Advanced Usage


You have the option of starting your ownCloud desktop client with the owncloud command. The following options are supported:

owncloud -h or owncloud --help
Displays all command options.

The other options are:

Opens a window displaying log output.
--logfile <filename>
Write log output to the file specified. To write to stdout, specify - as the filename.
--logdir <name>
Writes each synchronization log output in a new file in the specified directory.
--logexpire <hours>
Removes logs older than the value specified (in hours). This command is used with --logdir.
Clears (flushes) the log file after each write action.
--confdir <dirname>
Uses the specified configuration directory.

Configuration File

The ownCloud Client reads a configuration file. You can locate this configuration file as follows:

On Linux distributions:
On Microsoft Windows systems:
On MAC OS X systems:
$HOME/Library/Application Support/ownCloud

The configuration file contains settings using the Microsoft Windows .ini file format. You can overwrite changes using the ownCloud configuration dialog.


Use caution when making changes to the ownCloud Client configuration file. Incorrect settings can produce unintended results.

You can change the following configuration settings (must be under the [ownCloud] section)

  • remotePollInterval (default: 30000) – Specifies the poll time for the remote repository in milliseconds.
  • maxLogLines (default: 20000) – Specifies the maximum number of log lines displayed in the log window.
  • chunkSize (default: 5242880) – Specifies the chunk size of uploaded files in bytes.
  • promptDeleteAllFiles (default: true) – If a UI prompt should ask for confirmation if it was detected that all files and folders were deleted.
  • notificationRefreshInterval (default``300,000``) – Specifies the default interval of checking for new server notifications in milliseconds.

ownCloud Command Line Client

The ownCloud Client packages contain a command line client, owncloudcmd, that can be used to synchronize ownCloud files to client machines.

owncloudcmd performs a single sync run and then exits the synchronization process. In this manner, owncloudcmd processes the differences between client and server directories and propagates the files to bring both repositories to the same state. Contrary to the GUI-based client, owncloudcmd does not repeat synchronizations on its own. It also does not monitor for file system changes.

To invoke owncloudcmd, you must provide the local and the remote repository URL using the following command:

owncloudcmd [OPTIONS...] sourcedir owncloudurl

where sourcedir is the local directory and owncloudurl is the server URL.

Other command line switches supported by owncloudcmd include the following:

--user, -u [user]
Use user as the login name.
--password, -p [password]
Use password as the password.
Use netrc (5) for login.
Do not prompt for questions.
--silent, --s
Inhibits verbose log output.
Trust any SSL certificate, including invalid ones.
--httpproxy  http://[user@pass:]<server>:<port>
Uses server as HTTP proxy.
Uses Non Shibboleth WebDAV Authentication
--davpath [path]
Overrides the WebDAV Path with path
--exclude [file]
Exclude list file
--unsyncedfolders [file]
File containing the list of unsynced remote folders (selective sync)
--max-sync-retries [n]
Retries maximum n times (defaults to 3)
Sync hidden files,do not ignore them

Credential Handling

owncloudcmd uses the credentials of the GUI synchronization client. If no client is configured, or if you choose to use a different user to synchronize, you can specify the user password setting with the usual URL pattern. For example:

$ owncloudcmd / https://carla:secret@server/owncloud/remote.php/webdav/

To synchronize the ownCloud directory Music to the local directory media/music, through a proxy listening on port 8080, and on a gateway machine using IP address, the command line would be:

$ owncloudcmd --httpproxy \
              $HOME/media/music \

owncloudcmd will prompt for the user name and password, unless they have been specified on the command line or -n has been passed.

Low Disk Space

When disk space is low the ownCloud Client will be unable to synchronize all files. This section describes its behavior in a low disk space situation as well as the options that influence it.

  1. Synchronization of a folder aborts entirely if the remaining disk space falls below 50 MB. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_CRITICAL_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.
  2. Downloads that would reduce the free disk space below 250 MB will be skipped or aborted. The download will be retried regularly and other synchronization is unaffected. This threshold can be adjusted with the OWNCLOUD_FREE_SPACE_BYTES environment variable.
All documentation licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.