I'm looking for a lightweight, personal document management system to enhance Windows File Explorer. I prefer something open source, .NET-based (or rather, not Java-based) that isn't dependent on IIS--so not web-based, and free. File-based storage, rather than reliance on a DBMS, is also preferred.

My minimal requirements are document versioning, the ability to define custom metadata fields, and search of both metadata and document text (Word, PDF, txt).

I also need to handle non-textual document types such as images, Excel files, binaries, etc.

Shell integration with Windows file explorer (as per OneDrive) and even Office would be nice.

Anything else would be superfluous--i.e. I'm not after SharePoint.

Ease of use is important so GUI... but would consider command line if nothing better exists.

  • Hi Michhes, I had the exact same requirement and was wondering if you found something? I've been looking around and havent found anything yet. Wanted to try Google Desktop but that's been discountinued.
    – hangar18
    May 25, 2015 at 8:14
  • @hangar18: nothing yet, still looking. Am thinking I might just build something simple myself...
    – Michhes
    May 29, 2015 at 0:35
  • interesting, I was thinking on the same lines myself. Do you think we can work together? We can give it a shot, I'm a little rusty on the development but should be able to scale up
    – hangar18
    May 29, 2015 at 6:48
  • I could be tempted. I've got a few other pet projects on the go atm and I'm not in any great hurry though. I coming back to my web dev roots so a bit rusty too but it's all up there ;-) I"m also thinking MS/OneDrive may deliver some or all of this functionality in due course as it dribbles out of SharePoint and into the mass market so a little wary of doing anything too crazy. My key requirement is probably metadata tagging if that's a logical starting point for you? C# and I'd reserve the right to refactor any code contributions because I'm anally retentive.
    – Michhes
    May 30, 2015 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


TagSpaces looks attractive as a starting point for metadata and tagging: http://www.tagspaces.org/

I haven't used it extensively to date but it seems to be an overlay to the file system (as a self-contained application--so not integrated into Explorer) which allows you to tag files with custom tags. It picks up file type (extension), file name, size, and modified date. Tags can be created and applied thereafter. There's also an in-built search function which will search tag as well as other file metadata (not sure about content).

It seems fairly light and has a pretty "mobile-esque" UI. Tags can be exported as JSON--I suppose for migration across machines.

There's no version control and it doesn't seem possible to segregate tags per location but perhaps more exploring is required.

I'm also now looking at ownCloud (.org). It's more than I'd really like as it's not exactly lightweight but it syncs, does file versioning, and tagging can be added as an app.

  • Could you elaborate more on this? Answers should contain all the information for readers to vet it against their own requirements. Jul 20, 2015 at 12:14

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