Let’s Make a Mystery Box

Can people send you files without needing a Nextcloud account?  Yes.


Disclaimer: This is a fun idea, but we assume no responsibility, nor liability, for anyone who chooses to follow these directions.   If you are okay with that, read on…

I do love mystery boxes, and there is no time like the present to make one!  First we’ll create a publicly accessible folder in Nextcloud, known as a File Drop.  Are you worried about letting your localhost instance of Nextcloud get accessed by the world wide web?  No problem…

Let’s create a hosted instance and federate.
  1. Sign up with a free Nextcloud provider for a small hosted account.
  2. Optional: If you have access to the Circles app on the hosted account, create a secret circle you can share between your hosted and local instance via your Federated Cloud ID.  Now you can more easily share files and activity between both Nextcloud instances + use auto-complete while sharing.
  3. Mount your hosted instance’s root directory as federated external storage on localhost with a simple, descriptive name such as Public.
  4.  Now your hosted storage should be fully accessible from your local NextcloudPi instance as Public.  Welcome to Federation!
What about the Mystery Box?
  1. Create a new folder inside your hosted instance and name it Mystery Box.
  2. Select it, and from the files menu Share this folder as File Drop (Upload Only).
  3. You’ll now have a URL you can copy to your clipboard and share with the world!
[Admins Only] Set a permanent URL link for your Mystery Box!

Optional:  If you have admin access to your account you can install the app Share Renamer, which is sadly not listed in the Nextcloud App store.  Login to your server and navigate to the apps directory to install from Github.

cd /var/www/nextcloud/apps
git clone

Now login to your instance and Enable the Share Renamer app.

Once active you’ll be able to rename share hyperlinks to whatever you like.  Just browse back to Step 2 above. instead of the usual

[Admin Only] Why is index.php displayed in my URL?

Displaying index.php as part of a hyperlink is default behavior in Nextcloud.  You’ll need to configure Pretty Urls in Nextcloud, as detailed here in the official documentation.  Good luck.

Hope you found this fun!  This is my first article for Ownyourbits.

Author: sunjam

Sunjam is a performer and musician in San Francisco. He plays around with open source tools and has a ton of fun doing it! If you enjoy my articles you are welcome to send me a crypto tip. BTC: 3GiRvHrpyHsD2fTFQJGrDGUc4QgaoYjc8g ETH: 0x152bE83216CDb4fC199c78048aBF6ee17d88AdA5 LTC: MQ25ZCF9mJ46xn2bcdfEFKLK3QxgXivoEs


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