NextCloud: Enable video previews

This guide will show you how to enable video previews on NextCloud hosted on Debian/Ubuntu. You can apply the same steps if you are running the Docker version of NextCloud or different distribution.

What is NextCloud?


NextCloud allows you to share files in a similar way to Dropbox and Google Drive. It is, however, more than a file share! You can use it as a collaboration platform and customize it with a wide selection of useful apps.

What is FFmpeg?

FFmpeg is a multimedia framework that can decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter, and play almost anything multimedia format. Also, FFmpeg runs on a wide variety of build environments, machine architectures, and configurations.

Install FFmpeg for video previews

Follow these steps to enable video, image, and PDF previews on your NextCloud.

Standard install

First, you want to update your Linux distribution.

sudo apt update

Second, you want to install FFmpeg using the following command:

sudo apt install ffmpeg

Docker install

You can also enable video previews in NextCloud using Docker.

The example below shows you how to do this using Docker exec:

/usr/bin/docker exec -it – user root {{ your_container_name }} /bin/bash -c 'apt update && apt install -y ffmpeg'

You will, of course, need to replace “{{ your_container_name }}” with the name of your container. Additionally, note that you may need to rerun this command if you restart your container. However, you can overcome this by building a new Docker image.

Configure NextCloud previews

Next, you must edit your config.php file and add the following lines:

  'enable_previews' => true,
  'enabledPreviewProviders' =>
  array (
    0 => 'OC\\Preview\\Movie',
    1 => 'OC\\Preview\\PNG',
    2 => 'OC\\Preview\\JPEG',
    3 => 'OC\\Preview\\GIF',
    4 => 'OC\\Preview\\BMP',
    5 => 'OC\\Preview\\XBitmap',
    6 => 'OC\\Preview\\MP3',
    7 => 'OC\\Preview\\MP4',
    8 => 'OC\\Preview\\TXT',
    9 => 'OC\\Preview\\MarkDown',
    10 => 'OC\\Preview\\PDF',
  ),

The configuration mentioned above will enable the movie, PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, XBitmap, MP3, MP4, TXT, Markdown, and PDF preview provider within NextCloud.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, you have now configured your NextCloud to display video previews on Debian/Ubuntu installs.

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Having started his career in 1999 as a Desktop Support Engineer, Anto soon changed paths and became a developer. After several years of development experience, he transitioned into a consultant. As an enterprise application consultant for a leading SaaS software provider, Anto specializes in AWS's serverless technologies. By day, Anto focuses on helping customers leverage the power of serverless technologies. By night, he indulges his passion for cloud computing by playing with Python and trying out things that are currently beyond the scope of his work. Sometimes Anto needs help as there are not enough hours at night. So Anto relies on a team of fellow Cloud enthusiasts to help him out. Each one is a Cloud expert in their own right, and Anto takes great pride in helping them learn and grow.

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