Friday, 14 September 2012

Intergrating DropBox into Linux

Dropbox is a wonderful tool, install it on a machine and it sends it to it's servers and then you can share it with many machines anywhere in the world.

My only complaint was that it didn't really integrate itself that well into the operating system. For example, if I was saving any work,  it meant that I needed to make sure I put in the Dropbox folder instead of the Documents folder.

I should say that my Documents folder is subdivided into personal (for my eyes only), Shared, (for me and my wife), Business ( speaks for itself) and Websites (where I store material for a few websites I work on).

And so one night I had an idea, I made another directory  on my desktop off  /mnt called shares. That meant I had /mnt/Shares. I then made the Shares directory read write with the command line of:

chmod 0777 /mnt/Shares

I could have done something different I suppose but this was the easy way, then I installed Dropbox and selected the custom option and used the default location as /mnt/Share, which meant that Dropbox setup a folder at /mnt/Shares/Dropbox.

Inside the Dropbox folder I created some subfolders called Shared, Personal, Business and Websites.

I needed to put a link to the Personal Dropbox folder into my Documents folder and so it was back to the command line, you don't need root privileges to do this bit.

 Open up a terminal and type:

ln -s /mnt/Shares/Dropbox/Personal /home/username/Documents/Personal

A folder should now appear in your Documents which is a link to Dropbox, then carry on with the rest:-

ln -s /mnt/Shares/Dropbox/Business /home/username/Documents/Business

and so on until you have finished.

This was Dropbox is pretty much working in the background and becomes transparent to your day to day use of the machine.

You can do the same on a Windows machine by installing the Dropbox share at c:\Dropbox and then using explorer to create a short cut in the Documents folder.

Just remember on Linux that it's all case sensitive and Dropbox is not the same as DropBox or dropbox.

Hope this has been of some help and you can of course do pretty much the same with Google Drive and any other similar product.

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