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hard, but managing passwords is certainly a unique feature.
There are no less than three apps providing this functional-
ity: Passwords , Secure Container , and Passman .
3. Store your ﬁles where you want
External storage allows you to hook your existing data stor-
age into ownCloud, letting you to access ﬁles stored on FTP,
WebDAV, Amazon S3, and even Dropbox and Google Drive
through one interface.
(Watch Using Federated Cloud Sharing between own-
Cloud servers on YouTube to learn how to conﬁgure external
storage in ownCloud Server 8.1. )
The “big boys” like to create their own little walled gar-
dens—Box user can only collaborate with other Box users;
and if you want to share your ﬁles from Google Drive, your
mate needs a Google account or they can’t do much. With
ownCloud’s external storage, you can break these barriers.
A very creative solution is adding Google Drive and Drop-
box as external storage. You can work with ﬁles on both
seamlessly and share them with others through a simple
link—no account needed to work with you!
4. Get ﬁles uploaded
Because ownCloud is open source, people contribute interest-
ing features without being limited by corporate requirements.
Our contributors have always
cared about security and pri-
vacy, so ownCloud introduced
features such as protecting a
public link with a password and
setting an expire date years
before anybody else did .
Today, ownCloud has the
ability to conﬁgure a shared link
as read-write, which means
visitors can seamlessly edit
the ﬁles you share with them
(protected with a password
or not) or upload new ﬁles to
is a self-hosted open source ﬁle
sync and share server . Like “big
boys” Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and others, ownCloud
lets you access your ﬁles, calendar, contacts, and other
data. You can synchronize everything (or part of it) between
your devices and share ﬁles with others. But ownCloud
can do much more than its proprietary, hosted-on-some-
Let’s look at six creative things ownCloud can do. Some
of these are possible because ownCloud is open source,
whereas others are just unique features it offers.
1. A scalable ownCloud Pi cluster
Because ownCloud is open source, you can choose be-
tween self-hosting on your own server or renting space from
a provider you trust—no need to put your ﬁles at a big com-
pany that stores it who knows where. Find some ownCloud
providers  or grab packages or a virtual machine for your
own server from our site .
The most creative things we’ve seen are a Banana Pi clus-
ter  and a Raspberry Pi cluster . Although ownCloud’s
scalability is often used to deploy to hundreds of thousands
of users, some folks out there take it in a different direction,
bringing multiple tiny systems together to make a super-fast
2. Keep your
To make ownCloud easier
to extend, we have made it
extremely modular and have
an ownCloud app store .
There you can ﬁnd things like
music and video players, cal-
endars, contacts, productivi-
ty apps, games, a sketching
app, and much more.
Picking only one app from
the almost 200 available is
Installing ownCloud on a Banana Pi.
Photo by Jörn Friedrich Dreyer. CC BY-SA 4.0.
ways to use
BY JOS POORTVLIET
your server without be-
ing forced to sign up
to another web service
that wants their private
data. (See the Creating
a public upload folder in
ownCloud 8.1 tutorial
on YouTube. )
This is great for when
people want to share
a large ﬁle with you.
Rather than having to
upload it to a third-par-
ty site, send you a link,
and make you go there
and download it (often
requiring a login), they
can just upload it to a
shared folder you pro-
vide, and you can get to work right away.
5. Get free secure storage
We already talked about how many of our contributors care
about security and privacy. That’s why ownCloud has an app
that can encrypt and decrypt stored data.
Using ownCloud to store your ﬁles on Dropbox or Google
Drive defeats the whole idea of retaking control of your data
and keeping it private. The Encryption app changes that. By
encrypting data before sending it to these providers and de-
crypting it upon retrieval, your data is safe as kittens.
6. Share your ﬁles and stay in control
As an open source project, ownCloud has no stake in build-
ing walled gardens. Enter Federated Cloud Sharing , a
protocol developed and published by ownCloud that enables
different ﬁle sync and share servers to talk to one another
and exchange ﬁles securely. Federated Cloud Sharing has
an interesting history. Twenty-two German universities 
decided to build a huge cloud for their 500,000 students.
