DropBox goes opensource: Launches it’s application for Linux!

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With the kind of news I read related to Linux, I feel the popularity of Linux among not so techie users is growing by leaps and bounds. Now if you are wondering which is the next company that launched it’s application for Linux. Well, this one is a very popular service which has been launched recently and seems to have a great potential. Alright without any more fuss, it’s DropBox that has launched it’s application for Linux. DropBox was earlier available only of Windows and Mac. Let’s first see what it DropBox and what does it offer (courtesy wiki):

Dropbox is a storage application and service operated by Evenflow, Inc. The service enables users to store and sync files online and between computers. Dropbox has a cross-platform client (Windows, Mac and Linux) that enables users to drop any file into a Dropbox folder that is then synced to the web and the users’ other computers with the Dropbox client.File’s in the Dropbox folder may then be shared with other Dropbox users or accessed from the web. Users may also upload files manually through a web browser. A free Dropbox account offers 2 GB of storage. Users may upgrade to 50 GB by paying a monthly or yearly fee.

You can also check the following video of DropBox to know how easy it is to use:

And I keep saying that any serious business which wants to take itself seriously has to have it’s service compatible on all the platforms. DropBox just did it by launching it’s service for Linux. You can get it for all the major popular Linux distros:

Now in most cases you would be using one of the distros listed above. Just in case you are not then, please download the DropBox by clicking the source link and read the readme file for instructions. If you are an Ubuntu lover you might wanna download it from the Ubuntu repos:

For Ubuntu 8.04, add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

deb http://www.getdropbox.com/static/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://www.getdropbox.com/static/ubuntu hardy main

For Ubuntu 7.10 you might want to add these lines instead:

deb http://www.getdropbox.com/static/ubuntu gutsy main
deb-src http://www.getdropbox.com/static/ubuntu gutsy main

Once you have added these to your source list, install it by typing the following in the terminal.

$ sudo apt-get update

These packages as of now are not authenticated but soon they will be.

After installation you’ll have to kill your nautilus and restart it. You can do so by typing:

$ killall nautilus

How does it work? (Using the steps described on the main site)

Currently Dropbox for Linux consists of two major components. dropboxd is a per-user closed-source daemon process that makes sure your $HOME/Dropbox directory is properly synchronized with your other computers and our secure backend. nautilus-dropbox is a GPL‘d Nautilus plugin that connects to dropboxd (via a pair of Unix domain sockets) and presents a GUI based on the information dropboxd provides. You guessed right, GPL means nautilus-dropbox is open source, and it’s free software!

There is nothing special about nautilus-dropbox. Indeed, any client process who follows the dropboxd protocol can implement a UI for Dropbox. The protocol is a very simple RPC-like UTF8 string based protocol. As of now there is no formal documentation on this protocol but you can always read the nautilus-dropbox source :) That’s why it’s open! Perhaps write your own command line interface, or a KDE interface.

We hope you have enjoyed dropbox on Windows and now it’s time to enjoy it on Linux.

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One Comment on This Article

  1. By: Eduardo on June 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Dropbox is not open source, are you crazy ? This small open source app is not Dropbox client, but a application which cares visual stuff in nautilus. Dropbox client is closed source app. http://blog.hacker.dk/2008/10/dropbox-is-not-open-source/