Running Nextcloud as a Podman Container on Rocky Linux¶
This document explains all the required steps needed to build and run a Nextcloud instance as a Podman container on Rocky Linux. What is more, this entire guide was tested on a Raspberry Pi, so it should be compatible with every Rocky-supported processor architecture.
The procedure is broken down into multiple steps, each with its own shell scripts for automation:
- Installing the
buildahpackages to manage and build our containers, respectively
- Creating a base image that will be repurposed for all of the containers we will need
- Creating a
db-toolscontainer image with the required shell scripts for building and running your MariaDB database
- Creating and running MariaDB as a Podman container
- Creating and running Nextcloud as a Podman container, using the MariaDB Podman container as backend
You could run most of the commands in the guide manually, but setting up a few bash scripts will make your life much easier, especially when you want to repeat these steps with different settings, variables, or container names.
Note for Beginners:
Podman is a tool for managing containers, specifically OCI (Open Containers Initiative) containers. It is designed to be pretty much Docker-compatible, in that most if not all of the same commands will work for both tools. If "Docker" means nothing to you—or even if you were just curious—you can read more about Podman and how it works on Podman's own website.
buildah is a tool that builds Podman container images based on "DockerFiles".
This guide was designed as an exercise to help people get familiar with running Podman containers in general, and on Rocky Linux specifically.
Prerequisites and assumptions¶
Here is everything you will need, or need to know, to make this guide work:
- Familiarity with the command line, bash scripts, and editing Linux configuration files.
- SSH access if working on a remote machine.
- A command-line based text editor of your choice. We will be using
vifor this guide.
- An internet-connected Rocky Linux machine (again, a Raspberry Pi will work nicely).
- Many of these commands must be run as root, so you will need a root or sudo-capable user on the machine.
- Familiarity with web servers and MariaDB would definitely help.
- Familiarity with containers and maybe Docker would be a definite plus, but is not strictly essential.
Step 01: Install
First, ensure your system is up-to-date:
Then you will want to install the
epel-release repository for all the extra packages we will be using.
dnf -y install epel-release
Once that is done, you can update again (which sometimes helps) or just go ahead and install the packages we need:
dnf -y install podman buildah
Once they are installed, run
podman --version and
buildah --version to ensure everything is working correctly.
To access Red Hat's registry for downloading container images, you will need to run:
Find the section that looks like what you see below. If it is commented out, uncomment it.
[registries.insecure] registries = ['registry.access.redhat.com', 'registry.redhat.io', 'docker.io'] insecure = true
Step 02: Create the
base container image¶
In this guide, we are working as the root user, but you can do this in any home directory. Change to the root directory if you are not already there:
Now make all of the directories you will need for your various container builds:
mkdir base db-tools mariadb nextcloud
Now change your working directory to the folder for the base image:
And make a file called DockerFile. Yes, Podman uses them too.
Copy and paste the following text into your brand new DockerFile.
FROM rockylinux/rockylinux:latest ENV container docker RUN yum -y install epel-release ; yum -y update RUN dnf module enable -y php:7.4 RUN dnf install -y php RUN yum install -y bzip2 unzip lsof wget traceroute nmap tcpdump bridge-utils ; yum -y update RUN (cd /lib/systemd/system/sysinit.target.wants/; for i in *; do [ $i == \ systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service ] || rm -f $i; done); \ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/*;\ rm -f /etc/systemd/system/*.wants/*;\ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/local-fs.target.wants/*; \ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/sockets.target.wants/*udev*; \ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/sockets.target.wants/*initctl*; \ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/basic.target.wants/*;\ rm -f /lib/systemd/system/anaconda.target.wants/*; VOLUME [ "/sys/fs/cgroup" ] CMD ["/usr/sbin/init"]
Save and close the previous file, and make a new bash script file:
Then paste in this content:
#!/bin/bash clear buildah rmi `buildah images -q base` ; buildah bud --no-cache -t base . ; buildah images -a
Now make your build script executable with:
chmod +x build.sh
And run it:
Wait until it is done, and move on to the next step.
