Frequently Asked Questions

Most common issues and their resolutions are summarized here

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Troubleshooting Pydio Cells

I cannot access my cells after installation!

Make sure to look at the logs! There are probably some good indicators: you may have set a wrong internal or external URL, or if you are binding Cells webserver to port 80 or 443, you may have to perform a specific setcap command to allow the binary to bind to this port. See the admin guide on this.

What should the value of external url be if i’m using a proxy?

The external url is the real “outside world” url that users will see. It has to be set in order to send correct email notifications, handle redirect nicely etc.

Uploads are not working on a vanilla instance (403 errors)

After a basic installation, you can successfully connect to Cells but any attempt to upload a file will result in a 403 error: ensure that the server time is correctly synchronised.
This problem is related to the fact that transfers (uploads/downloads) use the S3 protocol (pre-signed URLs) and that these URLs are "signed" with a specific mechanism: it uses the time as a reference to calculate a unique signature for the request, and if the time is wrong, the signature is not recognised.

The frontend only shows a dark grey background with the Cells logo.

There might be an issue with your external URL or a reverse proxy configuration. A good way to nail down the problem is to check the errors displayed in your browser Developer Tools.

After upgrading and restarting i cannot access Cells in the browser.

You probably just forgot the setcap command i you are binding to a 80 or 443 port. Otherwise check the logs!

I moved data on the file system but i cannot see it on Cells.

Cells indexes the data in a highly performant manner inside a dedicated database for each datasource. By default, this indexation is only performed once at startup, and then changes are indexed on-the-go by the internal events mechanism. If you need to change the data directly on the file system, make sure to manually re-index the datasource to see changes appear in the UI.
In Cells Enterprise, you can change the indexation job inside the scheduler to force it to run on a timely manner.

Where can i find the logs?

By default, logs are sent to both the standard output and inside rotated files under {HOME_DIR}/.config/pydio/cells/logs (Linux) or {HOME_DIR}/Library/Application Support/pydio/cells/logs (MacOS). If you are running in production mode, they are also directly available in the Admin Console.

I locked my admin user!

If you performed too many failed logins with your administrative user, you may end up locking out yourself. You can the cells binary as a command line tool on the server to fix this: ./cells admin user-unlock -u=LOGIN

Pydio Cells Advanced Features

Can i put metadata such as tags, rating, etc.. on my files/folders?

Yes, metadata are defined in the Admin Console. You can define as many fields as you want, picking the most appropriate field types like “text”, “values”, “tags”, etc. Then users will be able to edit these metadata for each file or each folder. You can add an extra layer of permissions on these metadata to prevent non-admin users from seeing or editing these fields.

Can i collaborate on a doc, presentation with other users?

Pydio Cells provides two nice integrations with third-party on-premise online office document editors. See the Collabora and OnlyOffice (ED) plugins.

Can i receive a mail to be notified on an action on my files/folders?

Yes, it is a simple a setting a “Watch” on a folder or a file, and correctly configuring the mailer and your email address. Cells will then regulary send you a digest of what happened on the files you watched.

How can modify the rights for all the users?

The “Root Group” role that you can see in the Admin Console is a simple way to set some workspaces ACLs directly applied to all users. You can still refine these permissions on a per-group, per-role or per-user basis. For example, you may open all accesses in the Root Group and then use the “Deny” right to prevent accesses for specific users, or the other way round.

If we have Pydio Cells, do I also need a File Transfer solution to send large files?

Pydio Cells fully replaces any File Transfer solutions you may have been using, while also making the whole process easier and quicker to manage. You can get more details here.

Can we use Pydio Cells as a self-hosted Document Management solution?

Yes! Cells provides a combination of advanced, self-hosted document management features and powerful sharing and collaboration capabilities—no need to pay for and maintain two separate platforms. Get more details here.


We regularly need to create Virtual Data Rooms. Is that something Pydio Cells can provide?

Virtual data rooms are still a functionality many organizations need to share and collaborate on sensitive documents, like financials and M&A. Cells has all the required functionality to act as your data room solution. Get the details here.

What is the difference between a Document Portal and a Document Sharing and Collaboration platform?

Great question! There is no difference. Document portal is just a fancy marketing term for a document-sharing and collaboration platform. If you need a document portal, read more about how Pydio Cells can help here.

If we used Pydio Cells, do we also need a Digital Asset Management platform for our non-document files?

