New Dropbox System Requirements

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BenTrabetere
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New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by BenTrabetere » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:48 pm

With no warning or fanfare, Dropbox has changed its system requirements.
https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-we ... quirements

On Nov. 7, 2018, Dropbox will end for syncing to drives with certain uncommon file systems. The supported file systems are NTFS for Windows, HFS+ or APFS for Mac, and Ext4 for Linux.

There is an animated, torches-and-pitchforks discussion in the forum, and from what I gather NTFS and encrypted Ext4 are not supported file systems for Linux.
https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Syncing ... d-p/290058
Last edited by xenopeek on Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: no support question so moved to chat

rui no onna
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by rui no onna » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:09 pm

Thank you for the heads up. I was wondering why Dropbox was saying it would stop working in November 2018 (I use btrfs).

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by KBD47 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:43 pm

You might want to try pcloud:
https://www.pcloud.com/
I think it offers 10 gb free storage, and so far it has synced well for me across Linux installations.

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by rui no onna » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:12 pm

KBD47 wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:43 pm
You might want to try pcloud:
https://www.pcloud.com/
I think it offers 10 gb free storage, and so far it has synced well for me across Linux installations.
Alas, can't switch. Unfortunately, Dropbox is the only cloud service natively supported on my preferred iOS reading app (Marvin) and it's been hard to find a reader app I like as much as this one.

If I'm able to move my Dropbox folder to another partition while keeping / and /home on btrfs (for snapshots), I can work with that.

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Fred Barclay » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:49 pm

Has anyone tried rclone? It says it works with Dropbox and looks pretty easy to install (they've got .debs). I don't use Dropbox or sync to the cloud myself so I don't need it, but I know some folks who might.

Cheers!
Fred
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by smurphos » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:32 am

Fred Barclay wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:49 pm
Has anyone tried rclone? It says it works with Dropbox and looks pretty easy to install (they've got .debs). I don't use Dropbox or sync to the cloud myself so I don't need it, but I know some folks who might.

Cheers!
Fred
Been using rclone for a couple of years as a Google Drive client. Works really well. Using it's mount option to mount my Google Drive on the file-system the performance difference between rclone and Gnome Online Accounts is light years (with the former being way faster).

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Portreve » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:33 pm

I don't host anything in the cloud.

Were I to have some future need to do so, it would all be as encrypted archive files. I don't know why people are, frankly, stupid enough to do this some other way and thereby leave their own security responsibility up to someone else.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Fred Barclay » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:54 pm

Portreve wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:33 pm
I don't host anything in the cloud.

Were I to have some future need to do so, it would all be as encrypted archive files. I don't know why people are, frankly, stupid enough to do this some other way and thereby leave their own security responsibility up to someone else.
I can understand it, to some degree. At least, I realised after my post yesterday that I do use the cloud a bit for some files. (We also use a cloud provider heavily at work, but that's another story.)
Personal info -- pictures of myself and family, medical records or financial statements -- I want full control over. I can't see myself putting them in the cloud, aside from an odd photo sent through email or so on.

Other files I don't care about and the benefits of putting them in the cloud are worth it to me. I don't really care, for instance, if someone reads my old lecture notes. I do care that I'm able to access them anywhere, anytime, across all my devices and with minimal hassle.

I want code I've written to be available to me at all times and to survive a catastrophic failure of my hard drive(s), so I put my projects on GitLab and a few on GitHub. While this probably isn't most people's definition of "the cloud", is it really any different? :D

That's not saying I wouldn't feel a bit betrayed if a hacker stole these documents and leaked 'em to the world. But then, that would more be due to my disappointment that the system I trusted wasn't strong enough to keep others out, and less because the general public can now read my files.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Boca » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:11 pm

I've also had the email from Dropbox but am unsure of my next steps.

They seem to be insisting on ext4 format but, in the detail, they comment on the consequences of an external HDD not being connected at startup and the risk of deleted files from every instance of DropBox Does the move to ext4 eliminate the risk of non-mounted HDD?

