Installing Seafile 6.3.2 inside ISPConfig 3.1

Seafile is an open-source cloud-based file storage system similar to Dropbox & Box. The difference is that Seafile can be deployed on a client's own system. This provides a greater safety and security factor as the passwords are only interchanged between the client who setup the system, and his / her own users rather than a corporate cloud hosting company.

There are a few Seafile server setup tutorials for ISPConfig, but none that didn't require a good majority of editing the files that should really be left alone as per ISPConfig developer recommendations. While this setup is written for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and ISPConfig 3, it can be followed for other distributions. This solution works for me, but no guarantee or warranty is expressed or implied.

It is assumed that the reader is wanting to deploy Seafile using MySQL and Apache (also https). It is also assumed that you can functionally use ISPConfig, as this is not an ISPConfig tutorial.

1 Setup Website

Open your ISPConfig hosting control panel, click on the Sites tab, and create a new website. You will want to make sure that you select None for Auto-Subdomain, SSL, Let's Encrypt SSL, and Fast-CGI for PHP. While you can technically use an existing website, creating a new one works better as it allows us to keep all the cloud files separated from other sites. This also is necessary to use the ISPConfig panel for configuration changes.

In the website configuration panel, click the Options tab and insert the following in Apache Directives section:

Alias /media /var/www/

RewriteEngine On

<Location /media>
Require all granted

# seafile httpserver
ProxyPass /seafhttp
ProxyPassReverse /seafhttp
RewriteRule ^/seafhttp - [QSA,L]
# seahub # SetEnvIf Authorization "(.*)" HTTP_AUTHORIZATION=$1 ProxyPass / ProxyPassReverse /

Nginx Directives
You should also create a shell user for this site as it will be necessary shortly.

SSH user

2 Create Databases

From the Sites panel in ISPConfig, select Database User and Add new User. Create a single user per client that will manage that client's seafile databases.

Database user

After the database user is created, click Databases, and Add new Database. You will need to add three seperate databases: ccnetdbseafiledbseahubdb

First database


third database

3 Download and Install Seafile software

There are some required packages that we need to install. SSH into your server with a user that has sufficient permissions to install software.

apt-get install python2.7 python-setuptools python-simplejson python-pil python-mysqldb python-flup

I prefer to have all my servers running inside the private directory rather than the web directory, so we'll setup as such. SSH into the server with the username we created above.

cd private
mkdir seafile
cd seafile

    or for 32bit

tar zxvf seafile-server_6.3.2_x86-64.tar.gz
mkdir installed
mv seafile-server_* installed

cd seafile-server-*

At this point, you'll need to answer the prompted questions as they relate to your system and installation. When you get to the section titled Please Choose a way to initialize seafile databases you'll need to select 2 and input the database information from your ISPConfig setup.

4 Initial Run

It's time to start seafile and make sure the initial setup is working.

./ start
./ start

After starting the services, open your web browser and navigate to the website address you created above with port 8000.

5 Apache Setup

Now modify the SERVICE_URL in /path/to/seafile-server/ccnet/ccnet.conf


We'll also need to modify the FILE_SERVER_ROOT in /path/to/seafile-server/


Restart Apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Restart Seafile services.

./ start
./ start

6 Start services automatically 

Since the goal here is to keep everything contained with ISPConfig, rather than creating a startup service, we're going to add the seafile script to the users cron jobs. Naturally, you'll need to make sure that the client has the ability to add full cron jobs.

Create a startup file:

cd ~/private/seafile
chmod +x

Paste the following code into the script:


# Change the value of "seafile_dir" to your path of seafile installation

## Sleep command is necessary to prevent MYSQL errors if
## this script runs before MYSQL is fully operational
sleep 60 &
wait %1

case "$1" in
${script_path}/ start >> ${seafile_init_log} &
wait %1
${script_path}/ start >> ${seahub_init_log} &
wait %1
${script_path}/ restart >> ${seafile_init_log} &
wait %1
${script_path}/ restart >> ${seahub_init_log} &
wait %1
${script_path}/ $1 >> ${seafile_init_log} &
${script_path}/ $1 >> ${seahub_init_log}
echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/seafile {start|stop|restart}"
exit 1

In order to make sure that cron files get written properly, there are a few things that should be checked. Click Client -> [your client] -> Limits. Make sure that the Cron Job Limits are set to Full Cron with 0 delay between executions. After that you will only need to add the single cron job into the Commands to Run section of ISPConfig.

