postgresql instead of MariaDB please have a look here.
First we add the MariaDB repository to gain long term support using MariaDB 10.3 – maintained until 2023:

Update your system repositories and install MariaDB:

apt update && apt install mariadb-server -y 

Verify your database server version:

mysql --version

An output like

mysql Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.3.15-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu (x86_64) using readline 5.2

should appear.

Secure MariaDB:

Enter current password for root (enter for none): <ENTER> or type the password
Set root password? [Y/n] Y

If already set during the MariaDB installation you will be asked wether to change or keep the password

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

Configure MariaDB:

service mysql stop
mv /etc/mysql/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf.bak && touch /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Change the entire my.cnf-file to:

cat <<EOF >>/etc/mysql/my.cnf
default-character-set = utf8mb4
port = 3306
socket = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
nice = 0
socket = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
basedir = /usr
bind-address =
binlog_format = ROW
bulk_insert_buffer_size = 16M
character-set-server = utf8mb4
collation-server = utf8mb4_general_ci
concurrent_insert = 2
connect_timeout = 5
datadir = /var/lib/mysql
default_storage_engine = InnoDB
expire_logs_days = 10
general_log_file = /var/log/mysql/mysql.log
general_log = 0
innodb_buffer_pool_size = 1024M
innodb_buffer_pool_instances = 1
innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 2
innodb_log_buffer_size = 32M
innodb_max_dirty_pages_pct = 90
innodb_file_per_table = 1
innodb_open_files = 400
innodb_io_capacity = 4000
innodb_flush_method = O_DIRECT
key_buffer_size = 128M
lc_messages_dir = /usr/share/mysql
lc_messages = en_US
log_bin = /var/log/mysql/mariadb-bin
log_bin_index = /var/log/mysql/mariadb-bin.index
log_slow_verbosity = query_plan
log_warnings = 2
long_query_time = 1
max_allowed_packet = 16M
max_binlog_size = 100M
max_connections = 200
max_heap_table_size = 64M
myisam_recover_options = BACKUP
myisam_sort_buffer_size = 512M
port = 3306
pid-file = /var/run/mysqld/
query_cache_limit = 2M
query_cache_size = 64M
query_cache_type = 1
query_cache_min_res_unit = 2k
read_buffer_size = 2M
read_rnd_buffer_size = 1M
slow_query_log_file = /var/log/mysql/mariadb-slow.log
slow-query-log = 1
socket = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
sort_buffer_size = 4M
table_open_cache = 400
thread_cache_size = 128
tmp_table_size = 64M
tmpdir = /tmp
transaction_isolation = READ-COMMITTED
user = mysql
wait_timeout = 600
max_allowed_packet = 16M
!include /etc/mysql/mariadb.cnf
!includedir /etc/mysql/conf.d/
key_buffer = 16M

Restart MariaDB:

service mysql restart

Create the database and the user:

mysql -uroot -p -e "CREATE DATABASE nextcloud CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_general_ci; CREATE USER nextcloud@localhost identified by 'nextcloud'; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on nextcloud.* to nextcloud@localhost; FLUSH privileges;"

Verify the transaction Isolation level was set to READ_Commit and the collation was set to UTF8MB4 properly:

mysql -h localhost -uroot -p -e "SELECT @@TX_ISOLATION; SELECT SCHEMA_NAME 'database', default_character_set_name 'charset', DEFAULT_COLLATION_NAME 'collation' FROM information_schema.SCHEMATA WHERE SCHEMA_NAME='nextcloud'"

If the resultset will be “READ-COMMITTED” and “utf8mb4_general_ci” as shown go ahead with the installation of Apache, PHP and Redis.

