nextCloud 9 Upgrade to nextCloud 11 on Bluehost Shared Hosting

2017-04-18_20-12-50.pngnextCloud (NC) is an excellent PHP application to help manage documents, calendar, contacts, photos and much more.  Phoenix Learning Labs (PLL) intends to use this platform to host training materials on new and exciting technologies.  PLL uses the BlueHost hosting service, Pro Plan, for its nextCloud instance.  PLL had been using version 9.0 for quite some time and decided to upgrade.  Currently, nextCloud version 11 is available and has been tested and was the one we used for this tutorial.


These are the notes taken during the migration.  WinSCP was used to perform most of the steps of the migration and setup.  There are many good tutorials on how to set up Putty and WinSCP so we will skip that part.

To avoid frequent disconnects with WinSCP you need to modify the advanced site settings for your Bluehost connection.



Download nextCloud installation ZIP

The instructions for the NC download can be found at this link.  We want the server owners version.  PLL’s Bluehost instance is a Shared instance but when “Upgrading” from one NC version another it is safer to use the “Server Owners” version.


Download the file to a safe place on your PC.

Save the important stuff from your version 9.0 installation

PLL NC instance was installed in the




If you don’t want to loose all of the work you’ve done to build the NC instance you need to copy two directories (config and data) from your NC 9 instance to a safe place.


Next steps are to rename the original NC directory to something else, we added an ‘xxx’ to the front of the directory name.  This quickly eliminates the directory but keeps it handy just in case we need something else.


Install Version 11 on Bluehost

Locate the downloaded copy of the NC “Server Owner” ZIP file and transfer it over to the public_html directory.


Unzip the NC “Server Owner” ZIP file, this may take a few minutes


This will create a new directory named NextCloud, we renamed it to the original directory name for PLL:  phoenixlearninglabs.

Then we copy the (config and data) directory from the safe place back to the PLL NC directory.


Maintenance Mode Issues

With great confidence, we restarted out NC instance and got this

maintenance mode.png

Turns out in previous attempts at using the “Web Installer” version of NC 11 failed half way through, leaving our NC instance in Maintenance Mode.

To turn off Maintenance mode we need to edit the NC config/config.php file, the last line that indicates maintenance mode needs to be set to ‘false’


As my dad used to say “Now we are cooking with gas”, he would have been surprised if he had gotten to see Microwaves.

Looks like I’m still cooking with a campfire because the maintenance message is still displaying.  Turns out if the migration failed the details are logged into a file “data/owncloud.log”.  owncloud.log? not nextcloud.log?  When nextCloud branched out from ownCloud not everything got changed.  Delete the damn “owncloud.log” file


Holy crap looks like we got somewhere with this. Almost afraid to click on the damn (Start Update) button.


It just never fracking ends, what the hell is this all about?

major updates.png

Well, this would have been nice to have known before we started this fateful journey.

Tale of Two Paths



Of course, the link to the “Older versions” brings up a blank “changelog” page.  After a bit of Google-Foo I found a promising link with all the versions.



Repeat the process above and get the “phoenixlearninglabs” directory ready to go, remember to delete “owncloud.log” file and change the maintenance mode to “false”.  If you’re lucky you might just see this. Down the path of ruination once more.


This looks very promising even with the warning messages


OK, let’s just hit that (F5) button and hold our breath.


If I log in and go to the admin page, what will happen? any guesses?

shithouseof warnings

Well, it looks like we are “Stable”, if that is possible, at 10.0.4.  See that (Open Updater) button, looks real inviting but it’s a trap.  Many posts in nextCloud forum with tales of horror when clicking on that.

Critical Step copy Version 10 .config and .data directories

NOTE: You must copy the “config” and “data” directories from the NC Ver 10 install to a safe place.  These will the one you copy back when NC V11 is installed over NC V10.

We will take the long root by Unzipping NC Version 11 over Version 10. and changing the maintenance mode to “False” one more time.

We are back to the point where we thought we were cooking with gas. Silly me I will click the (Start Update) button expecting magic to happen.



Holy cow… it worked!!!  Went to the admin page and there are a few minor warnings that we will resolve later. V11 of nextCloud is working on my Bluehost Shared Pro instance.


Integrity Check

The integrity check done by NC is important as it locates critical files that may not be correct or missing.  In this case, it was the infamous .htaccess and .user.ini file that were munged up.

The easier solution is to unzip the NC 11 ZIP file into a safe area, locate those two files can copy them over to the root of the NC site.

If you have extra files like the NC zip files in the NC directory you should delete them.

Rinse, repeat until clean.

HTTPS and SSL certificates

This whole area of the WWW is just a plain and simple pain in the ass.  Having said that it is still a necessary requirement to get NC to work properly and allow for better security.  That is what this NC warning is all about.


When you get a Bluehost Pro account you get 1 free SSL certificate and the dedicated IP address you need for the whole shebang to work.

NOTE: Something very cool about WordPress sites.  If you host a WordPress site on BlueHost you can get a free SSL certificate and have it automatically installed and it doesn’t require another dedicated IP address.


