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I'm investigating using a Raspberry Pi to perform an automatic backup of Dropbox to an external hard drive, probably every week. Is this possible? Would it be complex?

I've heard that the Dropbox don't have an ARM-compatible client - so guessing one would need to use the Dropbox API (or SDK) to connect. There are >24GB of files on Dropbox, so pulling down could take a while!

Ideally, the Pi would stay 'synced' (on an SD card) and there'd be a script to copy the Dropbox folder from the SD card to the external HD.

Any thoughts on this much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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As long as you can use the Dropbox API to get all the files, you've already done the hard part.... Just backup the folder to the drive

If your issue is with the API, maybe consider setting up an Owncloud server instance on your RPI, and on another PC point an owncloud and Dropbox client at the same folder - any changes to Dropbox will be replicated on the PC, which will be replicated on the RPI. As long as your PC is turned on at some point in the week, it should do the job.

Why do you need weekly Dropbox backups anyway?

  • +1 on the why weekly - the free version of dropbox already retains files for 30 days, with the paid versions (which I assume you are using due to the >24GB of files) retain it for even longer. – user2813274 Oct 17 '14 at 13:34
  • Afaik Dropbox keeps old versions of files, but doesn't let you restore directory structures any more, so if you want to recover a full directory tree with lots of files and subdirs, you may need a lot of manual work. You may also want local backups for faster recovery: it's faster recovering a 1GB file from lan storage than from the Internet! – gerlos Apr 15 '15 at 20:52
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You may use dropbox-uploader script, from here: https://github.com/andreafabrizi/Dropbox-Uploader

It lets you upload and download files and directories from you Dropbox storage and requires only bash and curl, that are already available on the Pi.

It's not designed to sync local directories: you can only tell it to overwrite existing files and dirs or to leave them as they are if they already exist locally -so you can't update existing files- but at least you can periodically download your files from Dropbox to your Pi storage.

You can then use backup tools, such rsnapshot to take daily/weekly/monthly incremental backups of your files.


As an alternative to dropbox-uploaderthere's dropbox-sync-js: https://github.com/Phlaphead/dropbox-sync-js

It requires a little more work from you to set up things, but actually syncs a local directory to Dropbox (but ignores conflicting changes).

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As far as I've understood, you need a solution which allows running Dropbox on Raspberry Pi. Here it is - https://eltechs.com/run-dropbox-on-raspberry-pi

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