Simplified Nextcloud 16 installation guide (AMD64/ARM64)

A+ with TLS 1.3

Following this guide you will be able to install and configure Nextcloud 16 latest based on Ubuntu Server 18.04.x LTS 64Bit, NGINX, TLSv1.3, PHP 7.3, MariaDB 10.3 and Redis. You will achieve an A+ rating from both, Nextcloud and Qualys SSL Labs. We will request and implement your ssl certificate(s) from Let’s Encrypt. You only have to ammend the red marked values like, 192.168.2.x,… regarding your environment!

Table of content

  1. Prepare your server and install nginx
  2. PHP 7.3
  3. MariaDB 10.3
  4. Redis-server
  5. Nextcloud (SSL enabled, A+)
  6. Hardenings (fail2ban and ufw)

1. Prepare your server and install NGINX

Change into sudo mode

sudo -s

Prepare your server for the installation itself:

apt install wget gnupg2 git -y

Change into your working directory:

cd /usr/local/src

Backup the old source files and create new ones:

mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak && touch /etc/apt/sources.list
cat <<EOF >>/etc/apt/sources.list
deb bionic main multiverse restricted universe
deb bionic-security main multiverse restricted universe
deb bionic-updates main multiverse restricted universe
deb bionic main
deb bionic main
deb bionic main

Download the required keys to trust all the new source:

apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 4F4EA0AAE5267A6C
apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8

Install further systemtools:

apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt install software-properties-common zip unzip screen curl ffmpeg libfile-fcntllock-perl tree  ssl-cert -y && make-ssl-cert generate-default-snakeoil -y

Remove old nginx software if exists:

apt remove nginx nginx-extras nginx-common nginx-full -y --allow-change-held-packages

Install the webserver and configure the nginx service for autostart

apt install nginx nginx-extras -y && systemctl enable nginx.service

Change the default nginx configuration:

mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.bak && vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Paste all the following rows to the new file. Substitute the red marked parameters properly:

user www-data;
worker_processes auto;
error_log /var/log/nginx/error.log warn;
pid /var/run/;
events {
worker_connections 1024;
multi_accept on; use epoll;
http {
server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
upstream php-handler {
server unix:/run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock;
# please customize the ip-range properly
real_ip_header X-Forwarded-For;
real_ip_recursive on;
include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
#include /etc/nginx/proxy.conf;
#include /etc/nginx/ssl.conf;
#include /etc/nginx/header.conf;
#include /etc/nginx/optimization.conf; 
default_type application/octet-stream;
log_format main '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
'$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
'"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for" '
'"$host" sn="$server_name" '
'rt=$request_time '
'ua="$upstream_addr" us="$upstream_status" '
'ut="$upstream_response_time" ul="$upstream_response_length" '
'cs=$upstream_cache_status' ;
access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log main;
sendfile on;
send_timeout 3600;
tcp_nopush on;
tcp_nodelay on;
open_file_cache max=500 inactive=10m;
open_file_cache_errors on;
keepalive_timeout 65;
reset_timedout_connection on;
server_tokens off;
resolver valid=30s;
#resolver valid=30s; is recommended but reuqires a valid resolver configuration
resolver_timeout 5s;
include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;

Test and restart the webserver

nginx -t && service nginx restart

Create four folders and apply the appropriate permissions:

mkdir -p /var/nc_data /var/www/letsencrypt /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

The preparation and installation of nginx has finished and we will install PHP latest in the next chapter.

2. Install PHP

The PHP repository was enabled in chapter 1 – so just perform the following statement to install PHP latest as needed by and recommended for Nextcloud:

apt update && apt install php7.3-fpm php7.3-gd php7.3-mysql php7.3-curl php7.3-xml php7.3-zip php7.3-intl php7.3-mbstring php7.3-json php7.3-bz2 php7.3-ldap php-apcu imagemagick php-imagick php-smbclient -y

Awesome, PHP 7.3 is already installed. Verify your timezone settings :


If necessary customize it as examplarily shown for Germany:

timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Berlin

Tweak PHP for optimization and security reasons:

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 -

Modify your fstab to gain performancy by operating with tmpfs. Determine the uid of the webuser called www-data by issuing:

id www-data

Only if it differs from ‘uid=33‘ replace the ‘uid=33‘ in the following rows 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

Mount the tmpfs and restart both services, php and nginx:

mount -a && service php7.3-fpm restart && service nginx restart

PHP was successfully installed and configured – we will go ahead with the installation of MariaDB.

