I have a small owncloud server on Raspbian and owncloud stores all data on an external hdd drive wich is connected to the raspbeerry pi. Right now I would like to upload all my movies, music etc. to my owncloud, but as one could expect this takes ages (approx. 150GB). Would it be possible to shut down the raspberry and plug the drive directly into my desktop and write the files to the correct directories? Or would this result in errors regarding reading,writing permissions or anything else?


2 Answers 2


I would say its perfectly possible to do this.

I use my external hard drive for torrents and whenever I need to transfer unfinished torrents from pc to laptop I directly transfer by removing the hard disk.Never had a problem.

Hope it helps.

  • Thanks! I just feared that the server mifht lack the permissions to open the files another user put there. I'll try it and accept it then
    – YumTum
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 9:42
  • Did it work? The last time I tried something similar, owncloud was not very happy about new files appearing in its data directory (even though they were owned by the correct user). It just had problems reading them, especially the music files.
    – mincos
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 15:56

Yes this is possible as SteveIrwin says.

I'd just like to add that after you have manually copied your files into the data directory, you'll need to change the owner and group to the appropriate user running your server instance. For example, I'm running my ownCloud on an Apache server under the "www-data" user and group, so I do:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data "myfoldername"

to allow ownCloud to recognise the folder, subfolders and files and be able to edit them.

In order to find your Apache user, run:

ps axo user,group,comm | grep apache2

which should give you an output like:

root     root     apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2
www-data www-data apache2

with the user in the first column (www-data) and the group in the second column (www-data).

  • Hello and welcome! Is ownCloud not keeping some kind of a database for the files it handles? (I remember only very remotely that this was suggested in another topic.) If so would it not be necessary to run some "update db" tool after manually copying files?
    – Ghanima
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:21
  • Hi Ghanima. Yes ownCloud does have a database, typically mysql or sqlite, depending on what you first choose in the setup wizard. I don't know the full detail of how it updates, but if you change the owner and group as described, your files will be recognised. There must be already some sort of update script running. I've just tested this on my server. Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:27
  • ...and will that update automatically or does it need to be triggered upon putting some files in there behind its back?
    – Ghanima
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:29
  • yes it will, sorry i submitted my last comment by mistake before confirming that it updates automatically in the background Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 9:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.