Blog Post

Dropbox for KDE

UPDATE: (05/01/2012) A couple of people have pointed out Dropbox ServiceMenu as an add-on to this tutorial and to your KDE installation. I haven’t used it, but it seems it is pretty popular.

A question I have been coming across a lot lately has been, “How do I get Dropbox to work with KDE?” Most have probably noticed that when you go to the Dropbox website and go to download it, it is for GNOME and the Nautilus file manager. Unfortunately for us KDE users, we don’t use Nautilus. Or I could say fortunately for us KDE users, but I am sure that will start all kinds of flame wars in the comments. Instead, KDE utilizes Dolphin as its file manager. I will use this post to show you how to quickly get Dropbox installed and up-and-running in KDE, without the use of the terminal or command line.

NOTE: In this tutorial I am using the Rekonq web browser for KDE. At the time of this tutorial, it is the default web browser for Kubuntu.

NOTE: After completing the Download Dropbox selection below, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how to do all of this via the command line. It is actually really simple and much faster. If you are uncomfortable with the command line, then follow this post completely, minus the end where I show you the command line way of course.

Download Dropbox

Here are the links to the latest Dropbox downloads. NOTE: these links will always be the latest version of Dropbox, so if you come here next year, this simple howto will still be valid. If anything changes, I will make sure to update this page:

Clicking on one of the links above will pop up the Save As dialog. Click the Save As button.

Rekonq web browser Save As dialog

In the Save As dialog, click the Home button and select the Downloads folder to save the file in.

Rekonq web browser Save As dialog location selection

Extract the Dropbox archive

The file that is downloaded for Dropbox is known as a tarball. It is similar to a Zip file if you are coming from the Windows world. To extract this file we will use Ark, KDE’s archiving tool. To open Ark, click on the menu button, select the Applications tab, scroll down to the Utilities section and click it, then once that is open you should see Archiving Tool or Ark depending on how your distribution has it in the menu. Once Ark is open, click on the Open button. Here you will be presented with an Open Dialog where you can select the file that you downloaded. Navigate to your Home/Downloads directory and select the Dropbox file.

Ark Open Dialog - select Dropbox file

Once the file has opened in Ark, the next thing to do is extract it. To do this click the Extract button towards the top. The only option you should have is Extract To…

Ark Extract button

Select it and you will be presented with the Extract dialog where you can select the location you want to extract it to. Select your username in the folder list, as this is where you want to extract it to.

Ark extract to location selection dialog

Configure Dropbox to run at start-up

You will definitely want Dropbox to start every time you log into your computer. To do this is really easy. Open System Settings by going to the KDE menu once again. Most distributions stick the System Settings icon in your Favorites tab, so when you click the menu button, you should see it right away. Click it if you do. If you do not see it, don’t worry. You will need to go to the Applications tab, scroll down to the Settings section, and in there you should see System Settings. Click it to open it. Once it is open at the bottom, in the System Administration section, there should be an icon labeled, Startup and Shutdown. Click it. Once that is open, in the right pane you should see 5 buttons. You want to select the button labeled Add Script…. This will pop up a small dialog for you to select the Dropbox script we want to run at startup.

System Settings - Startup and Shutdown - Add Script dialog

Click the small folder to the right of the text input box. You should be presented with a System Settings open dialog. In order to see the folder and script that was extracted from the Dropbox download, we need to make sure that Show Hidden Files is selected.

System Settings open script dialog show hidden files

Once all files are showing, click the .dropbox-dist folder and scroll until you see the file named dropboxd.

dropbox-dist hidden folder selection

NOTE: Select dropboxd, not dropbox, as shown in the above image.

Once you have selected it click OK if needed, now you should be back at the small popup dialog. Go ahead and click the OK button. You should be back to the main System Settings window now.

dropboxd executable selection

You can close out of System Settings now.

Running Dropbox for the first time

Open Dolphin, the file manager, by going to the KDE menu button and under Applications, System, there should be a menu item labeled either File Manager or Dolphin. Click it. Once Dolphin is open and in your Home folder, we will need to view all hidden files again. To do this, click the View menu item and about half way down is the Show Hidden Files item. Click it. Now you should see all hidden files and folders. You will want to find the folder named .dropbox-dist and click it.

Dolphin hidden files - dropbox-dist selection

Scroll down until you see the file named dropboxd. Note once again that it is dropboxd that you want.

Dolphin hidden files - dropboxd executable selection

You will now be presented with the Dropbox application setup dialog. Go through and answer the questions.

Dropbox application setup dialog 1

Dropbox application setup dialog 2

Dropbox application setup dialog 3

Dropbox application setup dialog 4

Dropbox application setup dialog 5

Dropbox application setup dialog 6

That’s it, Dropbox is up and running and will start every time you log into your desktop. If all went well you should see the Dropbox icon in your System Tray.

