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Switch authentication type

Seafile Server supports the following external authentication types:

Since 11.0 version, switching between the types is possible, but any switch requires modifications of Seafile's databases.


Before manually manipulating your database, make a database backup, so you can restore your system if anything goes wrong!

See more about make a database backup.

Migrating from local user database to external authentication

As an organisation grows and its IT infrastructure matures, the migration from local authentication to external authentication like LDAP, SAML, OAUTH is common requirement. Fortunately, the switch is comparatively simple.

General procedure

  1. Configure and test the desired external authentication. Note the name of the provider you use in the config file. The user to be migrated should already be able to log in with this new authentication type, but he will be created as a new user with a new unique identifier, so he will not have access to his existing libraries. Note the uid from the social_auth_usersocialauth table. Delete this new, still empty user again.

  2. Determine the ID of the user to be migrated in ccnet_db.EmailUser. For users created before version 11, the ID should be the user's email, for users created after version 11, the ID should be a string like xxx@auth.local.

  3. Replace the password hash with an exclamation mark.

  4. Create a new entry in social_auth_usersocialauth with the xxx@auth.local, your provider and the uid.

The login with the password stored in the local database is not possible anymore. After logging in via external authentication, the user has access to all his previous libraries.


This example shows how to migrate the user with the username 12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local from local database authentication to OAuth. The OAuth authentication is configured in with the provider name authentik-oauth. The uid of the user inside the Identity Provider is HR12345.

This is what the database looks like before these commands must be executed:

mysql> select email,left(passwd,25) from EmailUser where email = '12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local';
| email                                       | left(passwd,25)              |
| 12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local | PBKDF2SHA256$10000$4cdda6... |

mysql> update EmailUser set passwd = '!' where email = '12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local';

mysql> insert into `social_auth_usersocialauth` (`username`, `provider`, `uid`, `extra_data`) values ('12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local', 'authentik-oauth', 'HR12345', '');

Note: The extra_data field store user's information returned from the provider. For most providers, the extra_data field is usually an empty character. Since version 11.0.3-Pro, the default value of the extra_data field is NULL.

Afterwards the databases should look like this:

mysql> select email,passwd from EmailUser where email = '12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local';
+---------------------------------------------+------- +
| email                                       | passwd |
| 12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local | !      |

mysql> select username,provider,uid from social_auth_usersocialauth where username = '12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local';
| username                                    | provider        | uid     |
| 12ae56789f1e4c8d8e1c31415867317c@auth.local | authentik-oauth | HR12345 |

Migrating from one external authentication to another

First configure the two external authentications and test them with a dummy user. Then, to migrate all the existing users you only need to make changes to the social_auth_usersocialauth table. No entries need to be deleted or created. You only need to modify the existing ones. The xxx@auth.local remains the same, you only need to replace the provider and the uid.

Migrating from external authentication to local user database

First, delete the entry in the social_auth_usersocialauth table that belongs to the particular user.

Then you can reset the user's password, e.g. via the web interface. The user will be assigned a local password and from now on the authentication against the local database of Seafile will be done.

More details about this option will follow soon.