How to use Block Storage to Increase Space on Your Nextcloud Instance

Overview

In a previous article, I showed you how to build your very own Nextcloud server. In this article, we’re going to extend the storage for our Nextcloud instance by utilizing block storage. To follow along, you’ll either need your own Nextcloud server to extend, or perhaps you can add block storage to a different type of server you may control, which would mean you’d need to update the paths accordingly as we go along. Block storage is incredibly useful, so we’ll definitely want to take advantage of this.

Let’s begin!

Setting up the block storage volume

First, use SSH to log in to your Nextcloud instance:

ssh

If we execute df -h, we can see the current list of attached storage volumes:

df -h

One of the benefits of block storage, is that you can have a smaller instance (but still have a bigger disk). Right now, unless you’re working ahead, we won’t have a block storage volume attached yet, so create one within the Linode dashboard.

You can do this by clicking on “Volumes” within the dashboard, and then you can get started with the process. Fill out each of the fields while creating the block storage device. But pay special attention to the region – you want to set this to be the same region that your Linode instance is in.

After creating the volume, you should see some example commands that give you everything you need to set up the volume. The first command, the one we will use to format the volume, we can copy and paste that command directly into a command shell. For example, it might look similar to this:

sudo mkfs.ext4 “/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_nextcloud-data”

Of course, that’s just an example command, it’s best to use the command provided from the Linode dashboard, so if you’d like to copy and paste – use the command that you’re provided within the dashboard.

At this point, the volume will be formatted, but we’ll need to mount it in order to start using it. The second command presented in the dashboard will end up creating a directory into which to mount the volume:

sudo mkdir “/mnt/nextcloud-data”

The third command will actually mount the new volume to your filesystem. Be sure to use the command from the dashboard, the one below is presented only as an example of what that generally looks like:

sudo mount “/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_nextcloud-data”

Next, check the output of the df command and ensure the new volume is listed within the output:

df -h

Next, let’s make sure we update /etc/fstab for the new volume, to ensure that it’s automatically mounted every time the server starts up:

How To Install Nextcloud On An Ubuntu Server

Introduction, and Getting Started

Nextcloud is a powerful productivity platform that gives you access to some amazing features, such as collaborative editing, cloud file sync, private audio/video chat, email, calendar, and more! Best of all, Nextcloud is under your control and is completely customizable. In this article, we’re going to be setting up our very own Nextcloud server on Linode. Alternatively, you can also spin up a Nextcloud server by utilizing the Linode marketplace, which you can use to set up Nextcloud in a single click. However, this article will walk you through the manual installation method. While this method has more steps, by the end you’d have built your very own Nextcloud server from scratch, which will be not only a valuable learning experience – you’ll become intimately familiar with the process of setting up Nextcloud. Let’s get started!

In order to install Nextcloud, we’ll need a Linux instance to install it onto. That’s the easy part – there’s no shortage of Linux on Linode, so what we’ll do in order to get started, is create a brand-new Ubuntu 20.04 Linode instance to serve as our base. Many of the commands we’ll be using have changed since Ubuntu 20.04, so while you might be tempted to start with a newer instance, these commands were all tested on Ubuntu 20.04. And considering that Ubuntu 20.04 is supported until April of 2025, it’s not a bad choice at all.

Creating your instance

During the process of creating your new Linode instance, choose a region that’s closest to you geographically (or close to your target audience). For the instance type, be sure to choose a plan with 2GB of RAM (preferably 4GB). You can always increase the plan later, should you need to do so. You can save some additional money by choosing an instance from the Shared CPU section. For the label, give it a label that matches the designated purpose for the instance. A good name might be something like “nextcloud”, but if you have a domain for you instance, you an use that as the name as well.

Continuing, you can consider using tags, which are basically basically a name value pair you can add to your instance. This is completely optional, but you could create whatever tags for your instance if you have a need to do so. For example, you could have a “production” tag, or maybe a “development” tag depending on whether or not you intend to use the instance for production. Again, this is optional, and there’s no right or wrong way to tag an instance. If in doubt, you can just leave this blank.

Next, the root password should be unique, and preferably, randomly-generated. This password in particular is going to be the password we will use to log into our instance so make sure you remember it. SSH keys are preferred, and if you have one set up within your profile, you can check a box on this page to add it to your instance.

How to Use the VI Editor in Linux

If you’re searching for info related to the VI editor, this article is for you. So, what’s VI editor? VI is a text editor that’s screen-oriented and the most popular in the Linux world. The reasons for its popularity are 1) availability for almost all Linux distros, 2) VI works the same throughout multiple platforms, and 3) its user-friendly features. Currently, VI Improved or VIM is the most used advanced counterpart of VI.

To work on the VI text editor, you have to know how to use the VI editor in Linux. Let’s find it out from this article.

Modes of VI Text Editor

VI text editor works in two modes, 1) Command mode and 2) Insert mode. In the command mode, users’ commands are taken to take action on a file. The VI editor, usually, starts in the command mode. Here, the words typed act as commands. So, you should be in the command mode while passing a command.

On the other hand, in the Insert mode, file editing is done. Here, the text is inserted into the file. So, you need to be in the insert mode to enter text. Just type ‘i’ to be in the insert mode. Use the Esc key to switch from insert mode to command mode in the editor. If you don’t know your current mode, press the Esc key twice. This takes you to the command mode.

