My Ubuntu server = also my home workstation, can I modify files directly?

I have built an energy efficient Ubuntu based/Docker-compose based server/NAS and I am looking for the right syncing/cloud alternative to Google drive. I spend lots of time with SyncThing but came to the conclusion the way I use it (disabling “Deletes” from being synced) is not how the devs intend it to work. Also I never got NextCloud working nicely with SyncThing.

Seafile seems to solve the syncing needs and the NextCloud hassle. But reading through this forum, I am worried the following will not be possible:

My server is also my homepc, I use it to edit/create/delete documents & photos on the harddrive directly. After a vacation, I want to be able to copy the GBs of my digital camera’ SD card to the harddrive, do some culling and editing.

At any moment in time, I want to be able to access these files on other devices within and outside my LAN (I have already set up Traefik/SSL/domain).

In this forum I read (old) posts this is not possible. Once you use Seafile, you are not allowed to edit files directly on the harddrive. Only via the Seafile interface… This does not make any sense to me… can anyone confirm? Doesn’t Seafile simply monitor the folders?

seafile uses block storage (each file is divided, 1 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB) so it is not possible to work directly on the server storage, on the other hand you have more possibility, Wedav, fuse etc … And in this which concerns me, I use the seafile client, whatever mac, win …, and I work from my office to sort it out, You have to keep in mind that seafile is a software which respects the freedom of each one that works even better than the third-party software you talk about … I’ve been using it for years, have fun with it, we won’t talk about it again :slight_smile:

Thanks, I guess I am not looking for a storage solution, simply for a web (and mobile app) interface to access files that are stored and upload/share new files, be able to quickly open/preview/playback etc.

Besides that, looking for a solution that backs up messages from Whatsapp, Signal and sync (backup) my phones /Pictures folder.

I understand if block storage is how you once started… but I currently already have a fine storage solution (with multiple MergerFS pools (one for SSD caching) & SnapRAID) I really don’t want to touch or change that because my files are now safe, and have speedy SSD access even when most of it is on HDDs.
My PC is also my workstation and mounting seafile files on the server itself does not make sense to me, if anything it can slow things down and create redundancy in files. Not to criticize Seafile. I understand the high reliability and speediness of Seafile comes at some sort of cost and not everyone will be affected by it.

I’ll look into using Seafile for a part of my needs (syncing) and perhaps Filerun for the rest.

Hi Zilexa,

have you ever tried Seafile or do you evaluate Seafile theoretically based on desk research? My suggestion: Install it, test it, make your judgement then. I am pretty sure it will be a good experience. You seem to be docker-savvy, then the installation should be done in a matter of minutes.

One thing you should also keep in mind: Do not expect Seafile to excel it tasks it was not meant to perform. Whatsapp, signal, … backups? Seafile is a business software and whatsapp, signal are not really busines applications.

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If your seafile server is also your workstation, you will not be able to work onto the files on the harddrive like normal, if you go with the GUI and install the Seafile Client it will download the files again to an other part of the Harddrive.

Normaly your seafile server is a dedicated machine and your workstation connects to it.
Means you have a central server with a 1tb disk and a workstation with a 1tb disk, for example.
You can get away with less storage on your workstation/clients with seadrive or not sync all folders to the workstation but thats a different story to what you are looking for.

Maybe you just want to use Ubuntu and setup a SMB to copy your stuff over to it. Its much more straight forward and simple

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@rdb acking up stuff like phone messaging = simply syncing the message backup file/folder of each app. It has nothing to do with the apps itself.
I am evaluating what solution to use. But exactly what you are suggesting: simply testing it, is not that simple as I come to understand, I would need double the storage space (currently ~4TB in use, ~5TB free space) that I have now since Seafile will copy my files into its own block storage…

thanks for the very swift and clear responses. I did try the Seafile demo and really liked it but it’s clear I am looking for something slightly different. Will keep it in mind if I ever switch to a dedicated NAS.

I agree with the previous answers, playing with seafile to start with, it’s difficult to talk about software that I am not familiar with … I was like you at the start … and since … the adventure continues …