Getting away with data – migrating to Kolab Now – Files

By   2015-12-26

File handling was always a topic, but it’s the cloud what made it even more prominent. Now everyone is crazy about sync and sharing even if they have no idea what it is and what exactly it buys them.

I’ll be brief on the “migration” part in this episode since this requires the least setting up and unlike mail can be done without specialized tools. Also not like with calendars or contacts, there’s very little of a learning curve.

Accessing files – the web way

If you ever used any cloud file hosting you’ll immediately feel at home here. Just drag and drop your files and you’re done! You can create (sub)folders to organize the files and filter by file type (graphics, music, documents etc.). Although in my case I had to manually upload with the dialogue window, since drag and drop didn’t work for me.

What I’ve found irritating and I’m still scratching my head over: why can’t I download multiple files if I can select and delete multiple files? Imagine downloading a 100 pictures that way. Not user friendly, but works whenever you need to access your files on the go and a browser is the only option available.

kolab_filesOverall I like the UI: it’s clean, maybe a bit too basic, but after some time of using it I went back to download some leftovers from Google Drive and freaked a bit seeing all those buttons. What happened to you, Drive?

Accessing files – the desktop way

The second option and that’s much more convenient for me is WebDAV. WebDAV is a network protocol that allows you to access files by mounting remote folders locally, so they behave more or less transparently to the OS and programs. I had only vague clues on how to configure this with Kolab, but the mailing lists came to the rescue!

As it turns out, using Kolab’s share folder with Dolphin is dead easy. Just access this address:


And supply your credentials. kolab_files_3And if you don’t want to set this often, just use the good old KNetAttach, allow for the credentials to be remembered and ta-dam!kolab_files_4Name the share anyway you want, I’ve chosen “kolabnow”. The user will be your login to the service, so if you’re using a private domain, you have to use user@mydomain.tld. Server:, port: 443 (I think, at least this one was set as default with encryption), make sure to check the “use encryption” field.kolab_files_5kolab_files_2

Accessing files – the sync way

And now a bit of a disappointment. Theoretically there is a way to use the Seafile client to access your data, but there’s a catch: not the files managed by the Kolab IMAP store. Also: this option is disabled for Kolab Now.

Is this a downer? Yep. Will this stay this way forever? Well: the Roundcube Next Indiegogo campaign was a success and with a re-factored core, writing a files module will be much easier. I hope that a sync client is among the new possibilities.


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