How To Manually Move a Data Directory

If you need to move your ownCloud data directory from its current location to somewhere else, here is a manual process that you can take to make it happen.


This example assumes that:

  • The current folder is: /var/www/owncloud/data
  • The new folder is: /mnt/owncloud
  • You’re using Apache as your webserver
  1. Stop Apache
  2. Use rsync to sync the files from the current folder to the new one
  3. Create a symbolic link from the new directory to the old one
  4. Double-check the directory permissions on the new directory
  5. Restart Apache

To save time, here’s the commands which you can copy and use:

apachectl -k stop
rsync -avz /var/www/owncloud/data /mnt/owncloud
ln -s /mnt/owncloud /www/owncloud/data
apachectl -k graceful


If you’re on CentOS/Fedora, try systemctl restart httpd. If you’re on Debian/Ubuntu try sudo systemctl restart apache2 To learn more about the systemctl command, please refer to the systemd essentials guide

Fix Hardcoded Database Path Variables

Update the oc_storages table

If you want to manually change the location of the data folder in the database, run the SQL below:

UPDATE oc_storages SET id='local::/mnt/owncloud'
  WHERE id='local::/var/www/owncloud/data';

Update the oc_accounts table

You next need to update the home column in the oc_accounts table. This column contains the absolute path for user folders, e.g., /mnt/data/files/admin. Assuming that the new home directory is: /mnt/data/files/super-admin, and that the user’s id is 1, you could change it using the following SQL statement:

UPDATE oc_accounts SET home='/mnt/data/files/super-admin'
  WHERE id=1;


Please don’t copy and paste this example verbatim — nor any of the others. It, and the others, are provided only as guides to what you should or could do.

Update the oc_jobs table

The next area to check is the oc_jobs table. The logrotate process may have hard-coded a non-standard (or old) value for the data path. To check it, run the SQL below and see if any results are returned:

SELECT * FROM oc_jobs
  WHERE class = 'OC\Log\Rotate';

If any are, run the SQL below to update them, changing the value as appropriate.

UPDATE oc_jobs SET argument = '/your/new/data/path'
  WHERE id = <id of the incorrect record>;

Fix Application Settings

One thing worth noting is that individual apps may reference the data directory separate from the core system configuration. If so, then you will need to find which applications do this, and change them as needed.

For example, if you listed the application configuration by running occ config:list, then you might see output similar to that below:

    "apps": {
        "fictitious": {
            "enabled": "yes",
            "installed_version": "2.3.2",
            "types": "filesystem",
            "datadir": "var/www/owncloud/data"

Here, the “fictitious” application references the data directory as being set to var/www/owncloud/data. So you would have to change the value by using the config:app:set option. Here’s an example of how you would update the setting:

occ config:app:set --value /mnt/owncloud fictitious datadir
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