Cells can manage more than just documents. It’s also a great tool for storing, managing, cataloging and sharing a wide range of files. Find out more about using Cells as your DAM here.

Is Pydio Cells a Knowledge Management platform?

Yes. We built Cells as a Document Sharing and Collaboration platform, but it also includes all the core functionality you need to take care of all your Knowledge Management needs. Click here to learn more.

Licensing Questions

Can you explain me the AGPL V3 licensing ? Can you validate my use of your AGPL Software ?

Unfortunately, we can not give legal advice on AGPL licensing. We suggest you to seek legal advice.

Can I integrate Pydio inside my proprietary software?

If your software license is not open-source or not compatible with AGPL, NO, you can’t integrate Pydio freely in your proprietary software. But you can contact us and we can discuss an alternative licensing model that would allow you to do so. We do provide OEM licensing, or private licensing.

Can I modify and/or integrate Pydio inside my open-source software?

As long as your software license is compatible with the AGPL, that the modifications are contributed back to the community, and that you leave the Pydio copyright link on the user interface, yes you can.

Can I use Pydio to offer a commercial service, like a cloud storage service?

Under the very strict AGPL conditions as explained above (leaving the source code link), yes, you can. But beware that this means that you must publish every modification you make to the code, and as the license is « copyleft », you will probably also have to publish the rest of your administration panel under a compatible license if Pydio is integrated with it. So you’d probably want to contact us and buy a specific commercial friendly license. We also offer cloud service provider, the possibility to offer their customers our trial of our Entreprise Distribution.

Can I use Pydio for free on my website, as a company?

As long as you do not modify Pydio deeply (modifications like theming or little tweaks are not taken into account), and as long as you leave a link to the source code (i.e. to this website, except if you want to host the source code on your own website) on the user-interface (this is the particularity of AGPL against GPL), yes you can.
For example, if you change the logo of the splashscreen (using the gui.ajax plugin options) and let the « Pydio Community - Free non supported version © C. du Jeu 2008-2016 - » mention, this will be ok. If you want to remove this reference, you should contact us.

Troubleshooting Pydio 8

My admin cannot change application global parameters anymore!

You have probably moved your super administrator inside a group. In that case, it automatically becomes a “group admin”: this user can manage the group users, roles and workspaces, but nothing outside of his group, and even less the application global parameters.

To fix that, you can edit the user groupPath parameter inside the database. Search the table ajxp_users, for the line of your admin login, and replace the groupPath value by “/” (without quotes). Log back as this admin.

Help, I lost admin rights!

I you messed up your install by tweaking authentication options and you cannot login as admin user anymore, there is an easy way to give a user the administrative rights via the database.

Look for the ajxp_user_rights table, here you will find the most important options of each users. Search for the line containing login = YOUR LOGIN and repo_uuid = ajxp.admin and set the value to 1. Then login as this user.

Hosting many instances side-by-side, things get messed up when I log to one instance and switch to another.

You can add the following instruction in your base.conf.php file,

$INI_SET['session.cookie_path'] = dirname($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']);

This will ensure that the session cookie only concerns a given URI of your domain, and thus cookies won’t be shared between the various instances.

How do I solve the character encoding warning at startup ?

Most distributions do not set the locale used by the server filesystem in webserver startup script or php.ini configuration file. While it’s ok for most php application, Pydio must know what character encoding the filename use in order to display them correctly.

A usual safe value is en_us.UTF-8, or an equivalent value for your language.

If you don’t know what to put there, you should try this: - If you have shell access to your server, type: - export | grep « LANG » - The output usually says « lang_Country.encoding » (for example en_US.UTF8) - Use that value - If you don’t have a shell access, please check Wikipedia for your language most used character encoding (for example, in France it’s ISO8859-1), and try with this encoding. - If you are uploading your file by FTP, chance are high that the encoding you need is ISO8859-1 (as most FTP server use this encoding) - If none of the above works for you, please ask on Pydio Forum, or blame your hoster :-)

Pydio remote filesystems repositories tries to detect remote filesystem encoding, so you shouldn’t have to fix it for remote filesystems (ssh, ftp, remote access).

I created a workspace but I cannot see it

This often happens if you have created a repository but not granted access to this repository for each user. Logged in as admin, open the Settings repository, Users Management tab, and give read/write access to the newly created repository to whichever user you want.

