Dropbox without Gnome/Nautilus or behind a proxy server

Dropbox is a web-based file syncing service. The nice thing is, it works natively with Windows, Mac OS/X and Linux…and it just works fine. Unfortunately, it has a heavy Gnome/Nautilus dependency. Luckily, it is not that hard to let Dropbox work without the load of dependencies. You find plenty of manuals in the Internet. I will just outline how you do it in three simple steps:

First, you download the Dropbox daemon you need, either 32- or 64-bit Linux:

32bit: http://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86
64bit: http://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64

Secondly, extract the file into your home directory. The extracted folder will be hidden.

Thirdly, use your shell to call the Dropbox daemon:
/home/user/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

After you created your account, and linked your computer to the Dropbox account, you find a ne folder in your home directory named Dropbox. This is your sync folder.

Now you can create a system link to your autostart folder for starting Dropbox at startup.
For KDE it looks like that:
ln -s ~/.dropbox/dropboxd ~/.kde/Autostart/dropboxd

In KDE 4.3 the autostart folder has moved. You can either link it system-wide (not recommended):

ln -s ~/.dropbox/dropboxd  /usr/share/autostart/dropboxd

or user-specific:

ln -s ~/.dropbox/dropboxd  ~/.kde4/share/autostart/dropboxd

Both works fine.

Now Dropbox works fine with any Linux you like (and use).

If you want to install Dropbox behind a proxy server and you are using GNOME, use the same manual. The graphical installer for the package nautilus-dropbox doesn’t work behind a proxy server. It requires the proxy environmental variables, but somehow the script doesn’t get them. However, if you install the Dropbox daemon as in this manual you can manually specify the proxy server settings and it just works fine…as it should.

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35 thoughts on “Dropbox without Gnome/Nautilus or behind a proxy server

  1. That’s what I was looking for!
    Worked perfectly on Ubuntu 9.04/Gnome behind a NTLM proxy.
    Thanks a lot!

    • I didn’t have the time to check this..
      I will do so soon and then edit the article accordingly.

  2. Thanks a lot! This is how Ubuntu should be like: simple and straightforward. It’s magic.

  3. I wanted to take the time to thank you for your excellent article, which helped me to get working again after rebuild…

    You rock, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…; p

  4. If you’re behind a proxy, there’s an alternate method:

    Download the dropbox deamon (tar.gz file)

    $ sudo gedit /usr/bin/dropbox

    Replace the line:
    self.file = urllib.urlopen(“http://www.getdropbox.com/download?plat=%s” % plat())

    With the following (change the folder name as necessary):
    self.file = urllib.urlopen(“file:///tmp/dropbox-lnx.x86-0.7.110.tar.gz”)

    $ dropbox start -i

    The installer will “download” the deamon from your hard drive and install it cleanly.

  5. Hey thanks lots, quick and very nice help to get dropbox working on linux, Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

  6. …and 6 months later you keep receiving positive feedback. Thanks a lot Daniel, it worked in Ubuntu 10.04 with Gnome/Nautilus. Greetings from Dublin. Juan

  7. Pingback: Little Miss Toni » Blog Archive » Dropbox behind university proxy

  8. thanks it works if i run from the terminal… but how do you link it to the dash shortcut in ubuntu 11.10 ?

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