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7 Awesome Open Source Cloud Storage Software For Your Privacy and Security

Cloud storage is nothing but an enterprise-level cloud data storage model to store the digital data in logical pools, across the multiple servers. You can use a hosting company such as Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Dropbox and others for keeping your data available and accessible 24×7. You can access data stored on cloud storage via API or desktop/mobile apps or web based systems.

In this post, I’m going to list amazingly awesome open source cloud storage engines that you can use to access and sync your data privately for security and privacy reasons.

Why use open source cloud storage software?

The cloud - Source http://www.xkcd.net/908/

The cloud – Source http://www.xkcd.net/908/

  1. Create a cloud on your own server or in a data center.
  2. Control and own your own data.
  3. Privacy protection.
  4. Encryption.
  5. Verify source code for bugs and/or backdoors.
  6. Avoid spying on your files on the server using encryption.
  7. Legal compliance – HIPAA and others.
  8. Good performance as your data stored in local storage instead of remote data center.
  9. Good reliability and availability due to local LAN. You are no longer depends upon WAN bandwidth or the service provider for network.
  10. No artificially imposed limits on storage space or client connections and more
  11. Share your files and data with or without password or time limit. Share it publicly, or privately. No 3rd party corporation own your data.

Suggested sample cloud storage setup for home users


                      +----------------+
      Internet/ISP----|Router/Wireless |
                      +----+-----------+
                           | 
                      +----+---+
                      |Home Lan|
                      +--------+       +-------------------+
                               |       | Raspberry Pi      |
                               +-------+  Or Intel         |
                                       | Atom based server |
                                       |        +          |
                                       | Cloud storage     |
                                       +-------------------+

You can use the Raspberry Pi or an Intel Atom CPU based small server as a home cloud storage system. Use an external USB drive or secure backup service such as rsync.net/tarsnap.com to backup your cloud server in an encrypted format. This setup ensures that you keep all your data and not to trust the entirety of your personal data to a corporation.

Seafile: Easy to setup cloud storage for home users

Seafile is a file hosting cloud storage software to store files. You can synchronized files and data with PC and mobile devices easily or use the server’s web interface for managing your data files. There is no limits on data storage space (except for hard disk capacity) or the number of connected clients to your private server (except for CPU/RAM capacity).

Seafile cloud storage
Operating system: Cross-platform (written in C and Python) – MS-Windows/Raspberry Pi/Linux private server
Desktop clients: Yes (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux)
Mobile clients: Yes (Android/iPad/iPhone)
Type: File cloud storage and data synchronization
Paid support: Yes via Professional Edition
Licence: GPLv3 (Community Edition)
Download: seafile.com

ownCloud: Dropbox replacement

ownCloud is another very popular file hosting cloud storage software and often described as Dropbox replacement. Just like Dropbox you can synchronizes your files to your private server. Files placed in ownCloud server are accessible via the mobile and desktop apps. You can add external storage to your ownCloud with Dropbox, SWIFT, FTPs, Google Docs, S3, external WebDAV servers and more. Enable the encryption app to encrypt data on external storage for improved security and privacy.

owncloud  web client
Operating system: Cross-platform (written in PHP & JavaScript) – MS-Windows/Linux private server
Desktop clients: Yes (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux)
Mobile clients: Yes (Android/Apple iOS)
Type: File cloud storage and data synchronization
Paid support: Yes via Enterprise Edition
Licence: AGPLv3
Download: owncloud.org

git-annex assistant

The git-annex assistant creates a synchronised folder on each of your OSX and Linux computers, Android devices, removable drives, NAS appliances, and cloud services. You can manage, share, and sync your large files with the power of git and the ease of use of a simple folder you drop files into. Please note that the software is still under heavy development and new features are added regularly.

git-cloud-storage
Operating system: Cross-platform – MS-Windows(beta)/Linux/OS X/FreeBSD/Docker private server
Desktop clients: No (porting)
Mobile clients: Yes (Android)
Type: File cloud storage and data synchronization
Paid support: ???
Licence: GPL version 3
Download: git-annex.branchable.com

SparkleShare: Easy to use cloud storage with git as a storage backend

It is also a Dropbox clone and very easy to setup. From the project site:

SparkleShare creates a special folder on your computer. You can add remotely hosted folders (or “projects”) to this folder. These projects will be automatically kept in sync with both the host and all of your peers when someone adds, removes or edits a file.

sparkleshare
Operating system: Cross-platform (written in C#) – MS-Windows/Linux/OS X
Desktop clients: Yes ( MS-Windows/Linux/OS X)
Mobile clients: No (Android/iOS on hold)
Type: File and data synchronization
Paid support: ???
Licence: GPL version 3
Download: sparkleshare.org

Syncthing for private, encrypted & authenticated distribution of data

Syncthing is an open-source file synchronization client/server application, written in Go. It replaces proprietary sync and cloud services with something open, trustworthy and decentralized.

