Dropbox Tips and Tricks

Dropbox, or one of the alternatives like Ubuntu One or SparkleShare, are great tools for keeping computers in sync. They offer some unique abilities as well. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Keep config folders, like Pidgin's .purple directory in your Dropbox, and symlink to it in your home directory. It saves entering the same information on your computers.

  • Have your home computer monitor a specific folder inside Dropbox for torrent files. Then, whenever you want to download a torrent at home, just put the torrent file into your folder on any computer, and it will start downloading at home.

  • Keep your favorite desktop wallpaper photos in Dropbox, so you have access to all your NASA astronomy pictures on your various desktop and laptop computers. (This works for non-NASA photos too, but why would you want non-space-based wallpaper?)

  • Use Dropbox in combination with Calibre and Calibre2opds to keep your e-book library on-line and always accessible. It makes downloading a book from your collection simple when you're on vacation and forget to pack enough books.

Do you have more Dropbox tips? Send them to me at shawn@linuxjournal.com, and I'll publish the good ones on LinuxJournal.com.


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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I want Information about basic Linux

amoltofi's picture

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8888303381 Please call me

I host all non-html files

Sannomo's picture

I host all non-html files from my website on dropbox because my free hosting provider was complaining about high server transfer.

Music streaming

Eli's picture

If you have an iPhone you can stream your music from Dropbox with this app (http://bitly.com/ogGeB9)

Thank you

JShuford's picture

Thank you

...I'm not just a "troll", but also a subscriber!

Haven't we learned anything

Sean Jones's picture

Haven't we learned anything these last few months from Dropbox's denial than acceptance of security exposures and their unacceptable change to the terms of service?

The only Dropbox tip I have is:
sudo apt-get remove dropbox


Marcus Betts's picture

Create a folder called "Secure" in you dropbox and keep your password database file there. Now you will always have access to your passwords, even on Android.

Maybe offtopic. What about

Robert B's picture

Maybe offtopic. What about alternative to DropBox named SpiderOak. Its definetly more secure and more configurable.


jpenguin's picture

I have the free 2GB dropbox account. When I get my new lappy in a month or two, I plant to buy 100GB of SpiderOak for back-up, and keep dropbox at 2GB


Vinicius's picture

I use both, Dropbox is lighter and I use it for more dynamic stuff and SpiderOak I use for backups and more robust sync between computers.

And I don't use Dropbox for sensitive stuff because I know it is highly insecure.

gdocs & dropbox

Jingaling's picture

@Trinae check out the cloudhq (google it) I use it to sync gdocs and dropbox.


Dropbox + Google Docs = Heaven

Trinae's picture

Would it be possible to sync GDocs to Dropbox on Ubuntu? I would love to be able to work on my projects in GDocs while at work, sync them with my laptop, and then work offline during the commute home.

Use LibreOffice with ooo2gd

David Bordes's picture

Use LibreOffice with ooo2gd addon to sync your GDocs locally. Then you'll be able to work offline, and sync them back to GDocs when you go online again. If you mark the Auto-update Option in ooo2gd, the synchronization process is automatic.


Eliezer E. Vargas's picture

"Use Dropbox in combination with Calibre and Calibre2opds to keep your e-book library on-line..."

'How-To' please!