How to Install Seafile with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

graphic designer 4562741 640
graphic designer 4562741 640

Seafile is a genuinely open-source, self-hosted cloud storage service with high performance and reliability that you host in your environment on your private servers.

Like Dropbox and other cloud storage services, Seafile provides similar functions, and unlike the other proprietary storage providers, Seafile is free to use. Those who have tried their ownCloud, Nextcloud, and other storage services and are still not sold may want to try Seafile.

Seafile enables private cloud services on users’ servers. It’s a self-hosted file sync and shares app platforms, and with it, you can access & sync your files, contacts, and data across your devices.

To get started with installing Seafile, follow the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server, so install it since Seafile needs it.

To install Apache2 HTTP on the Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

To test the Apache2 setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the Apache2 default test page as shown below. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected.

apache2 ubuntu install

Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open-source database servers to use with Seafile. To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to start up when the server boots.

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Next, run the commands below to open the MariaDB default config file…

sudo nano /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf

Then add the lines below and save…

innodb_file_format = Barracuda
innodb_large_prefix = 1
innodb_file_per_table = 1
innodb_default_row_format = dynamic

Restart MariaDB server

Type the commands below to log on to the MariaDB server to test if MariaDB is installed.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on. If successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message.

mariadb welcome

Install Seafile Dependencies

Some dependencies must be installed and available for Seafile to function. To get those installed, run the commands below.

sudo apt install python2.7 libpython2.7 python-setuptools python-pil python-ldap python-urllib3 ffmpeg python-pip python-mysqldb python-memcache python-requests

Create Seafile Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages required for Seafile to function continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank Seafile database.

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called seafiledb ccnetdb, seahubdb


Create a database user called seafileuser with a new password

CREATE USER 'seafileuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the databases created above.

GRANT ALL ON seafiledb.* TO 'seafileuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;
GRANT ALL ON ccnetdb.* TO 'seafileuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;
GRANT ALL ON seahubdb.* TO 'seafileuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download Seafile Latest Release

When ready, run the commands below to download the Seafile installer. At the time of this writing, the latest version is 6.3.4.

cd /tmp
tar -xvzf seafile-server_6.3.4_x86-64.tar.gz
sudo mv seafile-server-6.3.4 /var/www/html/seafile

After that, run the commands below to configure Seafile.

cd /var/www/html/seafile
sudo ./

Doing that should prompt you to enter the database connection info you created above and set up your environment.

This script will guide you to setup your seafile server using MySQL.
Make sure you have read seafile server manual at

Press ENTER to continue
What is the name of the server? It will be displayed on the client.
3 - 15 letters or digits
[ server name ] Seafile

What is the ip or domain of the server?
For example:,
[ This server's ip or domain ]

Where do you want to put your seafile data?
Please use a volume with enough free space
[ default "/var/www/html/seafile-data" ] 

Which port do you want to use for the seafile fileserver?
[ default "8082" ]

Please choose a way to initialize seafile databases:

[1] Create new ccnet/seafile/seahub databases
[2] Use existing ccnet/seafile/seahub databases

[ 1 or 2 ] 2

What is the host of mysql server?
[ default "localhost" ] 

What is the port of mysql server?
[ default "3306" ] 

Which mysql user to use for seafile?
[ mysql user for seafile ] seafileuser

What is the password for mysql user "seafileuser"?
[ password for seafileuser ] 

verifying password of user seafileuser .  done

Enter the existing database name for ccnet:
[ ccnet database ] ccnetdb

verifying user "seafileuser" access to database ccnetdb .  done

Enter the existing database name for seafile:
[ seafile database ] seafiledb

verifying user "seafileuser" access to database seafiledb .  done

Enter the existing database name for seahub:
[ seahub database ] seahubdb

verifying user "seafileuser" access to database seahubdb .  done

This is your configuration

    server name:            Seafile
    server ip/domain:

    seafile data dir:       /var/www/html/seafile-data
    fileserver port:        8082

    database:               use existing
    ccnet database:         ccnetdb
    seafile database:       seafiledb
    seahub database:        seahubdb
    database user:          seafileuser

Press ENTER to continue, or Ctrl-C to abort

Generating ccnet configuration .

Successly create configuration dir /var/www/html/ccnet.
Generating seafile configuration .

Generating seahub configuration .

Now creating seahub database tables .


creating seafile-server-latest symbolic link .  done

Your seafile server configuration has been finished successfully.

run seafile server:     ./ { start | stop | restart }
run seahub  server:     ./  { start  | stop | restart  }

If you are behind a firewall, remember to allow input/output of these tcp ports:

port of seafile fileserver:   8082
port of seahub:               8000

When problems occur, Refer to

for information.

You need to add a line in to set the value of FILE_SERVER_ROOT. You can also modify FILE_SERVER_ROOT via web UI in “System Admin->Settings.” (Warning: if you set the value via Web UI and, the setting via Web UI will take precedence.)


Next, run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Seafile to function.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/

Configure Apache

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for Seafile. This file will control how users access Seafile content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called seafile.conf.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/seafile.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/seafile/
     Alias /media "/var/www/html/seahub/media"

     <Directory /var/www/html/seafile/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
          <IfModule mod_dav.c>
            Dav off
        SetEnv HOME /var/www/html/seafile
        SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/html/seafile

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
     ProxyRequests Off
        <Proxy *>
          Order deny,allow
          Allow from all
     ProxyPass /
     ProxyPassReverse /

     ProxyPass /seafhttp
     ProxyPassReverse /seafhttp
     RewriteRule ^/seafhttp - [QSA,L]


Save the file and exit.

Enable the Seafile and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, please enable it by running the commands below.

sudo a2ensite seafile.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod headers
sudo a2enmod env
sudo a2enmod dir
sudo a2enmod mime
sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod proxy_http

Restart Apache2 by running the commands below to load all the settings above.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Run the commands below to start and stop Seafile inside the Seafile home directory at /var/www/html/seafile.

cd /var/www/html/seafile
sudo su -p -l www-data -s /bin/bash -c "./ start"
sudo su -p -l www-data -s /bin/bash -c "./ stop"

To create a Seafile backend admin account, run the commands below to start seahub.

sudo su -p -l www-data -s /bin/bash -c "./ start"

That should prompt you to create a Seafile admin account.

LC_ALL is not set in ENV, set to en_US.UTF-8
Starting seahub at port 8000 .

It's the first time you start the seafile server. Now let's create the admin account

What is the email for the admin account?
[ admin email ]
What is the password for the admin account?
[ admin password ] 
Enter the password again:
[ admin password again ] 

Successfully created seafile admin

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see the Seafile login page.

Type in the admin account and password created above and log in.

Seafile ubuntu install

That’s it! You can now begin using the Seafile self-storage service.

Seafile ubuntu setup

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Seafile on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04, which may work on 18.10.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for such a great and helpful walkthrough, however I am a bit confused about the seafile.conf file and what I should be replacing in it. The highlighted lines are just “ServerName” and “ServerAlias” but that doesn’t seem to correspond with the description “Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location”. It seems like I should be editing many more lines than that, but I’m not sure.
    Thank you so much, any clarification would be great, and thank you so much for this great resource!

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