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I'm using Debian 6 and Dropbox. I followed these commands to install it.

When I run ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd — Dropbox works and stuff. Problem is that when I close terminal or, even worse, — reboot... Dropbox stops to work and I need to run that deamon again.

Are there any way I say to computer to automatically start that daeamon in background?

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Have you tried the python script linked below on that same website? It seems to be targeted to controlling the daemon. (I don't have access to a debian-based machine ATM to try it myself though). – Hugo Apr 3 '12 at 16:58
Thanks! I will try it. – daGrevis Apr 3 '12 at 19:15
Perhaps nohup? unix.stackexchange.com/questions/56495/… – njsg Feb 7 '13 at 14:43

11 Answers 11

up vote 37 down vote accepted

If you're running the daemon from your own account, start it at boot time with Cron. Run crontab -e to edit your crontab file and add the line

@reboot ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd
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While this would work, ideally it would be best to create the service script within /etc/init.d/ utilizing the skeleton script that is contained within. You can then add the service dropbox start to the cron on reboot and still have the ability to stop the service and restart it. – sparticvs Aug 14 '13 at 0:38
@sparticvs - Will dropbox not run as root if you put it in init.d? dropbox can be configured to run per user basis. Can the dropboxd be shared between users using different dropbox accounts? – Lord Loh. Aug 16 '13 at 17:02
@LordLoh. good point. However you could change to who you want to run as. I did find this resource. Looks new. – sparticvs Aug 16 '13 at 17:30
@LordLoh. @sparticvs I think there is a solution to the init.d running as root problem. I posted an answer of my own, but the solution at pixeldust.wikidot.com/linode-setup%3adropbox seems to work well. – Zac Jan 9 '14 at 20:31

run the command in this way:

($HOME/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd &)&

this will detach the process from tha actual terminal and put it in real background.

You will still have to start it back up manually after a reboot, though.

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You can also run as a daemon by doing daemon $HOME/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd.

This has the advantage that if you additionally pass the -n/--name flag, you can use daemon --[running|restart|stop] -n <name> to control the process.

Perhaps someone else can chip in on how best to get daemons started using daemon to run at startup...

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Here is my solution for Linux distributions using Upstart 1.4 and higher.

Save the contents below into a configuration file under /etc/init, for example: /etc/init/db_user.conf

# Dropbox upstart script for user db_user, db_user can be replaced by anything you like.

description "Dropbox db_user"
author "myth384"

start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [!2345]


setuid db_user
# The next two lines are optional. I use these to be able to share the Dropbox using Samba. Within group shareusers are all Samba users.
# setgid shareusers
# umask 0002

# The next line is necessary to be able to synchronise files with non-ASCII characters.
env LANG="en_US.UTF-8" 

exec /home/db_user/.dropbox-dist/dropbox

To start up the daemon without rebooting:

sudo start db_user

Note: By uncommenting the setgid line it is not necessary to set the setgid flag on the .dropbox.cache folder as indicated by other sources on the internet.

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You can find Debian and Ubuntu init.d scripts, just copy to /etc/init.d/dropbox and customize with user name.

Enable in debian with chkconfig --add dropbox. Then run as any other service.

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You could use screen:

screen -dmS ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

This will start it as a daemon and in detached mode.

You would then have to write your own init.d script to have it run as service this way and add a line after #!/bin/bash for chkconfig and add the necessary run levels, such as 2, 3, 4, 5. Different distributions have different run levels so you'd have to check this.

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I added the following lines to the end of my .profile file. I prefer to have the computer boot at terminal. However, if I start X11 after this, the dropbox applet is not displayed on the system tray.

dropbox running
if [ $rv -eq 0 ]; then
    dropbox start;
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There is a fairly nice way to add this to init.d described here. You have to add which users you want Dropbox to start for to the init script (easy enough), and when the system boots, it will start the Dropbox daemon for each of those users.

The only thing to note is that they specify DAEMON=.dropbox-dist/dropbox which I believe is incorrect. The author forgot the d at the end of that — it should be DAEMON=.dropbox-dist/dropboxd.

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Here is my solution. This is on debian 8.

Install dropbox as per standard instructions. So far, I've only got one user connected, I don't know if this will work with multiple users as dropbox seems to register the machine and not the linux user account. If you know how to get multiple user accounts on one server working let us know.


Then install the python control script instructions but put it in /usr/bin and not your home directory bin

Create file /lib/systemd/system/dropbox@.service

Description=Dropbox as a system service user %i

ExecStart=/usr/bin/dropbox start
ExecStop=/usr/bin/dropbox stop
# 'LANG' might be unnecessary, since systemd already sets the
# locale for all services according to "/etc/locale.conf".
# Run `systemctl show-environment` to make sure.


Enable the service for user fred

systemctl enable dropbox@fred.service

start the service

systemctl start dropbox@fred.service

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I think the best way is to create a new file in /usr/bin with this code:



save and name it "dropbox". Now you can run from console in background or create a shortcut in your menu/desktop

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This is incorrect as it would just run in the foreground. You would have to still do dropbox & to send it to the background. Additionally if the terminal connection is ended, then the Hangup signal will kill the process. – sparticvs Aug 14 '13 at 0:36

The solution is as other python programs :

shell$ nohup ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd & 
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