Install Apache2, PHP and Redis-Server:

apt install libapache2-mod-php7.3 php7.3-cli php7.3-common php7.3-mbstring php7.3-gd php7.3-intl php7.3-xml php7.3-mysql php7.3-zip php7.3-dev php7.3-curl php7.3-fpm php7.3-json php7.3-bz2 php7.3-ldap php-dompdf php-apcu imagemagick php-imagick php-smbclient redis-server php-redis unzip -y

Disable PHP 7.3 and mpm_prefork and enable php7.3-fpm with mpm_event:

a2dismod php7.3 && a2dismod mpm_prefork && a2enmod proxy_fcgi setenvif mpm_event && service apache2 restart
a2enconf php7.3-fpm && service apache2 restart

Download and extract the latest Nextcloud Release:

unzip && mv nextcloud/ /var/www/html/ && chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/nextcloud && rm -f


Change configuration and group membership:

cp /etc/redis/redis.conf /etc/redis/redis.conf.bak
sed -i "s/port 6379/port 0/" /etc/redis/redis.conf
sed -i s/\#\ unixsocket/\unixsocket/g /etc/redis/redis.conf
sed -i "s/unixsocketperm 700/unixsocketperm 770/" /etc/redis/redis.conf 
sed -i "s/# maxclients 10000/maxclients 512/" /etc/redis/redis.conf
usermod -a -G redis www-data
cp /etc/sysctl.conf /etc/sysctl.conf.bak && sed -i '$avm.overcommit_memory = 1' /etc/sysctl.conf

Enable further Apache modules:

a2enmod rewrite headers env dir mime && service apache2 restart

Prepare your server for Let’s Encrypt:

apt install python-certbot-apache -y
cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud.conf
a2dissite 000-default.conf

Modify the initial Nextcloud vhost:

vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud.conf

Make ammendments to the following rows:

DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud

Request your certificates by issuing

a2ensite 001-nextcloud.conf && service apache2 restart && certbot --apache

Choose ‘1’, then ‘2’ as shown in the screenshot:

Make further adjustements to the intial vhost:

mv /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud.conf.le-bak
vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud.conf

Paste all the following rows and replace the red ones:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

Create the vhost file and paste the following rows:

vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-nextcloud-le-ssl.conf

Paste all the following rows and replace the red ones:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
SSLEngine on
SSLOptions +StrictRequire
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-agent}i\"" vhost_combined
LogFormat "%v %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b" vhost_common
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/nextcloud
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
SSLCACertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
<Directory /var/www/html/nextcloud/>
Options +FollowSymlinks
AllowOverride All
<IfModule mod_dav.c>
Dav off
SetEnv HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/html/nextcloud
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000; preload"
Header set Referrer-Policy "strict-origin-when-cross-origin"
Header set X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff"
Header always set X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN"
SSLProtocol -all +TLSv1.3 +TLSv1.2
SSLHonorCipherOrder on
SSLCompression off
SSLSessionTickets off
SSLUseStapling on
SSLStaplingResponderTimeout 5
SSLStaplingReturnResponderErrors off
SSLStaplingCache shmcb:/var/run/ocsp(128000)
SSLOpenSSLConfCmd Curves X448:secp521r1:secp384r1:prime256v1
SSLOpenSSLConfCmd ECDHParameters secp384r1
SSLOpenSSLConfCmd DHParameters "/etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem"

Enhance security:

screen -S dhparam
openssl dhparam -out /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem 4096

Please be patient, it will take a while depending on your hardware or copy/paste a pre-defined DHE from To leave screen press STRG+A following by ‘d’ – to resume run screen -r. Please be patient, it will take a while. When dhparam was generated just modify the apache.conf:

vi /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

At the beginning of this file add the following new row


and replace ‘AllowOverride None‘ to ‘All‘ as follows in the shown section:

