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ownCloud Client 2.2.x

A couple of weeks ago we released another significant milestone of the ownCloud Client, called version 2.2.0, followed by two small maintenance releases. (download). I’d like to highlight some of the new features and the changes that we have made to improve the user experience:

Overlay Icons

Overlay icons for the various file managers on our three platforms already exist for quite some time, but it has turned out that the performance was not up to the mark for big sync folders. The reason was mainly that too much communication between the file manager plugin and the client was happening. Once asked about the sync state of a single file, the client had to jump through quite some hoops in order to retrieve the required information. That involved not only database access to the sqlite-based sync journal, but also file system interaction to gather file information. Not a big deal if it’s only a few, but if the user syncs huge amounts, these efforts do sum up.

This becomes especially tricky for the propagation of changes upwards the file tree. Imagine there is a sync error happening in the foo/bar/baz/myfile. What should happen is that a warning icon appears on the icon for foo in the file manager, telling that within this directory, a problem exists. The complexity of the existing implementation was already high and adding this extra functionality would have reduced the reliability of the code lower than it already was.

Jocelyn was keen enough to do a refactoring of the underlying code which we call the SocketApi. Starting from the basic assumption that all files are in sync, and the code has just to care for these files that are new or changed, erroneous or ignored or similar, the amount of data to keep is very much reduced, which makes processing way faster.

Server Notifications

On the ownCloud server, there are situation where notifications are created which make the user aware of things that happened.

An example are federated shares:

If somebody shares a folder with you, you previously had to acknowledge it through the web interface. This explicit step is a safety net to avoid people sharing tons of Gigabytes of content, filling up your disk.


With 2.2.x, you can acknowledge the share right from the client, saving you the round trip to the web interface to check for new shares.

Keeping an Eye on Word & Friends

Microsoft Word and other office tools are rather hard to deal with in syncing, because they do very strict file locking of the files that are worked on. So strict that the subsequent sync app is not even allowed to open the file, not even for reading. That would be required to be able to sync the file.

As a result the sync client needs to wait until word unlocks the file, and then continue syncing.

For previous version of the client, this was hard to detect and worked only if other changes happened in the same directory where the file in question resides.

With 2.2.0 we added a special watcher that keeps an eye on the office docs Word and friends are blocking. And once the files are unlocked, the watcher starts a sync run to get the files to the server, or down from the server.

Advances on Desktop Sharing

The sharing has been further integrated and received several UX- and bugfixes. There is more feedback when performing actions so you know when your client is waiting for a response from the server. The client now also respect more data returned from the server if you have apps enabled on the server that for example
limit the expiration date.

Further more we better respect the share permissions granted. This means that if
somebody shared a folder without create permissions with you and you want to reshare
this folder in the client you won’t get the option to share with delete permissions. This avoids errors when sharing and is more in line with how the whole ownCloud platform handles re-sharing. We also adjusted the behavior for federated reshares with the server.

Please note to take full advantage of all improvements you will need to run at least
server version 9.0.

Have fun!

  1. June 24, 2016 at 16:51

    Nice improvements! But is there support for overlay icons in Dolphin? I can’t find anything related in the Ubuntu repository. Fedora’s repository seems to have packages for Nautilus and Nemo but not for Dolphin.

  2. June 24, 2016 at 18:38

    Overlay icons haven’t made it to Dolphin yet. Have they?

    • June 24, 2016 at 19:40

      The breeze icons are available since half a year or longer they were also used in the screen shot, and in dolphin.

      • June 25, 2016 at 05:02

        What breeze icon are you talking about? The Overlay icons show ownCloud sync status. We aren’t talking about the system tray icons.

  3. June 24, 2016 at 20:06

    Yes, they have, but some distros don’t package dolphin with this functionality enabled.

  4. dragotin
    June 24, 2016 at 22:08

    Yes, they have. The problem is that they need a quite recent KDE Framework (min 5.16) which is not widely shipped yet with current distros. As soon as that is ´common, dolphin will have overlays as well.

    • andreas_k
      June 24, 2016 at 23:47

      hi, we are now at KDE Framework 5.23 and 5.16 mean the package is 7 mounths old, as I said, breeze support the owncloud client since half a year. I’m sorry that you can’t get it, but I can fix only in master and than it take a while until the user get it.

      • June 27, 2016 at 09:20

        So file overlay icons for owncloud folders in Dolphin appears now in KDE neon?

    • keithzg
      June 28, 2016 at 20:42

      Umm, I’m running KDE Frameworks 5.22.0 and I certainly don’t see any overlay icons.

  5. Bouda05
    June 28, 2016 at 08:38

    Why is not speed of data transfering shows during synchronization in new version?

  6. Adi
    August 19, 2016 at 03:38

    Hi, please reconsider speeding up delta sync development for big archive of outlook data files. This is a typical office user requirement not just niche user.

    Thank you

  1. June 24, 2016 at 22:23
  2. June 26, 2016 at 20:01

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