Dropbox running in KDE's System Tray

Install the quick way with the command line

Now that you have the Dropbox file downloaded to your computer, open up your terminal (Konsole is the default in KDE) and type the following commands, or copy & paste the following (you should see 4 lines total):

tar -xf Downloads/dropbox*.gz
ln -s .dropbox-dist/dropboxd .kde/Autostart/dropboxd
.dropbox-dist/dropboxd &

That’s all folks, enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!

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  • Jani-Matti Hätinen

    or just use Kfilebox:

    • Exactly what I came here to say (from my blog reader).

    • nice, Kfilebox needs a bit of work, still has some rough edges and it needs to be put out there a bit more. Need to get more packages done for this, this thing has potential. I wonder if he is working with the Dropbox devs at all, because Dropbox has been waiting for the community to come up with something.

  • The last line in the “command line” way should be

    .dropbox-dist/dropboxd &

  • DS

    A nice article also for those people who need arguments for preferring the command line over GUI cklicking 🙂

    • So very true, so I figured I would get them all in one shot 🙂

  • Hi!

    Just in case, theres a KDE GUI for KDE already
    Its not official, but works!

  • Teston

    You are a nigger

  • Bo

    Or, if you use arch, just type “yaourt dropbox”

    • Yet another reason that makes Arch kick ass! Thanks for that tip.

  • Okay, as far as I understand it this is a tutorial of how to install dropbox. But where is the KDE part? Apart from the autostart thing there is no really KDE specific stuff. I hoped to read of an integration of dropbox into Dolphin and how to use it such convenient as in MacOS and Gnome.

    Any ideas?

  • thanks, so useful to me.. simple to follow, both ways!

  • I’m a Nautilus (GNOME) user but won’t take the bait! 😉 My son shares my Linux workstation and probably favours KDE. Your instructions are just what we need to get Dropbox running for him. Thanks.

  • brilliant! Thanks for this. Had it working in a minute (command line)!

  • Pierre

    Thank you for these crystal clear step by step installation procedures. Pierre

  • Pierre

    Thank you for these crystal clear step by step installation procedures. Pierre

  • Set

    Thank you for this. Also thanks for posting the “quick way” 🙂 I literally had it install in 2 min. You rule!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for this! Clear, concise, and both GUI and command-line instructions. I used the command line but I like having the GUI option.

    I had the daemon request my admin password for making some advanced file-syncing changes, but when I gave it, it wouldn’t accept the correct one. I just canceled out of the dialog box, but Dropbox seems to be working out okay. Thanks for this! Hopefully, we’ll see some sort of Dropbox KDE support from one end or the other soon.

  • So the download locations here take you to the .debs

    That page has your basic instructions as well, for a fully text based install, which would work on any distro. Thanks for doing this work though 🙂

  • Grateful

    Thanks for this succint and useful article, especially for the command line section!

  • NcA

    Cheers for the tutorial. Managed to get this running in Fedora running KDE with no problems.

  • Nowanttoputemailaddress

    Thanks a lot.

  • Jason Filippou

    Excellent guide, now I don’t have to look into external tools like kfilebox or whatever. Thanks for posting this.

  • adam

    Great Post. Just want to add that in KDE4 the Autostart is in .kde4

    • in Kubuntu, for the past couple of years, it is ~/.kde. What distro are you using that it is located in ~/.kde4?

      • adam

        Hi Rich,

        I am using openSuse 11.3 on one machine and 11.4 on another.

  • Robert

    Thanks a lot for the post! I installed the Fedora version of Dropbox and was disappointed about the Nautilus thing. Your instructions were perfect. One question though, will this Dropbox update if needed?

    • It doesn’t update Dropbox automatically, but what you can do is keep an eye on Dropbox updates, if this is even possible, or every month or so just download the tarball from the links in the post, untar them, and just replace your ~/.dropbox-dist. All of your config info is stored in ~/.dropbox so you don’t lose your config. Need to come up with a way to check for updates.

  • I wish I could help you there 🙂

  • BluesKaj (on IRC)

    On Kubuntu 11.10 the method described above only works for one session on my setup. Rename dropboxd to and using prekde startup in system settings>startup&shutdown makes the script load dropbox every session.

    • BluesKaj (on IRC)

      Correction to my post , rename the file to , not

      • Hrmm, I have it set the way stated in this tutorial and it is working fine with 11.10. Did you install 11.10 fresh or upgrade from 11.04?

  • dan

    For some reason, the command line install didn’t work. Using a fresh install of Kubuntu 11.04. Dropbox installed, at first the icon was in the menu, but then some error message popped up and the icon disappeared and didn’t reappear after a reboot. Then I set the shell-script following the graphical instructions, log out and back in and all works fine!
    Thanks a lot!

  • sarantis

    Thnx!!! Working on Kubuntu 11.10 64bit fresh installation, just like this tut descripes, with no problems 🙂

  • That is useful information. Thank you!

