Bookmark organization with floccus and LinkAce

Saved and Sorted

Article from Issue 270/2023

LinkAce and floccus synchronize and manage bookmarks while storing your data locally.

Anyone who spends a lot of time on the web will repeatedly come across content that they want to save for further evaluation at a later stage. Traditionally, you would use your web browser's bookmark function for this. For example, if you want to continue reading a web page you discover on your way home from work on your computer at home, and you use the browser's bookmarks, this requires synchronization between the devices.

All modern browsers offer synchronization services for this. As an example, think of Firefox Sync [1]. The drawback of these services is that data such as bookmarks, passwords, open tabs, and more are stored on the browser provider's servers. Without wanting to imply anything about Mozilla, what better way can you imagine than this if you want to profile user behavior?

This is remedied by applications such as the floccus [2] browser extension or the self-hosted LinkAce [3] URL manager. Floccus focuses on the secure synchronization of bookmarks between different mobile and stationary platforms and different browsers using a private cloud instance over WebDAV, Nextcloud, or Google Drive. LinkAce's focus is more on archiving bookmarks and improving how they are organized on your own hardware.


Imagine you want to sync the bookmarks you stored in Firefox between your devices, without using the Firefox account or other external services, by integrating your Nextcloud instance. This requires some preliminary work.

In Nextcloud, you need to install and activate an app named Bookmarks, version 0.14 or newer (Figure 1), via the app manager or the Nextcloud app store [4]. And you need to set up the floccus bookmarks sync extension in your browser of choice. The extension is also available for Android via F-Droid or the Google Play Store.

Figure 1: The Bookmarks app is available for installation in the Nextcloud instance, as well as in the Nextcloud app store, as a prerequisite for running floccus.


Before starting to synchronize, it is a good idea to back up your bookmarks. This can be done in Firefox via Settings | Bookmarks | Manage bookmarks | Import and Backup. When you get there, you can choose to back up as a JSON file or export as HTML. In Chromium, the first step is also to go to Bookmarks in the settings and then to Export bookmarks via the hamburger menu in the upper right corner. Exporting as HTML makes sense because the file can be imported directly into Nextcloud Bookmarks via Settings at the bottom left (Figure 2).

Figure 2: In the Firefox and Chromium settings, your first step will be to back up the existing bookmarks in HTML format.

At the same location you will find the Add to Nextcloud entry, which you can grab with the mouse pointer and drag to the browser's bookmark bar as a bookmarklet (Figure 3). This will allow bookmarks to be created directly in Nextcloud in the future. After installing floccus, the first thing to do is to set up one or more accounts. An account with floccus is only valid for one bookmark folder at a time. If you want the bookmarks to behave the same way as in the browser, you need at least two accounts. One is for the bookmarks themselves, the other for the bookmarks toolbar.

Figure 3: Using the bookmarklet, which is stored in the bookmarks toolbar, any web pages you visit can easily be stored in Nextcloud or on another storage medium for later use.

Creating Accounts

In the account setup window, your first choice is between the generic WebDAV protocol, Google Drive, or Nextcloud as the central location for synchronization. I opted for Nextcloud instance for my example (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Floccus offers synchronization via Nextcloud, WebDAV, or with automatic encryption via Google Drive.

In the next step, enter the URL of your Nextcloud instance in the address bar (Figure 5) to connect. Then specify the Nextcloud folder in which you want to store the bookmarks and the browser directory that contains the bookmarks. To do this, first create folders at the top level in Nextcloud and enter them with your name as the server folder, for example, /Bookmarks-FF. The initial slash is important here.

Figure 5: Connecting to your Nextcloud instance is just a matter of a few clicks. You only need the URL and your access credentials.

When you are prompted for the local folder, select the bookmark folder to be synchronized. For Firefox select Bookmarks menu, for Chromium Other bookmarks. A second account for the toolbars will have the entry Bookmark Toolbar for Firefox or Bookmark Bar for Chromium. In the next window, you specify whether to synchronize automatically and at what time intervals (Figure 6). On top of this, you can decide whether this will be bidirectional. Floccus can be protected with a password, which you set at the bottom of the window via Secure credentials.

Figure 6: In the floccus settings, you can define how and how often synchronization will occur.

Do the same with other devices by installing floccus and configuring it accordingly. The software offers a manual [5] and an FAQ [6] for support. If you want to synchronize your add-ons, history, and open tabs along with your bookmarks, a self-hosted Firefox sync server is the better choice [7].

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More