But as each university wanted to stay in control of the data
of their own students, a creative solution was needed: Fed-
erated Cloud Sharing. The solution now connects all these
universities so the students can seamlessly work together. At
the same time, the system administrators at each university
stay in control of the ﬁles their students have created and
can apply policies, such as storage restrictions, or limitations
on what, with whom, and how ﬁles can be shared.
And this awesome technology isn’t limited to German
universities: Every ownCloud user can ﬁnd their Federated
Cloud ID in their user settings and share it with others.
So there you have it. Six ways ownCloud enables people to
do special and unique things, all made possible because it
is open source and designed to help you liberate your data.
Do you have other creative uses for ownCloud? Email your
article proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
 ownCloud: https://owncloud.com/
 ownCloud providers: https://owncloud.org/providers/
 ownCloud server instructions:
 Installing ownCloud on a Banana Pi: http://www.owncluster.de/
 Host your “ownCloud” on a Raspberry Pi cluster:
 ownCloud app store: https://apps.owncloud.com/
 Passwords: https://apps.owncloud.com/
 Secure Container: https://apps.owncloud.com/content/
 Passman: https://apps.owncloud.com/content/ show.php/
 Using Federated Cloud Sharing between ownCloud servers:
 ownCloud’s Latest Community Edition Adds Video
Streaming, and Easy Mounting of Third-Party Storage:
 Creating a public upload folder in ownCloud 8.1:
 Announcing the draft Federated Cloud Sharing API:
 Sciebo: https://owncloud.com/customer/sciebo/
Jos Poortvliet is a technology enthusiast and all-things-open
evangelist. He’s also community manager at ownCloud,
and a SUSE and KDE marketing veteran. Jos loves biking
through Berlin and cooking for friends and family.
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2. Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer
The AltSearch extension  adds many new features to
Writer’s ﬁnd & replace function: searched or replaced text
can contain one or more paragraphs; multiple search and
replacement in one step; searching: Bookmarks, Notes,
Text ﬁelds, Cross-references and Reference marks to their
content, name or mark and their inserting; searching and
inserting Footnote and Endnote; searching object of Table,
Pictures and Text frames according to their name; searching
out manual page and column break and their set up or deac-
tivation; and searching similarly formatted text, according to
cursor point. It is also possible to save and load search and
replacement parameters, and execute the batch on several
opened documents at the same time.
3. Pepito Cleaner
Pepito Cleaner  is an extension of LibreOfﬁce created to
quickly resolve the most common formatting mistakes of old
scans, PDF imports, and every digital text ﬁle. By clicking
the Pepito Cleaner icon on the LibreOfﬁce toolbar, users will
open a window that will analyze the document and show the
results broken down by category. This is extremely useful
is the best free ofﬁce suite
around, and as such has been
adopted by all major Linux distributions. Although LibreOfﬁce
is already packed with features, it can be extended by using
speciﬁc add-ons, called extensions.
The main LibreOfﬁce extensions website is extensions.li-
breofﬁce.org . Extensions are tools that can be added or
removed independently from the main installation, and may
add new functionality or make existing functionality easier
MultiFormatSave  lets users save a document in the
OpenDocument, Microsoft Ofﬁce (old and new), and/or
PDF formats simultaneously, according to user settings.
This extension is extremely useful during the migration
from Microsoft Ofﬁce document formats to the Open Doc-
ument Format standard , because it offers the option to
save in both ﬂavors: ODF for interoperability, and Micro-
soft Ofﬁce for compatibility with all users sticking to lega-
cy formats. This makes the migration process softer, and
easier to administer.
