Howto Install Dropbox in Ubuntu 9.10(Karmic)/9.04(Jaunty)/8.10(Intrepid)/8.04(Hardy)

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Dropbox is a storage application and service operated by Evenflow, Inc. The service enables users to store and sync files online and between computers.Dropbox has a cross-platform client (Linux for x86 and x86_64, Mac, Windows and the iPhone) that enables users to drop any file into a Dropbox folder that is then synced to the web and the users' other computers with the Dropbox client. Files in the Dropbox folder may then be shared with other Dropbox users or accessed from the web. Users may also upload files manually through a web browser.

A free Dropbox account offers 2 GB of storage. Users may upgrade to 50 GB or 100 GB by paying a monthly or yearly fee. The total amount of storage space of both the free and fee-based accounts may be increased by up to 3 GB for free accounts (for the total of 5 GB) and 6 GB for fee-based accounts by referring others to the service.

Install Dropbox in Ubuntu 9.10(Karmic)/9.04(Jaunty)/8.10(Intrepid)/8.04(Hardy)

First you need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list file

gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

For Ubuntu 9.10 add these lines:

deb karmic main
deb-src karmic main

For Ubuntu 9.04 add these lines:

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

For Ubuntu 8.10 add these lines:

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

For Ubuntu 8.04 add these lines:

deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

And for Ubuntu 7.10, add these lines:

deb gutsy main
deb-src gutsy main

Save and exit the file

Install GPG key using the following command

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 3565780E

Update the source list

sudo apt-get update

Install Application

sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox

It is necessary to restart Nautilus once the install is complete -- the easiest way to do this is log off and back on.

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20 Responses

  1. Jake Lishman says:

    Dropbox uses the ~/Dropbox directory by default, and backs up everything in it. This is great until you have a whole folder of documents that you want to keep constantly updated, but also filed in, say, a ~/Documents folder. A good way to keep the best of both worlds is to make a symbolic link to the folder to be backed up inside the Dropbox folder.

    To do this just right-click the folder to be backed up in nautilus and hit “Make link”. Then just move this link into the Dropbox folder. Voila: real-time back ups!

  2. Rigar says:

    Why not just go to http://www.dropbox and download the i386.deb file

  3. If you just download the .deb file from the website, it will work fine, but you won’t get updates automatically. If you do it the way that Ubuntu Geek suggests, whenever the Dropbox developers update versions, you will be notified through the standard Ubuntu Update Manager.

  4. KenBW2 says:

    Because adding a repository keeps Dropbox up to date – as with all other respoitory-installed apps

  5. Mitron says:

    So… Why not just use ubuntu tweak for add dropbox repository (and many others) and install it?

  6. Joewski says:

    I would not recommend installing dropbox as of this stage if you are using gnome in Ubuntu 9.04. Nautilus crashes whenever you move a file or directory from your computer to a samba server.

    There is a work around but it is annoying.

  7. karlzt says:

    what about for Kubuntu users?

  8. tivasyk says:

    i want to be able to use dropbox with xfce/thunar without having to install the ridiculous nautilus dependencies.

    until that is possible… sorry =/

  9. rigar says:

    Give me a freaken break it is not that complicated, download the i386.deb,Backup,then upgrade to 8.10 and everyone will be happy, not so complicated DA DA

  10. bootlinux says:

    Ubuntu lets you do this with 2gb for free. If you need more storage you are better off getting a hosting package from somewhere, like 1and1.

    Dropbox pricing – – 100 gig = $20 per mo.

    1and1 pricing – – 150 gig = $6.99 per mo, plus you get your own email and web.

    Ubuntu pricing – – 50 gig = $10 per mo, plus it’s built into Ubuntu 9.10, with sharing, storing Tomboy notes, and your contacts.

  11. richwillal says:

    Ran into errors installing on 9.10 Ubuntu netbook remix. Errors encountered in /usr/bin/dropbox after recent update to python.

    The fix was to download the dropbox binaries directly from:

    setting platform to: lnx.x86 or lnx.x86_64

    Move file to home directory if it was not downloaded to home.

    Extract downloaded file using:

    tar -zxvf

    That should create the .dropbox-dist directory in your home directory. (Ctrl+H shows hidden files in Nautilus.)

    Start Dropbox: dropbox start

    It appears the download doesn’t complete correctly using the default script when running the upgraded version of Python.


  12. newubuntu says:

    how to run once is installed?

  13. Jake Lishman says:


    Run “dropbox start” in the terminal, without the quotes. It’ll then prompt you to download the dropbox proprietary nautilus plugin.

    If you just follow the instructions it should autostart as well.

  14. newubuntu says:

    thanks Jake Lishman

  15. Brad says:

    Instructions worked great for me! Thanks!!

  16. theron says:

    Thanks – this worked great! The instructions on the DropBox web site were useless.

  17. Pipps says:

    UbuntuGeek, thank you for the excellent guide!
    Everyone, thank you for the additionally helpful comments! 🙂

  18. Finejason says:

    To install GPG key (Ubuntu 9.0.4) I had to use the following command –

    sudo apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys 5044912E

    Provided here –

  19. adrien says:

    method is working on lucid (netbook v.) with the karmic reps.
    thanks for this 🙂

  20. Chuck Mosher says:

    How about us working stiffs with corporate networks (RedHat, NO sudo access, firewall) ?

    I can build the source on my RedHat workstation, How can I get it installed ?

    Thanks for any help,
    Chuck Mosher

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