How to install Dropbox and setup sync on Ubuntu

In this article, we will cover the command line and GUI methods of Dropbox Installation on Ubuntu. We will show you how to enable sync and some other options.

Dropbox is one of the most popular and powerful online file hosting services. When you drag some files/directories to your Dropbox directory on your computer, those files/directories will be synchronized automatically to your online cloud account and any other linked devices to your account.

During this article, we are going to cover the command line and GUI methods of Dropbox Installation on Ubuntu. Also, we will show you how to enable sync and some other options.

First Method: Dropbox Installation Via Command Line or Terminal

Before starting in the installation process, first you need to make sure that your system is up-to-date using the next commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Next, make sure that the wget package is installed on your system. If it is not installed, you can install it using the following command:

sudo apt install wget

Now you can start in the Dropbox installation process by following the next steps.

Step 1. Download the Dropbox version (32 or 64 bit) that suits you well.

For the 32 bit version you can use the following command:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86" | tar xzf -

For the 64 bit version as in our case, you can use the following command:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf -

Download Dropbox and Extract To Home Directory
Download Dropbox and Extract To Home Directory

It will download the dropbox and extract it to your home directory. The extracted folder will be hidden as you can see in the next screenshot:

Hidden Directory Created
Hidden Directory Created

Step 2. To start Dropbox, you can run the following command.

~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

Start Dropbox Installation
Start Dropbox Installation

Step 3. When the installation is complete, Dropbox will open your browser. Enter your Dropbox account username and password, or you can create an account case you do not have one.

Enter Your Dropbox Username Or Create New Account
Enter Your Dropbox Username Or Create New Account

Step 4. After you enter your account details, you will get a message like the below telling you that your Ubuntu is now linked to your Dropbox account.

Confirmation Message For Linking Your Account
Confirmation Message For Linking Your Account

Step 5. You will find a directory named “Dropbox” is created in your home directory. In this directory, you will find your saved files from your Dropbox account. Also, you can use it to put files/folders in it, and they will be synchronized to all your devices.

ls -l

Dropbox Directory Created
Dropbox Directory Created

Step 6. Next, we will install the Dropbox command-line interface, that will enable us to start, stop, sync, and get the status of our saved files.

First, we need to install the Python package.

sudo apt install python

Install Python
Install Python

Next, download the Dropbox python script and move it to your PATH.

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/dropbox "https://www.dropbox.com/download?dl=packages/dropbox.py"

Download Python Script
Download Python Script

Finally, we need to make this python script executable.

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/dropbox

Make The Python Script Executable
Make The Python Script Executable

Step 7. Now you can start using the Dropbox command-line interface.

For example, to preview the options associated with the Dropbox command use the following command.

dropbox

Dropbox Command Line
Dropbox Command Line

To get the status of the Dropbox, if it is running or not.

dropbox status

Get The Dropbox Status
Get The Dropbox Status

To stop and start the dropbox.

dropbox start
dropbox stop

Keep in your mind that the Dropbox will keep running until you reboot the system. So you need to stop the dropbox service if you do not need it anymore.

Start and Stop Dropbox Daemon
Start and Stop Dropbox Daemon

To get the current sync status of a specific file.

dropbox filestatus Dropbox/Database.doc

Get Sync Status For A File
Get Sync Status For A File

To get a shared link of a specific file, you can use this link and pass it to anyone to start accessing this file.

dropbox sharelink Dropbox/Database.doc

Get A Shared Link For A File
Get A Shared Link For A File

To enable lansync.

dropbox lansync y

Enable Lan Sync
Enable Lan Sync

To disable lansync.

dropbox lansync n

Disable Lan Sync
Disable Lan Sync

Step 8. To enable Dropbox to start automatically with every system startup, you need to create a systemd service file for the Dropbox and to do so, use the next command.

sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/dropbox.service

The previous command will open an empty file then you need to add the next lines to it, but do not forget to enter the appropriate user and group:

[Unit]
Description=Dropbox Service
After=network.target

[Service]
ExecStart=/bin/sh -c '/usr/local/bin/dropbox start'
ExecStop=/bin/sh -c '/usr/local/bin/dropbox stop'
PIDFile=${HOME}/.dropbox/dropbox.pid
User=#####
Group=#####
Type=forking
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=5
StartLimitInterval=60s
StartLimitBurst=3

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Save and quit your file:

To Start Dropbox Automatically
To Start Dropbox Automatically

Next, reload the Dropbox daemon.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Reload Dropbox Daemon
Reload Dropbox Daemon

Then, enable the Dropbox service.

sudo systemctl enable dropbox

Enable Dropbox Service
Enable Dropbox Service

Finally, start the Dropbox service.

sudo systemctl start dropbox

Start Dropbox Service
Start Dropbox Service

Also, you can check for the current status of the Dropbox service using the next command.

sudo systemctl status dropbox

Second Method: Dropbox Installation Via GUI

For this method you can download the Dropbox package manually from the official Dropbox website:

https://www.dropbox.com/install-linux

Step 1. Use your favorite browser and use the above URL.

Open Dropbox From Your Browser
Open Dropbox From Your Browser

Step 2. Download the Dropbox version that you need (32 or 64 bit).

Download Dropbox Package
Download Dropbox Package

Step 3. Go to your downloads folder and double click on the Dropbox package to open it.

Open Downloads Directory
Open Downloads Directory

Step 4. The Dropbox installer will start, and you can press the install button.

Dropbox Installer
Dropbox Installer

Step 5. You can see the installation progress as in the below screenshot:

Dropbox Installation Progress
Dropbox Installation Progress

Step 6. When the installation finishes successfully, you will get a screen like the below:

Dropbox Finish Installation Successfully
Dropbox Finish Installation Successfully

Step 7. You need to restart to make the Dropbox function properly; then you can press “Next.”

Restart Required
Restart Required

https://www.fosslinux.com/17181/linux-mint-19-2-tina-beta-released-here-are-the-new-features.htmStep 8. Then, you will be prompted to start the Dropbox application as you can see below:

Start Dropbox Window
Start Dropbox Window

Step 9. The next message will appear the first time you open the Dropbox application; you can press the OK button to start installing the Dropbox user interface tool:

Download The Proprietary Daemon
Download The Proprietary Daemon

Step 10. You can see the download progress as below screenshot:

Downloading Required Daemon
Downloading Required Daemon

Step 11. Once the download finishes successfully, your browser will be opened to enter your Dropbox account username and password:

Enter Your Dropbox Username Or Create New Account
Enter Your Dropbox Username Or Create New Account

Step 12. After you link your Ubuntu with the Dropbox, you will find a Dropbox directory created at your home directory. Whatever you put and save in this directory, it will be automatically uploaded to your online Dropbox account.

Dropbox Directory
Dropbox Directory

Step 13. You can find the Dropbox icon at the top panel on the right side of your screen. This icon can be used to open the Dropbox directory, get the status of files, and change some useful options.

Dropbox Menu
Dropbox Menu

Step 14. By default, while installing the Dropbox in the GUI method, it will download the Dropbox command-line interface on your system too. So you can open your terminal and use it.

Dropbox Command Line
Dropbox Command Line

And finally, you have just installed and configured the Dropbox on your Ubuntu.

Hend Adel
Hi! I'm Hend Adel, a freelancer technical geek with successful experience in Database, Linux and many other IT fields. I help to build solutions to suit business needs and creating streamlined processes. I love Linux and I'm here to share my skills via FOSS Linux! Thanks for reading my article.

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