Best 17 Free Open source Self-hosted Document Management Solution (DMS)

Best 17 Free Open source Self-hosted Document Management Solution (DMS)

Note: This article is an Evergreen article. It will receive continues update about the listed applications. You can save it and return to it as a updated resource.

DMS stands for Document Management System, which is a system designed to store, manage and track the usage of documents.  The main goal of DMS is to reduce the use of papers.

There are many DMS cloud-based services, however, they may be very pricy when it comes to enterprise or company with the streaming flow of documents form many users. Fortunately for us, there is always open source alternatives and some are built to compete with the enterprise extensive services.

What does your institution, company or team require is  a major factor when choosing your file/ documents management system that fits.

1- MAYAN EDMS: enterprise-ready DMS

MAYAN EDMS: enterprise-ready DMS

Mayan EDMS is a Free Open Source Electronic Document Management System, it was built using Django the Python framework. It provides a multi-user document management system, with the support of full-text search.

MAYAN EDMS is used by many corporations like Intel, universities and news agencies.

We have picked MAYAN EDMS on top of this list for many reasons: Using Django, has powerful API, trash-can support, and file versioning. But one of the most important features for MAYAN is customizing and defining the workflow of the system, which we didn't see often in its competitors.

2- SeaLife: Open source self-hosted Cloud

SeaLife is an open source free cloud file-sharing system, It comes in two editions: the community edition which is an open source and the enterprise edition. SeaLife offers multiple desktop clients for Windows, Linux, and MacOSX. Even comes with Terminal client, Android, and iOS applications.

SeaLife supports file synchronization between clients, File locking, logging and multiple encryption models with flexible backup and recovery options. SeaLife is the only project in this system with RaspberryPi support.

SeaLife has a powerful API for developers which makes it easy to integrate with other solutions and systems.

3- NextCloud: Open source Modular Cloud Platform


NextCloud is an open source privacy-aware cloud file-sharing platform. It's also modularly packed by a huge community of developers who develop applications for it.  NextCloud has powerful file-sharing options with desktop and mobile clients with synchronization support.

NextCloud is one of the perfect choices for Healthcare as its GDPR-ready and has DICOM (Medical Imaging) viewer app.  

4- OwnCloud


OwnCloud is the open source project that NextCloud was forked from, It has almost similar features as NextCloud. However, It is not widely supported as NextCloud.

5-Alfresco: Community edition

Alfresco is an enterprise-grade open-source document management system with GDPR-complaint support.  Alfresco has been around for years, many companies choose it to manage documents. The open-source edition is the community edition.

Alfresco was built with Java, and it comes with modular support.  However, for better performance and support the user may require the enterprise edition with the commercial services.

6- Pydio: Enterprise-grade Open-source Cloud storage


Pydio is a self-hosted open source file-sharing solution, It aims for several industries including Healthcare, Retail, and Legal services.

Pydio has 2 editions of it: the community edition which is the open source one, and the enterprise commercial edition.

In addition to the web-client Pydio's developers provide desktop clients for Linux, Windows, and MacOSX which they come with synchronization support, They also provide Android and iPhone/ iOS applications.

7-OpenKM: Java-based DMS

OpenKM: Java-based DMS

OpenKM is an Open Source Document Management System, It's built for the enterprise as a content management system that supports multiple document formats including text documents, media as voice and video recordings.

OpenKM is a modular system packed by enterprise services from the developers. It provides an easy collaborative workflow for teams.

8-LogicalDoc: Community Edition

LogicalDoc: Community Edition

LogicalDoc is an enterprise document management system, The community edition was released as an open source under GPLv3.0. The open source community edition has limited features than the enterprise edition, However, it serves as a powerful document management system.

9-Kimios: Java powered DMS with multiple database options


Kimios is an open-source document management system built using Java and supports multiple databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. Kimios interface has a mobile version. KimiosDMS premium services are provided by the developers.

10- Xinco: Java-based with Desktop clients support DMS


Xinco is an open source document management system, comes with Web client and cross-platform desktop clients, It has been around for years and used by several companies over the years. Xinco has a full-text search option, versioning,

Xinco is easy to install on and supports 2 database options: MySQL/PostgreSQL.

11- OpenDocMan: Document Management System with Multi-lingual support

OpenDocMan: Document Management System with Multi-lingual support

OpenDocMan is self-hosted powerful document management system (DMS), It is built with PHP/ and uses MySQL database, It provides the user with simple document workflow, including automated file reviews and notification, file expiration option, logging, revision history, full-text search and files meta-data search are supported.

OpenDocMan community edition is the open source version, while the team is offering other extended supported editions for the enterprise.

12- FileRun: PHP-based cloud file-sharing system

FileRun: PHP-based cloud file-sharing system

FileRun is a Self-Hosted File Sync and Sharing solution, It comes with a clean interface very similar to Google Drive. FileRun supports guest users with a wide range of other cloud services integrations as Google Drive, Zoho files, Microsoft Web Office, and Pixlr.

FileRun developers made sure their product has been tested and protected against several hacking techniques as Cross Site Scripting (XSS), SQL injection, Brute force login, Session Hijacking, with addition to secure login.

13- Aurora Files

Aurora files is a simple self-hosted open source file-sharing platform, It was programming with PHP and using MySQL, its easy to install as it works very well on dedicated and shared servers.

Aurora Files is developer friendly with 2 sets of APIs one as REST-API and the other one is a PHP powered API for PHP developers. It supports full integration with Dropbox.

14- LinShare

LinShare is self-hosted cloud file-sharing system built for business, It has simple usable user-interface backed with powerful features very similar to NextCloud/ OwnCloud.

LinShare has browser extensions plugins, email file sharing support, powerful security and encryption, usage logging, and more.

15- SeedDMS

SeedDMS is a free document management system, It is easy to install and use, It's based on  LetoDMS:  a powerful open-source DMS, built with PHP and uses MySQL for the backend.

16- LetoDMS

LetoDMS is an open-source PHP/MYSQL based document management system, it provides a very simple yet powerful workflow with document metadata support, version control, and automated email notification.

17- ProjectSend


ProjectSend is a highly secure, simple but powerful open source file-sharing system, It's easy to install on shared or dedicated hosting which makes it fit for small companies and teams.

ProjectSend has a responsive design that works on different screen sizes and tablets.  ProjectSend supports multiple languages as it has been translated by its rich community to 35 languages.

Bonus: Secure file sharing over the network

Syncthing: Network  file synchronization program

Syncthing is an Open source Go-based network file sharing and synchronization program. Syncthing has multiple desktop clients for the major operating systems like macOS, Linux, and Windows, It has also command-line application and Web UI.  The developers also provided Android versions in Google App Store and F-Droid store.

Syncthing provides secure, private and encrypted file transfer with ease, The user does not need to worry about configurations, installations and what's beneath the interface.

NitroShare: Open source network file-sharing program.

NitroShare is a native cross-platform network file sharing program. It is straightforward to use with drag-drop feature, Its the perfect simple solution to share files over the network.

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Hazem Abbas

Written by Hazem Abbas

Medical Doctor by trade, but also a software developer. Linux Avid user. I write primary; open-source medical apps, dev tools and libraries I use, and off-topic like horse riding.
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