3. MariaDB

Install MariaDB by issuing the following statement:

apt update && apt install mariadb-server -y

Verify your database server version:

mysql --version

A version like …

mysql Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.3.14 ...

≥ 10.3.14-MariaDB… should appear.

Harden and secure your MariaDB by issuing:

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

With regards to Nextcloud we optimize the configuration of MariaDB:

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

Paste all the following rows:

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 and connect to MariaDB:

service mysql restart && mysql -uroot -p


  • the database nextcloud
  • the user nextcloud
  • and its password:
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; quit;

Verify the transaction isolation level is set to READ_Commit and the collation is 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'"

The resultset should consist of “READ-COMMITTED” and “utf8mb4_general_ci” … go ahead with the installation of the redis-server.

4. Redis

Install the redis-server to optimize Nextclouds performance and to minimize the load on the database:

apt update && apt install redis-server php-redis -y

Change the redis configuration and set the group membership properly:

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

I’d suggest to reboot your server once:

shutdown -r now

We are now ready to go – we will install Nextcloud in the next chapter.

5. Nextcloud

First create all the configuration and webhost files (aka vhost). Change into sudo mode and create the /etc/nginx/conf.d/nextcloud.conf (vhost):

sudo -s
[ -f /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf ] && mv /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf.bak
touch /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf && vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/nextcloud.conf

Paste all the following rows and customize the red marked parameters:

server_name YOUR.DEDYN.IO;
listen 80 default_server;
location ^~ /.well-known/acme-challenge
proxy_set_header Host $host;
location /
return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
server_name YOUR.DEDYN.IO;
listen 443 ssl http2 default_server;
root /var/www/nextcloud/;
access_log /var/log/nginx/nextcloud.access.log main;
error_log /var/log/nginx/nextcloud.error.log warn;
location = /robots.txt
allow all;
log_not_found off;
access_log off;
location = /.well-known/carddav {
return 301 $scheme://$host/remote.php/dav;
location = /.well-known/caldav {
return 301 $scheme://$host/remote.php/dav;
#SOCIAL app enabled? Please uncomment the following three rows
#rewrite ^/.well-known/webfinger /public.php?service=webfinger last;
#rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta /public.php?service=host-meta last;
#rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta.json /public.php?service=host-meta-json last;
client_max_body_size 10240M;
location / {
rewrite ^ /index.php$request_uri;
location ~ ^/(?:build|tests|config|lib|3rdparty|templates|data)/
deny all;
location ~ ^/(?:\.|autotest|occ|issue|indie|db_|console)
deny all;
location ~ \.(?:flv|mp4|mov|m4a)$
mp4_buffer_size 100M;
mp4_max_buffer_size 1024M;
fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.*)$;
include fastcgi_params; include php_optimization.conf;
fastcgi_pass php-handler; fastcgi_param HTTPS on;
location ~ ^/(?:index|remote|public|cron|core/ajax/update|status|ocs/v[12]|updater/.+|ocs-provider/.+)\.php(?:$|/)
fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.*)$;
include fastcgi_params; include php_optimization.conf;
fastcgi_pass php-handler; fastcgi_param HTTPS on;
location ~ ^/(?:updater|ocs-provider)(?:$|/)
try_files $uri/ =404; index index.php;
location ~ \.(?:css|js|woff2?|svg|gif|png|html|ttf|ico|jpg|jpeg)$
try_files $uri /index.php$request_uri;
access_log off; expires 360d;

Create the letsencrypt.conf (vhost):

vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/letsencrypt.conf

Paste all the following rows:

listen default_server;
charset utf-8;
access_log /var/log/nginx/le.access.log main;
error_log /var/log/nginx/le.error.log warn;
location ^~ /.well-known/acme-challenge
default_type text/plain;
root /var/www/letsencrypt;

Create the ssl.conf:

vi /etc/nginx/ssl.conf

Paste all the following rows:

ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key;
ssl_trusted_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem;
#ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/fullchain.pem;
#ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/privkey.pem;
#ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/fullchain.pem;                                                                                                                                #ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/privkey.pem;                                                                                                                              #ssl_trusted_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/chain.pem;
ssl_dhparam /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem;
ssl_session_timeout 1d; ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:50m;
ssl_session_tickets off; ssl_protocols TLSv1.3 TLSv1.2;
ssl_ecdh_curve X448:secp521r1:secp384r1:prime256v1;
ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
ssl_stapling on;
ssl_stapling_verify on;

Create the proxy.conf :

vi /etc/nginx/proxy.conf

Paste all the following rows:

proxy_set_header Host $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Protocol $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port $server_port;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host;
proxy_connect_timeout 3600;
proxy_send_timeout 3600;
proxy_read_timeout 3600;
proxy_redirect off;

Create the header.conf:

vi /etc/nginx/header.conf

Paste the following rows:

add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000; includeSubDomains; preload;";
add_header X-Robots-Tag none; add_header X-Download-Options noopen;
add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies none;
add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always;
add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block" always;
add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always;

Create the optimization.conf:

vi /etc/nginx/optimization.conf

Paste all the following rows:

fastcgi_read_timeout 3600;
fastcgi_buffers 64 64K;
fastcgi_buffer_size 256k;
fastcgi_busy_buffers_size 3840K;
fastcgi_cache_key $http_cookie$request_method$host$request_uri;
fastcgi_cache_use_stale error timeout invalid_header http_500;
fastcgi_ignore_headers Cache-Control Expires Set-Cookie;
gzip on;
gzip_vary on;
gzip_comp_level 4;
gzip_min_length 256;
gzip_proxied expired no-cache no-store private no_last_modified no_etag auth;
gzip_types application/atom+xml application/javascript application/json application/ld+json application/manifest+json application/rss+xml application/vnd.geo+json application/ application/x-font-ttf application/x-web-app-manifest+json application/xhtml+xml application/xml font/opentype image/bmp image/svg+xml image/x-icon text/cache-manifest text/css text/plain text/vcard text/vnd.rim.location.xloc text/vtt text/x-component text/x-cross-domain-policy;
gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6]\.";

Create the php_optimization.conf:

vi /etc/nginx/php_optimization.conf

Paste all the following rows:

fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_path_info;
fastcgi_param modHeadersAvailable true;
fastcgi_param front_controller_active true;
fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
fastcgi_request_buffering off;
fastcgi_cache_valid 404 1m;
fastcgi_cache_valid any 1h;
fastcgi_cache_methods GET HEAD;

To enhance the security just create your own dhparam.pem:

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

If your dhparam.pem exists please customize and restart your webserver:

sed -i s/\#\include/\include/g /etc/nginx/nginx.conf && service nginx restart

Download and extract the Nextcloud software:

cd /usr/local/src
tar -xjf latest.tar.bz2 -C /var/www && chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/ && rm -f latest.tar.bz2

To request ssl certificates from letsencrypt just install acme and request your ssl-certificate(s):

cd /usr/local/src
git clone
cd && chmod +x 
./ --install 

The installer will perform 3 actions:

  1. Create and copy to your home dir ($HOME): ~/ All certs will be placed in this folder too.
  2. Create alias for:
  3. Create daily cron job to check and renew the certs if needed.

After the installation, you must close the current terminal and reopen it to make the alias take effect.

Create two folders, change the directory and request your ssl certificates:

mkdir -p /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs
cd ~/ --issue -d --keylength 4096 -w /var/www/letsencrypt --key-file /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/privkey.pem --ca-file /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/chain.pem --cert-file /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/cert.pem --fullchain-file /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/fullchain.pem --issue -d --keylength ec-384 -w /var/www/letsencrypt --key-file /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/privkey.pem --ca-file /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/chain.pem --cert-file /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/cert.pem --fullchain-file /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/fullchain.pem

Apply the appropiate permissions using a script:

vi /root/

Paste all the following rows:

find /var/www/ -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0640
find /var/www/ -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 0750
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/nc_data/
chmod 0644 /var/www/nextcloud/.htaccess
chmod 0644 /var/www/nextcloud/.user.ini
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/fullchain.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/privkey.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/chain.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/rsa-certs/cert.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/fullchain.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/privkey.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/chain.pem
chmod 600 /etc/letsencrypt/ecc-certs/cert.pem
chmod 600 /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem
exit 0

