Getting Started with OwnCloud


OwnCloud is a file sync and share platform that is available for eRSA data storage. OwnCloud is a useful way to access your data because it makes it easy to:

  • Organise your data - add tags and easily move files and folders
  • Transfer data - drag-and-drop upload, click a button to download
  • Share your data - share a folder or send a link to the data
  • Sync your data - create syncing folders, like “dropbox” or “google drive”


Access to OwnCloud


  1. Users of eRSA storage, or Tango which has storage attached, can request an ownCloud account by emailing the eRSA service desk. (/data storage users should have ownCloud enabled by default)
  2. Access is via your eRSA username and password. (eRSA username is often your first initial followed by your surname. If you have forgotten your password, reset it in the eRSA portal)
  3. In your web browser, navigate to storage.ersa.edu.au and enter your eRSA username and password.


Transferring Data


OwnCloud makes transferring data between your storage and PC, or between locations in your eRSA storage, very easy. To upload, drag-and-drop files, or use the + button. To download, click the “…” menu next to the file/folder. There is an upload limit of 5GB per file (contact the service desk if this is an issue). Of course, you can still use SFTP to transfer files.


Storage in OwnCloud


OwnCloud is designed to be a way of accessing your eRSA storage, which you will need to attach as “external storage”. Your ownCloud account will also be linked to 5GB of extra storage for ownCloud only. When you first log in, only this 5GB ownCloud allocation will be available. Your first step should be to link your eRSA storage to the account.

n.b. make sure you have permissions to access the file. Check with your data allocation manager, or with eRSA, if you are not sure.

  1. Click the arrow on the top right, next to your name. Select “Personal”
  2. Click the “External Storage” option on the left-hand menu.
  3. Fill in the configuration settings below.
  4. If the connection is successful, a green dot will appear. A red square means there is an issue connecting (check input values).
  5. In the top left drop down menu, select “files” to return to the home screen, and see the external storage listed amongst your files.
Configuration settings

Folder name: the name the mapped folder will be given in owncloud. You can choose anything

External storage: SFTP

Authentication: Username and password Configuration: 

Host: sftp.ersa.edu.au 

Root: Path to storage on the host *see info below **

Username: your eRSA username 

Password: your eRSA password 

Advanced settings (cog wheel): ***important -Enable sharing if required (you will need this to have the option to share data later)

* Root: Path to Storage eRSA storage is generally given the following paths: 

  • For storage allocations: /data/groupname  where  groupname  is the short name given to the data allocation. 
  • For Tango home folders: /home/users/username  where  username  is your eRSA username

Example settings for a user attaching both a storage allocation and their Tango home folder:


Sharing Data


After you have enabled “sharing” (see advanced settings in the section above), you can make your data available to others. Please read the section below called “Sharing and Permissions” to understand the difference between adding users to file permissions, and sharing data in ownCloud.


To share a file or folder, click the share symbol beside its name. Select a recipient with an eRSA ownCloud account by typing their name or username. You can choose whether someone can share or edit the data. eRSA recommends disabling “can share” to maintain control over the security of your data.


Once a folder/file has been shared, click the linked chain icon to adjust the share settings. Click the trash can icon next to someone’s name to quit sharing with them.


To share with someone who does not have an ownCloud account, you can create a shareable link which the recipient can open in a web browser. It is recommended to give the link an expiry date for greater security. In addition, eRSA can supply an ownCloud account for anyone at the request of an eRSA user in order to make file sharing easier.



Syncing Data - The Desktop Client


You can create a folder on your PC that synchronises with a folder on your eRSA storage. To do this, download and install the ownCloud desktop client.

  1. Enter the server address "https//storage.ersa.edu.au" , then click “next”
  2. Enter your eRSA username and password
  3. Choose what folders will sync and the location of your syncing folder. Then click “Connect”.
  4. You can modify the folders and files that are synchronised at any time in the “OwnCloud” applications settings


Sharing and Permissions


There are sharing options available in ownCloud. To understand them better, it is useful to understand the normal file permissions.

  • When a group gets a storage allocation with eRSA, a list of users are supplied to eRSA to have full access, or read-only permission. The data owner can add or remove users from this list at anytime by emailing the eRSA service desk.
  • Your Tango home folder will be accessible by you only. Your username is the only log-in that can view and access the files. Folders in your group allocation may have permissions set up for the whole group, or only for the creator of each folder. These are set in the “file permissions” of your storage server, administered by the eRSA service desk.
  • OwnCloud abides by these file permissions. You will only be able to access folders that your username log-in gives you access to.
  • However, “sharing” in ownCloud is a bit different….
  • OwnCloud does not alter “file permissions” on the storage server. If you share data within ownCloud, the storage server will assign any changes made by people you have shared it with to your username.
  • If someone shares their data with you via ownCloud and gives you edit permissions, any changes you make will be read by the server as coming from the username of the individual that approved the share. You will only be able to access the data via ownCloud, and not by sftp (secure file transfer protocol).
  • You can make changes in the “file permissions” by contacting the eRSA service desk. OwnCloud offers an easy, self-managed option for sharing files and keeping track of who they are shared with as a supplement to normal “file permissions”.


Note


OwnCloud is easy to use and has useful features, but it is not the fastest way to transfer and share large files. We recommend using SFTP to transfer larger files for stability and speed.

There is currently a limit to the size of a single file that can be transferred to/from your storage via ownCloud. This limit is 10GB, as it is recommended that larger files are transferred via SFTP instead. Please contact us if this is an issue.