tl;dr Prefer CIFS to WebDAV for Nextcloud remote storages, when applicable.

Years ago I decided to make my own NAS server instead of buying an existing appliance like Synology or QNAP1. I installed OpenMediaVault on it to manage the disks and shares. Sadly this system does not come natively with a web app to browse your folders and files.

One could install Nextcloud on it to resolve this but in my case I already had a Nextcloud instance somewhere else, so I wanted to mount my NAS as a remote storage on it.

My first guess was to use WebDAV, a standard protocol which handles files remotely using HTTP. Nextcloud uses it internally for the desktop and mobile apps and inter-instances communications.

You can enable the support of WebDAV on OpenMediaVault using plugins and setting a user account with the needed permissions.

However the provided plugin does not work out-of-the-box with Nextcloud: it does not guess the content type of files which prevents Nextcloud to register correct file types on its side. You must edit /var/www/webdav/bootstrap/server.php on OpenMediaVault with the following changes:

$guessContentTypePlugin = new \OmvExtras\WebDAV\Sabre\GuessContentType();

In my case I was also forced to provide a custom map to prevent some constraint violations on Nextcloud's database2:

$guessContentTypePlugin->extensionMap = array_merge($guessContentTypePlugin->extensionMap, [
      '123' => 'application/vnd.lotus-1-2-3',
      '3dml' => 'text/vnd.in3d.3dml',
      '3ds' => 'image/x-3ds',
      '3g2' => 'video/3gpp2',
      // ...

Once you have configured the remote storage on the Nextcloud side, you can launch full scans using php occ files:scan. You can optionally provide the path to the remote folder you want to scan with --path.

And here I started to see the poor performance of WebDAV. My NAS exposes 78,000 files in 350 folders, accounting for 1.2 TB. A full scan took 1 hour and a half on average:

Starting scan for user 1 out of 1 (kdecherf)

   | Folders | Files | Elapsed time |
   | 346     | 77793 | 01:35:08     |

I decided to explore another option: a CIFS mount. As the two servers have a private connection between them, exposing a folder using CIFS is less of an issue.

On the OpenMediaVault side there's no plugin to install, everything is handled natively and the file types are correctly reported. Make sure to give adequate permissions to the user you'll use for Nextcloud.

On the Nextcloud side, make sure libsmbclient-php is installed.

Using a CIFS mount, full scans take much less time:

Starting scan for user 1 out of 1 (kdecherf)

   | Folders | Files | Elapsed time |
   | 346     | 77793 | 00:10:37     |


  1. To be honest, buy a Synology NAS if you can. Their DSM is awesome 😄 ↩︎

  2. Nextcloud has a possible bug when handling empty types ↩︎