Installing Seafile Client/Server on Arch Linux

I have previously hacked around some on my own open source Dropbox clone, but I haven’t had the time lately. I came across a project called Seafile, which looks promising as an open-source Dropbox alternative. Unfortunately, they don’t package their installation for Arch Linux, so I had to get my hands a little dirty to try it out. I created four AUR packages for seafile and its dependencies:

For the curious, my installation instructions and packages are based on the directions at and In these instructions, I assume you are using Arch Linux, and that you are familiar with how to use makepkg, pacman & friends to build and install packages from the AUR.

Build/install the Seafile package

You must install the seafile package above, along with all its dependencies. The easiest way to do this is using the AUR helper of your choice, but you can also do this manually if you wish. For most of the AUR helpers, this will look something like

pacaur -S seafile


yaourt -S seafile

Install the Seafile server

If you simply want to use the seafile client with and are not interested in hosting your own server, skip to the next section. Otherwise, read on to install the seafile server on your machine.

Now that the seafile package and all its dependencies are installed, create a directory where you wish to serve the seafile files out of. This should be somewhere with plenty of space, as all the files served by your seafile installation will ultimately live here. This directory should be owned by the user you want your seafile server to run as. In fact, you should su into that user and run the rest of these commands from there. I’ll refer to the directory you just created as $SEABASE from here on out.

Download seahub, the web server portion of the seafile server.

mkdir -p $SEABASE/seafile-server
cd $SEABASE/seafile-server
tar xf seahub-latest.tar.gz
mv seahub-${version} seahub
cd ..

Run the setup script to generate all the configuration files:

seafile-admin setup

Fill out the requested fields following the provided directions. You may now start/stop the seafile server using the following commands:

seafile-admin start
seafile-admin stop

Note that the seafile-admin commands must be run from the $SEABASE directory.

For more information, consult the Seafile wiki page for installing from source (but remember that the top part of the page won’t apply to you since your AUR helper has downloaded, built, and installed all necessary packages for you).

Using the Seafile client

At this point, the Seafile client shouldn’t need further installation. Running


should start the client, presenting a configuration screen on the first time it is run.


Enjoy! And, of course, let me know if you encounter any problems.


Update (2013.03.08): Updated seahub-latest.tar.gz download URL.

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12 Responses to “Installing Seafile Client/Server on Arch Linux”

  1. freeplant says:

    Thanks! I just wonder how to package Seafile server for Debian while not changing the configuration process. This article gives me a good hint.

  2. jmsq says:

    Thanks for the helpful post. Is there a way to enable https on seahub (default port 8000) with the way the AUR package is configured?

  3. rumix says:

    Thanks a lot for the instructions! Is there a chance you might release an AUR package without the client? Otherwise you are forced to install gtk and it’s dependencies when you only want to use the server. I removed gtk2 and libnotify from the PKGBUILD and added “–disable-client” to the configuration options and it seems to work so far.

  4. hans says:

    Hey is it possible to use seafile with lighttpd instead of nginx?
    Apache\Nginx is a little bit Overdoozed for my machine

  5. hans says:

    Hey Aaron thx for replay
    some little issue in the tut. In the line:
    wget loads only the sehub 2.0 version
    if someone used this tut with a newer seafile-server in aur (currently 2.1.3) you have to go to and search the right webserver. For Seafile 2.1.3 need the 2.1.3 webserver.

    In run in this trap and run a seafile 2.1.3 sever with a 2.0 web server which will lead in an argument exception.

  6. pang says:

    Aaron, thanks for the work.
    But please, can you make this point more clear:
    What are the steps to install only the client?

  7. pang says:

    Forget the previoues question, I found:


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