Desktop Client 2.5.0 Release – the Virtual File System is Here!

Today we release the brand new ownCloud Desktop client. It includes the Virtual File System as a tech preview and improves sync performance. Make sure to update now!

In the week before the ownCloud Conference, we are very proud to release 2.5.0! It has a few really great new features. Take a look at all of the improvements:

 

Virtual File System (Tech Preview)

The Virtual File System enables you to choose which ownCloud files you need directly in your file browser. You can sync and unsync them with a double click. This is a long expected improvement for usability. You can read a detailed description of the feature in the Alpha blog post.

 

ownCloud virtual file system example

Download and open files from your file browser with one double click.

 

It is still a tech preview – don’t expect everything to work already, we will adjust the missing parts. But it is already usable! And as always, you can help us finishing it: if you encounter problems with the sync client, please open an issue at GitHub, so we can fix it.

You can enable the Virtual File System when you add an account to the sync client:

 

ownCloud enable virtual file system

Enable the virtual file system when you add an account.

 

Improved Sync Performance

We improved the Sync performance a lot by reducing unnecessary file scanning. This works in many ways – for example if you only change a small file in a directory tree with many files, it will be uploaded much faster.

If you are interested in the numbers, or want to reproduce them, you can follow up the discussion and testing in this github issue.

 

Warning Message for Unsupported Versions

Keeping software up to date is crucial for file integrity and security – if software is outdated, there can be unfixed bugs. That’s why you should always upgrade your software when there is a new version.

The ownCloud Desktop Client talks to a server, e.g. the ownCloud server – so you don’t only have to upgrade your client when there is a new version for it, also the server has to be kept up-to-date by your sysadmin.

Starting with this version, the client will show a warning message if you connect to an outdated or unsupported server:

 

Warning Message: Connected to https://localhost as admin. The server version 9.1.8.2- is unsupported! Proceed at your own risk.

Warning Message: Connected to https://localhost as admin. The server version 9.1.8.2- is unsupported! Proceed at your own risk.

 

Because earlier versions are not maintained anymore, only ownCloud 10.0.0 or higher is supported. So if you encounter such a message, you should ask your administrator to upgrade ownCloud to a secure version.

An important feature of the ownCloud Client is checksumming – each time you download or upload a file, the client and the server both check if the file was corrupted during the sync. This way you can be sure that you don’t lose any files.

There are servers out there which don’t have checksumming implemented on their side, or which are not tested by ownCloud’s QA team. They can’t ensure file integrity, they have potential security issues, and we can’t guarantee that they are compatible with the ownCloud Desktop Client.

We care about your data and want it to be safe. That’s why you see this warning message, so you can evaluate your data security. Don’t worry – you can still use the client with an unsupported server, but do so at your own risk.

 

 

Small Improvements

Apart from the big changes, there are many small steps which bring the Desktop Client forward:

  • Improved the handling of file conflicts
    • The new version includes an experimental option to upload conflict files to the server. Do you think this is useful? Try it out and let us now if it should be the default behavior!
  • Created .msi packages for installation on Windows
    • This is a very useful feature for organizations which deploy software for many Windows PCs at once. It’s compatible with the usual deployment tools and meets Enterprise standards.
    • There are many configuration options for automated deployments – including branding. Take a look at the docs if you want to use them.
  • Improved the Share Dialog
  • Added “copy public link” to context menu
  • Integrated the File Explorer of Windows 10
  • Integrated Microsoft Office
  • Started Supporting HTTP/2 with Qt 5.10/5.11

Of course, we offer the Desktop Client for any larger Linux Distribution, Windows, and Mac OSX.

Oh, one last thing: DeltaSync is on the roadmap for the next Desktop Client release! Stay tuned.

 

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