I use Dropbox across 2 Linux laptops, a WinDoze10 netbook and my Android mobile; the 2 laptops each have an external HDD with fuseblk format which hosts DropBox. The 2 Laptops host full Dropbox with selective sync to the netbook and mobile.

For example:-

Code: Select all

tony@tony-Latitude-E6430 ~ $ specs
System:    Host: tony-Latitude-E6430 Kernel: 4.15.0-30-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: MATE 1.18.0 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
.....
tony@tony-Latitude-E6430 ~ $ df -T
Filesystem     Type     1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
.......
/dev/sdb1      fuseblk  976728060 877778044  98950016  90% /media/tony/My Passport

I have read through DropBox's next steps but am still unsure how to proceed. Do I reformat my existing external HDD as ext4... with the risk that DropBox sees the new virgin HDD and deletes all files from every instance?

Or..
do I re-evaluate other options and cancel DropBox? IF I decide to desert DropBox, what is the preferred option for syncing acoss 2 Linux laptops, a WinDoze10 netbook and my Android mobile?

Rgds, Tony

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by sdibaja » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:03 pm

If all you want to do is sync files and folders use syncthing.
https://syncthing.net/
install with your software manager...
I have not tried it with Windows, but it works great with various Linux platforms and Android... but Not Mac.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Rocky Bennett » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 pm

Boca wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:11 pm
I've also had the email from Dropbox but am unsure of my next steps.

They seem to be insisting on ext4 format but, in the detail, they comment on the consequences of an external HDD not being connected at startup and the risk of deleted files from every instance of DropBox Does the move to ext4 eliminate the risk of non-mounted HDD?

I use Dropbox across 2 Linux laptops, a WinDoze10 netbook and my Android mobile; the 2 laptops each have an external HDD with fuseblk format which hosts DropBox. The 2 Laptops host full Dropbox with selective sync to the netbook and mobile.

For example:-

Code: Select all

tony@tony-Latitude-E6430 ~ $ specs
System:    Host: tony-Latitude-E6430 Kernel: 4.15.0-30-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: MATE 1.18.0 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
.....
tony@tony-Latitude-E6430 ~ $ df -T
Filesystem     Type     1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
.......
/dev/sdb1      fuseblk  976728060 877778044  98950016  90% /media/tony/My Passport

I have read through DropBox's next steps but am still unsure how to proceed. Do I reformat my existing external HDD as ext4... with the risk that DropBox sees the new virgin HDD and deletes all files from every instance?

Or..
do I re-evaluate other options and cancel DropBox? IF I decide to desert DropBox, what is the preferred option for syncing acoss 2 Linux laptops, a WinDoze10 netbook and my Android mobile?

Rgds, Tony


No need to do that. I use openSUSE on a Btrfs formatted drive and I easily moved my Dropbox to a NTFS external hard drive. It works flawlessly.

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by BenTrabetere » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:19 am

Rocky Bennett wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 pm
No need to do that. I use openSUSE on a Btrfs formatted drive and I easily moved my Dropbox to a NTFS external hard drive. It works flawlessly.
As I understand it, Dropbox will not continue to work flawlessly on Linux with a drive formatted NTFS when the change takes place on Nov 7. The issue was raised in the Dropbox forum by someone who set up Dropbox to sync with an NTFS drive that was shared with Linux and Windows.

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by The_Chris » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:36 am

I'm late to the party - but this is a concern.

I've always used EXT4 with Ubuntu. THIS TIME, I wanted to try out the whole disk encryption, and it used EXT2. I didn't catch that.

Obviously, I don't want to reformat. I was hoping there was a way to do an inline conversion from EXT2 to EXT4. But, this whole disk encryption (that I chose) is the wrinkle.

I'm really tied to Dropbox. I have Google Drive, and One Drive, but I've had Dropbox the longest. Why did the Ubuntu WDE use EXT2???

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by xenopeek » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:42 am

As currently known, Dropbox won't work on encrypted Linux filesystems. So if you've really tied yourself to Dropbox, you'll have to reinstall anyway.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by Rocky Bennett » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:11 am

This is a quote from another forum member;


"It may be worth asking Dropbox for a clarification.

Because I don't usually program extended filesystem attributes, I did a quick read and suggest the following on my possibly superficial understanding...

