Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2011

Welcome to the cloud age, Apple

Yesterday Apple announced their new internet service called iCloud. They finally have features which are essential for people who live in a connected world and have more than one device. I can't help myself but to compare this features with the stuff we are doing in KDE with the ownCloud project since last year.

It seems that we support everything iCloud is doing and a bit more if you look into the feature set. And we have a fundamentally more advanced vision and architecture.

ownCloud supports all the basic features of iCloud:
- Access your files from all your devices (webDAV, HTML5, Sync)
- Syncing Application Data (Bookmarks, Settings, ...)
- Listen to your music from all your devices (Sync, Ampache, HTML5 player)
- Access your movies from all your devices (Sync, HTML5)
- Access you photos from everyhere
- PIM Syncing (work in progress)

Additional Features
ownCloud has even more advanced file storage features which are currently not supported in iCloud:
- Versioning of all file changes with a git backend
- Sharing all your files with whoever you want

ownCloud is extensible. Everybody can write AddOns for ownCloud to extend its basic features:
- Examples for "ownCloud Apps" are RSS readers, Todo Lists, Notes Syncing or Collaborative Gaming
- The ownCloud Apps are installable from within ownCloud
- Updating of Apps
- HTML5/JS/PHP/SQL support

Device support
ownCloud supports more devices than just Apple devices.
- KDE/GNOME/Windows/Mac
- Android
- MeeGo
- iPhone/iPad
- all other devices with WebDAV/HTML5 support

We don´t use DRM or check digital fingerprints.
Everybody can access and share their files without restrictions
- ownCloud handles all music files
- ownCloud handles all movie files
- Unlimited sharing of files with your friends

Open Standards
We use open standards instead of proprietary protocols.
- WebDAV
- OCS (Open Collaboration Services)
- Ampache

ownCloud is running wherever you want. You don´t have to put your private data into the hosting center of a big company. ownCloud runs:
- on your root server
- on your desktop at home
- on your company/project server
- at your internet provider
- on your appliance at home
- on every webspace with PHP support (university, school, ... )

Free Software
ownCloud is completely free software. This is especially important for a software which is supposed to store a big part of your personal data.
- ownCloud is released under the AGPL license.
- Everybody can check what is happening with their private data

I think ownCloud has the potential to become the cloud storage solution for people who don´t like vendor lock-ins and care about freedom and privacy. More information here:


Anon5rE8aHAP hat gesagt…

How does ownCloud compare with a cloud of FreedomBoxen?

Daeng Bo hat gesagt…

Sincere thanks for this article. I didn't know about ownCloud.

bayxsonic hat gesagt…

You just don't get it, do you?
The point of iCloud is that it's invisible, login and you're done. I want to see your grandma set ownCloud.
What you described here could be an alternative for DropBox and all the similar services. iCloud permanently stores only app backups (data that won't be accessible to the user), for everything else it's just an online buffer to keep everything in sync.
Plus an email account with its dependencies, which ownCloud doesn't offer.

Frank Karlitschek hat gesagt…

@bayxsonic : it´s already possible to get ownCloud out of the box from providers like for example
No need to do the system administration yourself.
The plan is to have a setup wizard integrated in KDE. Just like Apple.

_Master of the Blog_ hat gesagt…

isn't "ubuntu one" similar too ?

Frank Karlitschek hat gesagt…

Ubuntu One is comparable to Dropbox. No free software, not possible to run on hardware of the user, not extensible, ...

monmynet hat gesagt…

Thank you for this post! I knew about ownCloud, didn't know that you could get it from

And yes, for a company that claims innovation, Apple certainly has arrived late to the Cloud game, and certainly has borrowed a lot of technology from Free Software.

jedibeeftrix hat gesagt…

hey frank,

two questions:

1. when do you anticipate distro's will package it as a default user option?

2. when do you anticipate KDE apps will start to use owncloud as an integrated feaure?

good article, cheers.

Frank Karlitschek hat gesagt…


1. I can´t answer this because it´s the decission of the distros. But several already package it. See:

2. This is work in progress. rekonq has support for bookmark syncing already. (Last years GSoC)
And we have a central access library and centrl configuration in system settings. So I hope that more KDE Applications will use this new API soon.

karni hat gesagt…

Ubuntu One is extensible. It has exponsed APIs:

Carlos Alberto hat gesagt…


Please, can you help me?

I'm desperate. There are many days I've been looking for a solution. I do not understand how to use OwnCloud

Already have a Packagecloud account.

I am a newbie on databases.
What are the applications that I can use from Windows 7 to access a database on PackageCloud? Its possible to use MS Access? Is there any online application as well?

Tks in advance.

Brad G hat gesagt…
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