How-toheiBOX: FAQs

Here you will find frequently asked questions about heiBOX and their answers.

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I can't set up sharing for a user despite using their Uni ID - the system can't find the user. What could be the cause?

Accounts in heiBOX are only created after the first successful login via Uni ID - before that the user is unknown to the system. Therefore, neither sharing nor group invites can be set up for that Uni ID.

I would like to cooperate with external institutions/companies. Can external users also use heiBOX?

Yes, employees can invite guest users via the web interface -> "Invite People". Guest users do not have their own storage quota, and they cannot create their own libraries. After an invitation has been accepted, files can be shared with external users as well.

Alternatively, employees, PhD candidates and students can create upload and download links (which can be given an expiration date and/or password-protection) for unencrypted libraries to enable users to upload/download files without an account.

I am an employee/PhD candidate/student at Heidelberg University and my Uni ID login does not work (anymore). Why?

Access to heiBOX with a Uni ID is authenticated via Shibboleth. In the vast majority of cases, the reason that access is not/no longer possible is that certain Shibboleth attributes are missing. This is often caused by a missing or changed contract with the University.

The attributes can be requested by every user after a successful or failed login via https://heibox.uni-heidelberg.de/Shibboleth.sso/Session .

The following attributes are required to access heiBOX:

  • eduPersonScopedAffiliation: member[at]uni-heidelberg.de
  • entitlement: urn:geant:dfn.de:uni-heidelberg.de:entitlement:heibox (Employees/Students)
  • entitlement: urn:geant:dfn.de:uni-heidelberg.de:entitlement:heibox:phd (PhD candidates, if they are registered via heiDOCS)

heiDOCS: https://doktoranden.uni-heidelberg.de/#!/

Should these attributes be missing despite there being no changes to your contract or should you be unable to access heiBOX despite the attributes seeming to be correct, please contact our IT Service.

Why can't Office files inside an encrypted library be accessed or downloaded by users with the permission “Online Read-Only” or "Online Read-Write"?

Office files (in contrast to markdown and other text files) are accessed via a dedicated Office Online server instead of being opened directly on a heiBOX web server. In the case of an encrypted library, such access to the data from an external server is not possible. The files must therefore be downloaded by the user. However, the type of sharing means that this is likewise prohibited.

Why can't I download files from Open Office even though they are shared as “Preview and download” or "Edit on cloud and download"?

Open Office unfortunately does not offer a download button or similar option, even for files that may be downloaded by the user. If you want to download this file directly, you can do this by appending ?dl=1 to the link. For example:

https://heibox.uni-heidelberg.de/f/xxxxxxxxxx/ ==> https://heibox.uni-heidelberg.de/f/xxxxxxxxxx/?dl=1

What is the meaning of the column “Expiration” in the overview "Invite People"?

Invitations that have not yet been accepted expire 3 days after the invitation is sent. Once the invitation has been accepted, this date no longer plays a role and guest accounts can be used until they are either deleted by the inviter or automatically removed from the system after one year of inactivity.

A library was shared with me, but nothing appears on the overview page. Where can I find libraries that have been shared with me?

Libraries that have been shared with a user account can be found under the “Shared with me” tab. Libraries that have been shared with a group can be found under “Shared with groups” -> “<Group name>”.

When editing Office documents, a file lock named “locked by OnlineOffice” is created. Why?

The lock is automatically created as soon as a file is opened via Office Online and ensures that the content cannot be changed simultaneously by another user (e.g. via the Desktop Client). Shared editing by several users at the same time is easily possible via the web interface. The lock expires 30 minutes after the last access via Office Online but can also be removed manually via the drop-down menu of the file -> "Unlock".

If a tab that is used to edit Office documents is closed and the document is opened again, my username appears several times as an editor. Is this an error?

The following steps happen when editing Office documents via the Office Online server:

  1. The document is opened via the heiBOX web interface.
  2. heiBOX sends the web browser a page that includes a file access call via the Office Online server.
  3. The resulting request is sent to the Office Online server via the browser.
  4. The Office Online server loads the document from heiBOX, and the user can edit it online.