Mark the script as executable and issue it:

chmod +x /root/ && /root/

Remove the links to your self signed certificates and restart nginx:

sed -i '/ssl-cert-snakeoil/d' /etc/nginx/ssl.conf
sed -i s/\#\ssl/\ssl/g /etc/nginx/ssl.conf
service nginx restart

From now your webserver interacts withs your ssl certificates from let’s encrypt. Go ahead and install your Nextcloud software silently by issuing the following statement:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:install --database "mysql" --database-name "nextcloud" --database-user "nextcloud" --database-pass "nextcloud" --admin-user "YourNextcloudAdmin" --admin-pass "YourNextcloudAdminPasssword" --data-dir "/var/nc_data"


–database-name “nextcloud” : As set above while creating the database

–database-user “nextcloud” : As set above while creating the database user

–database-pass “nextcloud” : As set above while creating the user password

–admin-user “YourNextcloudAdmin” : your free choice

–admin-pass “YourNextcloudAdminPasssword” : your free choice

Wait for the installation and finally make amendments to your Nextcloud ‘config.php’ as the webuser www-data:

1. Set your trusted domain:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ config:system:set trusted_domains 1

2. Set your domain as overwrite.cli.url:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ config:system:set overwrite.cli.url --value=

Enhance your Nextcloud configuration – back up the current config.php and issue the statements below:

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

Expand your Nextcloud config.php:

sudo -u www-data sed -i 's/^[ ]*//' /var/www/nextcloud/config/config.php
sudo -u www-data sed -i '/);/d' /var/www/nextcloud/config/config.php
sudo -u www-data cat <<EOF >>/var/www/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-server.sock',
'port' => 0,
'timeout' => 0.0,
'quota_include_external_storage' => false,
'share_folder' => '/Shares',
'skeletondirectory' => '',
'theme' => '',
'trashbin_retention_obligation' => 'auto, 7',
'' => 'stable',

Edit Nextclouds file ‘.user.ini’ and adjust some Nextcloud apps as user www-data:

sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize=.*/upload_max_filesize=10240M/" /var/www/nextcloud/.user.ini
sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/post_max_size=.*/post_max_size=10240M/" /var/www/nextcloud/.user.ini
sudo -u www-data sed -i "s/output_buffering=.*/output_buffering='Off'/" /var/www/nextcloud/.user.ini
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ app:disable survey_client
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ app:disable firstrunwizard
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ app:enable admin_audit
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ app:enable files_pdfviewer

Your Nextcloud is now installed, optimized and secured – finally restart all relevant services:

service nginx stop && service php7.3-fpm stop && service mysql restart && service php7.3-fpm restart && service redis-server restart && service nginx restart

Add a Nextcloud cronjob for www-data:

crontab -u www-data -e

Paste the following rows:

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

Switch from Ajax to Cron using Nextclouds cli:

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

6. Hardenings (fail2ban and ufw)

First install and configure fail2ban to harden your server:

apt update && apt install fail2ban -y

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

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

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

Paste all the following rows:

backend = auto
enabled = true
port = 80,443
protocol = tcp
filter = nextcloud
maxretry = 5
bantime = 36000
findtime = 36000
logpath = /var/nc_data/nextcloud.log

enabled = true

Restart the fail2ban-service and verify the fail2ban-status:

service fail2ban restart && fail2ban-client status nextcloud

At least we will install and customize the ufw (uncomplicated firewall):

Before issuing the following statement verify the used ports. If e.g. SSH operates on a different port than 22 you won’t be able to connect via ssh anymore – please customize the ports if necessary!

apt install ufw -y && ufw allow 80/tcp && ufw allow 443/tcp && ufw allow 22/tcp

Set the firewall logging to medium and deny non defined incoming connections. Finally enable and restart ufw by issuing the last statement:

ufw logging medium && ufw default deny incoming && ufw enable && service ufw restart

Enjoy your personal data in your secured and hardened Nextcloud!

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 13 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/PostgreSQL, 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.