Installing Dropbox on a Debian server

There are a lot of old instructions on how to install Dropbox on a headless linux server, most of them outdated. I had to recently go through this pain myself so i’ve compiled a set of updated instructions to make life easier for you.

These were performed on a clean Debian 6 install, so you may already have some of the dependencies required, along with the Dropbox client v1.4.

Installing Dropbox on a Debian server without a GUI.

  1. Install the following packages with aptitude to satisfy the dependencies of Dropbox.
    python-gtk2 libatk1.0-0 libcairo2 libglib2.0-0 libgtk2.0-0 libpango1.0-0
    There’ll be a bunch more packages you’ll have to install, just go ahead and install them too.
  2. Download and install the appropriate 64 or 32 bit .deb file from here.
  3. Run “dropbox start -i” as your user (not root), this will download the dropbox daemon and setup the .dropbox and .dropbox-dist directories in your home directory.
  4. Run ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd
  5. It’ll spit out a URL. Paste this URL into your browser to link Dropbox to your system.
  6. Hit CTRL-C to interrupt Dropbox.
  7. For some reason dropbox will not die, so kill it with “killall dropbox”.
  8. Download this sysinit script into /etc/init.d/ and modify the DROPBOX_USERS line at the top to your user or users. Rename the file to just “dropbox”.
  9. chmod +x /etc/init.d/dropbox
  10. update-rc.d dropbox defaults
  11. You can now start Dropbox with /etc/init.d/dropbox start

Your main Dropbox directory will be ~/Dropbox. The command line interface is the command “dropbox” unsurprisingly.

If you have any problems with these instructions, please let me know and i’ll do what I can to assist.

5 thoughts on “Installing Dropbox on a Debian server”

      1. Hi,

        I’ve the same error. During the fourth step :
        ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd
        return with a segmentation fault (core dumped)

        Cordially

        1. I had the same problem – Segmentation Fault when running

          ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

          Solved it by installing nautilus:

          sudo apt-get install nautilus

          After installing Nautilus and all its dependencies the dropbox command worked and asked me to link to a Dropbox account.

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