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Notification Server Overview

Currently, the status updates of files and libraries on the client and web interface are based on polling the server. The latest status cannot be reflected in real time on the client due to polling delays. The client needs to periodically refresh the library modification, file locking, subdirectory permissions and other information, which causes additional performance overhead to the server.

When a directory is opened on the web interface, the lock status of the file cannot be updated in real time, and the page needs to be refreshed.

The notification server uses websocket protocol and maintains a two-way communication connection with the client or the web interface. When the above changes occur, seaf-server will notify the notification server of the changes. Then the notification server can notify the client or the web interface in real time. This not only improves the real-time performance, but also reduces the performance overhead of the server.

Note, the notification server cannot work if you config Seafile server with SQLite database.

Supported update reminder types

  1. The library has been updated.
  2. File lock status changes under the library.
  3. Directory permission changes under the library.

How to configure and run

Since seafile-10.0.0, you can configure a notification server to send real-time notifications to clients. In order to run the notification server, you need to add the following configurations under seafile.conf:

# jwt_private_key are required.You should generate it manually.
enabled = true
# the ip of notification server. (Do not modify the host when using Nginx or Apache, as Nginx or Apache will proxy the requests to this address)
host =
# the port of notification server
port = 8083
# the log level of notification server
# You can set log_level to debug to print messages sent to clients.
log_level = info
# jwt_private_key is used to generate jwt token and authenticate seafile server
jwt_private_key = M@O8VWUb81YvmtWLHGB2I_V7di5-@0p(MF*GrE!sIws23F

You can generate jwt_private_key with the following command:

# generate jwt_private_key
openssl rand -base64 32

We generally recommend deploying notification server behind nginx, the notification server can be supported by adding the following nginx configuration:

map $http_upgrade $connection_upgrade {
default upgrade;
'' close;

server {
    location /notification/ping {
        access_log      /var/log/nginx/notif.access.log;
        error_log       /var/log/nginx/notif.error.log;

    location /notification {
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        access_log      /var/log/nginx/notif.access.log;
        error_log       /var/log/nginx/notif.error.log;

Or add the configuration for Apache:

    ProxyPass /notification/ping
    ProxyPassReverse /notification/ping

    ProxyPass /notification  ws://
    ProxyPassReverse /notification ws://

NOTE: according to apache ProxyPass document

The configured ProxyPass and ProxyPassMatch rules are checked in the order of configuration. The first rule that matches wins.
So usually you should sort conflicting ProxyPass rules starting with the longest URLs first.
Otherwise, later rules for longer URLS will be hidden by any earlier rule which uses a leading substring of the URL. Note that there is some relation with worker sharing.

the final configuration for Apache should be like:

    # notification server
    ProxyPass /notification/ping
    ProxyPassReverse /notification/ping

    ProxyPass /notification  ws://
    ProxyPassReverse /notification ws://

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

    # seahub
    SetEnvIf Authorization "(.*)" HTTP_AUTHORIZATION=$1
    ProxyPreserveHost On
    ProxyPass /
    ProxyPassReverse /

After that, you can run notification server with the following command:

./ restart

Checking notification server status

When the notification server is working, you can access from your browser, which will answer {"ret": "pong"}. If you have a proxy configured, you can access https://{server}/notification/ping from your browser instead.

Compatible client

  1. Seadrive 3.0.1 or later.
  2. Seafile client 8.0.11 or later.

If the client works with notification server, there should be a log message in seafile.log or seadrive.log.

Notification server is enabled on the remote server xxxx