Collabora Online in Nethserver-Nextcloud

@fasttech,
Judging from my previous experience of OnlyOffice when compared to Collabora Online is that OnlyOffice seams to be more resource hungry and may not be suitable for users that are running an environment within a limited VM or VPS host.

Also, for most professional typist and office workers / administrators, the on-line version can be used to complement actual LibreOffice installs (this is especially useful for those of us who may use multiple computers / devices and may be using devices that either have no office suite applications or may have devices that are restricted to MS office products – Some of us do not like using newer versions of MS products and prefer to use LibreOffice or OpenOffice, as well as preferring to only using open-sourced based software, whilst trying not to use propriety applications).

Also, the recent release of LibreOffice version 6 does come with a tool to be able to upload / download files directly from WebDav shares. This feature allows for seamless integration between the desktop version of LibreOffice and the NextCloud / OwnCloud frameworks.

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Interesting, I didn’t know about the desktop application integration, that is pretty cool. I personally at home use Onlyoffice in a VPS with only 2 cores and 2gb of RAM it also shares that server with a game server I run, and my VPN server as well and have never run into any problems with it. Granted I did have to give the server a 6gb swapfile, but that’s not a big deal and I haven’t noticed any slowdowns.

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@keving,
Checking the recommended hardware requirements (provided by the OnlyOffice website – URL provided below), your specifications are the minimum suggested.

On my VPS, I have 2 cores running at 2.10GHz (Xeon E5-2620), 1GB of RAM and 2GB of Swap, therefore after running simulated tests (within a KVM / QEmu environment, on a similar hardware build), I found that Collabora was using resources more efficiently.

Reference:

Also it is worth noting, that due to having MySQL already installed (for use with Joomla and Nextcloud), I didn’t want to use extra resources for a secondary database framework (ie. PostgreSQL – which is a requirement of OnlyOffice).

Just checked and it seams that it is possible to use MySQL / MariaDB with OnlyOffice.

However, because OnlyOffice does come with CRM, a Web-Mail client, document management and other tools (a lot of tools which are already included within a standardised Nextcloud installation), I think that OnlyOffice could be considered as a bit superfluous within this scenario.

Also, I noticed that OnlyOffice includes free and paid variants (the free version contains limited functionality of their CRM, document management etc. toolsets).

I think you’re talking about the OO Community Server, which wouldn’t be used in this case. Document Server is the component that would be used (and has already been documented in another thread here), and it doesn’t include any of those. But options are good, and I know there are CentOS RPMs out there for Collabora 3. But thus far, I haven’t seen that anyone’s written up an installation procedure on Neth.

This is true of both OnlyOffice and Collabora, IIRC. But the OO Document Server is AGPL 3.0, and that’s the only component we’d be using.

Let me be clear that I’m not trying to argue against Collabora, or in favor of OO. I’ve gotten OO to work on Neth following these instructions, and it seems to work pretty nicely for online document editing. Compatibility with the current file formats appears good, which is something I’ve seen issues with on LibreOffice in the past. But I have some issues with it too:

  • As you note, requiring a separate DBMS seems needlessly redundant. Yes, my server will support it, but there isn’t an (obvious) good reason it should be required. If OO Document Server can be configured to use MySQL instead, that would avoid this issue, but their docs say Postgres is required.
  • Similarly, requiring nginx seems redundant when we’re already running Apache (arguments that we should change to nginx notwithstanding).
  • The procedure we have right now requires opening another port to the Internet. This in turn raises two concerns:
    • Any time you open another port to the Internet, security is a concern–but this is more on the app than on the port.
    • A user behind an overly-aggressive firewall (like me, when I’m at work) probably won’t be able to access the custom port for the Document Server.
    • I’d expect the installation process could be adjusted (e.g., with a reverse proxy) to avoid this requirement, but I’m not sufficiently familiar with those options yet.
  • Though support for the current file formats is good, there’s no (apparent) support for the legacy MS Office formats, nor for the OOXML formats.

So I’m certainly not an OnlyOffice partisan, though it has the huge advantage, at the moment, of having a documented installation procedure that (at least mostly) works. I’d like to be able to compare it to Collabora, but got stuck after installing the Collabora RPMs with a “now what?”

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@dan35,
Whilst installing Collabora, I didn’t use the RPM (or Deb) method, instead I used a docker session and rewrote the Apache virtual host configuration for reverse proxy usage.

I used something similar to what is described within the Collabora website (with a few minor differences to suite my own setup).

Reference:

This, along with save-as issues brought my exposure to onlyoffice to a halt a while back.