Cloudron 4 released

By Girish on Thursday, May 16th 2019

We are happy to announce the release of Cloudron 4!

For those unaware, Cloudron is a platform that makes it easy to run web apps like WordPress, Nextcloud, GitLab on your server and keep them up-to-date and secure. Think SaaS for self-hosted apps.

Cloudron 4 adds SFTP access, App labels, Scaleway Object Storage, testing community apps, easier mail import & more.

SFTP access

Cloudron 4 has a built-in SFTP server that provides access to any application's files. SFTP login is integrated with Cloudron user management. Admins can use use their Cloudron password for SFTP access.

Instead of providing SFTP access across all apps, we are enabling it only in the app packages that makes sense. This is because apps might behave erratically if files are changed behind their back. For the initial release, WordPress, LAMP, Surfer have SFTP access enabled.

SFTP credentials can be obtained from the app information dialog (the i button in the app grid). Notice that the SFTP username is different for each app.


SFTP service runs at port 222. Cloudron's built-in firewall already has this port open. If you are unable to connect, please check if the server's Cloud firewall like EC2 security group or DigitalOcean firewall is not blocking that port.

App tags

Cloudron provides a great interface for managing web sites. However, locating an app can be a challenging task when you have very many WordPress instances! To ease the situation, we have added support for setting a display label and one or more tags for each app.

Once set, apps can be filtered by domain name and tag.

A future release will add support for customizing the app icon as well.

Scaleway Object Storage

Scaleway Object Storage is an Object Storage service based on the S3 protocol. Scaleway can be selected as the storage backend for backups:

Easier email import

In previous Cloudron releases, enabling email for a domain required switching over the mail DNS configuration. This requirement meant a domain couldn't be pre-setup with mailboxes before going "live".

In Cloudron 4, email can be enabled for a domain and the DNS configuration can be done at any later time. The rough flow is as follows:

  • First, add the domain for which you would like to receive email in the Domains view. Then in the Email view, when enabling mail from the domain, uncheck the Setup Mail DNS records now option.

  • Create mailboxes. You can also now import email into Cloudron using a tool like imapsync.

  • Once ready, clicking the Re-setup DNS button in the Email -> Status page to setup the DNS records and go live.

Read our docs for more detailed instructions on how to use imapsync to import email.

Unmanaged WordPress

Cloudron's existing WordPress package is targeted at users who want a managed WordPress installation. The Cloudron team tracks upstream WordPress releases and publishes updates. Like all other apps, the code in the managed WordPress app is read-only.

We recognize that another big use case for WordPress is to simply serve as a starting point for developing web sites. To serve this use case, we have published a new app called Unmanaged WordPress. The WordPress code in this package can be viewed and modified via SFTP. It's important to remember that Cloudron will not update the WordPress code and one has to use the WordPress built-in updater.

The managed and unmanaged WordPress apps are distinguished by their logos. The former has the blue logo and the latter has the gray logo.

App Updates

Cloudron used to send a weekly digest mail about app updates. It turns out it is best to inform admin immediately about app updates to serve as a reminder to double check if the update went smoothly. For this reason, app update emails are now sent as soon as an app is updated.

A related issue is that depending on the backup retention policy, the backup of the previous app version might get cleaned up before the admin got to check the app. To remedy this, Cloudron now specifically preserves the backup that was created before an update for 3 weeks.

Community apps

Cloudron's community has been actively packaging new apps. We have been reluctant to get these apps published because we haven't had the time to evaluate and test the apps. This has however held back other users from easily trying out all these new apps. In Cloudron 4, we have added a mechanism to publish these 'unstable' apps. You can enable listing of unstable apps on your Cloudron from the settings page.

Other notable changes

  • Upstream app version is now listed in the app info dialog
  • Support for email relays that do not require authentication and self-signed certificates
  • Cloudron updates can now be applied without taking a full backup. This was added for situations where there might a bug in the backup logic and an upcoming Cloudron update fixes the backup issue.

Install or update Cloudron

New to Cloudron? Get started for free by running with 3 simple commands on your server.

To update an existing installation, simply click on the 'Update now' button on your dashboard.

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