Dropbox without Gnome

Dropbox, the 'it just works' file syncing service, released their Linux client recently. Unfortunately, it has a heavy Gnome/Nautilus dependency. If you don't use Gnome, you can get Dropbox to work without that baggage with these steps:

  1. Download the closed source Dropbox Linux client from http://www.getdropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86 (x86_64 for 64 bit)
  2. Extract the contents and you should get a .dropbox-dist folder out of the archive. Move the folder to $HOME
  3. Run ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd.

The first time you run the dropboxd daemon, a wizard will prompt you to configure the client for your machine. By default, Dropbox syncs the contents of the ~/Dropbox folder and as long as the dropboxd daemon is running, it will transparently sync that folder with your Dropbox account. To ensure that the daemon runs whenever you use your computer, just add a symlink to it in your ~/.kde/Autostart/ folder or equivalent location.

You don't actually need to do anything beyond that since it 'just works'. But if you feel like getting hold of some of the info that the Nautilus client provides, you can download this command line utility that some kind soul has written. Hopefully, someone out there is working on KDE integration even as I write this!

The only thing that I am syncing right now with my Dropbox account is my Firefox bookmarks and history information. Firefox 3 stores this data in a file called places.sqlite which lives in the Firefox user profile folder. On my work and home computers, I just moved this file to my ~/Dropbox folder and symlinked to it from the profile folder. It's been working ok for me so far without any conflicts. Let's see if this turns out to be a better solution than Weave which has never ever worked for me.


I thought the bookmark-syncing problem was solved 4 years ago when del.icio.us was released.

Any particular reason why you use Firefox's bookmarks feature instead of that? (Esp considering the FF extension for delicious is pretty good and integrates well with the browser)

I like to keep my temporary bookmarks, private bookmarks and work related bookmarks within the browser. I know, delicious can save private bookmarks too but I prefer keeping these bookmarks within the browser.

Dude, you win the internet! Thanks for this. I've been waiting for a KDE version since the beta. I never thought of trying this though. :)

Nice! When can I have this internet delivered?! ;-)

Wow, thanks a lot for this awesome tip! Now... If I could only figure out how to set preferences (proxies and such) without any of those gnome stuff. Got any ideas maybe?

Very nice! I don't think you're meshuga; you're clearly a mensch.

I actually have no idea what preferences dropbox provides since I don't have a Gnome box handy. Dig into the source code, maybe?

You may wanna try a Firefox add-on called "foxmarks" for syncing bookmarks and passwords.

Thanks m8, this works great, but the symlink thing, I have no idea how you do it... I want dropbox to start when turn on my laptop

I have not tried yet, but here someone is programing the version for KDE: https://launchpad.net/dropbox-kde

Cool, works perfectly with KDE. Thanks for the tip.

You rock! Worked like a champ!!

This works great in XFCE!

Hey, thank for this post, at least i have dropbox and now i even don't think to back to gnome :) btw do you have link for 32bit package? i can't find it. Thanks at all :)

The link above is for the 32 bit package!

Oh right sorry, my bad :)

In case you haven't figured it out yet, add this to your autostart:

~/dropbox-dist/dropboxd &

(At least that works in OpenBox3)

Thanks for sharing that

Excelent! Great work changed from opensuse 11.1 Gnome to 11.2 Kde and I was terrified about losing dropbox ;( you made my day!

Thanks, works great!

New builds out: http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/dropbox-lnx.x86-0.7.80.tar.gz and http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/dropbox-lnx.x86_64-0.7.80.tar.gz

Thanks! Works perfectly! It even adds a thing in the KDE taskbar, an unexpected bonus.

So, there's a new version. You can keep up to date by looking at the stickies here:


There should be one called Latest Stable Build



excellent info, I was looking quite some time to find a work arround without success.


Update will follow straight.

Many thanks, TMB

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