What extended attributes does Dropbox support?

Dropbox supports some extended attributes and can sync them everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. Extended attributes are additional types of metadata attached to your files.

Refer to the list below to see a list of extended attributes that Dropbox supports for your operating system.

MacOS

  • com.dropbox.attributes
  • com.dropbox.internal
  • com.apple.ResourceFork (not synced for directories)
  • com.apple.FinderInfo
  • com.apple.metadata:_kMDItemUserTags
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTagTime
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTags
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemStarRating
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored

Windows (represented as Alternate Data Streams)

  • :com.dropbox.attributes
  • :com.dropbox.internal
  • :com.dropbox.apple.ResourceFork(not synced for directories)
  • :com.dropbox.apple.FinderInfo
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata._kMDItemUserTags
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemFinderComment
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMUserTagTime
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMUserTags
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMStarRating
  • :com.dropbox.posix.executable
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored

Linux

  • user.com.dropbox.attributes
  • user.com.dropbox.internal
  • user.com.apple.ResourceFork(not synced for directories)
  • user.com.apple.FinderInfo
  • user.com.apple.metadata:_kMDItemUserTags
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTagTime
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTags
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemStarRating
  • user.com.dropbox.foldericon
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored

Note: These represent filesystem-visible attributes, and do not include attributes which are not considered “extended” attributes.

Common use cases for extended attributes in Dropbox

  • Tracking synced files
  • Syncing tags, stars, and colors marked in MacOS Finder
  • Keeping track of files uploaded via camera uploads (on desktop and mobile)
  • Supporting less-common filesystem features, like executable bits on POSIX and resource forks on MacOS
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