Migrate Owncloud data to standalone instance




We’ve previously setup Mail-in-a-Box in our organization for email and cloud storage. However, it is mostly the cloud storage capability (the bundled Owncloud) that was fully utilized.

It was decided to host the cloud storage separately and potentially decommission the existing bundled setup. In line with this, I have a few questions and would appreciate any assistance or clarification with the matter:

  • Is it possible to migrate or export the users and data from the bundled Owncloud software? Is it similar to the standard procedure provided by the Owncloud vendor?
  • Are user or account information in the bundled Owncloud tied to the authentication provided by Mail-in-a-Box? Are there special considerations when moving Owncloud data away from Mail-in-a-Box?

Thanks in advance.


Hey Josh,

For sure you can migrate the data and users out from the bundled setup. You could export the database into a .sql file and import in a new machine. Then copy over the data onto the same machine. Finally you need the config.php as this contains some secret values that are specific to your instance.

I am not sure exactly how the authorization is done, guessing using the IMAP auth module in ownCloud so you can still keep this connected even if your instance is on another machine.

Let me know if you have any other questions,


config.php will need to be changed to remove the special authentication, and on top of that you would also need to run cron.php to refresh the cache of the data folder (I think?)


Does it utilise the IMAP auth module? In which case you can just keep it in place if you still want to auth with the same users.

And if you keep the data the same there is no need to rerun cron. Just create a symlink from the data directory as it is in MIAB and then ownCloud thinks the data is in exactly the same place. If you change the data directory location then you have to make some further changes - explained in the docs (hence, usually easiest to just symlink from the original location)


TBH I’ve only moved OwnCloud once and I wasn’t using the IMAP module for auth.

as for symlinking, what if he is moving to a different server?


Same deal. Keep the data mount in the same place using sum links to avoid having to update every file path within owncloud. Removes a lot of the complexity of moving the data around.