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Keep your Family In Sync with a Raspberry Pi and OwnCloud


Build a "Local Network Only" File and Document Repository (Like Dropbox)

Keep your family documents in a safe and secure location that only your family can access

Wouldn't it be nice to have one place that the family could store all documents and files that everyone can access, but was not open to the whole world. While using a service like Dropbox or Box is fairly good, you'd wanted to keep certain things off the internet completely.

This private "dropbox" alternative could be used for:

  • Bill payment receipts
  • Medical Information
  • Car Information
  • Mortgage Information
  • Email and Web Accounts
  • Various Log In information
  • Kid's school papers
    • Anything else you don't want out there.

A $35 Computer - The Raspberry Pi

raspberry-pi-type-bProbably one of the best inventions for ultra-cheap computers out there, theRaspberry Pi makes perfect sense for anyone who needs a full time, always on computer at home that doesn't suck a lot of power. On the flip side, the computer is not that powerful, so it's not like you could use it for hardcore gaming, like playing WOW or Counter Strike (You could, however, use it to play Minecraft)

This makes it a perfect platform for light duty home web hosting, file sharing and a bevvy of other tasks. For this post, we're using the Raspberry Pi as a file sharing tool, much like Dropbox. 

File Repository with ownCloud on the Raspberry Pi

Next, in order to upload and download the files, you need to have a user friendly interface that you would be able to use while on the home network only. For this, look to the software ownCloud

ownCloud provides universal access to your files via the web, your computer or your mobile devices. It also provides a platform to easily view & sync your contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all your devices and enables basic editing right on the web.

More information on ownCloud

Two Installation Methods Available

The first way to install ownCloud on a Raspberry Pi is to download the complete OS image and install it using win32diskimager, and the other is to manually install it yourself using the base Raspbian image.

The guys over at ownCloudBlog have created a premade optimized image that includes the ownCloud install.

What else is there over and above standard Raspbian? Good that you asked. Here is a list of minor tweaks that I did:

  • PHP execution time is increased to 240 seconds.
  • Default upload limit of PHP is increased from 2M to 512M.
  • Default POST is increased to 512 M.
  • .htaccess support is enabled in Apache to protect data directory.
  • SSH access is enabled by default.
  • SQLite is used for backend database.
  • Certain packages like Scratch, Oracle Java and Dilio are removed in order to make squeeze the image in 2GB SD Card.

View the Full Post here -- includes download links.

How to install ownCloud on Raspberry Pi yourself

There is a really good tutorial on instructables that walks you through the ownCloud installation from start to finish using an external hard drive so that you can store a lot more than the SD card could hold. This is the tutorial I followed to setup our family's Raspberry Pi. There is also a link in the second paragraph of the post that links to a complete installed OS image if you don't want to take the time to do it yourself.

View the full post here

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