I'm looking for something like Dropbox (or centraldesktop) that I can host locally.

I would like users to be able to upload (bonus for multiple upload) and download files into a file structure.

Dropbox is perfect except 1) it only allows one user and 2) we don't have control over it (for this project that is a big issue).

Any suggestions?

(I would prefer something in PHP as I have a WAMP server running already, but I'm willing to entertain all suggestions at this point.)

Edit: the solution needs to be web based because of client side requirements. Users can currently get to dropbox.com so I know that that works.

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  • 1
    I'm not clear what your requirements are. What do you like about Dropbox? The web-based uploads/downloads & web hosting (There are many options)? The Web UI? The local client? The Gnome Nautilus integration? Delta uploads (Fewer options)? Lan sync (Few options)? Selective sync? You mention two things that you do not like about Dropbox, but What do you mean by "we don't have control over it"? Do you mean that you don't own the servers, the storage lives on someone else's system, or you don't trust the security, etc? – Stefan Lasiewski Jul 12 '10 at 17:00
  • web ui mostly , I don't need sync clients or anything i just need to have something so users can upload and download files stored on a server somewhere that is webbased and looks decent – Crash893 Jul 12 '10 at 18:45

It's pretty new, and probably not very stable yet, but you should keep an eye on SparkleShare, which - I think - is exactly what you want.

  • Still very green, and a year has passed :( – Vinko Vrsalovic Aug 31 '11 at 10:43

I don't normally pimp Novell products, but their OES feature 'iFolder' does exactly what you're asking for. Implement an OES and you've got what you need.


A web-based FTP interface isn't really anything like Dropbox. What makes Dropbox so nice is that users need very little interaction with it. They have a folder on their local PC that is automatically sync'd to the Dropbox cloud server. Something like iFolder might be up your alley. If you're looking to roll your own, I would look into lsync, and possibly some kind of notification system a'la Growl or inotify. The tricky part is going to be figuring out how to configure multiple user access to the same data.

  • Im not after sync as much just the web UI so they can log on from a machine that may or maynot be theirs and download some files (so no client) – Crash893 Jul 15 '10 at 18:01

Maybe iFolder is worth a look or OwnCloud might be interesting as well. OwnCloud is PHP-based.

  • ownCloud is still very green, and a year has passed :( – Vinko Vrsalovic Aug 31 '11 at 10:43
  • They're releasing it, and it's still missing a ton of functionality. – Larry G. Wapnitsky Mar 7 '12 at 21:40

WebDAV is what you want.

  • why is webdav what i want? – Crash893 Jul 15 '10 at 17:56
  • 1
    I don't want to link to Wikipedia or anything, but it's a well-supported protocol (Apache has modules for it, for instance) which serves to make a folder publicly accessible. Doesn't need client support (yes, IE can do Web Folders over FTP, but you're SoL on some other operating systems). Works on mobile phones, etc. It's straight HTTP with some extensions. Presents like a local folder/directory, except on the internet. Authentication via LDAP/AD/whatever. It'll look just like local storage to them. – phresus Jul 15 '10 at 19:46

Sounds like you want an FTP server. So what OS do you use? FTP you can do multiple transfers and have multiple users simultaneously. Implement SSH to secure it and you are all set.

For a web based FTP client try http://www.net2ftp.com/

  • +1 for getting all the requirements correct (I have edited the original post to reflect). Not all of our users will have ftp access. I know that dropbox works where they are going becuase they use it currently. – Crash893 Jul 12 '10 at 16:32
  • Added a solution for web based FTP to my answer. Should cover all your requirements now :) – Campo Jul 12 '10 at 16:46
  • If it were me that woudl be fine. but again i don't know if ftp is allowed at the place of work and 2) it is ugly as hell. shouldnt be a reqirement but we are dealing with real live people that dont know much about comtpuers. – Crash893 Aug 12 '10 at 15:27

You can check:

  • Nephthys: provides a web-interface to easily allow file sharing via WebDAV, and FTP. It is Open-source.

Do you realise that Dropbox has an offering for teams? (called, err, dropbox teams). Check out their page here:
We found it very lacking in terms of admin, and are looking at www.box.net (awaiting their mac client)

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