Bye-Bye Seafile


I am a paying (Pro - 9 users TIER) Seafile user since a year, after using NextCloud for about 5 years.
Made the decision to move away from Seafile.

Seafile is a great solution. However it’s a well documented LEGO set instead of a working environment and it’s too expensive for my use-case. I love the speed, I love the latency, I love the small ressource requiements. It’s robust.

My two reasons to leave:

  1. The manual is scattered around the house. There is a docker HowTo but you have to read like 15 pages to puzzle together the required pieces. There is no ready-to-use out-of-the-box backup solution. After a full year using Seafile I am stumbling around a link in the forum which explains me to properly backup.
    This worked well in the 2010s. In 2020s I am expecting a fully documented, tested, verified docker-compose which I can deploy in less than 30 minutes with working dependencies. Have a look at Immich (it’s a 7 container solution up in 10 minutes) as a good example.

  2. We are a family of four and two kids in school. They work with friends on projects. We share data with the family in law, grandparents and so on. I do need 20-25 accounts instead a maximum of 9. But I am not willing to afford 800€ for the same. I am voting for a real Community version without user limits.

I am most likely migrating my data to OwnCloud. The docker container was up in 20 minutes, the solution feels way snappier and fresher than the slow and buggy Nextcloud.

Seafile seems to be a superior techie product made from engineers for engineers with money. Unfortunately I am not that customer :slight_smile:

Thank you for your time.
Thank you for the great product.
Good luck with Seafile.

Ciao, -MN


There is a real community version with no user limit. It just has a few less features (full text search, sub dir permission, ldap group sync for example)


I’m thinking about jumping ship too. I’ve ended up with a Microsoft 365 Business license which gives me 1TB OneDrive and 1TB SharePoint. Not that OneDrive is perfect, but not having to battle with Linux and/or updates is very attractive.

I support a client using Nextcloud - it’s not without it’s problems either but it does get very frequent updates.

Some years back I published the CE manual because the restructured manual was not accepted by the devs and they didn’t seem to understand what the problem with it was (maybe still don’t).
Because of the lack of supporters from the community the manual did not really receive updates. I don’t have enough time and don’t want to keep it up to date on my own, literally doing the work of the devs themself for free - no, not even sorry.
At some point this is going to blow up big time I guess. Maybe not, don’t care enough anymore.
LEGO is great, the state of the manual is rather some cheap brick set that doesn’t always fit perfectly. One needs to do a lot of research to get things working. Even when working with Linux on a daily basis it consumes a lot of time to basically develop the environment for Seafile because of scattered or missing instructions. I could continue with a long list but see no sense in it.

Sorry to see people leave Seafile behind because of this. But I totally understand their reasons and have to agree.

Have great day! :slight_smile:

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The Nextcloud documentation is far more comprehensive that Seafile has ever been. Sometimes too much information! Lack of documentation is the killer of many a system. Time consuming to resolve but not unresolvable.

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You can share libraries and files via link, you don’t need 25 accounts.

I don’t really understand what the issue is with the documentation? You have clear instructions how to setup the thing using basic linux Ubuntu installation. What is wrong with that? You need more knowledge about setting up the Apache2 or LetsEncrypt than go there and learn how to do that. I think having a freedom to customize the setup is a real thing. And I admit the logging could be done better but this is not a deal breaker for me.

I’m running community edition for a few years now. I have migrated the server few times and did a major upgrades few times. The only issue was the Ubuntu 22 something [Mint based on that version] (upgrading from earlier version) when it happen that some python libraries could not be installed.

Currently I’m running in self contained VM via KVM (Mint with Ubuntu 20 base, Seafile with SQLite and ~800GB of data for 3 people) and despite having sometimes stability issues during the startups or issues when syncing about 120_000 files at once (running it for the first time) for single library [you have to just keep restarting the client to finally have it done properly] I think it is still worth of using it. The only reason I was looking over for some other solutions recently is to try them and compare to current Seafile state and have something more robust for those mentioned two issues. I’m also concerned about the privacy so I will make it running under the VPN or idk. Maybe it will stay like this for more time…

Yes, the documentation is available. As said, like a LEGO manual but pages distributed over various places and you have to stitch together your solution.

On my observation times have changed. Years ago I was happy to follow step by step instructions to make it up and running on my Devuan Linux. Now I have more important things to do - I want a docker-compose.yml, an .env to adopt to my needs, I want a working backup solution and strategy inside the docker, I want full text search.

Look, there are a plethora of alternative solutions available. Paperless-ngx rocks for documents. Immich is just awesome for pictures. Both run in 5 minutes without tinkering and without hours of stitching together the various pieces.

Technically Seafile is just awesome (I have 3.5 TByte of data) and it works fast and rock solid.

But the technical beauty of a solution is no longer my decision path. It has become time and ease of use, ease of fixing stuff remotely. If a docker is no longer running I can remotely pull a new image, restart and I am done. Manually installing requires hours, while all my family (or clients) stare with laser eyes and curse the day of my birth.

