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I am trying to install dropbox client on my raspberry device:

Raspberry Pi Model B Plus Rev 1.2 %
Linux raspberrypi 5.4.51+ #1327 Thu Jul 23 10:53:06 BST 2020 armv6l GNU/Linux

based on instructions on Dropbox's official page.

I downloaded and extracted 32-bit version, but when I try to run command:

~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

then I receive output:

/home/pi/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86-102.4.431/dropboxd: 15: exec: /home/pi/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86-102.4.431/dropbox: Exec format error

Am I trying to use the wrong client? Is it even possible to use a dropbox client on my raspberry pi to sync the local linux folder to the dropbox cloud?

2 Answers 2

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You try to install dropbox-lnx.x86-102.4.431. The x86 indicates that you just install for that architecture. But Raspberry Pi has anarm processor that cannot run intel x86 programs. You have to use the dropbox client compiled for the ARM architecture. I don't know if it is available.

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The "build from source option" may work, although it seems no one has been able to do it.

I did not completely go through with it as the prerequisites were ~800 MB, but if you are running a GUI you may have much of that already. The major dependency is libnautilus-extension-dev; nautilus is the GNOME file browser, which the dropbox daemon integrates with. However, you do not have to ever run a GUI in order to build and use it -- I've been using dropbox on headless linux systems for years. If nautilus isn't running, dropbox does not try to start it or anything (in fact I don't think libnautilus includes nautilus, so it might never be installed).

Anyway -- and again be warned, no one has reported success with this yet:

  1. sudo apt install libnautilus-extension-dev

  2. From a temporary directory somewhere: wget https://linux.dropbox.com/packages/nautilus-dropbox-2020.03.04.tar.bz2

  3. Unpack that: tar -xjf nautilus-dropbox-2020.03.04.tar.bz2

  4. Build from within the new directory:

     cd nautilus-dropbox-2020.03.04
     ./configure
     make
     make install
    

You do this as root or via sudo, in which case it will install into /usr/bin. If you'd rather install into pi's home, use ./configure --prefix=/home/pi.

You can then look at dropbox start. Note there is a bit about "installing the proprietary daemon" but I am pretty sure it is pure python = should work regardless of the hardware. If not all apologies, but it won't take you much time to get to this point, so it is probably worth a try.

One issue I've long had with this is it does not seem to be able to update itself properly, and goes into a sort of tailspin when that happens: If you check dropbox status it will say dropbox is updating perpetually, and you may notice .dropbox.cache has grown to equal the volume of your entire storage (meaning it's doubled locally). At that point you should stop the daemon and run dropbox update manually; this won't take long. After that, you can delete everything in the cache and start the daemon again.

I have to do that every week or so. It may not be a problem for you as it may be consequent of where I put the installation.

For the data I use a mounted file (you can format a file as a filesystem and mount it the same way, then the total space in the filesystem is limited to that of the file) so that if something goes wrong it doesn't fill the root filesystem. However, you don't have to do that and dropbox is neat in that it understands and replicates POSIX file attributes (permissions and ownership); native ext4 is fine.

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  • Great answer... I've been tempted to try dropbox a few times. Do you think this github repo is the same as the tarball you referenced?
    – Seamus
    Jul 31, 2020 at 22:04
  • At a glance it's similar but not quite identical.
    – goldilocks
    Aug 1, 2020 at 14:40
  • Tried this, but the proprietary daemon did not get downloaded, with the following error: Error: Platform not supported I am on Ubuntu 21.04 (hirsute) - Pi-2 any ideas? The build did fully complete and the installation.... but then with running dropbox start -i the above error came up.
    – Llewellyn
    Jul 23, 2021 at 16:11
  • Seems like others have also failed, and you know this... so please update your post to reflect that this is a waste of time.
    – Llewellyn
    Jul 23, 2021 at 16:23
  • Good point, added that caveat.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 23, 2021 at 16:30

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