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Dropbox

Dropbox is a nice tool to synchronize some documents between computers. It is available on our desktops, but take care of a couple of things:

  • Dropbox offers 2GB storage. But synchronization implies, that a local copy is made. Default location is in your home directory, but perhaps you don't have 2GB there (or you don't want to waste the limited space that you have in home). So make sure you move your Dropbox folder to another location, preferably on the local disk of your desktop. (Dropbox preferences - Advanced tab).

Not only will that prevent quota problems on /home, it will also be faster, because your local copy is actually local.

  • Disable LAN sync (Dropbox preferences - general tab). It would only be useful to synchronize between computers in the local network, but the computers in our network can share disks through automount, so there just is no point to have Dropbox generate a lot of network traffic to duplicate a feature we already offer (with much greater flexibility, and not limited to a single directory of 2 GB).
  • Do not run Dropbox on multiple desktops at the same time. Dropbox isn't aware of the fact, that a data location like /net/computername/something is shared between computers, it will try to synchronize from that location on one computer, to that same location on another computer, potentially overwriting or damaging the files. And again: there is no need to use Dropbox to synchronize between computers in our network
  • However, synchronizing between desktop and laptop is possible, and useful. No harm there, since there are no shared disks. But here as well, LAN sync will not work, so switch it off please.

Setting up Dropbox on the Linux desktops

The first time you want to start Dropbox, find it in the Internet menu of your desktop environment, and make the required configuration changes (taking into account the points listed on this page). Dropbox will integrate with the desktop file manager, and can also display a tray icon for easy access, and by default it will set itself up to start automatically the next time you log in on the desktop.

Note that Dropbox sync is not running when you don't have a desktop session active, eg if you log in over ssh. You can still add files to your Dropbox folder, and they will be sync'd the next time dropbox is started on the desktop, or commandline synchronization is started (see below).

Commandline tools

Dropbox also provides a commandline tool to handle your shared folder. The command is called dropbox, and is usually called with sub-commands to check the status (dropbox status), start dropbox if not already running (dropbox start). See the man page or dropbox help for more details.

See also

See also https://www.dropbox.com
man dropbox for the manual page of the commandline tool.

linux/dropbox.1475739498.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/10/06 07:38 by jansen