IT in Education

Sharing with external Nextcloud instances

nextcloudWith Federated shares you can create shares with other Nextcloud instances, in effect creating a cloud of Nextclouds. This article describes how to get started. For this article I am using Nextcloud 18.


Start by checking the sharing permissions.

  1. Log on to your source Nextcloud instance with an admin account.
  2. Go to your Avatar > Settings.
  3. In the Administration section in the left pane, select Sharing.
  4. Go to the Federated Cloud Sharing section and note the current settings.
  5. In the Trusted Servers section, enable Automatically add server once a federated share is successfully created, to allow trusted servers to exchange user details.

Note that by default, individuals are permitted to send and receive shares from other external individuals.

Create a Federated Share

Log on to your source Nextcloud instance with the user account who wishes to share externally.

  1. Select Files.
  2. Click the plus button.
  3. Create a New folder.
  4. For the newly created folder, click the share icon to open the Share pane.
  5. In the Name, federated cloud ID or email address... field, type the following:
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You will typically see three options here. Select the option that is neither email or group, and you will create a share that can be accepted by an individual recipient.

Accepting a share

Log on as the recipient of a federated share.

  1. The bell Notifications icon (top-right) will have a red dot, indicating that there is a new notification.
  2. Click the bell icon.
  3. Click the Accept button to accept the invitation for a remote share.

You will now see the shared folder when you access the Files screen.

Sharing with groups

You can create shares for groups on remote Nextcloud instances. This will create an invitation for all current members of that group but it won't create an invitation for future members of the group. Also note that the share logo will disappear on Group folders for the Sharer, even though the share is active (this appears to be a bug).

There are some other small anomolies, so I don't recommend sharing with groups just yet.

One way around this issue is to share with an individual and allow resharing. The individual can then share with an internal group. This has the side benefit that the members of the internal group don't have to accept the share.

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