Anaphraseus  is a CAT (Comput-
er-Aided Translation) tool for creating,
managing, and using bilingual Trans-
lation Memories. Anaphraseus is a
LibreOfﬁce macro set available as an
extension or a standalone document. Orig-
inally, Anaphraseus was developed to work with
the Wordfast format, but it can also export and
import ﬁles in TMX format. Anaphraseus main
features are: text segmentation, fuzzy search
in Translation Memory, terminology recognition,
and TMX Export/Import (OmegaT translation
 LibreOfﬁce extensions: http://extensions.libreofﬁce.org/
 MultiFormatSave: http://extensions.libreofﬁce.org/exten-
 Open Document Format:
 Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer (AltSearch):
 Pepito Cleaner:
 ImpressRunner: http://extensions.libreofﬁce.org/exten-
 Impress: https://www.libreofﬁce.org/discover/impress/
 Export as Images: http://extensions.libreofﬁce.org/exten-
 Draw: https://www.libreofﬁce.org/discover/draw/
 Anaphraseus: http://anaphraseus.sourceforge.net/
Italo Vignoli is a founding member of The Document Foun-
dation. He handles the organization’s PR and media rela-
tions, coordinates its certiﬁcation program, and is an interna-
tional spokesman for the project. Italo has supervised some
of the largest LibreOfﬁce migration projects in Italy, and is a
when converting PDF documents to ODF, as it cleans all the
cruft left in place by the automatic process.
ImpressRunner  is a simple extension that transforms an
Impress  presentation into an auto-running ﬁle. The exten-
sion adds two icons, to set and remove the autostart func-
tion, which can also be added manually by editing the File |
Properties | Custom Properties menu, and adding the term
autostart in one of the ﬁrst four text ﬁelds. This extension
is especially useful for booths at conferences and events,
where the slides are supposed to run unattended.
5. Export as Images
The Export as Images extension  adds a File menu entry
export as Images... in Impress and Draw , to export all
slides or pages as images in JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF
format, and allows users to choose a ﬁle name for exported
images, the image size, and other parameters.
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So, we’ve seen the entire
history of the Django project
and community, and we’ve
seen popular packages
come and go. Between the
three of us, we’ve probably
tried at least half of these
8,000 apps personally, or we know someone who has. We
have a strong understanding of what makes an app solid and
reliable, and we have a good understanding of what gives
these things staying power.
Best way to start a new Django site: Cookiecutter
Starting off a new project or app is always a bit of a pain. You
can use Django’s built in `startproject` but if you’re like us,
you’re particular in how you do things. Cookiecutter solves
this by giving you a quick and easy way to deﬁne project or
app templates that can be easily reused. A quick example,
just `pip install cookiecutter` and then run this from the
$ cookiecutter https://github.com/marcofucci/
You’ll immediately start getting prompted for quick answers,
such as the name of your project, repo, author name, email,
and a few other bits of conﬁguration. These are used to help
ﬁll out the project details. We picked the ever so original ’foo’
to be our repo name. So cookiecutter created a simple Djan-
go project in the subdirectory ’foo’.
If you poke around in the ’foo’ project a bit, you’ll see
the other bits of conﬁguration you were prompted for have
been templated into the ﬁles themselves along with sub-di-
rectories as necessary. This “template” is all deﬁned at the
GitHub repo URL we used as the only argument when we
called `cookiecutter`. This example used a remote GitHub
repo as the template; however, note that you can use local
 is built
concept of reusable apps :
self-contained packages that
provide re-usable features.
You can build your site by
composing these reusable
apps, together with your own site-speciﬁc code. There’s a
rich and varied ecosystem of reusable apps available for
your use—PyPI lists more than 8,000 Django apps —but
how do you know which ones are best?
To help focus your app search, we’ve put together this list
of our ﬁve favorites. They are:
• Cookiecutter: the best way to start a new Django site. 
• Whitenoise: the best static asset server. 
• Django Rest Framework: the best way to write REST
APIs with Django. 
• Wagtail: the best Django-based content-management
• django-allauth: the best way to provide “social login”
(e.g., Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, etc). 
We also recommend you check out Django Packages ,
a directory of reusable Django apps. Django Packages
organizes Django apps into “grids” that allow you to com-
pare similar packages and chose between them. You can
see which features are offered by each package, as well
as usage statistics. (For example, the grid for REST tools
 might help you understand why we recommend Django
Why should you trust us?
We’ve been using Django for longer than almost anyone.
Two of us (Frank and Jacob) worked at the Lawrence Jour-
nal-World  (birthplace of Django) before Django was re-
leased (and in fact helped make the open source release
happen). We’ve all spent the past eight years running a con-
sultancy that advises companies on how best to use Django.
5 favorite open source
JEFF TRIPLETT, JACOB KAPLAN-MOSS, AND FRANK WILES
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested