Some months ago, we teamed up with Canonical and Collabora to bring Nextcloud Hub to the Ubuntu Appliance world. Today, we’re very excited to announce that this now extends beyond x86 (intel/AMD compatible) hardware: Collabora Online is now available for ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi! This makes it the first and only viable self-hosted web office solution on the popular Raspberry Pi 4 platform, as well as various other ARM based devices and, in the future, the server space. And from within the Nextcloud Hub Appliance, it’ll work out of the box with near zero maintenance!
The Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi series has transformed tech, bringing down the cost of anything from IoT devices to small home servers. Ubuntu has been leading the space offering easy to install and zero-management snap software packages, lowering barriers to entry further. Interest in Nextcloud on the Raspberry Pi has been evident from hundreds of online tutorials appearing over the years, as well as enthusiasm around an earlier collaboration between Canonical, Nextcloud and Western Digital on a solution for the platform. With the introduction of the Ubuntu Nextcloud Appliance, easy deployment of the Nextcloud Hub became available for x86 devices like Intel NUC’s as well as ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi, but the latter lacked support for a viable online office document editor. Today, the lack of a viable office solution is resolved with the availability of the widely used, open source, web office document editor Collabora Online.
You can now find a 64bit ARM version of the built-in Collabora Online server for Nextcloud in our app store.
This enables tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi users to turn their Pi 4 into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution in minutes. With the growing availability of 64bit ARM devices in the enterprise server space, larger organizations are also set to benefit from the availability of this platform.
Once you have your hardware picked out, next comes the second step in running a server: the software. Installing a Linux distribution (as Nextcloud requires), configuring a web server and installing Nextcloud are tedious in themselves, but going forward you will also have to maintain all that.
If you are not familiar with a command line on Linux, such a task can seem daunting indeed. Luckily, the Ubuntu Nexcloud Hub Appliance is exactly what you need to overcome that problem! An appliance is an all-in-one operating system + application bundle, fully pre-configured. And more importantly, automatically updating so maintenance is no longer requiring manual intervention! If you are familiar with how appliances work, you can get started right away by grabbing it here.
Get going with Nextcloud and Collabora Online
Nextcloud brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop, and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features. Real-time document editing, chat and video calls, put users in direct control of IT and integration with existing infrastructure. Here’s a quick overview of our basic apps, Files, Groupware and Talk.
Nextcloud Files lets users store all their documents, photos, music and more. Endless sharing options are available to friends, family and co-workers internally and externally with collaboration options like commenting on each file or leaving an extra note on a share.
Nextcloud Groupware comes with an address book, calendar, email and some task management tools like Notes and the Kanban app Deck to organize private or work life easily.
With Nextcloud Talk users can chat or have video calls with other users on the server or with guests in any number of chat rooms. It is possible to share an image or office document in a chat room and even edit it directly in Collabora Online during a call with the other participants in the room.
Nextcloud comes with clients for Android, iOS and Windows/Linux and mac, allowing users to sync and share files. For mobile devices a series of other apps can help users access their bookmarks, notes or chat and video calls from Nextcloud on their phone or tablet. You can even edit documents with Collabora Online.
Nextcloud can be extended from our app store with over 200 apps like Maps, Music, phone sync (sync your SMS messages with your phone), a cookbook app, password managers and many, many more. Just a single click is needed to enable each of these apps!
One of the coolest things in Nextcloud is the direct integration of Collabora Online. This allows you to open and edit office documents like DOCX, PPTX or the open standards ODT and ODP.
Collabora Online goes beyond just editing documents and provides support for collaborative editing with multiple people. You can easily share a document with other users on your Nextcloud server, or even using a public link, and give the recipients write access so they can join you in writing and editing. Deep integration in Nextcloud means you can drop a document in a video chat window and edit it right there and then with all other participants in the call.
Let us mention some of Collabora Online’s capabilities: collaborative editing; detailed handling of images, columns, page formatting, indices.. In spreadsheets complex formula wizard, grouping of columns and rows, chart editing, sorting. For presentations: master slides, animations, handy editing of tables. Supported by a powerful side bar and dialogs, slick UI, detailed color management, rich copy and paste.. all for Open Document Format and expert interoperability for Microsoft formats DOCX, XLSX, PPTX and many legacy formats.
After you’ve set up Nextcloud on your server, Collabora Online will be automatically downloaded and installed so you’re ready to go editing office documents the moment you get started! And yes, even if you’re on a Raspberry Pi. The Nextcloud app installation process will automatically determine the platform you’re on and install the right version of Collabora Online!