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How To Use Dropbox On Linux

Dropbox is one of the leading cloud syncing applications. One of its strongest features is the fact that it’s one of the only major applications to support Linux officially. If you’re looking to run Dropbox on Linux, you need to be running Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE.

Not running one of these Linux operating systems? Consider downloading the official Dropbox source code instead. Alternatively, you can use Dropbox from the command line on Linux.


To install Dropbox on Ubuntu, you’ll need to edit the sources.list file, in /etc/apt/. The reason for this is that the Dropbox software isn’t distributed via PPA. Instead, they offer traditional software repositories. Using the Nano text editing tool, edit your sources.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Use the down arrow key to move all the way to the bottom of the sources file. In sources, add a comment. This comment will make sure that you’ll always know what the new software repository is for. To add a comment, paste the following line in the file.

# Dropbox update repo

Now that the comment is in the file list, it’s time to add the actual Dropbox software repository. Be sure that you change the version to the official codename of your Ubuntu release.

deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu version main

Update Ubuntu so that sources.list is up to date.

sudo apt update

Notice that when update runs, there are issues. Mainly, a GPG key error. This is because Dropbox doesn’t have the correct signed key. To add the key, use the command below:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 1C61A2656FB57B7E4DE0F4C1FC918B335044912E

Install Dropbox to your Ubuntu Linux PC with the following command:

sudo apt install dropbox


Debian has an official software source for Dropbox, but it’s not listed on the FAQ page. Instead, to enable this update repo, you’ll need to install the Debian package. Once the package is installed, it will automatically add itself to /etc/apt/sources.list.

To get it for Debian, open up a new browser tab and visit this link here. Download the latest 32-bit or 64-bit version of Dropbox. Start the package installation process by opening up the file manager. Look for the Downloads folder and find the downloaded Dropbox file.

Double-click on the Dropbox Debian package to install it via the Gdebi installation tool. Alternatively, install the package in the terminal by following these commands:

cd ~/Downloads

sudo dpkg -i dropbox_*_amd64.deb


sudo dpkg -i dropbox_*_i386.deb

Then, finish up with:

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users have access to the Dropbox sync client via the Arch AUR. Get started installing Dropbox by syncing the latest version of the Git package via the Pacman tool.

sudo pacman -S git

Git is working correctly on Arch. Next, use it to clone the latest Dropbox AUR pkgbuild snapshot.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/dropbox.git

CD into the newly cloned dropbox folder and get ready to start the building process.

cd dropbox

Using makepkg to build Dropbox for Arch is a mostly automatic process. However, if any dependencies fail to install, you’ll need to check the Dropbox AUR page and fix it manually.

makepkg -si


Fedora Linux is one of the officially supported operating systems that Dropbox chooses to support. It’s easy to install this software because of it. Get started by heading over to the official download page. Find the downloadable RPM file for 32-bit or 64-bit.

Open up the file manager, click on Downloads and find the Dropbox RPM file. Double-click on the RPM to install it via Gnome Software. Alternatively, install it via the command line using the DNF package tool:

cd ~/Downloads

sudo dnf install nautilus-dropbox-*.fedora.x86_64.rpm


sudo dnf install nautilus-dropbox-*.fedora.i386.rpm


OpenSUSE is one of the officially supported Linux distributions by Dropbox. This means installing it is very easy. To get it, go to the download page and grab either the 32-bit or 64-bit package. After that, open up a terminal window and use the CD command to move over to the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside the ~/Downloads directory, run the Zypper packaging tool to install Dropbox.

sudo zypper install nautilus-dropbox-*.fedora.x86_64.rpm


sudo zypper install nautilus-dropbox-*.fedora.i386.rpm

Using Dropbox

Now that the Dropbox package is enabled on your Linux PC, it’s time to set everything up. When you launch it, you’ll be prompted to sign in to the Dropbox service. Use the login window to sign into your account. Alternatively, if you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one first at Dropbox.com.

Once signed in, the Dropbox app will inform you that it needs to download the proprietary Dropbox binary. Click “OK” and allow it to download it. When the binary is working, the Dropbox sync app should be fully functional and ready to go.

By default, Dropbox will automatically start downloading all items attached to your account. If you’d like to do a selective sync, click the “selective sync” button in the Dropbox app, and then check (or uncheck) folders and files.

It is at this point, you’ll be able to start the syncing process. Open up a file manager window and place items you’d like to sync inside of /home/username/Dropbox. They should start uploading immediately.

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