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Deploy Seafile with Docker

Getting started

The following assumptions and conventions are used in the rest of this document:

  • /opt/seafile-data is the directory of Seafile. If you decide to put Seafile in a different directory - which you can - adjust all paths accordingly.
  • Seafile uses two Docker volumes for persisting data generated in its database and Seafile Docker container. The volumes' host paths are /opt/seafile-mysql and /opt/seafile-data, respectively. It is not recommended to change these paths. If you do, account for it when following these instructions.
  • All configuration and log files for Seafile and the webserver Nginx are stored in the volume of the Seafile container.

Install docker

Use the official installation guide for your OS to install Docker.

Download and modify docker-compose.yml

Download the docker-compose.yml sample file into Seafile's directory and modify the Compose file to fit your environment and settings.

NOTE: Different versions of Seafile have different compose files.

mkdir /opt/seafile
cd /opt/seafile

# Seafile CE 10.0
wget -O "docker-compose.yml" "https://manual.seafile.com/docker/docker-compose/ce/10.0/docker-compose.yml"

# Seafile CE 11.0
wget -O "docker-compose.yml" "https://manual.seafile.com/docker/docker-compose/ce/11.0/docker-compose.yml"

nano docker-compose.yml

The following fields merit particular attention:

  • The password of MySQL root (MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD and DB_ROOT_PASSWD)
  • The volume directory of MySQL data (volumes)
  • The volume directory of Seafile data (volumes).

Start Seafile server

Start Seafile server with the following command

docker compose up -d

Wait for a few minutes for the first time initialization, then visit http://seafile.example.com to open Seafile Web UI.

NOTE: You should run the above command in a directory with the docker-compose.yml.

Seafile directory structure

/opt/seafile-data

Placeholder spot for shared volumes. You may elect to store certain persistent information outside of a container, in our case we keep various log files and upload directory outside. This allows you to rebuild containers easily without losing important information.

  • /opt/seafile-data/seafile: This is the directory for seafile server configuration and data.
  • /opt/seafile-data/seafile/logs: This is the directory that would contain the log files of seafile server processes. For example, you can find seaf-server logs in /opt/seafile-data/seafile/logs/seafile.log.
  • /opt/seafile-data/logs: This is the directory for operating system and Nginx logs.
  • /opt/seafile-data/logs/var-log: This is the directory that would be mounted as /var/log inside the container. For example, you can find the nginx logs in /opt/seafile-data/logs/var-log/nginx/.
  • /opt/seafile-data/ssl: This is directory for certificate, which does not exist by default.

Find logs

To view Seafile docker logs, please use the following command

docker compose logs -f

The Seafile logs are under /shared/logs/seafile in the docker, or /opt/seafile-data/logs/seafile in the server that run the docker.

The system logs are under /shared/logs/var-log, or /opt/seafile-data/logs/var-log in the server that run the docker.

More configuration options

Custom admin username and password

The default admin account is me@example.com and the password is asecret. You can use a different password by setting the container's environment variables in the docker-compose.yml: e.g.

seafile:
    ...

    environment:
        ...
        - SEAFILE_ADMIN_EMAIL=me@example.com
        - SEAFILE_ADMIN_PASSWORD=a_very_secret_password
        ...

Let's encrypt SSL certificate

If you set SEAFILE_SERVER_LETSENCRYPT to true, the container would request a letsencrypt-signed SSL certificate for you automatically.

e.g.

seafile:
    ...
    ports:
        - "80:80"
        - "443:443"
    ...
    environment:
        ...
        - SEAFILE_SERVER_LETSENCRYPT=true
        - SEAFILE_SERVER_HOSTNAME=seafile.example.com
        ...

If you want to use your own SSL certificate and the file path on the host is /home/user/your-cert.crt. You can mount the certificate into the docker container by setting the container's volumes variables in the docker-compose.yml:

e.g.

seafile:
    ...
    ports:
        - "80:80"
        - "443:443"
    ...
    volumes:
      ...
      - /opt/seafile-data/your-cert.crt:/shared/ssl/seafile.example.com.crt;
      - /opt/seafile-data/your-key.key:/shared/ssl/seafile.example.com.key;
    ...
  • Assume your site name is seafile.example.com, then your certificate must have the name seafile.example.com.crt, and the private key must have the name seafile.example.com.key in container.

Since version 10.0.x, if you want to use a reverse proxy and apply for a certificate outside docker, you can use FORCE_HTTPS_IN_CONF to force write https://<your_host> in the configuration file.

e.g.

seafile:
    ...
    environment:
        ...
        - SEAFILE_SERVER_LETSENCRYPT=false
        - SEAFILE_SERVER_HOSTNAME=seafile.example.com
        - FORCE_HTTPS_IN_CONF=true
        ...

