File Storage

When a document is imported into Mayan EDMS the files are placed under Mayan EDMS “control” and stored in a dedicated location. This prevents filename clashes and allows Mayan EDMS to store multible Versions of the same Document without the user having to manually resolve filename conflicts.

As part of the upload process, each file gets renamed to its UUID (Universally Unique ID), saved without an extension, and stored in a simple flat arrangement in a directory.

blockdiag mayan_1-1.pdf mayan/media/document_storage/ab6c1cfe-8a8f-4a30-96c9-f54f606b9248 upload

This process doesn’t prevent manual access to the files and preserves the integrity of stored documents.


Avoid renaming, moving or updating documents directly on the filesystem. Manual changes can cause the database to become out of sync with the actual state of the files. Mayan EDMS provides tools for non-destructive editing of documents through Transformations and automatic management of document updates through Document versioning

Mayan EDMS components are decoupled from each other as much as possible, as such storage within Mayan EDMS is also decoupled, and storage behavior is controlled not by the project, but by the Storage module class. All other modules make no assumptions about how the actual document files are stored. This way, files can be saved locally, over the network or even across the Internet and everything will be transparant to Mayan EDMS itself as well as users working on the system.

The default file storage backend - storage.backends.filebasedstorage.FileBasedStorage - is a simple storage backend that only supports paths on the local filesystem, rather than remote or shared storage (such as SMB/NFS). If you are interested in using remote storage to store documents (NFS, SMB), first mount these volumes so that they appear as standard filesystem directories to Mayan EDMS.

For direct support of remote volumes, a different storage backend would be needed, such as those provided by the Django Storages project (

A supported example of this is S3 Object Storage