Dropbox on Lubuntu 18.04

My prefered Linux distribution these days is the lightweight Ubuntu variant Lubuntu. As I mainly use my linux laptop for writing and running fairly intensive text-processing scripts, I need something that doesn’t have extra bells and whistles and their corresponding overheads. It’s generally a very smooth, intuitive experience and does what I want, but there are a few rough edges requiring attention. One of these is installing the popular file back up and sharing app Dropbox, which isn’t quite as easy as it should be. For starters, there are a number of dropbox apps in Ubuntu’s repositories and it is not clear which should be used. Another is that after installing, the toolbar icon is broken. So here are clear, step-by-step instructions for getting it working.

1: Install the package ‘nautilus-dropbox’ via your prefered package manager (Lubuntu comes with Synaptic and Software Updater, both under ‘System Tools’ in the menu), or through the command line via:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox

This will also install various dependencies, mainly Python 2.7 packages. Note that it is the nautilus package, even though Lubuntu uses a different file manager, PCManFm. And note that it is not the actual Dropbox app but a helper program.

2: Once installed, go to ‘Internet’ on the Lubuntu application menu in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Then click on the Dropbox icon in the submenu. This will bring up a ‘Download Dropbox’ dialogue; follow the instructions to download and install the proprietary app, and then sign in to your account. Hereon, whenever there’s an update, Dropbox should upgrade automatically.

3: So far so good, but there’s a problem with the icon. In the system tray on the bottom right hand side there’s a white squre as a placeholder, and no menu appears when you click it.

4: To fix the icon,open the terminal and run:

sudo lxshortcut -i /usr/share/applications/dropbox.desktop

You’ll be asked for your password, then a window will open up. Click on the tab labelled ‘Desktop Entry’ and replace the text in the box labelled ‘Command:’ from ‘dropbox start -i’ to ‘dbus-launch dropbox start’.

5: Open a terminal and run:

dropbox stop

This stops Dropbox; although you could restart dropbox through the command line, using the command just entered into the dropbox.desktop file, just to check everything is working go to the applications menu > Internet > and click on Dropbox. It should start with icon and menu working. Similarly, after rebooting, Dropbox should start automatically with icon and all.

Updated 17 September, to add sudo to the first instruction. Thanks to Jon Cat in the comments.

This article is licensed CC-BY-SA 3.0.

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13 Responses to Dropbox on Lubuntu 18.04

  1. Jon Cat says:

    My Dropbox works great thanks.
    For those like me who are no good at fixing things, and are new to this,
    I found it was really helpful.

    My only comments are for those new to Lubuntu,
    to open the terminal goto system > tools LXTerminal.

    Step 1 where it reads: apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
    it should read: sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox

  2. Pedro says:

    Thank you !!

    Lifesaver <3 !!

  3. johnl says:

    Thanks for spotting the missing sudo! Post updated.

  4. Luiz Souza says:

    Thank you! New to Lubuntu. Helped me with Lubuntu 16.04.05 LTS.

  5. Rick says:

    Thanks so much. Dropbox was one of the main apps I was hoping to get up and running after I switched to Lubuntu!

  6. Henning says:

    Thanks, that was incredibly helpful!

  7. Martin Gleiss says:

    Thanks, man, this helped me a lot! Works perfectly!

  8. JP Sirey says:

    Thank you it work perfectly

  9. ccc says:

    1000 Thanks!!!

  10. Madis says:

    Geting crazy, does not install:
    sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    nautilus-dropbox : Depends: dropbox but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    It is in fact a fresh Lubuntu 18.04 installation on a brand new Intel NUC

  11. johnl says:

    Check to see what the held broken packages are with:
    apt-mark showhold
    That should tell you wat the problem is.

  12. Jon Cat says:

    I’ve just reinstalled this having not used it for a while and it works fine.

    jc@Speedy:~$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox
    [sudo] password for jc:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
    libgsoap-2.8.60 libvncserver1
    Use ‘sudo apt autoremove’ to remove them.
    Suggested packages:
    Recommended packages:
    The following NEW packages will be installed
    0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 0 to remove and 3 not to upgrade.
    Need to get 86.5 kB of archives.
    After this operation, 291 kB of additional disk space will be used.
    Get:1 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/multiverse amd64 nautilus-dropbox amd64 2015.10.28-1ubuntu2 [86.5 kB]
    Fetched 86.5 kB in 0s (329 kB/s)
    Selecting previously unselected package nautilus-dropbox.
    (Reading database … 246032 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to unpack …/nautilus-dropbox_2015.10.28-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb …
    Unpacking nautilus-dropbox (2015.10.28-1ubuntu2) …
    Setting up nautilus-dropbox (2015.10.28-1ubuntu2) …
    Please restart all running instances of Nautilus, or you will experience problems. i.e. nautilus –quit
    Dropbox installation successfully completed! You can start Dropbox from your applications menu.
    Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3.18.04.2) …
    Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) …
    Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.17-2) …
    Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) …
    jc@Speedy:~$ sudo lxshortcut -i /usr/share/applications/dropbox.desktop

    (lxshortcut:5351): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: 13:38:08.699: g_dbus_proxy_new: assertion ‘G_IS_DBUS_CONNECTION (connection)’ failed
    jc@Speedy:~$ dropbox stop
    Dropbox isn’t responding!

    Rebooted PC and it’s now starting and working fine?

  13. Mac MacMillan says:

    Thank you so much… My dropbox has not been working for ages. Now running sweet.

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