<Directory /var/www/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

Restart apache by issuing

service apache2 restart

Tune your PHP:

cp /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf.bak
cp /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini.bak
cp /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini.bak
cp /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf.bak
sed -i "s/;env\[HOSTNAME\] = /env[HOSTNAME] = /" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/;env\[TMP\] = /env[TMP] = /" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/;env\[TMPDIR\] = /env[TMPDIR] = /" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/;env\[TEMP\] = /env[TEMP] = /" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/;env\[PATH\] = /env[PATH] = /" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/pm.max_children = .*/pm.max_children = 240/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/pm.start_servers = .*/pm.start_servers = 20/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/pm.min_spare_servers = .*/pm.min_spare_servers = 10/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/pm.max_spare_servers = .*/pm.max_spare_servers = 20/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/;pm.max_requests = 500/pm.max_requests = 500/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
sed -i "s/output_buffering =.*/output_buffering = 'Off'/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_execution_time =.*/max_execution_time = 1800/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_input_time =.*/max_input_time = 3600/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/post_max_size =.*/post_max_size = 10240M/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize =.*/upload_max_filesize = 10240M/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_file_uploads =.*/max_file_uploads = 100/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/;date.timezone.*/date.timezone = Europe\/\Berlin/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/;session.cookie_secure.*/session.cookie_secure = True/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/;session.save_path =.*/session.save_path = \"N;700;\/usr\/local\/tmp\/sessions\"/" /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.enable_cli = 1' /etc/php/7.3/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/memory_limit = 128M/memory_limit = 512M/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/output_buffering =.*/output_buffering = 'Off'/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_execution_time =.*/max_execution_time = 1800/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_input_time =.*/max_input_time = 3600/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/post_max_size =.*/post_max_size = 10240M/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize =.*/upload_max_filesize = 10240M/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_file_uploads =.*/max_file_uploads = 100/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;date.timezone.*/date.timezone = Europe\/\Berlin/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;session.cookie_secure.*/session.cookie_secure = True/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.enable=.*/opcache.enable=1/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.enable_cli=.*/opcache.enable_cli=1/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.memory_consumption=.*/opcache.memory_consumption=128/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.interned_strings_buffer=.*/opcache.interned_strings_buffer=8/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.max_accelerated_files=.*/opcache.max_accelerated_files=10000/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.revalidate_freq=.*/opcache.revalidate_freq=1/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;opcache.save_comments=.*/opcache.save_comments=1/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;session.save_path =.*/session.save_path = \"N;700;\/usr\/local\/tmp\/sessions\"/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/;emergency_restart_threshold =.*/emergency_restart_threshold = 10/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf
sed -i "s/;emergency_restart_interval =.*/emergency_restart_interval = 1m/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf
sed -i "s/;process_control_timeout =.*/process_control_timeout = 10s/" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf
sed -i '$aapc.enabled=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.file_update_protection=2' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.optimization=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.shm_size=256M' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.include_once_override=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.shm_segments=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.ttl=7200' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.user_ttl=7200' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.gc_ttl=3600' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.num_files_hint=1024' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.enable_cli=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.max_file_size=5M' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.cache_by_default=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.use_request_time=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.slam_defense=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.mmap_file_mask=/usr/local/tmp/apc/apc.XXXXXX' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.stat_ctime=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.canonicalize=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.write_lock=1' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.report_autofilter=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.rfc1867=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.rfc1867_prefix =upload_' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.rfc1867_name=APC_UPLOAD_PROGRESS' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.rfc1867_freq=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.rfc1867_ttl=3600' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.lazy_classes=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i '$aapc.lazy_functions=0' /etc/php/7.3/fpm/php.ini
sed -i "s/09,39.*/# &/" /etc/cron.d/php
sed -i "s/rights\=\"none\" pattern\=\"PDF\"/rights\=\"read\|write\" pattern\=\"PDF\"/" /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml
(crontab -l ; echo "09,39 * * * * /usr/lib/php/sessionclean 2>&1") | crontab -u root -

Nextcloud Installation:

Open your browser and call to configure Nextcloud. Enter the following values:

Username: Your-NC-Admin
Password*: Your-NC_Password!