The document is marked in heiBOX as "locked by OnlineOffice". The corresponding lock can be removed at any time via the drop-down menu -> "Unlock". Requests are assigned a username, but from the point of view of the Office Online Server they are not linked to each other - therefore, editors can appear here multiple times. The session for editing the document (and thus the lock) expires after 30 minutes.

Uploading a large file always aborts with an error. Why does this happen?

The web interface allows uploading of files with a maximum file size of 5 GB. Please use Desktop Syncing or Desktop Drive Client to upload larger files.

Which files can be searched with the full text search?

The contents of the following files are currently indexed in the full text search, provided the files are located in an unencrypted library:

Office files: .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx

Text files: .pdf, .txt, .md, .markdown, .log, .tex, .xml, .html, .py, .go, .c, .h, .sh

All other files are indexed by file name only.

Uploading via an upload link aborts with the error message “File has virus.” Why does this happen?

Since files can be uploaded via an upload link worldwide and without any authentication, they are checked by a virus scanner by default before they are saved in the library. If a potential malware is detected, the file is not saved and the message “File has virus.” appears. To be on the safe side, you should check the file should be again with an up-to-date virus scanner. If a file was wrongly classified as a virus, please send an email to our IT Service.

If you still would like to upload the file, please encrypt it, then upload it.

The full text search in a published library/wiki does not work for some/all users. Is this an error/bug?

Yes, this is indeed a bug. Unfortunately, at the moment the full text search does not work for users that are logged in. To use the full text search without having to log out every time, the FAQ can be opened in a separate, anonymous browser window.

I would like to add someone to a group/library, but I can't find the person in the list. What could be the error?

Users can only be added after their first login. Employees will then be able to search for people using the global address book. Students, PhD candidates and guests do not have access to the global address book and need the Uni ID of the user(s) for direct sharing.

Direct sharing using the unique “<uniID>[at]uni-heidelberg.de” is always possible for all users.

A guest received an invalid invitation link.

This is the result of an error in the software on which heiBOX is based. We are already in contact with the developers and hope the issue with be resolved soon. As a workaround, you can try revoking the invitation and inviting the user again. Instructions for how to do this can be found in the next entry (“When I try to invite a guest, I receive an error message regarding the sending of the email invitation”).

When I try to invite a guest, I receive an error message regarding the sending of the email invitation/Error message:

“The email could not be sent. The email service is not configured correctly. Please contact the administration.”

If you receive an error message when inviting a guest (“The email could not be sent. The email service is not configured correctly. Please contact the administration.”), you can revoke the invitation and invite the guest again. To do this, go the side menu and click on Invite Guest. On the Invite Guest page, hover your mouse cursor over the guest you would like to invite again. You can revoke the invitation by clicking on the small X (Delete) on the far right of the page.  You may need to reload the page to do this. Now you can invite the guest again by following the usual steps.

Problems with sending invitation links or inviting guests/Web server name:

If you are experiencing persistent problems with sending invitation links or inviting guests, we need to know which of our web servers you are currently connected to in order to diagnose the issue more quickly.

Before you create a ticket with IT support, please try the following workaround: heiBOX: Introduction/FAQ: Web interface/“Guest received an invalid invitation link”.

If you need to open an IT support ticket, please include the web server that you are connected to. To find out which server you are connected to, please proceed as follows:

In Firefox:

  1. Press Shift + F12 to open the Firefox Developer Tools.
  2. Select the “Network” tab on the menu and reload the page (e.g. by pressing F5 on your keyboard).
  3. Select the top-most entry (File: “/”) and click on “Headers” (on the right). Under “Response Headers”, find the entry named “heiBOX-Webserver”. This is the server that you are currently connected to.

In Google Chrome/Chromium:

The process of finding the web server is similar with these browsers; however, you only need to press the F12 key (no Shift) and the Developer Tools interface is built slightly differently.

Unable to access shared content/Folders and/or libraries were shared with me, but I still can't access them.

If a colleague shares something with you, but you can't access it, you may be able to solve the issue by having the resources shared with you again. To do this, your access to the shared content must first be revoked and then shared with you again. Please make sure that you are sharing access to users via their Uni ID, i.e. <uniID>[at]uni-heidelberg.de and not <firstname.lastname>[at]XYZ.uni-heidelberg.de.

