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Frequently asked questions

We are growing this list as questions come in. Have a question not on this list? Send it to us!

Q: How complicated is it to get UBOSbox Nextcloud running?

A: It depends on whether you get it as a kit or pre-assembled:

  • The NUC-based models are very simple to set up. The basic steps are: unpack what we ship to you, plug UBOSbox in with Ethernet and power, insert the provided UBOS Staff, turn on UBOSbox, wait a bit, move the UBOS Staff to your PC or Mac, double-click a file on it and follow the links.
  • Setup of the Raspberry Pi-based kit is the same as for the models based on NUC, but you first have to put the kit together. That requires a screw driver and a little bit of time, but isn’t very hard either. If you can assemble a Lego kit, we are confident that you can assemble UBOSbox Nextcloud on Raspberry Pi. Here is a video of how to put the kit together.

Q: How much programming knowledge do I need to have to successfully use UBOSbox Nextcloud?

A: That’s easy to answer: none. The Nextcloud project did all the application programming, and we did all that programming needed to make administration simpler. You need to do none.

Q: Other than ordering a UBOSbox Nextcloud from the Indie Computing website, what other hardware do I need?

A: You need a PC or Mac with a USB port, so you can insert the UBOS Staff and get the unique administration password from it that is generated specifically for your UBOSbox.

You also need a wired internet connection (Ethernet) and power. We ship several power plugs so your UBOSbox can work in most locations, world-wide.

For the Raspberry Pi-based kit, you also need a small Phillips screw driver.

Q: I’d like a different hardware configuration that you currently offer. Can you help me?

A: Please fill out our survey and tell us what you are looking for. If there are enough requests for a particular hardware configuration, we may consider offering it.

Of course, you can always install UBOS and Nextcloud yourself on a wide variety of hardware configurations. This is more work than buying a pre-configured UBOSbox, and requires somewhat (although not terribly much) more skill. Head over to ubos.net/quickstart and follow the documentation there.

Q: How much technical knowledge do I need to be successful maintaining my UBOSbox myself?

A: This is a good question, but hard to answer without knowing your background in detail! But perhaps this gives you a taste: to administer your UBOSbox, you almost certainly will have to log into the box over the network with ssh. How to do that is documented in the section on the UBOS Staff on ubos.net. You should be very comfortable following these instructions, or instructions like them.

You will need to have basic Linux system administration skills, such as knowing how to determine available disk space, use users and groups, how to start and stop daemons with systemd, how to read and interpret the systemd journal, and the like.

Also read through some of the other sections in the UBOS documentation. If you understand them without problems, and are confident you can perform these kinds of operations, chances are you will be able to administer your UBOSbox yourself.

Q: Can I access Nextcloud from the public internet?

A: This depends on how you connect your UBOSbox to the internet. Here are some common scenarios:

  • If you connect UBOSbox directly to the Ethernet jack that comes from your ISP (without going through a router): likely yes. You should confirm this with your ISP, however: both the technical aspects (“will it work?”) and whether this conforms with their Terms of Service (because some ISPs do not permit that, or only on some of their plans).
  • If you connect UBOSbox to your home local area network behind a router, without any further setup: likely no. That’s because most routers run firewalls that are configured to not let any traffic come to your home network that did not originate from your home network.
  • If you connect UBOSbox to your home local area network behind a router, and you configure your router to forward a port to your UBOSbox: yes. In this case, also please confirm with your ISP.
  • If you run Pagekite on your UBOSbox according to the instructions here: yes. This should not run afoul of any technical or business model constraint that your ISP imposes, but it does require a separate subscription with a third party.

Q: If I change internet service providers, will that affect the operation of my UBOSbox?

A: No. UBOSbox, as shipped, does not directly interact with your internet service provider, so there is no reason it should behave any differently when you switch from one to another.

Q: Which Linux distro does UBOSbox run?

A: UBOS! That’s why it is called a UBOSbox… :-)

UBOS itself is a derivative of Arch Linux and its port to ARM processors, called Arch Linux ARM, which is a very powerful and modern distro used widely among technically-advanced geeks. UBOS makes it much simpler, however. More details about the motivation for UBOS can be found at ubos.net/about.

Q: What is your return policy?

A: Hardware products purchased from Indie Computing may be returned within 45 days from purchase. If you wish to return your product, please contact us from the e-mail address that made the purchase. Once we have received your complete shipment, we will issue a refund for your purchase price minus any shipping charges.

Q: What warranty, if any, comes with UBOSbox?

Indie Computing does not offer any warranty beyond what we are required to offer by law. However, the manufacturers of the hardware we ship (like Intel) may offer more extensive warranties for their components.