LSU College of Science
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Using Dropbox in Linux

Beginning in late Fall 2013, the Dropbox software no longer works properly with network home directories. For the systems in our department, we have the following remedy.

Important: You will have to apply this remedy to each computer you use. For instance, if you have applied this remedy to the computer in your office, but then try to use a computer in the lab, Dropbox will give an error and likely display an empty folder. If you do not need Dropbox on that computer, you may ignore the error; otherwise, apply this remedy and wait for the Dropbox folder to synchronize.    Additionally, when Dropbox updates itself, there is a possibility that this remedy is "undone." No data will be lost, however, this procedure will have to be followed again. The symptoms of this would be a blank Dropbox folder, a computer that hangs shortly after login, or a crashing dropbox program.

Remedy

  1. Open a Terminal window (Start / System / Konsole).
  2. Copy and paste these commands, including puncuation and brackets. Dropbox will open either a program window or in a web browser and ask for your account information:

    killall -q dropbox >/dev/null 2>&1
    killall -q dropboxd >/dev/null 2>&1
    [ -e ${HOME}/.dropbox ] || ln -s /scratch/${USER}/.dropbox ${HOME}/.dropbox
    [ -h ${HOME}/.dropbox ] || mv -i ${HOME}/.dropbox /scratch/${USER}/.dropbox
    [ -e ${HOME}/.dropbox ] || ln -s /scratch/${USER}/.dropbox ${HOME}/.dropbox
    [ -e /scratch/${USER}/.dropbox ] || mkdir /scratch/${USER}/.dropbox
    rm -rf ${HOME}/.dropbox-dist
    dropbox start -i&

  3. After you successfully enter your account information in the program window or browser, Dropbox will be running. Now, run these next set of commands in the terminal window. Dropbox will download again, then start. After this, it will be working and begin syncing your files:

    killall -q dropbox >/dev/null 2>&1
    killall -q dropboxd >/dev/null 2>&1
    [ -e ${HOME}/Dropbox ] || ln -s /scratch/${USER}/Dropbox ${HOME}/Dropbox
    [ -h ${HOME}/Dropbox ] || mv -i ${HOME}/Dropbox /scratch/${USER}/Dropbox
    [ -e ${HOME}/Dropbox ] || ln -s /scratch/${USER}/Dropbox ${HOME}/Dropbox
    [ -e /scratch/${USER}/Dropbox ] || mkdir /scratch/${USER}/Dropbox
    rm -rf ${HOME}/.dropbox-dist
    dropbox start -i&