Downloading multiple files as a ZIP archive is not possible, the error message “Please check the network connection” is displayed. What could be the cause?

In most cases certain functions are blocked by a browser addon, e.g. an adblocker. We recommend excluding heiBOX from adblockers.

I cannot log in via the client after changing the password for my Uni ID. Error message: "Failed to save current account". How can I fix this?

The easiest solution would be to delete the profile in your desktop client. Your data in heiBOX will not be affected but all libraries will be desynchronized:

  1. Open the main window of the desktop client.
  2. Left click your avatar to show your account(s).
  3. Select “delete” from the dropdown menu of the account you want to remove.
  4. Confirm the deletion. Please be aware that all your libraries will be desynchronized!
  5. Reconfigure your account. You can find instructions for this in our heiBOX: Introduction -> "Login - Desktop Client".

Resynchronize the libraries that you need.

When synchronizing a library, sometimes files with the extension “(SFConflict <uniID>[at]uni-heidelberg.de <Date>)” are created. What is special about these files and how are they created?

Conflict files are generated when a file is edited simultaneously on several end devices. Example:

  • Client A opens and edits a file, e.g. a Word document.
  • Client B opens and edits the same file at the same time.
  • Client A saves the file and synchronizes it with the server.
  • Client B now also saves the file - the server recognizes that the changes made by Client A are not included here and saves the file with the extension “(SFConflict <uniID>[at]uni-heidelberg.de <Date>)” instead of simply overwriting it. The extension can be used to identify when and by whom the conflict file was created.

The changes from both files must now be consolidated in some way (e.g. copy the content from the conflict file to the original or discard the changes in the conflict file by deleting it, etc.). To prevent conflict files, most Seafile clients protect the file with a lock (write protection) when it is opened locally. However, this lock must first be synchronized on all other devices as well, which is why conflicts can still occasionally occur.

Conflict files often arise when changes have been made on a device where a library is not (or no longer) synchronized and the library is then synchronized again. Connection problems can also facilitate the creation of conflict files, since in this case neither locks nor changes can be synchronized via the client.

When using the SeaDrive Client, changes were not transferred to the server - my current data seems to have disappeared. Is there any way to restore it?

In such a case the data never reached the server, so the usual option to restore data via the history/versions of the library is not available. If too much time has not already passed, the changes may still be in the SeaDrive cache, which you can locate as follows:

  1. Right click on the SeaDrive icon in the task bar -> "Open logs folder".
  2. Change to the parent folder (".seadrive").
  3. Then change to the folders: "data“ -> ”file-cache".
  4. Here you will find folders named after the UUIDs of the libraries. You can find the UUID of a library via the web interface -> click on the library -> in the address line:


Copy the data to another location immediately before the SeaDrive Client cleans up the cache.

When using KeePass, no new version of the KeePass database file is created when a change is made. Is the error caused by heiBOX?

Depending on the configuration it may happen that for a KeePass file no versions are kept in the history of the library.

The two options for KeePassXC are:

  • “Safely save database files (disable if experiencing problems with Dropbox, etc.)”
  • “Backup database file before saving”

With active backup, a new version of both files is always created, regardless of the first option. If no backup is created, “Safely save database files” should be deactivated if a versioning in heiBOX is desired.

There is a folder named “recycle-bin” in my Seafile Folder which contains subfolders I did not create. How did this happen?

The folder recycle-bin contains folders which were deleted by another user (via web interface or client) while the local client was still uploading files. This mechanism should prevent that changes on the local system are permanently lost.

Can library ownership be transferred to other people, e.g. when required by personnel changes?

Yes, every user can transfer their own libraries to another person. Select “Transfer” in the dropdown menu of the library and type in the Uni ID (this might require "<uniID>[at]uni-heidelberg.de") of the user you wish to transfer the library to.

Why did I receive an email with the subject "heiBOX: Potential malware detected during regular background scanning"?

All unencrypted heiBOX libraries are regularly undergo background scanning for viruses. If a potential malware is detected, the owner of this file will be informed once via email about the potentially compromised file and the detected signature. Please check the file again yourself because every virus scan can result in false positives.