Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in KDE, ownCloud, private | 26 Comments

This is a big one!

As announced 5 weeks ago I left ownCloud, Inc., The company that I co-founded. Not because I abandoned ownCloud or the idea behind it. Actually the opposite. I don’t want to go into details but there are a lot of things that could have been better at ownCloud Inc.

Usually this is something that could just be ignored. You leave your job and work somewhere else. But ownCloud Inc. is not just a normal company for me. ownCloud own one of the biggest and most important open source projects. This is a critical component of the open source space and super important for the privacy and security of millions of people. And it is also used by a ton of institutions like CERN, Sciebo DB and lots of other bigger companies and organizations.

So I, and a most of the core technical people reached the point where we decided to reboot ownCloud in a better way.

So today we are forking ownCloud into a new open source project called Nextcloud and we are also founding a new company called Nextcloud GmbH to offer Nextcloud software and services for companies and bigger organizations.


So what will be better and different?

For contributors
Open source community contributors are the absolutely key component for the success of an open source project. A lot of people were not happy over the years how thing are handled. So we want to fix them.
– We will no longer require a contributor license agreement from contributors.
– We no longer do dual-licensing
– The new trademark will be hold by an independent foundation.
– We no longer do internal development planing behind closed doors. Everything will happen in the open.

For Users
– Nextcloud will support some of the most loved feature like Calendar and Contacts fully.
– Nextcloud will come with full communication and video conferencing features by integrating Spreed.ME, a free and open source WebRTC software.
– Nextcloud will contain some of the features that were only available in the enterprise version. Disclaimer: There will still be some enterprise only features but they are targeting enterprises only and don’t restrict Nextcloud itself.

For customers and partners
– As part of the Enterprise subscription we will fully support the Contacts, Calendar and Mail apps. This was requested by a lot of customers.
– Full video conferencing and communication features will be fully supported.
– Because all the feature and planing discussions and development will happen in the open it is a lot easier to collaborate and work together.
– Nextcloud GmbH is setup as a sustainable company with a long term vision instead of short term profit.

We want to make Nextcloud GmbH a good and longterm home for everyone who is employed to work on Nextcloud.
– Nextcloud GmbH is built for sustainability instead of short term growth
– The shares are hold by the employees
– We respect privacy and data security internally and externally
– We are working together as a team to create company guidelines and a code of conduct and a product vision together with the community.

We will release a drop in replacement for ownCloud in a few weeks so that users and customers can easily upgrade to Nextcloud to benefit from the new bugfix and security improvements and features. Nextcloud GmbH will provide free support for all current ownCloud customers to simplify a transition.
This will be an awesome and exiting journey with a bright future for the important technology we have been working on for so long. A big thank to my long term friend Niels Mache from Spreed for supporting this reboot and for making the Spreed.ME open source software a part of Nextcloud.

More information will be available on and on my blog in the future.



  1. oparoz

    I have to say, seeing you leave ownCloud Inc for a matter of principle renewed my faith in the project. I hope this new endeavour will develop the way you want it to 🙂

  2. Batman

    “We will no longer require a contributor license agreement from every contributor.” == “We will no longer require a contributor license agreement from contributors.” ?

    • Frank Karlitschek

      fixed. thanks

      • Pierre-Alain TORET

        Good to see people who still have faith in principles 🙂 Good luck in your new adventure !

        “features that where” -> “features that were”

  3. kmf


  4. Gour

    Wishing you all the best with your new child!!…hoping that Nextcloud will complete this one soon. 😉


  5. OwnCloud, hébergé dans une fondation, mais aussi forké en NextCloud – JDCHASTA SAS

    […] type d’accord que NextCloud compte d’emblée ne plus demander, rappelle Frank Karlitschek. Dans le même esprit, pas de double licence, pas de développements […]

  6. Blackcrack

    Good Choice, if i see what happened with Mandrake and other Projects in the past where goes Commercial .. is this the best choice .. It was an article about in Pro-Linux, Heise and others News Pages where have reported about .
    * double thumps up for your do !*

    best regards

  7. Blackcrack

    btw/propo :
    (as suggestion)

  8. Aus Owncloud wird NextCloud – Christian Dietze

    […] Quelle: Frank Karlitschek_ » Nextcloud […]

    • Blackcrack

      Hi Frank,
      so what’s better, stay on owncoud or change to yours ..
      i am a bit make uncertain/unnerves , in other hand i want have a clean and well code and other more stable things .. maybe can you mail me ? Imho have i read out, OC make not a real well good O S thing and whant make his own.. so.. i want fellow you(also because i have read, you want have a more clean code..).

      best regards

  9. Christian M. Grube

    Looking forward and hope that we will have an easy transformation from one system to another one.