  • Overmind81

    Thanks, that one worked like a charm!

  • Paul Kruger

    I am trying to add dropbox to Mandriva 2011.  Nothing is anything like described when it comes to adding to startup?  Is there a newer instruction for Mandriva 2011 KDE desktop I can use?

  • Dildobill

    Nice instructions. But for us noobs, you should mention that the extracted dropbox folder is a hidden folder. And that using the shortcut ALT+. (ALT+’dot’) makes hidden folders visible.

  • Greg VD

    Thank You very much!!

  • Gerard Capes

    Great, thanks a lot for this. Really clear and useful. 

  • Thanks for this very clear tutorial, now Dropbox is working fine here in Kubuntu. Nice that you took the patience of documenting the GUI steps. It’s much easier (and lazier) to throw some terminal commands at the readers to achieve the same task.

  • Fatriff

    ok, so where’s the dolphin service menu integration instructions? I’m sure people would like to be able to share things from within dolphin?

    Good job I created a video then isn’t it.

  • Elvenfighter

    I would be good to mention this extension here:

  • Nanashi

    Thank you very much, you’ve been of great help!

  • Franck Pecourt

    Many thanks for this tuto ! From France…

  • Martin

    Worked great for me openSUSE 12.2, thanks.

  • Pingback: dropbox and openSUSE 12.2 – unsettled hope()

  • Thanks for taking the time to write this for KDE.

  • Tadeusz

    For a complete newbe in Linux like me, this tutorial was lifesaving and very encouraging for my next attempts at working with my open SUSE. Thanks a lot!

  • john

    Thanks for this clear concise tutorial. Worked great on Sabayon 10.

  • Adrian Higgs

    Richard, thank you – great stuff, hugely useful.

  • porker123

    Thx for autostart hint!

  • Ewald

    Thank you, it works like a chamr – your effort and sharing of this knowledge is appreciated.

    • Ewald

      Of course, it would help if I could spell…

  • Excellent tutorial!

    • So simple you wonder why someone hasn’t just packaged this up for KDE.

  • mike07

    i cant run the dropboxd file? it wont open the dropbox setup.. any idea why? and great tutorial BTW!

  • i am just about to give installing dropbox on linuxmint kde maya when i came across with this blog… brilliant! now its totally working.

  • Pedro

    If you have nautilus and dolphin installed, when clicking in Dopbox icon from plasma panel it will run nautilus.

    So the question remains, how to have dropbox running dolphin by default?

    • Ovidiu-Florin Bogdan

      Simple. Don’t have nautilus installed.

  • Pablo Andrés Ochoa Botache

    Thanks so much! Very usefull.

  • Patrick

    Thank you! I’ve done this once before, but your tutorial is very easy to follow.

  • comearound

    awesome, it worked … Kubuntu 12.10 64bit

  • Guest

    I’m new to KDE (Kubuntu) and am impressed by your thoroughness — thanks! Loving this over Unity and LXDE.

  • Kate

    Hallelujah! Thank you!

  • Tushar

    This is one of the best and accurate tutor I have seen which guides in installing dropbox. The tutor is still valid in Aug 2013. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Kiko

    Linux Mint 15 Kde, I installed nautilus-dropbox, worked perfect!

  • Pingback: Dropbox on KDE Gentoo: Pretty Damn Painless | Return to Source (Code)()

  • Wagner Soares de Lima

    Here in Brazil when it wants to buy a cheaper computer, it comes with Linux installed. My came with Mandriva, and the GUI is KDE. I’m struggling not need to install Windows. But I and my famil are not used. tips on how your Drpobox are fundamental to not give up. Thanks, all good!

  • campbell s w

    Excellent well laid out instructions. Many thanks

  • Ovidiu-Florin Bogdan

    I’m sorry but I don’t see the point of this article. The Dropbox .deb package works perfectly on Kubuntu and most other distros on KDE.

    Dropbox devs preffer GNOME/Nautilus. But that’s not a dependency. You don’t need all this hassle. Just install Dropbox the normal way. it works out of the box.

    I’ve been doing it like this since I’ve started using Dropbox on KDE (around 2-3 years ago) .

  • Guest123

    THIS was the best and easiest dropbox installation tutorial i found online. I’m a total Linux and Kubuntu newbie and the step-by-step guidance was super helpful (althought I know Windows and Mac pretty good) And it still works today. Thanks a lot!

  • Unwary

    This helped me, thanks for the well written article

  • Pat

    THANK YOU. Invaluable information (and so clearly written) for a noob who just wiped an entire chroot environment with an ill-timed sudo command.

  • valoriezimmerman

    Nixternal, how I miss ya. Every time I set up dropbox, I’m back here following your clear instructions. And I’m here to say, it works like a charm in Vivid beta. Thanks!

  • Dirk Robinson

    Amazing what a patient, and well explain tutorial you`ve made. Many thanks and congratulations !

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