Operating Seafile was a very frustrating experience. In the first place, setting it up on my Kubernetes (k3s) cluster was quite a ride. It didn’t have a Helm chart or any manifests ready to spin it up, so I had to build my own. This turned out to be pretty difficult because it was clear that the software was not designed with containers in mind and it took significant amount of hacking to even just get it to work. But once it did, then you’d need to manually run garbage collection every few months, because that was a Paid Feature™. I put up with it because of the sunk cost fallacy and because other than that five minutes every 3 months or so, it was working okay. Until it wasn’t.

I don’t know where the problem was. I just noticed that syncing from my phone and onto my desktop just did not work anymore. I don’t know if the Android client just didn’t like my new Samsung, or if I accidentally updated the desktop client (though highly unlikely), or if something just broke “spontaneously.” I was already frustrated with it and now it stopped working for the one thing I needed it for: syncing photos from my phone. It was time to switch.

After a quick “open source dropbox alternatives” search, I decided to go with Nextcloud. I’ve seen them on the fediverse (or as the mainstream media still calls it, the Mastodon Network™) and that’s usually a good sign. And it was such smooth sailing. They had a maintained Helm chart meaning I only had to write one YAML file following the values file documentation, do my usual manual setup (at my scale “properly” GitOpsing my secrets is just simply too much effort) and it was up and running in like 15 minutes. Compare that to days of work with Seafile. It synced 3GB of photos in another half an hour, so now I’m a happy self-hosted Nextcloud user.

There’s also a bunch of features I’m not using (yet): calendar syncing, documents and some office-oriented stuff. Maybe someday. At this point my only complaint is that it feels slow, even compared to Seafile, but that’s probably just my tiny server shitting itself from having to generate thousands of thumbnails. And honestly if operating my instance will be this effortless, I honestly don’t even mind the web UI being a bit slow (I don’t really use it much anyway).