Use an existing mysql-server

If you want to use an existing mysql-server, you can modify the docker-compose.yml as follows

services:
  #db:
    #image: mariadb:10.11
    #...

  seafile:
    ...
    environment:
        ...
        - DB_HOST=192.168.0.2
        - DB_PORT=3306
        - DB_ROOT_PASSWD=mysql_root_password
        ...
    depends_on:
      #- db
      - memcached
  • The entire db chapter needs to be removed
  • The host of MySQL (DB_HOST)
  • The port of MySQL (DB_PORT)
  • The password of MySQL root (DB_ROOT_PASSWD)
  • db in depends_on chapter needs to be removed
  • DB_ROOT_PASSWD is needed during installation. Later, after Seafile is installed, the user seafile will be used to connect to the mysql-server (in conf/seafile.conf). You can remove the DB_ROOT_PASSWD.

Modify Seafile server configurations

The config files are under /opt/seafile-data/seafile/conf. You can modify the configurations according to Seafile manual

After modification, you need to restart the container:

docker compose restart

Add a new admin

Ensure the container is running, then enter this command:

docker exec -it seafile /opt/seafile/seafile-server-latest/reset-admin.sh

Enter the username and password according to the prompts. You now have a new admin account.

Run Seafile as non root user inside docker

Since version 10.0, you can use run seafile as non root user in docker. (NOTE: Programs such as my_init, Nginx are still run as root inside docker.)

First add the NON_ROOT=true to the docker-compose.yml.

seafile:
    ...
    environment:
        ...
        - NON_ROOT=true
        ...

Then create a seafile user on the host, and modify the owner to seafile in /opt/seafile-data/seafile/. (NOTE: Do not change the uid and gid.)

groupadd --gid 8000 seafile

useradd --home-dir /home/seafile --create-home --uid 8000 --gid 8000 --shell /bin/sh --skel /dev/null seafile

chown -R seafile:seafile /opt/seafile-data/seafile/

Restarting the container run Seafile use seafile user. (NOTE: Later when do maintenance, other scripts in docker also required to run as seafile user, e.g. su seafile -c ./seaf-gc.sh)

docker compose down
docker compose up -d

Backup and recovery

Follow the instructions in Backup and restore for Seafile Docker

Garbage collection

When files are deleted, the blocks comprising those files are not immediately removed as there may be other files that reference those blocks (due to the magic of deduplication). To remove them, Seafile requires a 'garbage collection' process to be run, which detects which blocks no longer used and purges them. (NOTE: for technical reasons, the GC process does not guarantee that every single orphan block will be deleted.)

The required scripts can be found in the /scripts folder of the docker container. To perform garbage collection, simply run docker exec seafile /scripts/gc.sh. For the community edition, this process will stop the seafile server, but it is a relatively quick process and the seafile server will start automatically once the process has finished. The Professional supports an online garbage collection.

Deploy Seafile docker with custom port

Assume your custom port is 8001, when it is a new installation, you only need to modify the docker-compose.yml and start the Seafile docker.

  seafile:
    ...
    ports:
      - "8001:80"
    environment:
      ...
      - SEAFILE_SERVER_HOSTNAME=seafile.example.com:8001
      ...
    ...

If you have installed the Seafile docker, besides modifying the docker-compose.yml, you also need to modify the already generated configuration file conf/seahub_settings.py, then restart Seafile:

SERVICE_URL = "http://seafile.example.com:8001"
FILE_SERVER_ROOT = "http://seafile.example.com:8001/seafhttp"

FAQ

You can run docker commands like "docker exec" to find errors.

docker exec -it seafile /bin/bash

LetsEncrypt SSL certificate is about to expire.

If the certificate is not renewed automatically, you can execute the following command to manually renew the certificate.

/scripts/ssl.sh /shared/ssl/ <your-seafile-domain>

eg: /scripts/ssl.sh /shared/ssl/ example.seafile.com

SEAFILE_SERVER_LETSENCRYPT=false change to true.

If you want to change to https after using http, first backup and move the seafile.nginx.conf.

mv /opt/seafile-data/nginx/conf/seafile.nginx.conf /opt/seafile-data/nginx/conf/seafile.nginx.conf.bak

Starting the new container will automatically apply a certificate.

docker compose down
docker compose up -d

You need to manually change http to https in other configuration files, SERVICE_URL and FILE_SERVER_ROOT in the system admin page also need to be modified.

If you have modified the old seafile.nginx.conf, now you can modify the new seafile.nginx.conf as you want. Then execute the following command to make the nginx configuration take effect.

docker exec seafile nginx -s reload