Data folder: /var/nc_data
Datenbankuser: nextcloud
DB-Passwort*: nextcloud
Datenbank-Name: nextcloud
Host: localhost

After a few seconds Nexcloud will be installed and you will be redirected to Nextclouds file app. Please log out directly and make further ammendments.

sudo -u www-data vi /var/www/html/nextcloud/.htaccess

Add the red ones:

ErrorDocument 403 //
ErrorDocument 404 //
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
Options -MultiViews
RewriteRule ^core/js/oc.js$ index.php [PT,E=PATH_INFO:$1]
RewriteRule ^core/preview.png$ index.php [PT,E=PATH_INFO:$1]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !\.(css|js|svg|gif|png|html|ttf|woff2?|ico|jpg|jpeg)$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !core/img/favicon.ico$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !core/img/manifest.json$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/remote.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/public.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/cron.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/core/ajax/update.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/status.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/ocs/v1.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/ocs/v2.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/robots.txt
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/updater/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !/ocs-provider/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/(acme-challenge|pki-validation)/.*
RewriteRule . index.php [PT,E=PATH_INFO:$1]
RewriteBase /
<IfModule mod_env.c>
SetEnv front_controller_active true
<IfModule mod_dir.c>
DirectorySlash off

Then adjust Nextclouds config.php.

sudo -u www-data cp /var/www/html/nextcloud/config/config.php /var/www/html/nextcloud/config/config.php.bak

Expand your Nextcloud config.php:

sudo -u www-data sed -i 's/^[ ]*//' /var/www/html/nextcloud/config/config.php
sudo -u www-data sed -i '/);/d' /var/www/html/nextcloud/config/config.php
sudo -u www-data cat <<EOF >>/var/www/html/nextcloud/config/config.php
'activity_expire_days' => 14,
'' => true,
'blacklisted_files' => 
array (
0 => '.htaccess',
1 => 'Thumbs.db',
2 => 'thumbs.db',
'cron_log' => true,
'enable_previews' => true,
'enabledPreviewProviders' => 
array (
0 => 'OC\\Preview\\PNG',
1 => 'OC\\Preview\\JPEG',
2 => 'OC\\Preview\\GIF',
3 => 'OC\\Preview\\BMP',
4 => 'OC\\Preview\\XBitmap',
5 => 'OC\\Preview\\Movie',
6 => 'OC\\Preview\\PDF',
7 => 'OC\\Preview\\MP3',
8 => 'OC\\Preview\\TXT',
9 => 'OC\\Preview\\MarkDown',
'filesystem_check_changes' => 0,
'filelocking.enabled' => 'true',
'htaccess.RewriteBase' => '/',
'integrity.check.disabled' => false,
'knowledgebaseenabled' => false,
'logfile' => '/var/nc_data/nextcloud.log',
'loglevel' => 2,
'logtimezone' => 'Europe/Berlin',
'log_rotate_size' => 104857600,
'maintenance' => false,
'memcache.local' => '\\OC\\Memcache\\APCu',
'memcache.locking' => '\\OC\\Memcache\\Redis',
'overwriteprotocol' => 'https',
'preview_max_x' => 1024,
'preview_max_y' => 768,
'preview_max_scale_factor' => 1,
'redis' => 
array (
'host' => '/var/run/redis/redis.sock',
'port' => 0,
'timeout' => 0.0,
'quota_include_external_storage' => false,
'share_folder' => '/Shares',
'skeletondirectory' => '',
'theme' => '',
'trashbin_retention_obligation' => 'auto, 7',
'' => 'stable',

Edit the .user.ini:

sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize=.*/upload_max_filesize=10240M/" /var/www/html/nextcloud/.user.ini
sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/post_max_size=.*/post_max_size=10240M/" /var/www/html/nextcloud/.user.ini
sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/output_buffering=.*/output_buffering='Off'/" /var/www/html/nextcloud/.user.ini
service php7.3-fpm restart && service redis-server restart && service apache2 restart

Adjust Nextcloud

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ app:disable survey_client
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ app:disable firstrunwizard
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ app:enable admin_audit
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ app:enable files_pdfviewer

Optimize your Nextcloud once (a) and regulary (b) using a script


/usr/sbin/service apache2 stop
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ db:add-missing-indices
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ db:convert-filecache-bigint
/usr/sbin/service apache2 start

