Seafile Drive Client 2.0: Next generation alternative to traditional file servers

The new Seafile Drive Client 2.0 is a quantum leap in terms of stability, functionality and integration. It now supports encrypted libraries on all platforms, bringing convenient end-to-end file encryption to Windows, Mac and Linux desktops. The new Windows client, in particular, is a hit! Thanks to the use of Microsoft’s cloud API, it integrates absolutely seamlessly into Windows’ file system. The result: an unprecedented user experience. Users will love the client’s selective sync functionality, while Seafile administrators will enjoy the new enterprise deployment options. The new version has something in store for everyone.

Encrypted library support

The Seafile Drive Client (SeaDrive) 2.0 introduces end-to-end encryption to all desktop platforms. Being a privilege of Seafile’s sync client so far, encrypted libraries can now also be accessed on-demand right from the computer’s file explorer. No prior synchronization of encrypted libraries is necessary. Working with files securely stored in Seafile Server has never been so easy.

By default, the new SeaDrive mounts only unencrypted libraries to the local file system in order to protect the confidential data in encrypted libraries. To add an encrypted library to SeaDrive’s library list, the user must enter the library’s secure key once. The key is then saved – encrypted of course – in SeaDrive’s local SQLite database. This way, SeaDrive can automatically mount encrypted libraries after a reboot if desired.

Migration to Microsoft’s cloud API

The Windows version of SeaDrive 2.0 is much more than an incremental improvement of its predecessor. A large part of its code has been rewritten. The outcome of this major effort, however, is impressive: The new SeaDrive for Windows is the best of two worlds. It combines the ease-of-use of network drives and the feature-richness of sync & share solutions. Why exactly is anyone still using file servers?

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SeaDrive 2.0 makes use of Microsoft’s cloud API. The use of this native Windows 10 technology ensures a seamless integration of Seafile’s libraries into Windows’ file systems and boosts speed, stability and compatibility with third-party programs. Dokany, an open-source kernel driver, which powered SeaDrive 1.0, is no longer part of the new SeaDrive.

Selective sync in Windows 10

Just like its predecessor, SeaDrive 2.0 uses a local cache to provide offline access to files previously downloaded. The new Windows client now takes offline support to the next level. Its ‘Always keep on this device’ context menu option downloads libraries or folders to the user’s local disk and keeps them permanently in sync. Any change – server- or client-side – is immediately synced to the other side.

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A particular library is used frequently and must be available independent of internet access or at full hard disk speed? Just enable the option in the Windows Explorer’s context menu and you will always have access to these important files as fast as possible and wherever you go.

Enterprise readiness

SeaDrive 2.0 comes as a MSI package. System administrators can use Windows Installer to roll-out SeaDrive across the entire organization using Windows’ own deployment technology. The common features such as rollback of unsuccessful installs, repair of broken installations and installing over existing broken installations are all available. Combined with its preconfiguration options, SeaDrive can be put into service on the users’ desktops requiring no end-user interaction.

Installation and upgrade

SeaDrive 2.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux can be downloaded from the download section on the Seafile website (https://www.seafile.com/en/download/). Usage instructions are available at https://download.seafile.com/published/seafile-user-manual/drive_client/drive_client_2.0_for_windows_10.md. (A German version of the manual is available on the German Seafile website at https://de.seafile.com/support/benutzer/anleitung/seafile-drive-client/)

A special note on the Windows client: SeaDrive 1.0’s auto-update function will not downloaded/install SeaDrive 2.0. Please download it from the download page and install it manually. SeaDrive 2.0 will import accounts and their metadata from a preexisting SeaDrive 1.0 instance, yet it will not use version 1.0’s local cache under %userprofile%\seadrive (or the path chosen in the client’s advanced settings).

2 thoughts on “Seafile Drive Client 2.0: Next generation alternative to traditional file servers

  1. Seadrive for Windows is not ready for production use. When I install and run on Widnows 10, it can’t even open or run. Seadrive fails every time saying “internal error. cannot connect to seadrive daemon.” No fix and no information how to resolve it. How do you consider that production use ready?

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