IT Service: File synchronization and sharing (Seafile)

Quick guide

All persons with a weblogin account can use the service by logging in to https://sf.gsi.de/ with their full FAIR/GSI email address (e.g. e.musterfrau@gsi.de) and weblogin password (e.g. PROZ).
You may find instructions for resetting your password here.

Service description

Seafile is a software to synchronize and share files with team functions. You may easily share files with people outside GSI. All data resides on file servers on campus. You can access the service with its web GUI and a variety of clients.

To synchronize files with other people you can invite them to share folders (libraries). All invited persons will work on the same files. Alternatively you can send links to allow people to download single files. This can be used to for attachments which are too big for email.

You need

  • a browser using the site sf.gsi.de and/or
  • a client for your device (available for Windows, iOS and Android).

Each user has 2 GB disk space available by default. Deleted files are restorable for 30 days. After that there is no backup of individual files. Only the complete system can be recovered in case of a defect. When leaving the company users should transfer important files to other accounts or storages.

To transfer files securely you can add a password to your share links. Please send the password in a different mail than the one with the link.

Seafile can be operated easily when using the web UI at sf.gsi.de with your credentials (your email address, e.g. e.musterfrau@gsi.de and your weblogin password).

On the left side of the page you can navigate between you own libraries and shared data (1). On the top border you have functions to manage the selected library (2). After selecting some files you have extended functions at your disposal (3).

Please avoid file names containing whitespaces or special characters when uploading files, because this may lead to problems during the download.

More information can be found at Seafile's help page.

With iOS you can install a client to connect to our Seafile server. Install the app Seafile Pro from the Appstore. After that open the app click on Add account and Other server.

Please insert the following into the form:

Server: https://sf.gsi.de
Username: Your email address (e.musterfrau@gsi.de)
Password: Your weblogin password

Select Login.

Under libraries you can find your own and shared folders.

Install the client using the Software Center

The client allows you to synchronize files in on your local filesystem with the server.

When opening the Seafile client for the first time you define a root folder:

The client creates a folder named Seafile in the root folder.

Insert the connection data into the next window (FAIR-Center.eu is possible as well):

In the next step you can download the default library to your new folder.

If you already created libraries using the web interface, you should download them manually the first time. It is possible to change the target folder for each library.

The green symbol indicates that the library has been synchronized successfully.

The client has different options to manage synchronized folders. Set the sync interval to a value greater then zero, otherwise the automatism won't work.

As long as the client is active all your changes will be synchronized to the server in the background.

New folders can be uploaded to the server to start synchronization.

It is possible to create a special file called README.md, which will be displayed at the top of a library. When clicked an overlay with the content shows up. The file supports basic Markdown syntax and can be edited online with the build in text editor.

Seafile integrates with ONLYOFFICE to allow editing files online without downloading them first. Just click on an office document (docx, pptx, xlsx, odt, odp, ods, etc.) and the online editor opens in a new tab. The interface should be familiar to anyone using office programs.

With ONLYOFFICE it is even possible to cooperatively work on the same document at the same time. For this you just have to share a library with another person (share to user/share to group).

Seafile supports access with WebDAV. There are some performance penalties compared to Seafiles clients, but WebDAV can be usefull e.g. for scripts. You can find the web interface at https://sf.gsi.de/seafdav. The Seafile Manual mentions some ways to connect, but you can use any client which supports WebDAV, e.g. curl:

curl -u "$EMAIL:$PASSWORD" -T "$LOCAL_FILE" "https://sf.gsi.de/seafdav/$LIBRARY/$FILENAME"

When using the file manager Dolphin (KDE) you can use the dialog "Add Network Folder" under "Network" (see image below).

Availability and support

  • Availability: twenty-four-seven
  • On-call duty: not covered
  • Backup: complete system, library history and trash folder
  • Support hours: Mo-Fr during core working hours
  • Support email: seafile-service @ gsi.de

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