I am sorry, while Seafile is technically awesome, there is no love for a docker-setup. So either I am not the customer, or have different requirements than the developers or I want features which are only available in Pro - in any case, Seafile no longer fulfills my personal wish list. As a result I am switching to ownCloud (as Nextcloud is buggy bloatware with the speed of a tranquillized turtle).

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Hi !

I share how I self-host Seafile with a docker compose.

GitHub: t-h2o/sh-seafile

the T

@daniel.pan, are you going to accept PRs from the community? Maybe community can improve docker compose installation?

I would never trade the reliability, security and resiliency that seafile has offered me over the last 4 years, never has my server missed a beat in a country that experiences atleast 1 black out a day. I have never found the documentation to be lacking either. I understand where OP is coming from, but adding that extra layer of docker does add to sluggishness and efficiency to the platform, this is my opinion and I have tested this on many applications. I prefer to install all the packages in 1 VM.

Seafile could do with some much needed UI and workflow improvements to bring it upto 2023 at the moment its still in 2010. Thats my only complaint.

All in all im very happy to host my own data for the company I work for, for free

Question: what is the targeted customer base for Seafile? Is it large Enterprise companies with an IT department of reasonable size, which has time, money and ressources and as a result community edition is just breadcrumbs for the masses OR is community-edition the entry point, the start point for something bigger, for potential customers addressing a SOHO and Enterprise market?

My experience indicates first option, my heart desires the second one.

As for docker being sluggish: I run 10 dockers including Seafile on a Wyse 5070 Thinclient, pimped to 32 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. Requires 2W idle, 5-6W when running and 12W at max. It’s not sluggish at all. Bare-metal VMs for each service are just sooo 2010…

I think there are two issues involved:

  1. Simplifying Seafile’s installation and maintenance
  2. Adding more features to the Seafile Community Edition

For the second issue, we are always try to maintain a better balance between paid pro edition and community edition. For example, we have added basic file search feature into the community edition in version 9.0.

In the upcoming version 11.0, more features, like file activities, will be added to the community edition.

For the first issue, we are always try to make Seafile easy to install. More ideas are welcome. In my opinion, the current one page manual on setting Seafile docker image up is already very easy: Seafile Community Installation - Seafile Admin Manual

But if you want to setup virus scan, full text search with ElasticSearch and so on, that will bring things complex and more deep IT knowledges are required.

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thank you for the feedback.

I think everyone understands that a company needs to make profit and therefore a community edition has less features and is limited in capabilities in order to push customers to a pro version. So I am opting more towards “easier install”.


  • Why can the mail server not be configured in docker-compose.yml or .env files?
  • (Maybe a Pro-only feature) Include a container with for backup
  • Provide a simple cronjob for rsync / rclone backup in CE edition
  • I see many articles in forums which fail to setup a reverse proxy in addition to builtin nginx.
    Provide traefik and nginx-proxy-manager examples in docker-compose.yml and documentation
  • Make configurable from Administration panel
  • Non-root docker per default, make UID GID configurable via .env
  • Add (more) documentation for Proxmox, Portainer and Synology users
  • Avoid manipulation of ccnet.conf, seafile.conf, and seafevents.conf
    Should all be done via Web interface
  • Provide multiple .env files for different scenarios: low-budget home server, real server for 500 users,
    clustered and TIERed university style scenario
  • Make WebDAV compatible to NextCloud. Reason is that many applications support backup to
    Nextcloud but not to Seafile due to the different token handling: OPNSense, Bookmarks, IOBroker
    alll have NextCloud WebDAV style archiving options
  • Provide a “All libraries at one view” as default. Non-technical users do not understand the difference between my own library and a shared one - they just want to see it with a single click.

Thanks so much,

Ciao, -MN

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How do you backup your seafile/docker setup ?

Great question to prove my point :slight_smile:

Here is the official answer: Seafile Community Installation - Seafile Admin Manual

I followed those instructions and am successfully backing up seafile daily with borg. Also verified I can restore.

Morgennebel, I asked the question to prove my point why Architecturally it is far better solution to place the seafile installation along with all of its other supporting services into 1 VM and do a deferential back at the Hypervisor level. With the database hash that seafile does in my opinion it doesnt fit into the current docker setup for safe reliable data.

With Proxmox ZFS and linux all your saving is 500 MB in RAM and 1 Gig in disk space and no head aces, I did the docker setup, but my issue was how do I backup the files and database at the exact same time to avoid any discrepancies between the two and restore it seamlessly.

Architecture depends on your use case. There is no “mine is better” - there is only “I prefer my architecture for my use case” :slight_smile:

I prefer hosts + docker without Proxmox or ESXi because I cannot re-install a ESXi over a cell phone connection when I am travelling, but I can install Linux and docker. In a bigger environment with a team you may automate Proxmox and ESXi and be able to do 100% remote management. For my private use case I am the only supporter and prefer the KISS-principle - keep it simple, stupid.

From what I understand you can backup the db and then the library blocks since blocks never get deleted, unless you run garbage collection. Orphan blocks will later be deleted with following GC passes, in case you need to restore.

Confirmed: Backup and Recovery - Seafile Admin Manual