Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dropbox on Linux without Root

On the CS department machines at school, we do not have root access to install applications, however, I wanted to use Dropbox to sync my homework with my other computers so I could work on it anywhere.

This method is working on Fedora 16.

1) Download the Ubuntu .deb from the Dropbox web site

Even though I'm not using Ubuntu, I still used the .deb on the Dropbox site. It probably doesn't matter too much since all we need is the binary package.

2) Extract the .deb file and then extract data.tar.gz

ar vx nautilus-dropbox_*.deb
tar zxvf data.tar.gz

3) After extracting data.tar.gz, move the dropbox binary to your home directory

mv usr/bin/dropbox ~/

4) Install Dropbox

~/dropbox start -i

You'll probably see some errors about missing libraries. It should be OK to ignore those.

You'll be asked the standard Dropbox installation questions.

5) Running it again next time you login

By default, Dropbox will not start automatically when you log in. You can, however, start it again by running:

~/dropbox start

You could always find a way to run this command automatically when you log in. I'll leave that up to you and your desktop environment.

I'm sure this method is not perfect, but it worked successfully for me today. I will update with bugs and workarounds if I find them.