Install Dropbox as a service on Linux

May 13th, 2012 | Posted by spritian in Linux | Ubuntu

This article will guide you on how to install Dropbox as a service on Linux. First things first, let’s get Dropbox downloaded and installed on our server. To start, paste the following in your terminal…

For 32-bit:

cd ~ && wget -O - "" | tar xzf -

For 64-bit:

cd ~ && wget -O - "" | tar xzf -

After that’s complete, run the dropboxd command:


Next, You’ll see something like this…

This client is not linked to any account... Please visit to link this machine.

Click that link, login with your credentials to link your new dropboxd service to your account. Shortly after, the message above should stop spamming and say that it is now linked! Hit CTRL+C to quit.

The last thing we need to do is enable a init.d script to boot at runtime.

First, determine your current runlevel:

runlevel N 2

So our current runlevel is 2. Let’s add it correctly though by adding a new “dropboxd” file in /etc/init.d. The only thing you need to modify in the script below is the DROPBOX_USERS variable.

#!/bin/sh DROPBOX_USERS="myusername" DAEMON=.dropbox-dist/dropbox start() { echo "Starting dropbox..." for dbuser in $DROPBOX_USERS; do HOMEDIR=`getent passwd $dbuser | cut -d: -f6` if [ -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON ]; then HOME="$HOMEDIR" start-stop-daemon -b -o -c $dbuser -S -u $dbuser -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON fi done } stop() { echo "Stopping dropbox..." for dbuser in $DROPBOX_USERS; do HOMEDIR=`getent passwd $dbuser | cut -d: -f6` if [ -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON ]; then start-stop-daemon -o -c $dbuser -K -u $dbuser -x $HOMEDIR/$DAEMON fi done } status() { for dbuser in $DROPBOX_USERS; do dbpid=`pgrep -u $dbuser dropbox` if [ -z $dbpid ] ; then echo "dropboxd for USER $dbuser: not running." else echo "dropboxd for USER $dbuser: running (pid $dbpid)" fi done } case "$1" in start) start ;; stop) stop ;; restart|reload|force-reload) stop start ;; status) status ;; *) echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/dropbox {start|stop|reload|force-reload|restart|status}" exit 1 esac exit 0

Now that the script resides in init.d, let’s change folders to /etc/rc2.d (our runlevel) and make a symlink from ../init.d/dropboxd to the present working dir.

cd /etc/rc2.d ln -s ../init.d/dropboxd S99dropboxd

That’s it! You can call it with the service command, or just execute it from /etc/init.d or /etc/rc2.d.

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