Dropbox on Linux: installing from source, commands, and repositories

Updated Nov 17, 2023
The Dropbox desktop app is available on supported Linux operating systems. If you use Dropbox on a Linux machine, we recommend that you download and install the appropriate Linux package of the Dropbox desktop app.
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Note: If you use single sign-on (SSO), you’ll need to log in to dropbox.com before installing the Dropbox desktop app.

How to install Dropbox on Linux

To install Dropbox on your Linux desktop, download and install the appropriate package:

Once installed, you’ll be prompted to either log in or create a new account.

How to build the Dropbox installer for Linux from source

The Dropbox installation package source has been released to the public via a GPL license. This means that even if we don't have installation packages for your Linux or Unix distribution of choice, you can still compile a version yourself.

Want to contribute?

As mentioned above, nautilus-dropbox is released on a GPL license. However, due to legal requirements, we can only accept patches into our release if you release your patch into the public domain. Don't worry, we'll still credit you in the CONTRIBUTORS file included with every package. To submit your patches, contact us. If you want to develop on the Dropbox platform, visit our developers site and check out our API.

What Linux commands are available on Dropbox?

The Dropbox desktop app can be controlled with the Linux Command Line Interface (CLI). Before running commands, ensure that you’re running the available commands while your prompt is located at the root (top level) of the Dropbox folder.

By default, the Dropbox folder is located in ~/Dropbox (or ~/Dropbox (Your team name), if you have a Dropbox team account). If you moved the Dropbox folder to a different location, be sure you navigate to the root of your actual Dropbox folder before running the commands below.






dropbox autostart [y/n]

Options here include:

  • n: Dropbox will not start automatically at login
  • y: Dropbox will start automatically at login (default)

Note that this command may only work on currently supported Ubuntu distributions.


dropbox exclude [list]

When list is used or with non arguments, this command prints a list of directories currently excluded from syncing. 


dropbox exclude add [DIRECTORY] [DIRECTORY] …

Adds one or more directories to the exclusion list, then resynchronizes Dropbox. 


dropbox exclude remove [DIRECTORY] [DIRECTORY] …

This removes one or more directories from the exclusion list, and then resynchronizes Dropbox. Please note that any specified path must be within the Dropbox folder.


dropbox filestatus [-l] [-a] [FILE]…

This prints the current status of each FILE. Options include:

  • -l or --list: prints out information in a format similar to the native Linux command ls
  • -a or --all: do not ignore entries starting with "."

Aliases will include stat.


dropbox help [command]

With no arguments, this prints a list of commands and a short description of each. With a command, prints descriptive help on how to use the command.


dropbox lan sync [y/n]

Options here include:
  • y: Dropbox will use LAN sync (default)
  • n: Dropbox will not use LAN sync


dropbox ls [FILE]…

This is an alias for filestatus -l.



This manually sets proxy settings for Dropbox:

MODE One of the following: none, auto, manual

Only valid in manual mode:

  • TYPE One of the following: https, socks4, socks5
  • HOST Proxy hostname
  • PORT Proxy port
  • USERNAME Proxy username (optional)
  • PASSWORD Proxy password (optional)


dropbox running

This returns 1 if the daemon is running and 0 if it’s not running. This command can only be used in scripts to check if Dropbox is running. This command does not output anything to the CLI.


dropbox sharelink FILE

This prints out a shared slink for FILE.
  • FILE Absolute path to FILE


dropbox start [-i]

This starts the Dropbox daemon. If the daemon is already running, this will not do anything. Options include -i or i--install to auto install the Dropbox daemon if it’s not available on the system.


dropbox status

This prints out the current status of the Dropbox daemon.


dropbox stop

This stops the Dropbox daemon.


dropbox throttle DOWNLOAD UPLOAD

This sets bandwidth limits for file sync:
  • DOWNLOAD Either unlimited or a manual limit in KB/s
  • UPLOAD One of the following: unlimited, auto, or a manual limit in KB/s
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