Advanced Usage


You have the option of starting your Nextcloud desktop client with the nextcloud command. The following options are supported:

nextcloud -h or nextcloud --help
Displays all command options.

The other options are:

Opens a window displaying log output.
--logfile <filename>
Write log output to the file specified. To write to stdout, specify - as the filename.
--logdir <name>
Writes each synchronization log output in a new file in the specified directory.
--logexpire <hours>
Removes logs older than the value specified (in hours). This command is used with --logdir.
Clears (flushes) the log file after each write action.
Also output debug-level messages in the log (equivalent to setting the env var QT_LOGGING_RULES=”qt.*=true;*.debug=true”).
--confdir <dirname>
Uses the specified configuration directory.
Launch the application in the background (i.e. without opening the main dialog).

Mass Deployment And Account Creation

It is possible to perform mass deployment of the Nextcloud desktop client by passing certain command-line parameters from the deployment step to Nextcloud desktop client executable after the initial setup. This will allow desktop client to generate a config (.cfg) file that will be used during subsequent launches. A config file will have a corresponding account written into it similar to if you have added it manually via the desktop client’s UI. The desktop client will exit with code 0 if account has been added successfuly, or 1 in case of failure. Detailed failure message is printed to the desktop client logs.

The following parameters are supported:

(required) userId (username as on the server) to pass when creating an account via command-line.
(required) appPassword to pass when creating an account via command-line (see the login-flow section in server documentation on how to generate the app password).
(optional) path where to create a local sync folder when creating an account via command-line. If skipped, then default local sync folder path (/home/<userid>/Nextcloud<n> for Linux/mac or C:/<userid>/Nextcloud<n> for Windows) will be generated by desktop client.
(optional) whether to set a VFS or non-VFS folder (1 for ‘yes’ or 0 for ‘no’) when creating an account via command-line. Default is 0.
(optional) path to a remote subfolder when creating an account via command-line. e.g. If the server has folders “/Photos”, “/Documents”, “/Music” you can pass “/Music” and then this folder will get set up as remote root.
(required) a server URL to use when creating an account via command-line. (NOTE: There is another parameter supported by Nextcloud desktop client --overrideserverurl but it SHOULD NOT be used here as it is intended for setup via UI with wizard)


  • C:\Program Files\Nextcloud\nextcloud.exe" --userid admin --apppassword Jliy12356785jxnHa2ZCiZ9MX48ncECwDso95Pq3a5HABjY34ZvhZiXrPfpKWUg7aOHAX5 --localdirpath "D:\\Nextcloud-sync-folder" --remotedirpath /Music --serverurl "" --isvfsenabled 1" - this will create a config file for user admin on the server and set a remote root folder to “Music”, the local sync folder will get created with VFS mode.
  • For Linux and mac the same example as above will work but nextcloud.exe path and --localdirpath value should get changed to platform specific format (e.g. no .exe extension and /home/<user folder> format)

Configuration File

The Nextcloud Client reads a configuration file. You can locate this configuration file as follows:

On Linux distributions:
On Microsoft Windows systems:
On macOS systems:

The configuration file contains settings using the Microsoft Windows .ini file format. You can overwrite changes using the Nextcloud configuration dialog.


Use caution when making changes to the Nextcloud Client configuration file. Incorrect settings can produce unintended results.

Some interesting values that can be set on the configuration file are:

[Nextcloud] section
Variable Default Meaning
remotePollInterval 30000 Specifies the poll time for the remote repository in milliseconds.
forceSyncInterval 7200000 The duration of no activity after which a synchronization run shall be triggered automatically.
fullLocalDiscoveryInterval 3600000 The interval after which the next synchronization will perform a full local discovery.
notificationRefreshInterval 300000 Specifies the default interval of checking for new server notifications in milliseconds.
[General] section
Variable Default Meaning
chunkSize 10000000 (10 MB) Specifies the chunk size of uploaded files in bytes. The client will dynamically adjust this size within the maximum and minimum bounds (see below).
minChunkSize 1000000 (1 MB) Specifies the minimum chunk size of uploaded files in bytes.
maxChunkSize 1000000000 (1000 MB) Specifies the maximum chunk size of uploaded files in bytes.
targetChunkUploadDuration 60000 (1 minute) Target duration in milliseconds for chunk uploads. The client adjusts the chunk size until each chunk upload takes approximately this long. Set to 0 to disable dynamic chunk sizing.
promptDeleteAllFiles true If a UI prompt should ask for confirmation if it was detected that all files and folders were deleted.
timeout 300 The timeout for network connections in seconds.
moveToTrash false If non-locally deleted files should be moved to trash instead of deleting them completely. This option only works on linux
showExperimentalOptions false Whether to show experimental options that are still undergoing testing in the user interface. Turning this on does not enable experimental behavior on its own. It does enable user interface options that can be used to opt in to experimental features.
showMainDialogAsNormalWindow false Whether the main dialog should be shown as a normal window even if tray icons are available.
[Proxy] section
Variable Default Meaning
host The address of the proxy server.
port 8080 The port were the proxy is listening.
type 2 0 for System Proxy.
1 for SOCKS5 Proxy.
2 for No Proxy.
3 for HTTP(S) Proxy.