SyncthingWebInterface-1
Operating system: Cross-platform (written in Go) – Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Android, BSD, Solaris
Desktop clients: Yes (MS-Windows/Linux/OS X/OpeBSD and Unix-like)
Mobile clients: Yes (Android/F-Driod)
Type: File and data synchronization
Paid support: ???
Licence: GPL version 3
Download: syncthing.net

Stacksync cloud storage

StackSync is an open-source scalable Personal Cloud that can adapt to the necessities of organizations. It puts a special emphasis on security by encrypting data on the client side before it is sent to the server.

stacksync
Operating system: Linux
Desktop clients: Yes (MS-Windows/Linux/)
Mobile clients: Yes (Android)
Type: File and data synchronization
Paid support: ???
Licence: GPL version 2
Download: stacksync.org

OpenStack Object Storage (Swift)

Swift is a scalable redundant storage system. Objects and files are written to multiple disk drives spread throughout servers in the data center, with the OpenStack software responsible for ensuring data replication and integrity across the cluster. Please note that Swift is meant for a large or enterprise users only and not recommended for home users due to complex setup procedures.

Operating system: Cross-platform (written in Python)
Desktop clients: ???
Mobile clients: ???
Type: File, data synchronization and more
Paid support: ???
Licence: Apache License 2.0
Download: openstack.org

Conclusion

Personally, I’m using Owncloud as FOSS based cloud solution for my file sharing with friends and family. It offers me Calendar, Contacts, and Dropbox like storage. My cloud server has total 5 disks, 2 Gib RAM, and an Intel atom cpu. I use a Debian Linux with RAID 6. I backup my cloud to an external USB drive and currently, testing tarsanp backup service. I’m also planning to try out SparkleShare on the Raspberry Pi soon.

Are you using any other personal FOSS cloud basesd software? Add your suggestions the comments below.

Sysadmin because even developers need heroes!!!

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This entry is 1 of 3 in the Sysadmin and FOSS Resources series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. 7 Awesome Open Source Cloud Storage Software For Your Privacy and Security
  2. 5 Awesome Open Source Backup Software For Linux and Unix-like Systems
  3. 5 Awesome Open Source Cloning Software
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Christina Kasica March 11, 2016, 12:49 am

    I’m an academic (not a techie) who has 3 million scans about 2 terabytes of ancient manuscripts I want to digitize and make searchable–how should I start?

    Reply
    • Jones August 24, 2016, 8:00 pm

      OCR scan the documents, and put them into database, now you only need a nice good anime image viewer. or some html5 image viewer that can zoom in and out

      Reply
  • DuroSoft March 2, 2016, 12:42 am

    If you want to be 100% confident that your cloud storage company isn’t secretly decrypting and reading your data, you should use a service like our DuroCloud that uses client-side encryption.

    Reply
  • guy October 17, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Why you people always forget about the tahoe lafs? https://www.tahoe-lafs.org/trac/tahoe-lafs

    Reply
  • Victor R. July 2, 2015, 4:35 am

    A good one is Pydio :D!.

    Reply
  • The AlieN May 20, 2015, 11:23 am

    any info about Filecloud.com ?

    Reply
  • Andrew M. Sheppard April 15, 2015, 7:14 pm

    Running a glorified NAS+rsync w/ a web front end, a cloud does not make. It’d be nice if that point was identified for such “solutions” (eg: OwnCloud).

