Details about File Search

Note: Since Seafile Professional Server 5.0.0, all config files are moved to the central conf folder. Read More.

Search Options

The following options should be set in seafevents.conf, and you need to restart seafile and seahub to make them taking effect.

# Enable full-text search for PDF/Word/PPT
index_office_pdf = false

Use existing ElasticSearch server

The search module uses an Elasticsearch server bundled with the Seafile Professional Server. However, you may have an existing Elasticsearch server or cluster running in your company. In this situation, you can change the config file to use your existing ES server or cluster.

This feature was added in Seafile Professional Server 2.0.5.


  • Your ES cluster must have thrift transport plugin installed. If not, install it:
bin/plugin -install elasticsearch/elasticsearch-transport-thrift/1.6.0

Restart your ES server after this.

  • Currently the seafile search module use the default analyzer in your ES server settings.

Change the config file

  • Edit seafevents.conf, add settings in the section [INDEX FILES] to specify your ES server host and port:
external_es_server = true
es_host =
es_port = 9500
  • external_es_server: set to true so seafile would not start its own elasticsearch server
  • es_host: The ip address of your ES server
  • es_port: The listening port of the Thrift transport module. By default it should be 9500

Common problems

How to rebuild the index if something went wrong

You can rebuild search index by running:

./pro/ search --clear
./pro/ search --update

If this does not work, you can try the following steps:

  1. Stop Seafile
  2. Remove the old search index rm -rf pro-data/search
  3. Restart Seafile
  4. Wait one minute then run ./pro/ search --update

I get no result when I search a keyword

The search index is updated every 10 minutes by default. So before the first index update is performed, you get nothing no matter what you search.

To be able to search immediately,

  • Make sure you have started Seafile Server
  • Update the search index manually:
cd haiwen/seafile-pro-server-2.0.4
./pro/ search --update

Encrypted files cannot be searched

This is because the server cannot index encrypted files, since they are encrypted.

Increase the heap size for the java search process

The search functionality is based on elasticsearch, which is a java process. To increase the java heap size, you can use the ES_HEAP_SIZE environment variable, e.g.:

export ES_HEAP_SIZE=4g # default is 1g
./ restart

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