Launch VI Text Editor 

First, you need to launch the VI editor to begin working on it. To launch the editor, open your Linux terminal and then type:

vi or

And if you mention an existing file, VI would open it to edit. Alternatively, you’re free to create a completely new file.

VI Editing Commands

You need to be in the command mode to run editing commands in the VI editor. VI is case-sensitive. Hence, make sure you use the commands in the correct letter case. Also, make sure you type the right command to avoid undesired changes. Below are some of the essential commands to use in VI.

i – Inserts at cursor (gets into the insert mode)

a – Writes after the cursor (gets into the insert mode)

A – Writes at the ending of a line (gets into the insert mode)

o – Opens a new line (gets into the insert mode)

ESC – Terminates the insert mode

u – Undo the last change

U – Undo all changes of the entire line

D – Deletes the content of a line after the cursor

R – Overwrites characters from the cursor onwards

r – Replaces a character

s – Substitutes one character under the cursor and continue to insert

S – Substitutes a full line and start inserting at the beginning of a line

GIMP in a Pinch: Life after Desktop

So my Dell XPS 13 DE laptop running Ubuntu died on me today. Let’s just say I probably should not have attempted to be efficient and take a bath and work at the same time!

Unfortunately, as life always seems to be, you always need something at a time that you don’t have it and that is the case today. I have some pictures that I need to edit for a website, and I only know and use GIMP. I took a look at my PC inventory at home, and I had two options:

Macbook Air: My roommate’s computer
HP Chromebook 11: A phase of my life where I attempted to streamline my life and simplify which lasted two weeks

My roommate was using his computer, so it really only left me with one option, the chromebook. I also did not have a desire to learn another OS today as I have done enough distro hopping in the last few months. I charged and booted up the chromebook and started to figure out how I could get GIMP onto it. Interestingly enough, there are not many clear cut options to running GIMP on an Android device. There was an option to run a Linux developer environment on the chromebook, but it required 10GB of space which I didn’t have. Therefore, option two was to find an app on the Google Play Store.

Typing GIMP brought me to an app called XGimp Image Editor from DMobileAndroid, and I installed and loaded it with an image to only find this:

This definitely is nothing like GIMP and appeared to be very limited in functionality anyway. I could see why it had garnered a 1.4 star rating as it definitely is not what someone would expect when they are looking for something similar to GIMP.

So I took a look at the other options, and there was another app called GIMP from Userland Technologies. It does cost $1.99, but it was a one-time charge and seemed to be the only other option on the Play Store. Reviewing the screenshots and the description of the application seemed to suggest that this would be the actual GIMP app that I was using on my desktop so I went ahead and downloaded it. Installation was relatively quick, and I started running it and to my surprise, here is what I saw:

It appears that the application basically is a Linux desktop build that automatically launches the desktop version of GIMP. Therefore, it really is GIMP. I loaded up an image which was also relatively easy to do as it seamlessly connected to my folders on my chromebook.

6 Best Linux Desktop Environments to Try in 2022

Are you looking for the best Linux desktop environments for your desktop? Then this article is particularly for you. Want to find the notable mentions, the best features, and what you might be fond of? Get to know about the 6 best Linux desktop environments to try in 2022 from here. So, let’s dive in!

Budgie

Budgie is a GNOME-based Linux desktop. It’s developed and used by Solus Linux distribution. With the help of GNOME stack components, the Budgie desktop is written. Budgie offers a unified notification feature and its customization center is called Raven. It gives access to the calendar, system settings, power options, and media player. Elements on the desktop, eg. applications are implemented as Applets.

Budgie is easily customizable. Its developers’ team put a lot of effort into modifying Budgie’s desktop elements, such as Budgie Menu that sorts names of categories alphabetically, Icon Tasklist applet which has some new features included. Linux distros including Manjaro and Ubuntu have spins based on this Linux desktop environment. Also, Fedora users can fetch Budgie from the COPR repository.

Deepin DE

The Deepin DE Linux desktop is developed by the Deepin Linux distribution. It’s based on WebKit and HTML5. Deepin uses Go and QML for designing its components. Besides the desktop, Deepin components make use of the dock and control center and the application launcher. Deepin DE’s tweakable parameters can be accessed using a hidden panel.

The Deepin desktop almost replicates the aesthetics and usability of Mac OS X. It has a neat and clean interface having only the dock at the bottom. The touch-screen gestures are also supported by the desktop. The Deepin desktop offers configurable hot corners that allow you to access the control panel and the applications menu. With this, all of the aspects of the desktop can be managed. The desktop can be fetched through the third-party repositories while installing.

GNOME

GNOME is a very popular Linux desktop environment. Many Linux distros use GNOME. GNOME is simple to use and can be customized. The modern and touch-feature-enabled user interface provides an amazing experience. Also, the GNOME desktop can extend its functionalities via GNOME Shell extensions.

However, GNOME isn’t a good choice for older computers or systems having less than 4GB RAM. Some major Linux distributions that use GNOME as their preferred desktop environment are Fedora, Pop!_OS, OpenSUSE, Debian, and Ubuntu. So, those of you who are looking for something different than the traditional Windows layout, try GNOME.