    So much marketing hype in this post. -1

    Reply
  • moonwalker March 5, 2015, 4:36 am

    Admittedly, I haven’t tried ownCloud since version 6.0, but I remember it’s file syncing capabilities to be utterly broken – it was extremely slow and ended up corrupting some of my files. Maybe this issue happened only because I needed to sync big files, but I found it to be unusable for my needs. I found that among different open source solutions Seafile was the closest from user perspective to the pain-free experience that Dropbox offers. I’ve been a happy Seafile user since late 1.x versions and I’m still using it now at version 4.1.x.

    Reply
    • Pissed off Techie July 28, 2015, 11:34 am

      That’s how I remember it too.
      Utterly hated ownCloud, to be honest.

      Reply
  • Colin Brace February 15, 2015, 2:11 pm

    I’ll be curious to hear your experiences with tarsnap. I used it for a couple of years, and I really like the design philosophy, but I found it so slow at restoring files that it was virtually unusable. At this point, I don’t see any advantages it might offer over simply backing up to a VPS with rsync.

    I’m also using OwnCloud and very impressed with the direction it is going.

    Reply
  • Paul Littlefield January 22, 2015, 11:04 pm

    BitTorrent Sync anyone? :-)

    Reply
    • kirkgleason February 17, 2015, 1:53 pm

      It’s not open source, is it?

      Reply
      • Paul Littlefield February 24, 2015, 5:07 pm

        Ah, fair point.

        Reply
  • Wendell Anderson January 19, 2015, 8:31 pm

    The article author should also consider NAS4Free Free/Open Source (FOSS) cloud Storage, which I have implemented recently on a dual 4TG Hard drive computer – converted mini PC case with Intel Atom M/ board/cpu kit, and 8GB SSD card on M/brd for OS.

    The added cloud admin tools are very easy to use, and accessible from browser. One major perk of NAS4Free is use of ZFS for data Live snapshots, data distribution configuration, robust encryption and security and more

    Reply
  • lgibelli January 15, 2015, 10:59 pm

    At Skylable we develop a distributed storage backend (SX Server) and a file sync & share application (SXDrive).
    The storage backend is written in C and released as GPL. It supports replica, automatic failover and scales horizontally.
    The file-sync client runs on Windows, MacOSX, Linux, Android and iOS and it’s free.

    All our clients support incremental transfers (ownCloud does not).
    Our Android client already supports client-side encryption (ownCloud does not) and we are gradually adding support for client-side encryption to the other clients as well.

    http://www.skylable.com/products/

    Disclosure: I work @ Skylable

    Reply
  • Eot Lemac January 15, 2015, 8:55 pm

    What about freeNAS?

    Reply
    • Erathiel January 23, 2015, 9:20 am

      FreeNAS is a BSD-based operating system that aims at providing an easy way to set up a NAS (Network Attached Storage) server. What that means is, in simple terms, hard disk space that you connect to over the network. It is not the same as cloud storage, although it can be used as a part of your setup. I’ve found out that FreeNAS features an ownCloud plugin: http://www.freenas.org/about/features.html

      Reply
  • jineesh January 15, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Pydio is an another cloud storage solution with a powerfull WebGui interface

    Reply
    • Guest March 12, 2015, 7:54 pm

      I started freelancing at home, completing simple jobs that only required desktop or laptop computer and internet connection and I couldn’t be happier… After 6 months on this job and i earned total of 36,000 dollars… Basicly i profit 80 bucks each hour and work for 3 to 4 hours most of the days.And awesome thing about this job is that you can manage time when you work and for how long as you like and the payments are weekly.

      Reply
      • linacostaa March 21, 2015, 5:51 pm

        ——>

        Reply
  • Nanda Linn Aung January 15, 2015, 1:12 am

    neat set ups..

    Reply
  • Mike January 14, 2015, 8:29 pm

    How about Seafile?

    Reply
    • Nick January 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

      It’s the first mentioned! :)

      Reply
  • Roberto Rossi January 14, 2015, 1:24 pm

    Another interesting solution is Syncany: https://www.syncany.org/
    Personally I’m using Seafile (both for my own files and for enterprise ones).

    Thanks for your article!

    Reply
  • FH January 14, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Is your cloud server on a DMZ or on your inside network with holes in the firewall?

    Reply
    • nixcraft January 16, 2015, 6:28 am

      DMZ. It is behind pfSense based firewall.

      Reply
  • sri krishna January 14, 2015, 12:06 pm

    cleanly written with the applications emphasizing on privacy. thank you for sharing

    Reply
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