Alternative Self-Controlled File Storage

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Start with a ground for people to share what they use

  • Lots of dropbox


  • hosting gets expensive to host so much data
  • collaboration: clients/activists use gdrive alot

things we use

  • dropbox
  • google drive
  • basecamp
  • om cloud
  • zimbra [locally installed]
  • survey monkey

Facilitator says:

3 main open source softwares are

  • om cloud [most recommended for client/production uses]
  • cfile
  • hydeo

Details on various softwares


Great to share data, not great to edit together

  • great syncing app, syncs w phones, public link sharing
  • can work well with large files, must configure php
  • can sync only selected folders
  • you can get it as a paid service or put on your own servers
  • Web Dev support
    • collaboration. limited zimbra integration.
    • also has decent calendar funtionality
    • you'll need a techie to setup or $$ to pay to get it setup [fairly easy but not the hardest, need linux literacy]


  • invented by yahoo, dropin replacement for microsoft exchange
  • can live in a web browser
  • briefcase is the file management system
  • installs in one folder, can be moved via servers
  • local v web [lots of files, server space
  • calendars work well


  • US govt written
  • drop-in replacement for sharepoint
  • there is a community version with no tech support
  • its "overkill" to replace gdrive

etherpad / piratepad

  • realtime collaboration
  • must keep the URL in order to keep the document
  • no GUI file directory


why are we on dropbox/gdrive?

  • not knowing alternatives
  • even though we know its "bad", the least secure is the most user friendly, we have to choose getting what we need over the "right" option
  • "we just want it to work"

why get off dropbox/gdrive?

  • they will hand over your data to the gov't real quick
  • its not like you know where the backup is. perhaps you're not even backing this up.
  • what u gonna do when the web goes down HUH?
  • weirdness about copies, moving, ownership
  • we can defend our servers more easily
  • if there was a google data breach would we hear about it?
  • so you can

what are the issues in setting up your own? - paying for posting space or per user - where is the backup? are we thinking about the redundancy - you'll need an IT person to setup and or help you and or deal w IT yourself - security. YO!

other thing to know

  • when you login at a random coffeeshop anything could be happening interstitially to your data
  • microsoft windows 10 logs keystrokes

Toolkit options

Do you have a local server in your office?

  • setup omcloud on your local server ands et it up so you can access your data when youre out of the office
  • backup service - getting cheaper,
  • for a "faxe dropbox" see vultr [large VPS] ex 5gb server, $20/mo, setup omcloud on VPserver, then do data migration. the migration is hard but once youre on the system you at least have shell access
  • setup backup service

Who provides omcloud service?

  • kumbit, mayfirst, palante

Some core shifts

  • orgs less and less have internal servers, mailservers now the free options "seems free" but also have their own costs


for linux [kinda like time machine, for linux
  • "search for a GUI for rsync"
  • still have ?s about how to backup our servers

One organizational use case, bittorrent protocol:

  • bitsync, peer to peer, filesharing, neorouter

Another point:

  • test your backups! just in case you're making them badly, that would be sad to find out at the time you need it.

ending thoughts

  • what u gonna do when the web goes down HUH???!! well if you can access your server via ssh or ftp, you can still get to your server
  • the right IT help is worth putting time or $$ into. Mayfirst? Better than dropbox!!!