Nextcloud with podman rootless containers and user systemd services. Part I - Introduction

Jan 28, 2021 08:30 · 734 words · 4 minute read nextcloud podman rootless systemd

Introduction

I’ve been using Nextcloud for a few years as my personal ‘file storage cloud’. There are official container images and docker-compose files to be able to run it easily.

For quite a while, I’ve been using the nginx+redis+mariadb+cron docker-compose file as it has all the components to be able to run an ‘enterprise ready’ Nextcloud, even if I’m only using it for personal use :)

In this blog post I’m going to try to explain how do I moved from that docker-compose setup to a podman rootless and systemd one.

Old setup

The hardware where this has been running is a good old HP N54L that it’s been serving me since quite a while, powered by CentOS 7, docker… and ZFS!

Why ZFS? Well… there are a lot of posts out there explaining why ZFS, but the ability to perform automated & zero cost snapshots with zfs-auto-snapshot was key. On a side note, check systemd-zpool-scrub to automate your ZFS integrity checks (and my humble contribution)

The docker-compose file looks like this:

version: '3'

services:
  db:
    image: mariadb
    command: --transaction-isolation=READ-COMMITTED --binlog-format=ROW
    restart: always
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud-db/db:/var/lib/mysql
    environment:
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD="xxx"
    env_file:
      - db.env

  redis:
    image: redis:alpine
    restart: always

  app:  
    image: nextcloud:fpm-alpine
    restart: always
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud/html:/var/www/html
    environment:
      - MYSQL_HOST=db
      - REDIS_HOST=redis
    env_file:
      - db.env
    depends_on:
      - db
      - redis

  web:
    build: ./web
    restart: always
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud/html:/var/www/html:ro
    environment:
      - VIRTUAL_HOST=xxx.xxx.com
      - LETSENCRYPT_HOST=xxx.xxx.com
      - LETSENCRYPT_EMAIL=xxx@xxx.com
    depends_on:
      - app
    networks:
      - proxy-tier
      - default

  cron:
    image: nextcloud:fpm-alpine
    restart: always
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud/html:/var/www/html
    entrypoint: /cron.sh
    depends_on:
      - db
      - redis

  proxy:
    build: ./proxy
    restart: always
    security_opt:
      - label:disable
    ports:
      - 80:80
      - 443:443
    labels:
      com.github.jrcs.letsencrypt_nginx_proxy_companion.nginx_proxy: "true"
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud/certs:/etc/nginx/certs:ro
      - /tank/nextcloud/vhost.d:/etc/nginx/vhost.d
      - /tank/nextcloud/html:/usr/share/nginx/html
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock:ro
    networks:
      - proxy-tier

  letsencrypt-companion:
    image: jrcs/letsencrypt-nginx-proxy-companion
    restart: always
    security_opt:
      - label:disable
    volumes:
      - /tank/nextcloud/certs:/etc/nginx/certs
      - /tank/nextcloud/vhost.d:/etc/nginx/vhost.d
      - /tank/nextcloud/html:/usr/share/nginx/html
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro
    networks:
      - proxy-tier
    depends_on:
      - proxy

networks:
  proxy-tier:

The customizations to allow bigger uploads and the custom nginx settings can be found in the official Nextcloud repository as well

This was very handy for a few reasons:

  • It is the ‘official’ way to run Nextcloud properly using containers
  • It uses the letsencrypt-nginx-proxy-companion to provide TLS certificates without a sweat
  • It works!

Moving to CentOS 8

For quite a while, I’ve been struggling to move all the services I’m using at home to a new box… because they just work!

The new box is a Slimbook One with better specs besides storage… so I’ve repurposed the old N54L to be a file storage server only (still CentOS7 with ZFS but I’m planning to reinstall it with FreeBSD… let’s see when that happens :D)

The Slimbook One was purchased thanks to a 200 euros discount I earned thanks to my contributions to open source projects… even if those are very small… so I encourage you to be an active contributor, every small change counts!

I decided to install CentOS 8 as a natural evolution and because I’m biased :) The only minor detail is that CentOS 8 doesn’t include moby or docker-compose out of the box… and I’m familiar with podman… so I thought to give it a try.

Moving to CentOS Stream

There has been a LOT of noise with regards the Red Hat announcement to shift from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream but I took this as an opportunity to learn more about how CentOS Stream works and to be ahead of RHEL.

In any case, moving to CentOS Stream was as simple as:

sudo dnf install centos-release-stream
sudo dnf swap centos-{linux,stream}-repos
sudo dnf distro-sync

Profit!

Podman in CentOS Stream

This took me a while as turns out podman rootless didn’t work properly in CentOS… so I ended up using the unofficial podman builds from kubic:

sudo dnf -y module disable container-tools
sudo dnf -y install 'dnf-command(copr)'
sudo dnf -y copr enable rhcontainerbot/container-selinux
sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/CentOS_8_Stream/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo
sudo dnf -y install podman
sudo dnf -y update

Crun

I decided to use crun instead runc as container runtime because why not?

sudo dnf install -y crun
cat << EOF > ~/.config/containers/containers.conf
[engine]
runtime="crun"
EOF

Other stuff

My motto for this box is to try to install the minimum amount of stuff directly and use everything else as containers. I’ve also installed libvirt to be able to run VMs using my colleague Karim’s kcli

Next post

In the next post I will try to explain the process of ‘installing’ Nextcloud as a pod.

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