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I am using a Linux PC (Ubuntu). Recently I went to install Dropbox on my PC and it was successful. The only matter right now I am thinking is simply how my browser helped Dropbox to forward me directly to a Linux based dropbox installation? My browser directly took me to the Linux installation page, How?

Thank you.

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closed as off topic by Chris Down, jasonwryan, vonbrand, slm, Dennis Kaarsemaker May 9 '13 at 15:33

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2 Answers 2

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I don't know how Dropbox does it, but usually the browser sends a User-Agent string which tells the web server which brower you use, its version and the operating system. Here's an example:

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.160 Safari/537.22

You can check what your browser sends e.g. with netcat. Open up a terminal and open a TCP port:

nc -l -p 3456

Then point your browser to localhost:3456 and check the result in the terminal. You could edit the User-Agent string to a typical one from another operating system and visit the Dropbox page, if the download changes then you have confirmed that Dropbox uses the User-Agent string to determine the OS.

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Your browser has a user agent string which displays information about your operating system, screen resolution, etc.

You might want to try: whatsmyuseragent.com or showip.net to display your user agent.

This is sometimes considered as a privacy issue, you might want to check out How trackable is my browser?.

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