dropboxI have been out of town lately; so, not a whole lot has been accomplished on the BerkeleyLUG front in the last few weeks.  I hope to push things further along in the next few weeks.

I thought I’d kick things off a bit with a new post about an awesome (and fairly new) program/service for linux called Dropbox.

If you are like me, you have several computers that you use on a regular basis.  A desktop/server, a laptop, a netbook and a work computer.  It is annoying to have to manually sync files between them by email/flash-drive/ssh etc…  For example, I am often working on a paper at work and want to continue working on it home.  Or, I want my pictures to show up on all my computers when I get them off of my camera.  Same thing for my music, when I buy it (DRM free from AmazonMP3 or Emusic).  For the longest time, I was using rsync to satisfy my syncing needs.  Now, don’t get me wrong, rsync is awesome, but it is less than seemless.  At best I need to click an icon that launches a script to do the sync.  However, dropbox is seemless.  It comes as an extension to nautilus and creates a folder called “Dropbox” in your home directory.  Everything you put in that folder is automatically synced to your private webspace and your other computers.  It all happens in about 5 seconds.

For free, you can sync up to 2GB of of space, and, for a small monthly fee, (which I updated for after testing it for a few days) you can sync up to 50GB.  The program itself is opensource; you are paying for the webspace and bandwidth.

The way I use to sync most of my home director is to have most of my directories located in ~/Dropbox which I symlink to ~/ – the ones that aren’t symlinked are the ones I don’t want synced.  I recommend everyone check this out if you have multiple computers.  The program is awesome, the devs love linux/opensource and are open to suggestions and are extremely active.  A new test version hits the forums several times a week.

3 thoughts on “Dropbox

  1. Interesting program, but it appears to be locked down to only use their servers, and there doesn’t appear to be any client-side encryption happening to the files. I, for one, don’t like entrusting my data to random people on the internet, let alone entrusting the security of said data to people of indeterminate skill.

    I already do something similar to this in a script using webdav, *AND* all of the files get pgp-encrypted before they leave any of my systems.

  2. Actually, the daemon that is downloaded by Dropbox during the installation is a closed proprietary binary. Only the nautilus-dropbox package is open source.

    The business plan is to use the proprietary daemon to lock backup and content syncing only to the Dropbox servers. UbuntuOne is similar.

    At some point, some will create a completely open source method for this, but that is not true yet.

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