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Merge pull request #1272 from owncloud/scalability

note that you can use Federated Cloud Sharing to improve scalability …


ownCloud Documentation

This is the ownCloud documentation. It currently focuses on the server, client manuals are in the respective git repositories. Because of the complexity of the server and the split into the core and apps modules, the manuals are in this separate directory.

Documentation can be seen on:


At this point, this repository hosts three manuals:

  • Users Manual: Covers topics from an end user's Point of View
  • Administrators Manual: Setup, Deployment, Best Practices, etc.
  • Developers Manual: Developing Apps for ownCloud & understanding the core Architecture.

Please work in the appropriate branch. stable6 is for ownCloud 6, stable7 is for ownCloud 7, and stable8 is 8.0, stable8.1 is 8.1, and master is version 8.2.


configuration_server/config_sample_php_parameters.rst is auto-generated from the core config.sample.php file; changes to this file must be made in core


All documentation in this repository is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (CC BY 3.0).


It is using the Sphinx Documentation Generator. The syntax follows the reStructuredText style, and can also be edited from GitHub.

For PHP documentation you'll need to get the according language domain package. The documenation for PHP source is located at


Contributing to the documentation requires a github account.

To edit a document, either do a checkout of the repository and edit the rst files from there, or work directly on github. The latter is only really suitable for small fixes and improvements because substantial editing efforts can better be controlled in an editor.

To edit on github, fork the repository (see top-right of the screen, under your username). You will then be able to make changes easily. Once done, you can create a pull request and get the changes reviewed and back into the official repository.


Linux / OS X

First, make sure that the following are installed:

  • Python 2 (2.6.0 or better, Python 3 is not yet supported!)

  • Python Image Library (PIL) - (the package is called something like python-pillow)

  • Sphinx (e.g. sudo yum install python-sphinx), on Mac: sudo easy_install Sphinx

  • Sphinx PHPDomain (e.g. sudo easy_install sphinxcontrib-phpdomain)

  • rst2pdf (e.g. sudo easy_install rst2pdf)

  • If you're on Arch Linux, the build script is called sphinx-build2 which will fail. You will need to provide a link to the expected script name:

    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/sphinx-build2 /usr/bin/sphinx-build

...then enter any manual directory, then run make html. The result can be found in the _build/html subdirectory. PDFs can be built with the make latexpdf command and are found in _build/latex/ directory.

The openSUSE way

  • sudo zypper in python-Sphinx
  • sudo zypper in python-rst2pdf
  • sudo zypper in python-sphinxcontrib-phpdomain # requires repository "devel:languages:python"
  • sudo zypper in pdfjam # pull in latexpdf and all of texlive
  • sudo zypper in texlive-threeparttable
  • sudo zypper in texlive-wrapfig
  • sudo zypper in texlive-multirow
  • cd user_manual
  • make latexpdf
  • okular _build/latex/ownCloudUserManual.pdf

The Debian/Ubuntu way

  • sudo apt-get install python-pil
  • sudo apt-get install python-sphinx
  • sudo apt-get install python-sphinxcontrib.phpdomain
  • sudo apt-get install rst2pdf
  • sudo apt-get install texlive-fonts-recommended
  • sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-extra
  • sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-recommended
  • cd user_manual
  • make latexpdf
  • evince _build/latex/ownCloudUserManual.pdf

The Arch Linux way

  • sudo pacman -S community/python2-rst2pdf
  • sudo pacman -S community/python2-sphinx
  • aur/sphinxcontrib-phpdomain from AUR
  • sudo pacman -S extra/texlive-core texlive-latexextra
  • cd user_manual
  • make latexpdf
  • PDFVIEWER _build/latex/ownCloudUserManual.pdf


Running setup.cmd will install Python 2.7 and install all dependencies.

Enter any manual and clicking the "Build HTML" shortcut will create a HTML build. Likewise, "Build PDF" will build the PDF using the more lightweight, but feature-incomplete RST2PDF tool. The results are in _build/html and _build/pdf respectively.

Importing Word and OpenDocument files

Sometimes, existing documentation might be in Word or LibreOffice documents. To make it part of this documentation collection, follow these steps:


  1. Install Python 2.x
  2. Install odt2sphinx (easy_install odt2sphinx)
  3. Install GCC/clang (Xcode command line tools required on Mac OS)


  1. doc/docx files need to be stored as odt first
  2. Run odt2sphinx my.docx
  3. Move the resulting rst files in place and reference them
  4. Wrap text lines at 80 chars, apply markup fixes
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