How to Use Dropbox in a Non-Gnome Environment

Without a doubt, Dropbox is easily the best online storage and file sharing services around. Not only is it easy to use, its support for multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone) also make it one of the most versatile online services around.

Now, if you are using a Linux distro with Gnome environment, you can easily install the Dropbox client and get it to work with Nautilus. However, if you are using other desktop manager like KDE, Fluxbox, Openbox etc, you will have no luck with the installer. Here’s the fix to get Dropbox to work in non-Gnome environment.

Note: This tutorial is based on Kubuntu KDE desktop manager. The steps for other desktop manager are the same, except for the location of the autostart menu.

First download the Dropbox generic binary files.

Extract the tar file. You should see a .dropbox-dist folder. If not, go to the View option and enable View Hidden Files


Move this .dropbox-dist folder to your Home directory. If you cannot see it, enable the view hidden files option.

In the terminal, type:


to run the dropbox graphical interface.


You should now see the Dropbox configuration window. Proceed on to configure your account, including where to place the Dropbox folder. Once done, Dropbox will automatically sync your local folder with the online folder.

Lastly, you need to configure your system to run the dropbox daemon everytime you log in. In KDE, you can simply create a symlink to the Autostart folder:

ln -s ~/.dropbox.dist/dropboxd ~/.kde/Autostart/dropboxd

Note: Depending on the desktop manager that you are using, the method to add the Dropbox daemon to your Autostart menu might be different.

Using this method, you won’t get to see the small sync icon that tells you that your files are in sync. However, rest assure that your files are correctly sync to the server.

That’s it.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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