Dropbox in Linux Mint 12

  10 years ago

Dropbox in Linux Mint 12

What is it?

Installing Dropbox

Setting up your account

Using Dropbox

Issues you can fix


What is it?

Click here to take the Dropbox tour.

Dropbox is an online storage service that offers 2GB for free. And much more:

  • upload your files simply moving them to a folder
  • backup your documents and be able to recover previous versions of them
  • have a copy of your documents in all your computers, and keep the copies synced automatically
  • share your documents easily
  • access them from any device with an internet connection


Installing Dropbox

You can use the Dropbox service through your browser, but what makes it really interesting is the Dropbox client. With this app, your Dropbox space takes the form of a local folder, and is just as easy to manage.

Install the Dropbox client from the Software Manager, or using the terminal (sudo apt-get install dropbox)


When you install dropbox, the nautilus-dropbox package is added too.

Now Dropbox should appear on the Mint menu:



dropbox03 Actually, you don't have the app yet, only the installer. The first time you start Dropbox, it is downloaded, installed and you are asked to subscribe to the service.





Setting up your account



Choose the first option if you haven't signed up yet.

(If you are installing Dropbox on your second computer, or you already have an account, check the second option. You will be asked to provide the email and password you used to sign up)




dropbox08 You can start with the free account (at www.dropbox.com you can increase its size a bit, doing things like inviting your friends to sign up)


dropbox09 By default, the Dropbox folder will be placed in your home folder


dropbox10 You're done. A short tour explains what you can do with your account. Click on Finish after it.


Using Dropbox


And this is your Dropbox folder. Everything you put inside will be uploaded to your Dropbox space in the clouds!



If you have two computers, install Dropbox in both. When you start the second, the uploaded files will be copied or updated on it. The Dropbox folder will always be synced, and you'll have several copies of your important files. 

syncing A green check mark appears on the files that are synced with the Dropbox space. The blue mark means they are currently being synced


dropbox16 This is the Dropbox icon. Right click on it to see the options.



You can see a Public folder inside Dropbox. The files you put inside can be shared easily: right-click on the file and choose Dropbox > Copy Public Link.

This link is the file's URL (its internet address). If you have to send the file to a friend, instead of attaching it to an email, send her the link. It's useful if the file is large, or it is updated frequently (your friend will download the latest version).


Use the public link to insert images, or files to download, in a web page, in moodle, etc. All the images you can see in this tutorial are in my Dropbox space.



You can access Dropbox with a browser: just  login to your account at www.dropbox.com. That means you can use it from a friend's computer or an internet café.

There are Dropbox clients for smartphones and tablets too.


Issues you can fix

Are you dual-booting?

If you are dual-booting with Windows, and install Dropbox in both systems, you will have two identical Dropbox folders in your computer, one in your Windows partition and one in Mint's. It's possible to avoid it, and use the same folder.

First you have to install Dropbox in Windows, then in Mint make sure you have access to the Windows partition, create a link to the Windows My Dropbox folder, and call it Dropbox. Finally, install Dropbox in Mint, check the Advanced setup option, and set the path to your Dropbox link. More details at Google!


You don't see the Dropbox menu item and the synced/syncing marks?

If you don't see the marks on the files that tell you whether they are synced, and right-click on a file and don't see the Dropbox menu item, that appears to be a problem with Nautilus version 3. The Dropbox extensions are written in the wrong place.

To solve it, you have to open a Terminal, go to the extensions-3.0 folder, and create there links to the files (don't move the files).

(you can copy these lines with Ctrl+C, one by one, and paste them in a terminal with Ctrl+Shift+V, then click Enter and go for the next line)

cd /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-3.0

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/libnautilus-dropbox.a libnautilus-dropbox.a

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/libnautilus-dropbox.la libnautilus-dropbox.la

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/libnautilus-dropbox.so libnautilus-dropbox.so

To make it work, now logout and back in.

Zhies 5 years ago

Also, since the article talks about the storage options, I think it would be nice to point out that the paid options give you a lot of storage! This is an excellent way to backup all your data. If my computer were to explode right now, I have the comfort of knowing all of my data is still there in the cloud. You get 1 Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) for only $100 a year, and so that is quite a steal. :D

I've been considering the Business Dropbox option. So I could backup my family's data as well but with separate permissions. You get unlimited storage with a business account, but you have to pay for at least 5 users so it comes out to $750 a year... I'm not ready to dig that deep into my pockets yet. That's like the price of a car.

Zhies 5 years ago

This article is great, but the images don't work for me for some reason. Great effort getting all of this in one place tho!

I tried the workaround from a near clean install for 17.3 64-bit version and I'm still having issues. The following resource from the Dropbox website worked for me. Sorry for posting a link to another site, but it's the vendor site so I think it's appropriate.


smauleon 9 years ago

Hi Lucas,

Maybe it has to do with Nautilus and Nemo. When I used Mint 14 I found that clicking the Dropbox indicator, the folder was opened with Nautilus, and I didn't see the icons. But if I fired the default file manager (Nemo) and opened the Dropbox folder, then I had the icons. I made a short attempt to solve the problem, but I didn't see how... and anyway Mint 15 was about to be released.

In Mint 15 the folder is always opened with Nemo and the icons are in place.

The article obviously needs an update, but I think I'll wait for the next LTS version.

nattyb 10 years ago

Well done. Answered most of my questions about Dropbox and gave me a good primer. The screen shots are very helpful.

efthialex 10 years ago

Great job!

fezzyd 10 years ago

Nice Article.. Complete :)