After modifying a plugin, my changes do not come up!

There is an optimization cache that keeps track of the full plugins registry. You’ll have to simply delete the 3 files plugins_requires.ser, plugins_queries.ser, and plugins_cache.ser located either in server/conf/(until 3.2.4) or in data/cache (afterward) and refresh your browser to regenerate them. The registry should be up-to-date.

A good practice is also to clear the i18n cache at the same time : data/cache/i18n/*.ser.

For developers, you can even disable this cache totally by using the AJXP_SKIP_CACHE variable inside data/conf/bootstrap_context.php.

Bunch of E_NOTICE errors, blank page

Change the error_reporting level of PHP to not display the E_NOTICE errors.

This can be done either by setting a php_value inside an .htaccess file at the root of your installation, or more simply by modifying directly the php.ini file of your server. A typical « production » value recommended by the PHP team is error_reporting = E_ALL &~E_NOTICE

You may ask yourself why do such errors appear?! These errors are more warnings than errors and do not prevent the application from functioning.

Pydio 8 Advanced Features

How do I raise the maximum upload size ?

File upload size limit is not an Pydio limitation, but a server configuration for PHP.

If on a shared host, it is unlikely that you can access this configuration.

If you are on your own server and can edit the PHP configuration file (php.ini), please have a look at the upload_max_filesize instruction on the PHP website. Do not forget to update the post_max_size as well.

If your webserver is IIS, it is not enough you should configure maxAllowedContentLength also, if you not do this you would have an 10054 error in the browser and a 400.13 error on the http log of IIS. A great article exist about it, at the official site :

Important :

Once you have changed your server configuration, you will have to first restart it (the server software, not the machine!), and then to see Pydio correctly apply this, follow the following step : - open the Global Configurations > Core Configs > Uploader Options, - set the upload file size to 0 and save. - When re-opening, you should see the new value from php.ini correctly loaded.

How can I filter some file extensions, both for display and for upload?

DISPLAY : If you are using the standard filesystem driver, there is a specific configuration file that you can edit to limit some file extensions or folders to be displayed in Pydio. Look for the Access.FS plugin in the administration dashboard and update the following parameters globally:

  • SHOW_HIDDEN_FILES : value true or false
  • HIDE_EXTENSIONS : value 0 or an array of extensions to hide
  • HIDE_FILENAMES : value 0 or an array of file names to hide
  • HIDE_FOLDERS : value 0 or an array of folder names to hide

UPLOAD : For the upload part, it’s not done via configuration, but you can easily hack one file to suit your needs. Open the file plugins/uploader.flex/flash_tpl.htmlat line 8 :
You can see :

$FlashVar = ‘&fileTypes=*.*&fileTypeDescription=All%20files&totalUploadSize=’.$confTotalSize.’ […. end of line]

You can edit the « fileTypes » and « fileTypeDescription » variable using for instance the following syntax :


Be aware of replacing the « space » by %20 in the description. Once you’ve made changes, clear your browser cache to be sure to see your changes happen.

Is there a mail notification feature?

Yes, please check the Administrator Guide for enabling notifications.

How can I totaly disable an action?

In Pydio, all actions are defined and aggregated inside XML files. These files are brought to the application generally via plugins, except for some very basic actions defined in server/xml/*.xml. First thing is to see what plugins are active (basically, if you have no idea, search in access.fs, conf.serial and auth.serial), and look for the XML block. Comment the whole bloc (using <!– comment content –> markers) if you want to totally disable the action, or finetune the attributes of the action if you want to leave the action enable but just remove it from the toolbar, the contextual menu,etc.

Do not forget to clear the plugins cache after your changes.

Is there a way to create a rating system on files?

Add first a metastore.serial Meta Source to the workspace.

Add a « Meta Source » to your workspace (either via the GUI or the bootstrap_repositories.php file, depending on where your repository is defined), using the meta.user plugin. As a « meta_field » use the specific keyword « stars_rate », and as « meta_label », whatever you want, « Rating » for example.

How do I create user-specific “private” workspaces?

As admin, open the Settings window, click Create Workspace and in the Path input, use the AJXP_USER keyword to create a path that will be adapted to each user. For example, use the following configuration:

Repository Label : My Files
Driver : File System
Create : Yes
Recycle bin folder : recycle_bin

(Each user will have their own unique repository and the admin can view them when browsing the Default Repository packed with Pydio.)