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ownCloud Storage

Introduction

We now provide ownCloud, a Dropbox-like cloud storage service, for all WestGrid users. You can use your WestGrid username and password to login to the ownCloud server. A complete ownCloud user manual is available from doc.owncloud.org. All data transfers between local devices and WestGrid's ownCloud are encrypted.

WestGrid ownCloud Service Description

Server URL: https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/

Server Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Default Quota: 50GB per user

Backup Policy: Daily backup without offsite copy

Access Methods: Web interface, ownCloud Desktop Sync Clients, ownCloud Mobile Apps, and any WebDAV clients

Using ownCloud Web interface

To use the web interface, login to https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/ from a web browser using your WestGrid username and password. You can upload and download files between your desktop and ownCloud, edit files, and share files with other WestGrid users. For more information, please reference the ownCloud user manual.

Using ownCloud Desktop Sync Clients and Mobile Apps

These clients, once installed on your devices, will "sync" everything between your ownCloud folder and you desktop/mobile device folder. Please note, it may take some time to sync all data. You can make changes to files locally on your device and they will be updated in ownCloud automatically. You can download the ownCloud Desktop Sync Clients and ownCloud Mobile Apps for iOS devices and Andriod devices from http://owncloud.org/install/.

Using WebDAV Clients

In general, you can use any WebDAV clients to "mount" an ownCloud folder to your desktop using WebDAV URL https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/remote.php/webdav/. Once mounted, you can drag and drop files between the WebDAV drive and your local desktop.

Mac OSX: Select Go -> Connect to the Server, enter the WebDAV URL for the Server Address, and click Connect. You will be asked for your username and password to login. After authentication, you will see a WebDAV drive on your desktop.

Windows: This method is tested on Windows 7.

Use "Map Network Drive ..." option, select a drive letter, then use WebDAV URL https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/remote.php/webdav/ in the Folder field.

You may also consider using Cyberduck or other clients instead. Cyberduck is  available for OSX and Windows.

Linux: There are many WebDAV applications available for Linux, please consult the ownCloud user manual for recommendations.

Detail: WebDAV vs Synchronization Clients

The WebDAV clients mount  your ownCloud storage on your desktop.  Files are not copied, e.g., when you edit a file you edit the original file on the WestGrid ownCloud system on Bugaboo.

When you connect with a Synchronization client the first thing these clients do is to synchronize your files stored in the WestGrid ownCloud systems with a copy of those files on your own desktop or laptop. All files that are different get downloaded to your own client. When files are changed they are re-copied to all the synchronized systems to ensure that the files are the same everywhere.  The synchronization copies can take a lot of time when you (and/or your collaborators) change files frequently. The advantage is that you can work on the files offline, i.e., when you do not have network connectivity.  They will be synchronized when network connectivity is re-established.

Using UNIX Command Line Tools

You can also use any available WebDAV command line clients, like curl and cadaver, to copy files between your host and ownCloud. Command line tools are useful when you copy data between a remote host you login to and ownCloud.

cURL is usually installed on Mac OSX and Linux systems and can be used to upload and download files using an URL.

Upload a file using curl

curl -k -u <username> -T <filename> https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/remote.php/webdav/

Download a file using curl

curl -k -u <username> https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/remote.php/webdav/<filename> -o <filename>

cadaver is a WebDAV command line interactive client for UNIX. It works much like standard UNIX ftp command:

cadaver https://owncloud.westgrid.ca/remote.php/webdav/

After login, you can use any ftp commands like help, ls, put, get, delete, mput, mget, etc.

Sharing Files using ownCloud

To make it easier for sharing among WestGrid users, we made a change in the ownCloud installation so that both a user's username and their full name are displayed in the web browser. The format is "Firstname Lastname (username)".

To share a file or folder, login to ownCloud using a browser, move the mouse over to the file/folder you would like to share and click the "Share" option. You will see a small dialogue box displayed. Enter either your name or username in the box, and you should see a list of people that matches your selection as you type. Select the person with whom you want to share your file/folder. You can select a number of other sharing options (notify by email, permissions, etc.). Once the sharing is done, you will see the file/folder has a "Shared" label. The person who you shared file/folder with will see a "Shared" folder in his/her ownCloud home folder. You can also share files to WestGrid UNIX groups. Please visit https://www.westgrid.ca/support/unix_groups/ for more information about WestGrid UNIX group.

Please note, since more than one person can share files with you, there is the chance they could both use the same filename. To avoid any confusion around who has shared which files, it is recommended that users include a distinct name for any shared folders or files (for example, including your username in the filename).

You can also share files to a person who does not have a WestGrid account. In this case, you should use "Share Link" option and add the email address. An URL link will be sent in the email to allow file to be downloaded.

 

Please contact support@westgrid.ca if you have any questions.