Environment Variables

The behavior of the client can also be controlled using environment variables. The value of the environment variables overrides the values in the configuration file.

The environment variables are:

  • OWNCLOUD_CHUNK_SIZE (default: 5242880; 5 MiB) – Specifies the chunk size of uploaded files in bytes. Increasing this value may help with synchronization problems in certain configurations.
  • OWNCLOUD_TIMEOUT (default: 300 s) – The timeout for network connections in seconds.
  • OWNCLOUD_CRITICAL_FREE_SPACE_BYTES (default: 50*1000*1000 bytes) - The minimum disk space needed for operation. A fatal error is raised if less free space is available.
  • OWNCLOUD_FREE_SPACE_BYTES (default: 250*1000*1000 bytes) - Downloads that would reduce the free space below this value are skipped. More information available under the “Low Disk Space” section.
  • OWNCLOUD_MAX_PARALLEL (default: 6) - Maximum number of parallel jobs.
  • OWNCLOUD_BLACKLIST_TIME_MIN (default: 25 s) - Minimum timeout for blacklisted files.
  • OWNCLOUD_BLACKLIST_TIME_MAX (default: 24*60*60 s; one day) - Maximum timeout for blacklisted files.

Nextcloud Command Line Client

The Nextcloud Client packages contain a command line client, nextcloudcmd, that can be used to synchronize Nextcloud files to client machines.

nextcloudcmd performs a single sync run and then exits the synchronization process. In this manner, nextcloudcmd processes the differences between client and server directories and propagates the files to bring both repositories to the same state. Contrary to the GUI-based client, nextcloudcmd does not repeat synchronizations on its own. It also does not monitor for file system changes.

Install nextcloudcmd


$ sudo yum -y install epel-release
$ sudo yum -y install nextcloud-client


$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nextcloud-devs/client
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install nextcloud-client


$ sudo apt install nextcloud-desktop-cmd

Refer to the link

To invoke nextcloudcmd, you must provide the local and the remote repository URL using the following command:

nextcloudcmd [OPTIONS...] sourcedir nextcloudurl

where sourcedir is the local directory and nextcloudurl is the server URL.

Other command line switches supported by nextcloudcmd include the following:

Overrides default remote root folder to a specific subfolder on the server(e.g.: /Documents would sync the Documents subfolder on the server)
--user, -u [user]
Use user as the login name.
--password, -p [password]
Use password as the password.
Use netrc (5) for login.
Do not prompt for questions.
--silent, --s
Inhibits verbose log output.
Trust any SSL certificate, including invalid ones.
--httpproxy  http://[user@pass:]<server>:<port>
Uses server as HTTP proxy.
--exclude [file]
Exclude list file
--unsyncedfolders [file]
File containing the list of un-synced remote folders (selective sync)
--max-sync-retries [n]
Retries maximum n times (defaults to 3)
Sync hidden files, do not ignore them

Credential Handling

nextcloudcmd requires the user to specify the username and password using the standard URL pattern, e.g.,

$ nextcloudcmd /home/user/my_sync_folder https://carla:secret@server/nextcloud

To synchronize the Nextcloud directory Music to the local directory media/music, through a proxy listening on port 8080, and on a gateway machine using IP address, the command line would be:

$ nextcloudcmd --httpproxy --path /Music \
              $HOME/media/music \

nextcloudcmd will prompt for the user name and password, unless they have been specified on the command line or -n has been passed.

Exclude List

nextcloudcmd requires access to an exclude list file. It must either be installed along with nextcloudcmd and thus be available in a system location, be placed next to the binary as sync-exclude.lst or be explicitly specified with the --exclude switch.


  • Synchronize a local directory to the specified directory of the nextcloud server
$ nextcloudcmd --path /<Directory_that_has_been_created> /home/user/<my_sync_folder> \

Low Disk Space

When disk space is low the Nextcloud Client will be unable to synchronize all files. This section describes its behavior in a low disk space situation as well as the options that influence it.

  1. Synchronization of a folder aborts entirely if the remaining disk space falls below 50 MB. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_CRITICAL_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.
  2. Downloads that would reduce the free disk space below 250 MB will be skipped or aborted. The download will be retried regularly and other synchronization is unaffected. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.

Wizard Account Setup Command-line Options

If you want to automate an Account Setup Wizard to allow the user skip entering server URL and local sync folder path in UI, you can use command-line parameters. When you specify both, the desktop client’s Account Setup Wizard will jump straight to opening a browser for account authentication/connection without the need of entering any of the connection details. The local sync folder will also be selected to the one you specify instead of using default path (/home/Nextcloud)

The following parameters are supported:

specify a local dir to be used in the account setup wizard (e.g.: /home/nextcloud-sync-folder)
specify a server URL to use for the force override to be used in the account setup wizard (e.g.:


  • ``C:Program FilesNextcloudnextcloud.exe” –overridelocaldir “D:/work/nextcloud-sync-folder” –overrideserverurl
  • For Linux and mac the same example as above will work but nextcloud.exe path and --overridelocaldir value should get changed to platform specific format (e.g. no .exe extension and /home/<user folder> format)