/var/www/clients/client1/web42/private/seafile/ start


That's it!

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10 Comment(s)

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By: Daniel

Hi. Thanks for all those instructions: Really helpfull.


I seems that this solution does not support letsencrypt. I got it working with the following Apache Directives right below "RewriteEngine On":



ProxyPass "/.well-known/acme-challenge"

        ProxyPassReverse "/.well-known/acme-challenge"

        RewriteRule ^/.well-known/acme-challenge - [QSA,L]



By: r_s

Hi, thank you for that! However, I had to remove 'letsencrypt/' to make it work, so for me it looks like this:


ProxyPass "/.well-known/acme-challenge"

        ProxyPassReverse "/.well-known/acme-challenge"

        RewriteRule ^/.well-known/acme-challenge - [QSA,L]


By: Manfred

Hi Daniel,


Are you running an older version of ISPConfig? We are currently running 3.1.12 and did not face any issues activating letsencrypt on the seafile domain. 

By: Hermann

Hi, thanks for this tutorial! Sorrowly I always end-up with the following error while setting up the databases:

Generating ccnet configuration ...

Traceback (most recent call last):

  File "", line 1515, in <module>


  File "", line 1467, in main


  File "", line 817, in generate

    if Utils.run_argv(argv, env=env_mgr.get_binary_env()) != 0:

  File "", line 85, in run_argv


  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/", line 390, in __init__

    errread, errwrite)

  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/", line 1024, in _execute_child

    raise child_exception

OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error


Would be very friendly if you could give me a hint solving this issue - Thank you very much in advance!!!


The whole installation using your Tutorial: "The Perfect Server - Debian 9 (Stretch) with Apache, BIND, Dovecot, PureFTPD and ISPConfig 3.1"

on a fresh Raspian Stretch 9 environment on a RaspBerry Pi 3+ was running very smooth... A great thanks therefore too!!!

Kind regards, Hermann

By: Curtis


Thank you for this tutorial.  This looks interesting and I may test this out, soon.  I've been looking for a better way for my users to maintain their files. 

Why Python 2.7 when Python 3 is already on the system?  Is this specific to Seafile?  Python is already a resource hog (fail2ban comes to mind).  I'm a little resistant to installing another version.


By: Andrew

This is a seafile thing... they may be using something different as of this time, but when i wrote this tut, the default was 2.7

By: Andrew

I ran into a problem today with this as my updatescript wouldn't run properly. I updated ISPConfig to the newest version as there were some issues with previous versions and LetsEncrypt. In the end, my fix was simply issue the following commands: 

certbot delete --cert-name seafile.mydomain.comcertbot certonly --apache (Run through setup steps)

This will delete all the LetsEncrypt files for your domain, then recreate them. After this, enter ISPConfig for your seafile site. Uncheck the Lets Encrypt checkbox and save. Then make sure the "Skip Lets Encrypt Check" box is checked in the server.config -> web -> ssl section.

Wait a minute until the cron runs, then go back into your Seafile ISPConfig page and recheck LetsEncrypt.

By: Andrew

It doesn't sound like you put the correct database information in when asked to initialize your seafile database.

By: Manfred

Hi there


Thanks for the instructions.

After adding the apache directive the server would not restart because mod_proxy was not enabled.

For those that had the same issue, just check if the module is enabled with:


apache2ctl -M


If the module is not enabled you can enable it with the following commands:

a2enmod proxy

a2enmod proxy_http

a2enmod proxy_balancer

a2enmod lbmethod_byrequests


The last three modules are most likely already enabled.




By: Curtis Maurand

I've also set up nextcloud within a site and used it's external storage feature to connect it by ssh to folders it needs to be connected to such as the root of your site.  Simple to set up, too.  better yet, it runs under the website's encryption key.