- Although there might be an API somewhere, I'm going to guess that Dropbox code likely uses the xattr utility to utilize filesystem extended attributes like most other apps (The major well known apps are listed in the Wikipedia source below).. All listed apps likely do this the same way.
- Extended Filesystems Attributes is a kind of standard which if supported by one, will work the same way in all supported filesystems.
- All filesystems set up by openSUSE by default support extended filesystem attributes including BTRFS and XFS.
- Current EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 Extended Filesystem Attribute support has size limitations where XFS and BTRFS do not(Does this make sense? Or maybe there is a size limitation but is so large that practically there is no limit?)

The bottom line from what I read is that for any application that uses Extended Filesystem Attributes that would be supported on a EXT4 filesystem, there should be no issue on BTRFS or XFS filesystems because the latter filesystms have much less compliance requirementes and the method for utilizing Extended Filesystem Attributes is the same for all filesystems.

Sources
The xatt MAN page, which is the standard Linux utility used by an app to utilize, manage, create, etc filesystem extended attributes
http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man5/attr.5.html
The Wikipedia article which distills perhaps most important points from the MAN page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extend...tributes#Linux

So,
It seems to me that Dropbox should clarify their reason for supporting only EXT4, and perhaps even review their dependency test as to whether that may be faulty disqualifying Linux filesystems unnecessarily (Of course such a test would be more accurate if it actually attempted to set and read a test attribute rather than simply query for the filesystem name)

IMO,
TSU"

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by kc1di » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:33 am

I think the reason so many of us have used dropbox in the past is because it seemed easy and the UI client was installable from the software repository.
I'm going to be trying some of the alternatives mentioned in this thread in the days to come. I've already been using Mega, but not sure that the one I want.
My needs are quite simple. so will try other alternatives also.

Think dropbox is making a mistake but guess that's their business. They don't make money from most linux users.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by mwbworld » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:02 am

I can't say I'm thrilled at what they are doing but I'm breathing a short-term sigh of relief that my respective work and home systems would seem to be within the new requirements.

But long-term, I'm definitely looking at some of the alternatives discussed here.
- Michael

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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by xenopeek » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:28 am

kc1di wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:33 am
They don't make money from most linux users.
Do don't make money from most users, regardless of what OS they use. I think you meant something else :)

A rough estimate—based on their $ 1.1 billion revenue for 2017, 500+ million users and price per month per user between $ 9.99 and $ 19.99—is that than on average 1,4% of their users are paying users. They don't make money from 98,6% of their users—unless they shows ads to, or sell information gathered on, their (free tier) users.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by kc1di » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:16 am

xenopeek wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:28 am
kc1di wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:33 am
They don't make money from most linux users.
Do don't make money from most users, regardless of what OS they use. I think you meant something else :)

A rough estimate—based on their $ 1.1 billion revenue for 2017, 500+ million users and price per month per user between $ 9.99 and $ 19.99—is that than on average 1,4% of their users are paying users. They don't make money from 98,6% of their users—unless they shows ads to, or sell information gathered on, their (free tier) users.
Well put, all I was trying to say is they don't have incentive to accommodate those who do not pay a monthly fee. I like xfs for instance. they see no need to accommodate that file system. Others do so will seek other mean to sync my cloud stuff.
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Re: New Dropbox System Requirements

Post by KBD47 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:10 pm

I use Dropbox out of convenience. It has been very good on Linux for many years. But it's free storage option has not kept up with Google Drive, Onedrive, Box, and other free storage options. 2gb free storage is just enough for me to use for recent documents and that's all I use it for. It's paid options seem high to me compared to other options.
Pcloud is one I highly recommend for Linux. At 10gb free storage you have a bit more breathing room and it works great:
https://my.pcloud.com/
Google Drive is the most disappointing to me. They promised a Linux client for years and never delivered. Yet they have been Linux friendly as a company with things like Google Music Manager actually working better on Linux than Windows, at least in my experience. Also Google Chrome Browser has almost always worked flawlessly for me across Linux distributions. Have no idea what their issue is on failing to offer the Linux client for Google Drive :(

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