So confused - Drive or Client?

Which one should I use? The names are really confusing too—“Drive Client” and “Client”…I think.

My use is pointing it at an existing folder and telling it to sync with revisions too. If I rename the folder I’d expect it to also rename and keep up with the sync. Is that not a realistic expection? Seems when I renamed it the sync broke, and wouldn’t “remember” it if renamed to original name.

Seems like the cloud client is your entire library where you can check things out. The local client downloads it locally…or something.

Sorry, I know I’m overthinking it. Just coming from Synology Drive which was great. It just didn’t allow selecting ANY folder to sync—which is what brought me to Seafile Client and Drive Client. Just want the one that mimics Synology Drive AND let’s me pick any folder.

I’m sure I’m just not making any sense!

PS: I’m using a Mac and both are called “Client”…“Client for Mac” and “Client Mac”. I guess they’re both “clients” that sync in some way.

Can’t comment on anything Mac since I’m on Windows and Linux. But, I’ve always used the two programs for different reasons and often simultaneously. Not sure if the Mac client(s) have all the same features, but the underlying idea is the same:

I use the “Seafile Client” for things like Documents where I want a local copy on my system because I use those files very often and like working locally on my machine. Then whenever changes are made and I save the file locally, the Client syncs them to my Seafile Server a few seconds later. This lets me have versioning/history, etc. on the server and a local copy of just the current file on my desktop system.

I use “SeaDrive” for things like multimedia files (pictures, etc) or infrequently accessed files (maybe some old documentation or hard-to-find executables I’ve archived, old ebooks, etc.) that I only want to access when I need them and then I want it gone from my desktop but still stored nicely on my Seafile Server. This is great for old picture archives and stuff especially – I open the SeaDrive folder on my system and only the files I “open” are downloaded. They are then cleaned up on my local system after a few days by either my OS or SeaDrive (different settings) so those files don’t take up local storage but they are still available on the server.

Thus, two different “clients” for two different use-cases. Does that help?


Thank you! That makes perfect sense. The drive is like a library you check things out to read—-no changes are synced back to it. The client is for syncing and versioning. What was really confusing for me is “drive” is typically the “client” functionality in this scenario. Google drive. Synology drive. iCloud Drive etc.

Thanks for the detailed info. Very helpful.

Here is the original announcement for Seafile Drive client. It might provide some insight on what motivated its development and the key differences with the (traditional) Sync client.

The new Seafile Drive Client is the second client for the sync & share solution Seafile. This client makes Seafile the better alternative to the traditional network shares offering file download on-demand, no network delay when browsing files, automatic server sync of file updates and file caching for offline access.

@jk12 Glad I could help. Just one quick note – once a file is ‘checked out’ using SeaDrive, it absolutely will sync changes! Just wanted to be sure you are clear about that – it is not a read-only checkout.

Basically, SeaDrive lets you see everything and then selectively sync certain files. Seafile Client, on the other hand, “checks out” and syncs the entire library to a location on your local machine.

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