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Article from Issue 264/2022

Seafile offers file sharing and synchronization like Nextcloud and ownCloud, but its speed leaves the competition far behind.

When it comes to file synchronization and collaborative work, the kings of the hill in the open source universe are ownCloud and Nextcloud. But because other vendors have attractive products too, let's take a look at Seafile [1], which bills itself on its website as an open source file synchronization and sharing solution designed for high reliability, performance, and productivity. Like with Nextcloud or ownCloud, users retain full control over their data. Seafile tends to hide its light under a bushel. This article tries to clarify why this is so, because, in terms of functionality, there is no need for Seafile to hide at all.


Let's start by clarifying the main differences between Seafile and the aforementioned competitors. Seafile's strengths lie in its file sharing and synchronization features. Nextcloud and ownCloud see themselves more as full-fledged groupware solutions with many apps and continually-expanding feature sets. One technical difference that only becomes apparent when you read the specifications for the first time is that while Nextcloud relies on PHP, Seafile is written in C and Python, with the Django framework working in the background.

The software is developed by Chinese vendor Seafile Ltd. and based on the client-server principle. The free Community Edition was developed in 2012 from the Seafile Professional Server Edition and reached version 9 in December 2021. Since then, there have been several minor updates to Seafile Server 9.0.5, which is the version on which our test is based.


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