I di have a few issues with the free certificate I intended on using for PLL but the Bluehost folks took care of it.  Remember that these certs take a little time to propagate across the world wide web.

DNS Nameservers

If you are using Bluehost as your hosting platform the default name servers are set to the Bluehost names servers and you don’t need to do anything.

However, if you experimented with other hosting environments and changed the default name servers to something else, they will need to be changed back.

We experimented with InMotion Hosting and all I can say is “We learn from our failures”.


Don’t expect the change to be instantaneous it has to propagate across all the other parts of the Interweb.

Lessons Learned

Read ALL of the installation instructions for applications like nextCloud and save yourself some time and headaches.

Get a good hosting provider that allows for SSH access and helpful technical support.  I can not say enough good things about Bluehost.

Learn how to use command line tools like Putty or Kitty and some basic Linux commands, you don’t need to know a lot to get this whole thing done.

Who is your friend? I ask this question at every class I teach.  The correct answer is Google, practice on asking questions different ways to get the correct answer.

Frequent backups, and do a few more backups. With the Bluehost Pro account, they throw in the Backup tool.

The nextCloud integrity check should be reviewed and all the instructions followed, missing or incorrect files can cause hours of headaches.















WordPress LiveWriter and Code Formatting

I use Microsoft’s Live Writer to build most of my posts to GeekMustHave.  It is a great tool for free.  There are some tips on using it better and across the cloud.  I often will include code snippets that I would like to be color formatted to be easy to read and digest.  I also want the viewer to be able to copy the code for reference, sometimes I’m that viewer. Embarrassed smile    I would like to recommend the Live Writer plugin from Steve Dunn


I use it formatted like what you see to the left. 

ActiPro engine is wonderful  as it does a much better job at formatting and supports more types of code.

The slightly blue background helps to offset the code from the post.

The ( language is used when formatting VBA code because the Visual Basic language template has a few issue, but the alternative works great.

Leave the line numbers off to avoid them being copied by the viewer when they are copying the code

Avoid word wrap it make the result look jagged.

Geek Must Have Updates to WordPress 3.3 “Sonny”

The latest and greatest version of the WordPress software — 3.3, named “Sonny” in honor of the great jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt — is immediately available for download or update inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress has had over 65 million downloads since version 3.0 was released, and in this third major iteration we’ve added significant polish around the new user experience, navigation, uploading, and imports. Check out more on this update the the following link


Windows Live Writer 2011–Blogger Heaven


Special thanks to Ty for turning me on to this blogger tool.   I have been using Blog Desk as my Windows client to edit my WordPress blog.   It is a German product and works very well with a couple of small quirks.  I liked the ability to paste images into my blog without having to first save them as a file.    

I’m thinking to myself great…. another Windows heavy overloaded client program on my system but Live Writer is only a few MB in size and is a freebee.   It allows you to cut and past images directly into the blog post.   I have a very nice way of handling links in the post where you can just clipboard the link and then when you click on the Hyperlink Icon it assumes you wanted to past the link you just copied.   A simple user interface trick that makes life easier.   Of course when you try to install the Microsoft Live product Microsoft asks and recommends you install the whole box of tools but you can deselect all except the Live Writer and proceed with the install.

After you tell Live Writer where your blog is located it goes and posts a blog and then unposts it so it can determine a template for your blog.   My template appears to work just fine.   This is my first post using Live Writer.   The user interface is just simple and wonderful.  I’ve heard that Windows Live Writer was written by a secret team of ninjas who the Microsoft brass can’t locate to tell them to tow the line and make the UI difficult to use and confusing.   Thank you ninjas…

EVO 4 Android WordPress

This is a web  blog entry  from my  HTC EVO 4 Android cell phone.  The entire post  was done with voice recognition.  the phone does a fairly good job  I’ve translating speech into text.  Occasionally I do get  the bad spell check correction  and the message read a little funny .   

I am starting to understand how maintaining a blog has changed so much in the last 3 years.  It is possible to blog from just about anywhere including your phone or PC or your tablet.   

Posted from EVO 4 Android phone

BlogDesk Windows based client for WordPress

Ok another WordPress tool for Windows access. Yea it’s a heavy client and no one really cares. Heavy client means it’s a Windows program not a web application. Back in the “Old-Days” that called that client-server and everyone hopped on that bandwagon. Then the web came along and everyone had to have a web site or even better a web “Application”. Then the damn iPhone & iPAD came along and now we back to “There’s an app for that” it’s just client server downsized to fit the smaller device with often poor bandwidth. Enough of the rant….

BlogDesk is a tool for WordPress bloggers, it works with a bunch of other blog hosts as well. It didn’t install at all on my Windows 7 system even when I tried as an administrator. But I still have about 6 XP systems scattered everywhere.

This post is from BlogDesk, so far not bad…. but time will tell.

Press-This a tool for WordPress

Press-This is a bookmark-let that allows you quickly do a post to your blog.  Most of you who are seasoned bloggers know this.  It appears there are a number of ways to publish material to a WordPress blog.  UncleShooter Alter Ego run from a host account at Blue Host one of the best hosting services out there.  No I get a damn dime from them for saying this.  Its just that I have tried a number of hosting services and gotten burned.