Articles Storage

Seafile storage solution

If you’ve ever worked in technical support, you will probably be familiar with the query; “I accidentally deleted the file I just spent all day working on” or “my most important file has magically corrupted itself”, in both instances followed by “so how do I get it back?”

This type of problem is probably the most fun you can have in IT support without resorting to problems with printers. With this in mind there are now a few solutions that will not only automatically back up files elsewhere each time you save them, but also keep a history / historic copy of each save such that at some point in the future, regardless of the plight of the user, so long as they’ve actually saved their data, it will be recoverable.

Seafile is actually a generic cloud storage solution, not all that different from products like owncloud or nextcloud, but it comes with an optional app you can add to each user’s workstation that detects changes in specific folders, and automatically archives a copy of anything that changes, as it changes. I have this running on a few Linux (and Mac) machines and it seems to work remarkably well and be reasonably reliable. Each user is given a web interface to view / retrieve their files;

So once set up, it’s pretty much self-service, if a user loses a file (or wants a historic copy), they can go fetch themselves without some poor technician having to take their feet off their desk. Even for single user setups, the knowledge that all your files also exist elsewhere and the most you can lose is what you’ve types since last hitting save, very reassuring.

About the author

Gareth Bult

Gareth is a long time Linux User and enthusiast and currently works for Mad Penguin Consulting Ltd as a Full-stack / Python developer.