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on 14 February 2017

This is a guest post by Frank Karlitschek, Founder of the Nextcloud box. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact

At the Mobile World Congress this February, Nextcloud will showcase a device built to to allow users to bring their their data back under their control in a very literal sense: the Nextcloud Box.

The success and attention from launching the Nextcloud box which runs Ubuntu Core demonstrated just how much interest exists in using inexpensive hardware to bring together innovative, open source hosted solutions for people that want full privacy and control of their data, and which will extend to benefit from the wider Ubuntu ecosystem around IoT.

Nextcloud is a project providing a privacy and security focused alternative to cloud services like those from Apple, Google and Dropbox. It has developed a solution for self-hosting that delivers the many benefits like file syncing and sharing, document editing, audio-video calls and much more, under an open source license.

The Nextcloud Box builds on the 1TB USB PiDrive by WDLabs with a Nextcloud case around it. The user has to supply the box with a Raspberry Pi while the included MicroSD Card contains Canonical’s Snappy Ubuntu with a Nextcloud Snap. This powerful combination delivers secure, fully automatic unattended updates to your software, making this the perfect device for users who want a private cloud without the fuzz of maintaining it!

The project started from a conversation end 2015 between Nextcloud founder Frank Karlitschek and some folks from WDLabs, the business growth incubator of storage solutions company Western Digital Corporation. WDLabs provides innovative storage solutions for DIY devices like the Raspberry Pi series, devices which are very flexible and low-cost.

The plan was to develop an inexpensive, easy to use device that would allow people to run their own private cloud service at home. After discussing and working on some prototypes, it became clear we needed a very easy, reliable and secure solution underlying Nextcloud. This is where Canonical came in: Snaps provide an excellent way to distribute updates in a way that is both secure and does not risk breaking end user devices. Within a few months, a device was put together with full automatic updates, delivering Nextcloud software in an even easier way to users.

Announcement video with Frank Karlitschek (Nextcloud), Jane Silber (Canonical) and Joe Lee (WDLabs).

You can find a bit of the history of the Nextcloud Box in this blog post and find out how Snaps were helpful in delivering an easy to use solution in this webinar.

At MWC at the Ubuntu booth, Nextcloud founder Frank will be present and demonstrate the Nextcloud box and discuss its development You can book a meeting to learn more about Nextcloud, the Nextcloud Box and IoT technology.

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