Seafile: Everything you need to know about the Sync & Share solution

Seafile logo

Seafile is a sync & share solution with clients for different platforms. Seafile is very popular, but tends to be used less frequently than, for example, Nextcloud.

In this article we will introduce you to the main features of this software. In this case, you can almost talk about a whole software package. In addition to the server software, there are also a client.

Advantages of Seafile

Let's start with the benefits and features that Seafile has in store for users like you.

  • File synchronisation

As with other cloud products, all changes to files can be synchronised via a client. If you change a file on your computer (in the Seafile folder), the new version of the file will be found in your Seafile cloud a short time later.

  • Particularly interesting:

Seafile recognises even small changes to large files. In this case, you don't have to transfer the whole file, which would take much longer.  

  • Share content

You can share individual files with anyone who knows the URL. You can also restrict file sharing to individual Seafile users. Thanks to this feature, you can, for example, share photos with your friends.  

  • Active on different platforms

In addition to the main cloud software, the Seafile server, there are also other applications available with Seafile. For example, you can access your cloud on the go with the corresponding apps for iOS and Android. A web interface is also available and easy to use.  

  • Change file history

A special feature of Seafile is the so-called "versioning". Seafile recognises changes to files and assigns versions to them. This is particularly useful if you want to keep track of changes.  

  • Editing files in groups

If you are editing a single file with several people, versioning allows you to keep track of who made which changes.  

  • Reliability

The quality of the cloud software is impressive. This is noticeable during synchronisation, but also during installation and update processes. There are no conflict files (duplicate files) created during synchronisation.

  • Free appliance

In addition to turnkey solutions for home or data centre use, Seafile offers a free appliance. It has web-based administration, user management via LDAP and is based on Univention Corporate Server (UCS)).

Disadvantages of Seafile

Let's look at the disadvantages of Seafile:

  • More File Sharing than Cloud Software

Seafile can be used as a cloud software without any problems, but in some places you can see that it is primarily designed for file sharing. Nevertheless, synchronisation works, so you can definitely use Seafile as a cloud solution.  

  • Not too well known

Seafile is not unknown, but it lacks the popularity of other cloud solutions. This quickly becomes apparent when, for example, you are searching for a solution to a problem or looking for tutorials.

  • File synchronisation only

With Nextcloud and Owncloud, for example, calendars can also be synchronised via an appropriate protocol. This is not possible with Seafile.  

  • Chinese software

Seafile was and is developed in China, which may make some people sit up and take notice. The German Seafile GmbH split up with Seafile a few years ago due to differences of opinion and has since been operating under the name Syncwerk GmbH.

Cloud Server

Cloud server

Learn more about the highly available public SIM-Cloud

Learn more


To give you an impression of Seafile, here is a screenshot of the web interface. You can also find some videos on YouTube.

Screenshot from Seafile Webinterface)

Screenshot: The screenshot shows the demo version of Seafile.

Install Seafile

The download is free and the installation only takes a few minutes if you follow our Seafile tutorial. The tutorial is aimed at Raspberry Pi users who have used our guide to set up the Pi, as well as users with a different web server.

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