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The Holy Grail Nextcloud setup made easy by NixOS

·3 mins

Nextcloud really is the central piece to most people’s self-hosted infrastructure.

Providing file synchronization, a web interface to navigate through them, calendar, contacts, tasks, kanban and webmail, it presents itself as a complete GSuite self-hosted alternative.

Hosting Nextcloud has become easier over time, thanks to its docker-compose example setups and to the Snap for use mostly on Ubuntu systems. However, having a faster and more optimized setup can take some effort on these platforms. Thankfully, on NixOS it’s not hard at all, as I’ll show you.

{ self, config, lib, pkgs, ... }:

  services = {
    nginx.virtualHosts = {
      "" = {
        forceSSL = true;
        enableACME = true;

      "" = {
        forceSSL = true;
        enableACME = true;

    nextcloud = {
      enable = true;
      hostName = "";

       # Need to manually increment with every major upgrade.
      package = pkgs.nextcloud27;

      # Let NixOS install and configure the database automatically.
      database.createLocally = true;

      # Let NixOS install and configure Redis caching automatically.
      configureRedis = true;

      # Increase the maximum file upload size to avoid problems uploading videos.
      maxUploadSize = "16G";
      https = true;
      enableBrokenCiphersForSSE = false;

      autoUpdateApps.enable = true;
      extraAppsEnable = true;
      extraApps = with; {
        # List of apps we want to install and are already packaged in
        inherit calendar contacts mail notes onlyoffice tasks;

        # Custom app installation example.
        cookbook = pkgs.fetchNextcloudApp rec {
          url =
          sha256 = "sha256-XgBwUr26qW6wvqhrnhhhhcN4wkI+eXDHnNSm1HDbP6M=";

      config = {
        overwriteProtocol = "https";
        defaultPhoneRegion = "PT";
        dbtype = "pgsql";
        adminuser = "admin";
        adminpassFile = "/path/to/nextcloud-admin-pass";

    onlyoffice = {
      enable = true;
      hostname = "";

You may want to proceed with caution while setting up the OnlyOffice server, which will allow for Google Docs-like functionality on our Nextcloud instance, by having it only accessible inside your VPN or by setting the services.onlyoffice.jwtSecretFile option if exposed to the public Internet.

With this snippet, a Nextcloud instance with a selection of pre-installed Apps, PostgreSQL as a database, Redis Caching and Let’s Encrypt certificates will be set up for you.

To connect to the OnlyOffice server, configure it appropriately in Administration settings > ONLYOFFICE > ONLYOFFICE Docs address.

Backups #

In this configuration, we need to persist the /var/lib/nextcloud and /var/lib/postgresql directories.

For backing up, you could copy /var/lib/nextcloud to another computer and, for the database, dump it to a file and copy it to another computer as well, as described in the official Nextcloud documentation.

Conclusion #

Once again, NixOS proves itself as an amazing self-hosting platform.

Nextcloud, in its default configuration, is sometimes known for running slow. Thanks to NixOS, we’ve optimized its performance and that’s quite impactful, as it’s my most used self-hosted application. Having all of these apps running on Nextcloud has enabled me to move on from GSuite to a mostly autonomous and self-hosted infrastructure.

In the future, I look forward to being able to use Collabora/Nextcloud Office instead of OnlyOffice, as it’s more aligned with Nextcloud’s philosophical goals and hasn’t done suspicious decisions in the past.

References #