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Details about File Search

Search Options

The following options can be set in seafevents.conf to control the behaviors of file search. You need to restart seafile and seahub to make them take effect.

## must be "true" to enable search
enabled = true

## The interval the search index is updated. Can be s(seconds), m(minutes), h(hours), d(days)

## this is for improving the search speed
highlight = fvh                              

## If true, indexes the contents of office/pdf files while updating search index
## Note: If you change this option from "false" to "true", then you need to clear the search index and update the index again.

## From 9.0.7 pro, Seafile supports connecting to Elasticsearch through username and password, you need to configure username and password for the Elasticsearch server
username = elastic           # username to connect to Elasticsearch
password = elastic_password  # password to connect to Elasticsearch

## From 9.0.7 pro, Seafile supports connecting to elasticsearch via HTTPS, you need to configure HTTPS for the Elasticsearch server
scheme = https               # The default is http. If the Elasticsearch server is not configured with HTTPS, the scheme and cafile do not need to be configured
cafile = path/to/cert.pem    # The certificate path for user authentication. If the Elasticsearch server does not enable certificate authentication, do not need to be configured

Enable full text search for Office/PDF files

Full text search is not enabled by default to save system resources. If you want to enable it, you need to follow the instructions below.

First you have to set the value of index_office_pdf option in seafevents.conf to true.

Then restart seafile server

  cd /data/haiwen/seafile-pro-server-1.7.0/
  ./ restart

You need to delete the existing search index and recreate it.

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

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.

Modify 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 = 9200
  • 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 ES server RESTful API. By default it should be 9200

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

Access the AWS elasticsearch service using HTTPS

  1. Create an elasticsearch service on AWS according to the documentation.

  2. Configure the seafevents.conf:

enabled = true
interval = 10m
external_es_server = true
es_host = your domain endpoint(for example,
es_port = 443
scheme = https
username = master user
password = password
highlight = fvh

NOTE: The version of the Python third-party package elasticsearch cannot be greater than 7.14.0, otherwise the elasticsearch service cannot be accessed:,

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. You can modify the memory size by modifying the jvm configuration file. For example, modify to 2G memory. Modify the following configuration in the seafile-server-latest/pro/elasticsearch/config/jvm.options file:

-Xms2g # Minimum available memory
-Xmx2g # Maximum available memory
### It is recommended to set the values of the above two configurations to the same size.

Restart the seafile service to make the above changes take effect:

./ restart
./ restart