  10. What the Heck Happened to OwnCloud? - Fortune

    […] Thursday, Karlitschek said he was starting his own company, along with several “core” ownCloud Inc. technical people who left to join him. And that […]

  11. ownCloud Forked as Nextcloud & More… | FOSS Force

    […] Karlitschek announced that he and “most of the core technical people” at ownCloud were forking the project. “[T]oday we are forking ownCloud into a new open source project called Nextcloud and we are […]

  12. victorhck

    have you look at to openSUSE example? 🙂
    Maybe the new project can be named as: “openCLOUD” 😛
    I’ll keep an eye on this new community project!!!
    Go ahead… and have a lot of fun!!

  13. Jumping to the Nextcloud | LAS 420 | Jupiter Broadcasting

    […] Frank Karlitschek_ » Nextcloud […]

  14. Nextcloud, un fork de OwnCloud - KDE Blog

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  15. ITwrx

    From what i’m gathering, I’m glad this decision was made and i applaud y’all for having the courage to make it.

    my 2 cents:
    I would like to see a near feature freeze for as long as you can get away with while Nextcloud focuses on bug fixes and/or refactoring, making the built-in (web gui) updater infallible(one day full auto and infallible?), more speed/responsiveness improvements, while always looking at security. Maybe, the internal release schedule/system for the stable branch could be made more intolerant of bugs in some way. More testing with testing branch or earlier feature freeze for stable releases? Stricter acceptance of contributions/more review? Contributor training/mentor program or other related resources? I’m sure y’all are already aware of any weak points. I just hope this level of issues is not OK internally.

    I think downstream providers need stability/proper function over feature set, though everyone wants features. Individuals can try testing if they choose. Stable releases should strive for zero regressions, to key components especially. IMHO, any feature work should be on completing the vision of the current feature set more completely and cleanly. Right now, for instance, i’m having to hold back php package updates as ownCloud sessions appear to be broken with latest php in arch. Holding back packages is something i rarely have to do and makes me feel like I need to clean house. The ownCloud community has been great about fixing bugs but i think there are too many to begin with. Unfortunately, my 2 cents is about all i can contribute for now. I hope something here was useful and good luck with Nextcloud.

    ps. i would go with a 1.0 release instead of 9. It’s a new beginning.

  16. Massa

    I started using OC a year ago – and in the beginning I really loved it.

    But over the time with every update I start hating it – actually not OC itself but the fact that with every new version some already good working things are broken or were missing.

    And with every new version a lot of third party apps were also broken and need an update.
    A lot of 3rdparty devs do a good work by updating their apps and prepare them for the next OC version – but it seems to be a Sisyphus’ work; and a also a lot of devs give up and their apps are no longer maintained 🙁

    So for me the biggest issue to solve in NC (is this the correct shortcut for nextcloud?) is to make sure the update process works flawless and that the 3rdparty interfaces keep stable or compatible with former versions.

    I don’t want to be scared to upgrade my cloud installation or to fear that all my users / data / plugins are lost after an upgrade (which happened to me several times!)

    So I really hope that this is the main focus for the near future: make it rock stable and upgradeable without fear to loose anything.

  17. ownCloud, Nextcloud and the hosting provider | PortKnox

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  18. Bardioc26

    This was a very good choice. Thank you.
    Since I was very unhappy with the OwnClouds enterprice concept I hope You will do everything right with NextCloud and help building an shiny new Future.

    During the next days I will switch my OwnCloud instances to NextCloud

  19. ownCloud -> Nextcloud – NOVATREND Blog

    […] in dem er bekanntgab, einen Fork von ownCloud mit dem Namen Nextcloud zu starten (Blogeintrag: Nextcloud). Der Fokus von Nextcloud soll darauf liegen, Nutzern die komplette Hoheit über ihre Daten zu […]

  20. ownCloud & nextCloud - Plastikschnitzer@code

    […] Im Juni 2016 kündigte Frank Karlitschek, ehem. Technikchef und Mitbegründer von ownCloud inc, einen Fork von ownCloud mit dem Namen nextCloud an: […]

  21. ownCloud, Nextcloud and the hosting provider

    […] many of you have already noticed, Frank Karlitschek has started a fork of ownCloud called Nextcloud and started bootstraping a new firm around it – the Nextcloud […]

  22. Joan

    Hi Frank.
    Who owns the code? As a fork of OwnCloud code, OwnCloud holds the copyright of all the code and contributions. So you, NextCloud, never will be able to do dual licensing if you don’t refactor the full code…..So, by now, you have to keep the code in the original AGPL license.
    Am I right?
    In any case when you have investors, they only want benefits, don’t disturb them with open source … that’s difficult to manage.
    So, nexCloud now looks great, I will try to convince my university to shift!!


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