(infos: BigInt, missing indices)


vi /root/
redis-cli -s /var/run/redis/redis.sock <<EOF
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ files:scan --all
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ files:scan-app-data
exit 0

Save the script and mark it as executable

chmod +x /root/

Issue the script initially:


Add Nextcloud cronjobs for www-data and root

For www-data:

crontab -u www-data -e

Paste the following rows

*/5 * * * * php -f /var/www/html/nextcloud/cron.php > /dev/null 2>&1

For root:

crontab -e

Paste the follwoing rows:

5 1 * * * /root/ > /dev/null 2>&1

Don’t forget to switch from Ajax to Cron in Nextclouds-Adminpanel or use Nextcloud CLI to switch immediately:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/html/nextcloud/occ background:cron

Modify the mpm_event.conf

vi /etc/apache2/mods-available/mpm_event.conf

Change the “MaxConnectionsPerChild” value to 1000:

StartServers 2
MinSpareThreads 25
MaxSpareThreads 75
ThreadLimit 64
ThreadsPerChild 25
MaxRequestWorkers 150
MaxConnectionsPerChild 1000

At least we will enable http2 by issuing

a2enmod http2 && service php7.3-fpm restart && service apache2 restart

and create a http2.conf with few settings:

vi /etc/apache2/conf-available/http2.conf

Paste all the following rows:

<IfModule http2_module>
Protocols h2 h2c http/1.1
H2Direct on
H2StreamMaxMemSize 5120000000

and enable this configuration by issuing

a2enconf http2 && service apache2 restart

Finally we will secure Apache to a minimum level by disabling Apaches status module (as long as you won’t need it in particular) and altering the security.conf:

a2dismod status && vi /etc/apache2/conf-available/security.conf

Change the values to the red ones:

ServerTokens Prod
ServerSignature Off
TraceEnable Off

and restart PHP, Apache2 and Redis one last time.

service php7.3-fpm restart && service redis-server restart && service apache2 restart

Nextcloud is now already secured, up and running! Beyond that we will harden the system using fail2ban and ufw. First we install and configure fail2ban and finally we will configure the firewall (ufw).

Install and configure fail2ban:

apt update && apt install fail2ban -y

Create the Nextcloud-filter:

vi /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/nextcloud.conf

Paste the following rows to the fail2ban filter for Nextcloud (or download as txt file to avoid WordPress-code-issues!):

failregex=^{"reqId":".*","remoteAddr":".*","app":"core","message":"Login failed: '.*' \(Remote IP: '<HOST>'\)","level":2,"time":".*"}$
            ^{"reqId":".*","level":2,"time":".*","remoteAddr":".*","app":"core".*","message":"Login failed: '.*' \(Remote IP: '<HOST>'\)".*}$
            ^.*\"remoteAddr\":\"<HOST>\".*Trusted domain error.*$

Create a new jail:

vi /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/nextcloud.local

Paste the following rows:

backend = auto
enabled = true
port = 80,443
protocol = tcp
filter = nextcloud
maxretry = 6
bantime = 18000
findtime = 36000
logpath = /var/nc_data/nextcloud.log

Re-start the fail2ban-service:

service fail2ban restart

Configure your ufw (uncomplicated firewall):

ufw allow 80/tcp && ufw allow 443/tcp && ufw allow 22/tcp && ufw logging medium

Enable and restart ufw by running

ufw enable && service ufw restart

Enjoy your personal data in your secured and hardened Nextcloud-Server!

Don’t forget to backup your Nextcloud

Find more instructions here: Nextcloud Backup and Restore

Carsten Rieger

Carsten Rieger is a senior system engineer in full-time and also working as an IT freelancer. He is working with linux environments for more than 14 years, an Open Source enthusiast and highly motivated on linux installation and troubleshooting. Mostly working with Debian/Ubuntu Linux, Nginx and Apache web server, MariaDB/MySQL, PHP, Cloud infrastructure (e.g. Nextcloud) and other open source projects (e.g. Roundcube) and in voluntary work for the Dr. Michael & Angela Jacobi Stiftung for more than 7 years.