Dropbox is one of the most powerful and popular online file storage services. In order to use Dropbox in a Linux OS, all you need is to simply install the Dropbox application in your system and sync your local Dropbox folder with the Dropbox cloud storage. Whatever you store in your Dropbox synced folder, it can be accessed any time from any internet-connected device. With Dropbox free account, you can store up to 2GB of data. To get additional space, you will need to buy the pro version. Dropbox client is supported on all major platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS.

In this article, we will explain how you can install and sync Dropbox on a Debian OS both using the command-line and Graphical user interface.

We have used Debian 10 for describing the procedure mentioned in this article.

Method 1: Install Dropbox via Terminal

If you prefer the command line for performing every task in your system, then follow the below steps to install Dropbox via command-line Terminal application in your Debian OS. In order to open Terminal in a Debian system, click on the Activities tab in the top left corner of your desktop. Then by using the search bar that appears, search for the Terminal application by typing its keywords. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to open.

1. Update the system

First, update the system’s repository index with the following command in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get update

2. Install Wget

Wget comes pre-installed with most of the operating systems. However, in case, it is missing as in case of minimal installation of OS, then you can install it using the following command in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install wget

3. Download Dropbox

Now we will download the Dropbox package from the official Dropbox website using the wget command. To download Dropbox package for 64 bit OS, run the following command in Terminal

$ cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf –

In case of 32 bit OS, you have to run the following command in Terminal:

$ cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86" | tar xzf -

Download Dropbox with wget command

The above command will create a hidden folder “.dropbox-dist” under your Home directory. To view this hidden folder, navigate to your  Home Directory using the cd ~ command and type ls -a.

4. Install Dropbox

Now run the following command in Terminal to start the Dropbox:

$ ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

Install Dropbox

It will then open the Dropbox login page in your default browser. Here you can sign in to your Dropbox account or create a new one if you do not already have an account.

Dropbox Sign-in

After signing in, your system will be connected to your Dropbox account and you will see the Dropbox folder under your Home directory. Now whatever data you place in this folder, it will be automatically synced to cloud and will be accessible to all your devices having the same Dropbox account.

Dropbox file storage

Dropbox CLI Installation

Dropbox also includes a command-line interface (CLI) that let you control Dropbox with the command line. It allows you to start, stop, synchronize and view the current status of each file.

To use Dropbox CLI, you will need to install python. Run the following command in Terminal to do so:

$ sudo apt install python

Install Python

Once python is installed, you will need to download a python script. It will be used to control the Dropbox from the command line. Run the following command in Terminal to download the python script:

$ sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/dropbox "https://www.dropbox.com/download?dl=packages/dropbox.py"

Download Dropbox cli

Once downloading is finished, run the following command in Terminal to make the script executable.

$ sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/dropbox

To list all the commands that can be used to control the Dropbox, simply type the following command in Terminal:

$ dropbox

Dropbox command line client

It will list all the commands that can be used with the command line. For instance, to start Dropbox, run:

$ Dropbox start

Method 2: Install Dropbox from GUI

For those who are not comfortable with the command line, GUI is a simple way through which a package can be installed in a system. To install Dropbox via GUI, follow the below steps:

1. First, you will need to download the Dropbox .deb package from its official website. To do so, open the following link and download the Dropbox .deb package, 32 bit or 64 bit depending upon your OS architecture.

https://www.dropbox.com/install-linux

The Dropbox .deb package will be saved to your Downloads directory by default.

2. Go to the Downloads directory using the Debian File manager. Right-click the Dropbox .deb package and select Open With Other Application.

Download Dropbox installer .deb file

It will open the Select Application dialog box as shown below. From there, choose the Software Install option and then click the Select button.

Install software

3. Now the Dropbox installer will open in the Software Center. Click the Install button to start the installation process.

Install Dropbox

When you click the Install button, the following authentication dialog box will appear. Enter the password for the authorized user and click Authenticate.

Authenticate as admin

When the installation will be finished, you will see the following view:

Installation successful

4. Now Launch Dropbox by hitting the super key on your keyboard and searching for it using its keyword as shown in the following screenshot.

Dropbox Icon

When you open the Dropbox, the following message box will appear. Click OK to install the Dropbox proprietary daemon.

Dropbox installation

Wait for a while until the installation is completed.

Installing Dropbox - progress

When the installation is completed, a browser window will open allowing you to sign in to your Dropbox account. If you do not have an account, you can create it by clicking on create an account.

Sign-in

Once you signed in, your system will be connected to your Dropbox account and you will see the Dropbox folder under your Home directory. Now whatever files you place in this folder, they will be automatically synced to the cloud and available to all your devices that have the same Dropbox account.

Dropbox Command Line Interface(CLI)

When we install Dropbox through a graphical way, its command-line interface also gets installed in your system. In order to view the commands that you can use with the CLI, enter the following command in Terminal:

$ dropbox

Dropbox cli

That is all there is to it! I hope it will be helpful whenever you need to install Dropbox on your Debian system. We have discussed both the command line and the graphical way of installing Dropbox. You can choose any one of the above-described methods based on your convenience.

How to Install Dropbox and Dropbox-cli on Debian 10
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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn