Posts Tagged ‘Dropbox’

Reading List :: Wednesday 19th October 2011

I’m in the middle of a big (final, major) software project at the moment which has prevented me from posting any longer bits to the site in a few weeks. This project isn’t going anywhere – as in, I’m definitely going to be working on it for the next few months…it’s progressing, but it’s also big – so in order to keep the site ticking over I’m going to start a semi-regular ‘Reading List’. If there’s anything insanely great that pops up in my morning reading session – guitars, code, consumer electronics, whatever – it’ll get featured on the list. Simple!

This morning has been pretty much dominated by coverage of the joint Google/Samsung press conference which, having been held in Hong Kong, took place at strange o’clock in Europe and the US. Oh, and Motorola (Google?!?) also had an event and announced the coolest Android phone in the world for all of about, oh, half an hour. Rather than any of the ‘news’, which in Android-land is ridiculously ephemeral and kind of difficult to get excited about most of the time, the most interesting article I found was Joshua Topolsky’s interview with Matias Duarte, the Danger/webOS UI designer who has been tasked with classing up Android and who’s first wide release of the OS (I’m not counting Honeycomb) will be the stupidly named but intriguing Ice Cream Sandwich. I full on dig this guy’s attention to detail, and his shots at the faux-wood/leather/etc are so, so justified – even Gruber said so. Google should give him carte blanche; he’s totally got what they’ve been missing.

I’ll be downloading the Android 4.0 SDK for a play at some stage – I’m an iOS developer, but like so many I learned the ropes on Java…so the only thing stopping me from writing for Android is the godawful SDK. And Eclipse. Hopefully this one will bring parity with Xcode, but I’m not holding my breath.

This is actually from yesterday, but is very creative, very cool and very creepy indeed. Nothing we didn’t know already (what, Facebook has loads of my data? Whoa!), but man, what a visceral way to present it. Just remember to delete it from your applications after use.

Lastly, Forbes’ profile of Dropbox. I love Dropbox, but interesting that Jobs told them he’d crush them with iCloud – I’ve already got it synching my MacBook Pro and iMac, and will add my iPhone 4S when it arrives later. iCloud has already obviated two of my regular cross-machine sync solutions, might Dropbox be next?

Linux Command Line Dropbox Tips & Tricks []

The fantastic, wonderful, life enhancing file sync platform Dropbox is easily the best way to share your files between your (sometimes many) devices and across (sometimes many) platforms. Every computer you add to your account increases the redundancy of the data you have stored, and if you value your work it’s a real weight off to know your files are stored safely in multiple geographic locations.

Dropbox is super easy to set up for Mac OS X and Windows (although harder for some Linux distros), but if you’ve got a Linux server that you want to hook up, you’ll have to jump through some command-line hoops before you’re ready to go. Luckily, there’s a tutorial page on the Dropbox wiki which is really helpful and, provided there are no hitches, will get you up and running pretty quickly.

There are a couple of points I’d like to make in addition to the previously mentioned document to address a couple of issues I had when I first tried to install the Dropbox CLI Linux client:

  • Make sure you’re logged in as the user you’ll be accessing the files as when you install. Sounds obvious, but some people like to install with an outright ‘su -' rather than a regular ‘sudo' which can lead to syncing the files as root.
  • When you get to the stage where you’re ready to launch the daemon for the first time, make sure you return the command line. Instead of running…
    # ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd
    …do yourself a favour and add an & to the end:
    # ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd &
    Especially if you have one of the premium accounts (>2GB), the first sync is going to take a long time, so make sure you use the ampersand so you can carry on working in the mean time.
  • Once you’ve installed, grab the control script. You can get it from the Dropbox website by following this link – it’s mentioned on the wiki linked earlier, but is buried right down at the bottom of the page. It should be the first thing you download!
  • If you’re having trouble running the script then try installing ‘python2.6’ and running using:
    # python2.6
    Again, this is hidden at the bottom of the wiki and is dead important.
  • The three most useful commands for the script are:
    # python2.6 start
    # python2.6 stop
    # python2.6 statusThese three commands give you all the control you should need to proceed with your enjoyment of Dropbox on your headless Linux server.

So there’s a few tips and tricks I want to add to the excellent official Dropbox wiki page. As with everything I post on my site, these are collections of solutions I’ve had to either research from multiple sources, have worked out for myself or have had trouble finding answers for elsewhere, so hopefully I can save you some trouble and help you get up and Dropboxing in less time than it took me the first go around!

Running Dropbox Under Debian Linux

I’ve been using a Debian desktop machine recently for some development work and had a few problems installing one of my favourite applications: Dropbox. provides a .deb package for easy (as Linux ever is) installation on any Ubuntu desktop machine, however a dedicated Debian installation package is missing. Ubuntu is, of course, a Debian derived Linux distro, and this package really should work. Unfortunately, no matter how many times you try and install the package, it’ll throw up a dependency warning about libnautilus – even if you’ve got the latest version.

Even if you build the program from source, it doesn’t want to install. Luckily I found this solution, reproduced here (hopefully a bit clearer).

  1. Download the Dropbox .deb file for x86 or AMD64 from the Dropbox downloads page to your Downloads folder. Open a terminal window and navigate to where you’ve downloaded the file.
  2. What we need to do to solve the dependency problems is edit one of the installation configuration files within the .deb package. In order to do that, we’re going to extract it to a new folder. At the command prompt, create a new folder:
    mkdir -p extract/DEBIAN
  3. We now need to extract the package to the new folders we created. Enter the following two lines:
    dpkg-deb -x nautilus-dropbox_0.6.7_i386.deb extract/
    dpkg-deb -e nautilus-dropbox_0.6.7_i386.deb extract/DEBIAN/
  4. Using your favourite text editor (mine is nano), open the file extract/DEBIAN/control. We need to edit one of the lines in this file to make it compatible with regular Debian.
  5. On the line beginning ‘Depends:', find ‘libnautilus-extension1 (>= 1:2.22.2)'
  6. Remove the ‘1:' from this line, so the section now reads ‘libnautilus-extension1 (>=2.22.2)'. Ubuntu’s libnautilus packages are reported using the 1: format, whereas Debian’s are not.
  7. Navigate back to your root folder and create a ‘build’ folder:
  8. Now, rebuild the .deb package using the following line:
    dpkg-deb -b extract/ build/

You can now proceed to install this package as normal.