Step 03: Create the
db-tools container image¶
For the purposes of this guide, we are keeping the database setup as simple as we can. You will want to keep track of the following, and modify them as needed:
- Database name: ncdb
- Database user: nc-user
- Database pass: nc-pass
- Your server IP address (we will be using an example IP below)
First, change to the folder where you will be building the db-tools image:
Now set up some bash scripts that will be used inside the Podman container image. First, make the script that will automatically build your database for you:
Now copy and paste the following code into that file, using your favorite text editor:
#!/bin/bash mysql -h 10.1.1.160 -u root -p rockylinux << eof create database ncdb; grant all on ncdb.* to 'nc-user'@'10.1.1.160' identified by 'nc-pass'; flush privileges; eof
Save and close, then repeat the steps with the script for deleting databases as needed:
Copy and paste this code into the new file:
#!/bin/bash mysql -h 10.1.1.160 -u root -p rockylinux << eof drop database ncdb; flush privileges; eof
Lastly, setup the DockerFile for the
Copy and paste:
FROM localhost/base RUN yum -y install mysql WORKDIR /root COPY db-drop.sh db-drop.sh COPY db-create.sh db-create.sh
And last but not least, create the bash script to build your image on command:
The code you will want:
#!/bin/bash clear buildah rmi `buildah images -q db-tools` ; buildah bud --no-cache -t db-tools . ; buildah images -a
Save and close, then make the file executable:
chmod +x build.sh
And run it:
Step 04: Create the MariaDB container image¶
You are getting the hang of the process, right? It is time to build that actual database container. Change the working directory to
Make a script to (re)build the container whenever you want:
And here is the code you will need:
For the purposes of this guide, the following script will delete all Podman Volumes. If you have other applications running with their own volumes, modify/comment the line "podman volume rm --all";
#!/bin/bash clear echo " " echo "Deleting existing volumes if any...." podman volume rm --all ; echo " " echo "Starting mariadb container....." podman run --name mariadb --label mariadb -d --net host -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=rockylinux -v /sys/fs/cgroup:/sys/fs/cgroup:ro -v mariadb-data:/var/lib/mysql/data:Z mariadb ; echo " " echo "Initializing mariadb (takes 2 minutes)....." sleep 120 ; echo " " echo "Creating ncdb Database for nextcloud ....." podman run --rm --net host db-tools /root/db-create.sh ; echo " " echo "Listing podman volumes...." podman volume ls
Here is where you make a script to reset your database whenever you like:
And here is the code:
#!/bin/bash clear echo " " echo "Deleting ncdb Database for nextcloud ....." podman run --rm --net host db-tools /root/db-drop.sh ; echo " " echo "Creating ncdb Database for nextcloud ....." podman run --rm --net host db-tools /root/db-create.sh ;
And lastly, here is your build script that will put the whole mariadb container together:
With its code:
#!/bin/bash clear buildah rmi `buildah images -q mariadb` ; buildah bud --no-cache -t mariadb . ; buildah images -a
Now just make your DockferFile (
vi Dockerfile), and paste in the following single line:
Now make your build script executable and run it:
chmod +x *.sh ./build.sh
Step 05: Build and run the Nextcloud container¶
We are at the final step, and the process pretty much repeats itself. Change to the Nextcloud image directory:
Set up your DockerFile first this time, for variety:
This next bit assumes ARM architecture (for the Raspberry Pi), so if you are using another architecture, remember to change this.
And paste in this bit:
Now create your build script:
And paste in this code:
#!/bin/bash clear buildah rmi `buildah images -q nextcloud` ; buildah bud --no-cache -t nextcloud . ; buildah images -a
Now, we are going to set up a bunch of local folders on the host server (not in any Podman container), so that we can rebuild our containers and databases without fear of losing all of our files:
mkdir -p /usr/local/nc/nextcloud /usr/local/nc/apps /usr/local/nc/config /usr/local/nc/data
Lastly, we are going to create the script that will actually build the Nextcloud container for us:
And here is all the code you need for that. Ensure you change the IP address for
MYSQL_HOST to the docker container that is running your MariaDB instance.
#!/bin/bash clear echo " " echo "Starting nextloud container....." podman run --name nextcloud --net host --privileged -d -p 80:80 \ -e MYSQL_HOST=10.1.1.160 \ -e MYSQL_DATABASE=ncdb \ -e MYSQL_USER=nc-user \ -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=nc-pass \ -e NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_USER=admin \ -e NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_PASSWORD=rockylinux \ -e NEXTCLOUD_DATA_DIR=/var/www/html/data \ -e NEXTCLOUD_TRUSTED_DOMAINS=10.1.1.160 \ -v /sys/fs/cgroup:/sys/fs/cgroup:ro \ -v /usr/local/nc/nextcloud:/var/www/html \ -v /usr/local/nc/apps:/var/www/html/custom_apps \ -v /usr/local/nc/config:/var/www/html/config \ -v /usr/local/nc/data:/var/www/html/data \ nextcloud ;
Save and close that out, make all of your scripts executable, then run the image building script first:
chmod +x *.sh ./build.sh
To ensure all of your images have been built correctly, run
podman images. You should see a list that looks like this:
REPOSITORY TAG IMAGE ID CREATED SIZE localhost/db-tools latest 8f7ccb04ecab 6 days ago 557 MB localhost/base latest 03ae68ad2271 6 days ago 465 MB docker.io/arm64v8/mariadb latest 89a126188478 11 days ago 405 MB docker.io/arm64v8/nextcloud latest 579a44c1dc98 3 weeks ago 945 MB
If it all looks right, run the final script to get Nextcloud up and going:
When you run
podman ps -a, you should see a list of running containers that looks like this:
CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES 9518756a259a docker.io/arm64v8/mariadb:latest mariadbd 3 minutes ago Up 3 minutes ago mariadb 32534e5a5890 docker.io/arm64v8/nextcloud:latest apache2-foregroun... 12 seconds ago Up 12 seconds ago nextcloud
From there, you should be able to point your browser to your server IP address. If you are following along and have the same IP as our example, you can substitute that in here (e.g., http://your-server-ip) and see Nextcloud up and running.
Obviously, this guide would have to be somewhat modified on a production server, especially if the Nextcloud instance is intended to be public-facing. Still, that should give you a basic idea of how Podman works, and how you can set it up with scripts and multiple base images to make rebuilds easier.
Author: Ananda Kammampati
Contributors: Ezequiel Bruni, Steven Spencer, Ganna Zhyrnova