Roundcube joins forces with Nextcloud

Roundcube joins Nextcloud

One of the most popular open source solutions, Roundcube webmail client joins Nextcloud, one of the best self-hosted collaborative work platforms (And also open source

Roundcube is well known to those who use Linux-based web hosting services as it It is usually the solution offered by hosting companies so that users can check email with their own domain.

Roundcube joins forces with Nextcloud

The Nextcloud project aimed to avoid the monopoly (U oligopoly) of Microsoft, Google and other collaborative work platforms based on proprietary software. In that sense, by taking charge of Roundcube destinations they will be able to offer their paying customers and community users an alternative email solution that will prevent companies, governments and individuals from giving up control of their personal data.

Various European countries such as Germany and Denmark have discouraged or directly prohibited the use of platforms such as Microsoft 365 (Office Online) or Google Documents since they do not offer privacy guarantees. and send the data outside the community borders. On the contrary, Nextcloud and Roundcube, since they can be hosted on any server chosen by the user, are an excellent alternative.

Roundcube comes integrated with Cpanel, a popular (among hosting providers) control panel solution for the cheapest plans. In addition, it is used by different government organizations, academics and corporations such as the European Commission, the former Republic of India (I don't feel like looking up the new name) the universities of Cambridge, Victoria and Harvard and the Tata institute in Mumbai which I have never heard of. talk, but in the newsletter it says that it is prestigious.

What we can expect

In accordance to the statement by Nextcloud The idea is to invest heavily in the project to improve it and adapt it to as many users as possible.  This includes not only hiring paid developers but also inviting volunteer developers to collaborate.

In any case, it was clarified that both will continue as independent projects:

As a product, Roundcube has an established path to success on its own. As opportunities remain to be explored, a direct merger between Roundcube and Nextcloud is not planned. Roundcube will not replace Nextcloud Mail or the other way around. Both products have strengths and weaknesses and, as open source products, they already share some underlying libraries and tools, but they remain independent offerings for overlapping but different usage scenarios. Nextcloud Mail will evolve as it is, focused on being used naturally within Nextcloud. Roundcube will continue to serve its new and active users as a standalone, secure email client.

Luces y sombras

Despite the popularity of Roundcube, its history that began in 2008 was not without negative events.

In 2015, those responsible for the project and Kolab Systems AG organized a crowdfunding campaign to create Roundcube Next, a completely rewritten solution that would include additional features, support for the WebRTC protocol, and connection to Dropbox and Owncloud (A solution from which Nextcloud was forked). Although the fundraising goal was exceeded, the project was canceled without explanation or refunds.

In 2023, the pro-Russian hacking group, Winter Vivern, exploited a zero-day vulnerability, using it to attack European government entities. In this case the vulnerability was used to inject JavaScript code into the Roundcube server application. It was enough for the user to open the email to allow the attackers to execute arbitrary JavaScript code in their browser window, allowing them to access folders and emails in that user's account and send them to the server of those who organized the attack.

It is undoubtedly good news that there are alternatives to monopolistic services and, if it comes from open source projects and the generation of working sources, much better. Since I have internet at home and mobile devices I rarely use Roundcube anymore (I have Thunderbird and K9-mail on my computer and mobile devices) but it's good to know it's there.

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