October 2013

Install OwnCloud on your Raspberry Pi

Owncloud Logo

OwnCloud is a free (libre), open source equivalent to DropBox.

As well as the program you install on your server, it has free desktop sync clients for Linux, Windows and Mac, and apps for Android and iOS.

I’m just going to cover the server side of things for your Pi in this tutorial, because the desktop client can be found in the Ubuntu repos, and the app is on the Play Store. If you want the Android app free of charge, then install it via F-Droid.

Speed up your Pi by booting to a USB flash drive

Raspberry Pi USB flash drive

Intro

If you’ve read some of the other articles on the site, you may have gathered that I have three RasPis doing useful things around my home:

  • Pi #1 is running Raspbmc, an XBMC media centre port for the Raspberry Pi.
  • Pi #2 is running this website plus an email server.
  • Pi #3 is running the Dropbox replacement OwnCloud.

All three of these ran reasonably quickly out of the box, but because the Pi is such a low powered device, every little performance boost helps.

Having said that, this is no small improvement, and the performance gain is instantly apparent.

Beware Apache2 mod_proxy

While tinkering with the settings for my site, I discovered an Apache module called mod_proxy.

I was interested in it because I am running two webservers – one for www.samhobbs.co.uk and one for webmail, and I wanted to redirect traffic from one part of the site to the webmail server using ProxyPass.

Unfortunately, I was over-enthusiastic in my explorations and made an error: I enabled my server to be used as an open proxy, and attracted thousands and thousands of dodgy requests from around the world.

What this meant is that anyone could connect to my server and use it to visit web pages whilst concealing their true identity: the pages visited would only see my IP, not theirs.